“The Fairy-Tale Delusion”

the prince lost his leather boot
the beanstalk rotted
Papa Bear ate Goldilocks for dinner
and
Rapunzel rappelled down the side of the tower

Snow White never tasted the poisoned apple
she was too busy
cooking
mending
and
cleaning
for seven needy dwarfs
to stop for a snack

in her spare time
she penned a best-selling novel
“The Fairy-Tale Delusion”

GOOD THING

it was rumored that
Prince Charming swam off with a mermaid
on his Caribbean vacation
and
drowned

what line did Snow White write to end her children’s classic?

“She fought.
She survived.
She shared.
She thrived.”

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

The Wind’s Mock

naked
stripped bare by a gust of mocking wind
tree branches tremble
in complaint

Nature
responds
to creak-cracking pleas
fills her storehouse clouds
with
empathetic
frigid
tears

She
beckons the wind
with
thick
smoke
signals

wind
sighs
puffs
whispers
dies
then, observing
those pathetic, quaking, naked limbs shaking
blows
a sympathetic gale

snow
falls
covers limbs with frosty blankets
and
blankets roots under thick cover

until

wind,
tired of stillness,
decides to stir Nature’s pot
with
a
hot
air
whirling
melting
mock

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink,

 

The Hour Passed

the hour passed
the flowers –
some we dried
hung upside down
life evaporated
taking
scent
and
hue
leaving crinkled paper petals
fragile shell reminders
of the bloom the hour spent
some we pressed
trapped between the pages
smothered
removed
stiff
and
dry
coated in artificial fragrance
sprayed from a non-aerosol can
added to the bowl of potpourri

but

whether
dried
or
pressed
the flowers
remind us
of the
hour
before
it
passed

~

for my friend, Terry, whose light lives on in the words he left behind on his blog:   https://spearfruit.com/

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

Human Dreamer

I
am
human…
born of earth
and water
into air
to breathe
and form thoughts that reach
to clouds
floating
free of walls

collecting
into raindrop tears
that fall
into
closely gathered pools

pains
mingled

where
collected fluid
overflows
and
penetrates the soil
pleading with the ground
to swallow whole
the barrier
that restrains
paths
imagined
by
my
human
Dreamer

~

#DefendDACA

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

Where Breath Failed

where breath failed
and tongues were tied
in ropes of persecution
dark words
caught on the lips
moistened by endless tears
rolled off the chin
filling ink-well pools

empty pens
in dehydrated hands
dipped to quench the thirst
of parched minds’ papers
leaving fluid trails
that dried
tattooed
on the skin
of humanity’s
beaten
drums

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

 

An Evening Storm

forecast stated storm warning
I opened the windows wide
felt the air’s restless churning

Hot & Humid
vs
Cold Reprieve

they argued
forcing wind through my screen
where insects clung by the dozens,
helpless

I crawled in bed
windows open
and listened

Nature interrupted
her children’s dispute
with
driving tears
angry spanks of lightening
and
a booming voice of thunder

her reprimand was frightening

Hot & Humid
lost some steam

Cold Reprieve
warmed

they shook hands and agreed to sleep on it
through the night

I woke up
to sunshine streaming
through
windows opened wide

met the calm breeze
and flying insects
as Mother’s weathered children
danced together
in her morning arms

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

Little Red Riding, Not

Little Red Riding Hood
forgot to mount her horse
left him behind
chomping grass in the field

she,
being too foolish or too lazy
to take the time to
catch
brush
saddle
and
bridle
her willing pet
and too grossed out
to pick his hooves,
filled her basket with wine and cake
and set off down the trail
ON FOOT
to feed her sick granny

her mother warned her strictly
to stay on the trail

she should have told the girl
to use her brains
and ride her pony

I would tell you more,
but there is no more to tell

The Little Red Riding Hood girl,
Not Riding
was too slow
to outrun
the Big Bad Wolf

he
ate
her

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

 

 

The Ricochet

“I got it”
yelled the boy
as feathers went flying
the body hit the ground with a soft thud

it was his first kill
harvested
with this year’s birthday present
in his grandma’s backyard

a pellet gun
aimed carefully

“lads will be lads”
said the dad
fantasizing
his strapping young hunter
field dressing
a 12-point buck

“it’s just a bird”
said the mom
consoling
her son as a few of his tears
splashed
on the winged carcass

“what a shame”
said the granny
sighing
a few days later
upon discovering a nest
filled
with
dead
baby
birds

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

The Hummingbird and I

we lingered out back
to frolic by the flowers
the hummingbird
the cat
the coyote
and
I

the coyote caught a whiff,
just a brief, tempting sensation,
of decomposing garbage in an overstuffed bin
it appealed to his undiscerning appetite

he ran through the trees
hot on the scent
and
caused a slight breeze
that made the cat’s tail fur erectly stand
swish, swish
back and forth, the angry appendage went
further fanning the air
as the feline statue stared

I watched in delight

the creature-stirred air was amusing,
a welcome reprieve to a still, sun-heating deck

the hummingbird,
observant,
picked that moment to dart this way and that
in zigzagging chaos
and
filled his small belly
on deck-variety nectar

I laughed at the sight

the cat, preoccupied with coyote obsessing,
and
the coyote, pursuing a waste trail for his lusting,
both missed an easy meal,
one obviously placed

we found satisfaction
through patiently watching
among the flowers
out back
that morning

the hummingbird and I,
both appetites
filled

 
~

 

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

Walking

walking,
a girl
alone,
I,
tired,
came upon an old tree in the woods
horizontally inclined
its leaves long ago decayed,
all missing,
hollow in the middle,
a hiding place for small creatures,
a worthy seat for me

sitting,
a girl,
alone,
I
looked up at the tall tree beside it
filled with verdant foliage
and the rustle of winged things,
invisible
but for the shaking of leaves,
and
admired,
when
onto my hand
a bare twig dropped

staring,
a girl,
alone,
I
watched it:
delicate creature, but sturdy
strongly jointed legs of six
elegant antennae, two, tickling my palm,
and an elongated body
“what a flawless disguise,”
thought I,
the girl,
alone
with
guest

walking,
the stick,
alone,
it
clung to me,
testing the strangeness of my hand
with slow motions
of graceful body parts
it climbed
calmly
encircling my wrist
like a bracelet
formed,
surprising me with its
limberness
and
capacity to hold on silky skin

lingering,
a girl,
alone,
I
experienced
this alien encounter
with fascination
and
deep respect
until,
sympathetic,
I gently placed it back on the living tree
where
it walked away
unhurriedly,
yet rapidly disappearing,
melding into noble tree

pondering,
a girl
grown,
I,
smiling,
remembered lessons barely whispered
in woodland wonder
under trees,
the tiny things
amazing me,
and,
strangely,
how a fallen stick walking
somehow
remains
a
part
of
me

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.