Chameleon’s Conundrum (a villanelle) a poem about a cold-blooded animal


i had a curious dream last night
of a chameleon shifting greens and blues
in the lovely pale moonlight

his beauty was my sweet delight
changing, mixing lovely hues
i had a curious dream last night

he began to speak, his words took flight
he asked me how i could choose
in the lovely pale moonlight

to stay one color, was it right
that one should win and the others lose
i had a curious dream last night

he then gulped a dragonfly in just one bite
chewing slowly, he began to muse
in the lovely pale moonlight

i think it sad with all my might
that you can’t simply become chartreuse
i had a curious dream last night
in the lovely pale moonlight

cegl 4.24.16

She Warms Him On The Darkest Nights (a sonnet)

William-Adolphe_Bouguereau_(1825-1905)_-_La_Nuit_(1883)William-Adolphe Bouguereau

She warms him on the darkest nights
His face silvered by the moon’s caress
Velvet darkness sings sweet-dreamed delights
He plummets deep into Morpheus’ abyss
Diana, huntress, leads the chase
Through forest deep and moonlit meadows
To catch him ere he turns his face
And forgets she who keeps him close
He shudders within her sheltering arms
She pulls him closer to her breast
As he succumbs to her nightly charms
His face, his form softly possessed
With each dawn, dark dreams fracture
Limbs entwined, sweetest rapture

cegl  4.22.16

Mean Green (An ekphrastic poem)


Sitting as still as she could, save the darting of her eyes,
she feels the green pressing down upon her
oppressive, somehow angry
Sitting still as she hurtles down the tracks,
she remembers this same green in the Emerald City
she didn’t care for it as a child either
Sitting still and alone, she shifts her gaze to
the dying of the day out side, devoid of joy
framed by that unbearable green
Not the lush green of forests or parrots
But the intolerable shade that surrounds her
making her head hurt and her stomach heave
Sitting quietly, she bites her lip to keep from screaming
Sweat pops out on her clammy brow
she dreams of the pink and gold of elegant sunsets
purple and  blue of the berries from grandmother’s garden

cegl  4.17.16

How to Pine (a pantoum)


This is how you learn to pine
Your sighs must rise from your anguished soul
Make sure they know you won’t be fine
Your fractured heart will never be whole

Your sighs must rise from your anguished soul
Your entire spirit will soon shiver
Your fractured heart will never be whole
You will cry a salty river

Your entire spirit will soon shiver
You’ll swear you see him everywhere
You will cry a salty river
Remember when love was sweet and fair?

You’ll swear you see him everywhere
Make sure they know you won’t be fine
Remember when love was sweet and fair?
This is how you learn to pine

cegl 4.15.16

Ode to the Unexpected (a list poem)


Cherry blossoms covered in spring time snows
Anger cut short by a shared joke
Five dollars tucked inside the pocket of last year’s jacket
An extra cherry hidden beneath the ice in your cherry limeade
Finding the bracelet you lost months ago
The pink blush the shows up on this year’s yellow roses
One more french fry in the carry out bag
A rain shower on a sunny day and then finding out some people
call it “the devil beating his wife”
Discovering that you really do like smoked salmon after all
Thinking you couldn’t, but you could and did

cegl 4.12.16

Maltese (poem based on a tiger)


They say you don’t exist
maltese tiger, a genetic sport
I’d like to think you do
wandering hidden
in forests dark and deep

Blue and grey
with charcoal stripes
are you gone forever
or a never were
evasive cryptid of the East

Holy grail of ailurophiles
they will ever seek you
until they put you in a cage
and watch you fade away
jungle light dying in your eyes

cegl 4.11.16


How To (a haibun)


How To Navigate the Washington DC Metro Area

I’m an Okie.  I may live in Virginia, but I’m still an Okie.  Getting around here is some sort of magic I have yet to untangle. The Potomac River glistens and glides to the east, while our fearsome capital squats overhead to the north.  Sometimes, between the hills and trees, there is a glimpse of the Washington Monument; a lovely sight flanked by cherry blossoms in the spring. To the south, fair Mount Vernon and battlefields left behind.  To the west, Shenandoah River and Blue Ridge mountains run.  But within those boundaries lies a labyrinth that even Daedalus would be impressed by.  Street names change names midway if you aren’t paying attention.  That light is for them not you.  The bridge is up.  There’s a traffic jam.  Driving alone makes me sweat and curse, but rarely cry (anymore).

Set the GPS
Follow her voice carefully
Get lost anyway 

cegl 4.9.16

Standing Alone Against the Dragons (a zuihitsu)


I came in from recess and saw my desk pushed away from the other girls’ desks who had, until quite recently been my friends.  Alone for a moment, I pushed it back.  Then, changing my mind, I pushed it back.  Hiding in the bathroom, hot cheek pressed against the cool tiles, awaiting my public ostracization.

Those of you who did not bring a dish to share from home, stand at the end of the line.
Cheeks on fire.  My mother was in the hospital and my dad was trying to take care of all of us by himself. But I’m not telling them, their silent judgment ringing in my ears.  I take my place at the end of the line.  The food tastes like ash.

You are not in your right mind.
Why, because I don’t love you anymore?
I will do whatever it takes to take our daughter from you.
Because I don’t love you anymore?
Because you ruined all my plans for our (my) future.
The color drains from my cheeks.  I am afraid.

A sick feeling somewhere in the vicinity of my gut; maybe further north.
Are we over?  (I’m afraid to ask, but I do)
I don’t know.
That tells me all I need to know.
I leave the discomfort of our bed, feeling myself begin to shatter.  Cheeks wet with tears.
You left me to gather up all those pieces, never knowing that you crept back in, scavenging, relishing the blood you drew.

No knights saved the fair princess from the monsters.
No paladins.  No destriers.
All figments of forgotten fairy tales.
I stood alone.

I lived.

cegl 4.7.16