Not OK

TRIGGER WARNING: sexual harassment, sexual assaultnot ok

I was 8.
He was a family member.
He told me I was special.
It was not OK.

I was 12.
He was a classmate.
He teased that I was top heavy.
Everyone laughed. Even the teacher.
It was not OK.

I was 12.
He was a summer boyfriend.
He said I had luscious tits and a lascivious ass.
It was not OK.

I was 19.
He was my boyfriend.
He drugged me and shared me with his friends.
It was not OK.

I was 42.
He was a boyfriend.
He told me all of this was made up, didn’t happen.
It was not OK.


Jury Duty


In the jury pool,
Shared jigsaw puzzle pieces
Passing time with a stranger.

Pleasantries exchanged,
Turns out he’s an E.M.T.
He asks, “Do you feel okay?”

Light-headed and pale,
Fighting the urge to vomit,
It dawns on me – I’m pregnant!


The OctPoWriMo prompt today brought back a fond memory. The above is the true story of the moment I realized I was expecting my second child. I still feel a sense of gratitude that the other juror who was working the jigsaw puzzle with me while we waited was trained to recognize signs of physical distress. Otherwise, I may have fainted! Instead, he saw the symptoms and acted quickly to get me to a row of chairs to lie down. He was also quick to ask me if I may be pregnant. The thought didn’t enter my mind until he asked!


Going With The Flow



I ask my new pen questions and she answers
In inky blue poetic streams –
Each new line, a tributary
That flows into the Rabid Artist River.

It’s poetry season around the world
And the rivers are all swelling
With fresh prompt rocks and liquid poems
Spilling over their banks
Into social media.

All the rivers flow into the OctPoWriMo Ocean,
The tides ebb and flow around the clock
And around the globe.
We’ve started a poetry movement!


The prompt from OctPoWriMo today sent me in a fun direction as I surrendered to the words –

No Boxes, or Art in the Wayward Mind

Will Smith quote

I wrote today’s prompt at OctPoWriMo, then when I sat down to write my own poem nothing was coming up. My own prompt wasn’t speaking to me.

This was not what I had in mind when I wrote the prompt. However, this is what emerged for me around the topic after studying the definition of wayward : “difficult to control or predict because of unusual or perverse behavior”. It took me back to the first time I realized that I was “difficult” and why. I am that rebel that refuses to fit the mold.

Now on to the poem.


Hey middle schooler,
Choose a class – band, chorus, art?
But I want to take them all.
No. Choose.

Hey dancer,
Choose a discipline – ballet, tap, jazz?
But I want to learn it all.
Wealthy? No? Then choose.

Hey artist,
Choose a medium – paint, charcoal, clay?
But I want to learn it all.
You need a direction. Choose.

Hey performer,
Choose a discipline – singer, dancer, actor?
But I’m capable of them all.
Know your strengths. And choose.

Hey world,
Choose, you say? NAY!
I will continue to do it all.
Set fire to your boxes. I choose.

Tim Ferriss Outside the Box quoteMartin Cooper Outside the Box Quote

Imagination’s Sestina


Imagination stands in the middle
of the road, daring me to come along
for the ride. I have no choice
But to follow where he leads
For he is my master
And I am here to serve.

I have chosen to serve
even if he arrives in the middle
of the night. My master
challenges me and pushes me along;
I’ve learned to trust where he leads.
I understand that I really do have a choice.

Imagination provides infinite choices
but the way he serves
is in the powerful way he leads
me gently into the middle
of my own power. He guides me along
as I tackle difficult task that I must master.

Imagination is a loving but firm master,
molding me and enticing me with new choices.
Each new experience that he provides along
this creative journey gives me a new way to serve.
Standing with Imagination in the middle
of my own mind, I see where he’s been leading.

With a quiet confidence he leads
me deeper into myself and I master
the art of standing firmly in the middle
of my personal truth. Imagination’s choice
to lead was his own way to serve.
All I had to do was come along.

This journey has been a long
one, but now I know where it leads.
My decision to trust and to serve
this beautiful kind of master
hasn’t always been an easy choice,
It’s frightening in the middle.

Now I stand in the middle and invite you along.
You do have a choice, but I’ll be happy to lead.
Imagination is our master and we’re here to serve.


Life got in the way of writing for yesterday’s OctPoWriMo prompt, but I am going to circle back and pick it up. This is my second attempt at a sestina. I love the form and the first stanza came easily. Everything after that was WORK! I will be revisiting this form and likely doing a rewrite on this poem, as well. Happy writing!

Letter to a Hypocrite

Dear Hypocrite,

Heavens to Becky, I wish I was Pretty
And pure and perfect as you.
To be able to look down with pious pity
And pass judgment the way that you do.

Clearly you are flawless
And totally free of sin.
Doubtless you find solace
In spreading gossip with a grin.

Casting stones at me, at us,
But indirectly so.
Cleverly avoiding fuss,
To mutual friends you go.

Did God give you the power
To act as judge and jury?
Did you expect that I would cower
Or lash out in childish fury?

Instead, dear hypocrite, I’ll choose
To go on about my life.
Not by yours, but by my own views,
Without your drama and strife.

And so, goodbye, my former friend.
You shall not have control
Of me or mine, but in the end
My life will still be whole.

With bygone respect,

The Rabid Artist


Today’s prompt at OctPoWriMo was about power and control. I took the opportunity to take back control of my thoughts by pouring these into this poem.

Monody for Aunt Janie


Her fingers would dance across the keys
As she played piano by ear.
Even though singing was her expertise
Both talents were beautiful to hear.

Comedic timing and dramatic flair
Made her fun to be around.
She’d laugh until she gasped for air,
Another beautiful sound.

With a glint in her eye and a wry smile,
She was quick with a dirty joke.
A storyteller that could beguile
As she lit another smoke.

She’d inhale deeply from her cigarette,
A fresh one in her hand.
Not even done with the first one yet,
She was nicotine’s to command.

Soon the cancer began to take hold;
It stole her voice and breath.
She quickly slipped from young to old
As smoking caused her death.


written in response to the prompt today at OctPoWriMo