Tether Ropes

Tether Ropes

In a newly developed suburb, bursting with homes,
Is a dreamy hot air balloon
Filled to the brim with blank tomes
Waiting, waiting… For the stars to align with the blue moon.

The delay is long, arduous, so the balloon becomes occupied,
It makes friends as the weeds and plants grow,
Some of the tomes have verses, so the balloon is mollified,
Still waiting, waiting… For the stars and blue moon to glow.

The plants have grown vines, strong and budding,
Radiant, colorful in all their flowerly glory.
But the hot air balloon bids farewell, for the sky is stunning,
The blue moon and stars are out, so it’s time to fill the tomes
With new stories.

But the hot air balloon finds it hard to leave,
For the vines and friends are holding on
Should it stay with the empty tomes and grieve,
Or leave, to fill the pages with stories and songs?



World Wide Word Debt

I love the format and rhythm of this poem.

Elan Mudrow

f88cf4fa2caf7c1f718cb18b28d4a351 Photo by Madeline Rockery

  1. Letters of intent, e-mails of rejection, notices of eviction, templates full of blank communication.
  2. Crazy love-talk, whiskey arguments, sweet nothings muttered ad hoc.
  3. Directions to signposts pointing back to directions. A sad sign of an editor’s directionless infections.
  4. Notes on napkins, smeared love potential, ball point penned, complete with missing periods
  5. Tweets, a 144 mosquitos buzzing itchiness into verse. Followers spray with their insecticide mirth.
  6. Submission rules, game rules, the ruling class and rules of engagement. Fortunately, words have rules of disarrangement.
  7. Author of the month, author of the year and they keep on authorizing. Sign here.
  8. Summation, contemplation, a unifying theory. We keep looking for one word, that explains the entire turd.
  9. The Ten Commandments never asked please, leaving us all screwed. I think The Word is by any definition, rude!
  10. Essays saved by the cloud, poems strung-out on word processor, welcome to the…

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Petsitting — Sometimes You See What You Want But Can’t Have

Petsitting — Sometimes You See What You Want But Can’t Have


As a side job to support myself through college and adulthood, I picked up petsitting. Aside from picking up poop, cleaning up diarrhea, and otherwise getting tackled by a large dog, I absolutely love this job. My clients are wonderful people, and I’m meeting these fluffy and adorable creatures. The pets make me happy and I’m more than willing to play and occupy the dogs. I absolutely love this job.

I will admit, sometimes my clients are on the wealthier side. Not all, but some. I’ve seen guest houses, tons and tons of pools, a hot tub, a pool table, large properties, theater rooms, and even stayed at a house on a lake. At times I wonder if I will be able to afford these luxuries, or if I even want them.

One of the clients I work for is an older couple, one who is already retired and the other is still working for the military. They have a large and loving family, and while they live on their own, their property is big enough to have the whole family over if they wanted. It’s not so much the amenities that get to me, but the size, beauty and privacy of the place. It’s out in the rural part of the city, where cars don’t normally pass by, and the city is about a few minutes drive. I look up into the sky and I can see so many stars, almost as if I’m out by Point Reyes again. The house has large trees, unlike the small, stubbly ones that are growing by the new suburbs near where I live. There’s a sense of peace that I get here that I normally wouldn’t get anywhere else.

I’ve gotten that sense of peace before at the lake house. I was running late with work and didn’t finish until about midnight. I was frustrated and irritable, especially since my dog peed on the client’s rug. I went out to the backyard, which overlooks the lake, and I just sat by their pool. (Oh yes, they live on a lake, but also own a pool). I didn’t swim, just breathed. Watched the reflection of the street lamps waver and skim over the water’s surface. It was mesmerizing, and I’d forgotten how much I miss the water.

So the biggest luxury to me isn’t pools, or a lakehouse, or even having the latest electronics, but it’s being surrounded by nature. Problem is, I’m starting to wonder if this is a luxury many of us can afford.

The Human, The Mice, And The Cats

The Human, The Mice, And The Cats

WoodMouseI’m back there again, in my childhood home where the backyard’s peach tree is blooming with spring buds and the fruit is turning juicy and ripe. Unlike here, where the springs and summers are sweltering, here it is balmy, soothing. My old swing sways in the light breeze, and green is everywhere.

Dad has done it again, gotten a pet that he cannot take care of it and I am obligated to take care of it. He’s gotten a box of mice this time in all sorts of colors; where he got them I don’t know. I immediately bond with them, and make it my mission to take care of all of them, as impossible as the task is. At first, I’m doing well. It hasn’t even been a day, but the mice are making babies; cute, tiny, defenseless babies. I’m feeling proud and motherly.

But more babies come and the neighborhood cats can smell their vulnerability. The cats are feral and hungry, and they sneak up to the cardbox box that holds the mice. I swat at them with a broom, and break one’s skull. I break its head so hard that it turns to mush and some shy away. But as I’m killing one, two more take its place. They duck and wind through my legs, they are skinny with protruding ribs. They slurp up the mice like noodles, their tails whipping around the cats’ mouths before disappearing completely. My ears fill with the cats’ yowls.

Meanwhile the mice keep pumping out babies until all that are left are babies.

I turn around once the cats have had their fill. I see hairless mice curled up in the box. I take a step and the bones of their mothers, fathers, and other babies are underneath my tennis shoes. The bones crunch like dried leaves and turn into powder. I look into the box, and the ants are eating the bodies of the dead ones, and spiders have made cobwebs on the others.

My attempt to save them all is for naught.