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.

They Swim

They swim
poor little fish
straight through the safety nets
that would hold them
in fresh water’s flow
they are too young to vote
or weave social change
into protective boundaries

They swim
through gaping holes of greed
lacking resource and means
to bind the shredded holes of ignorance

They swim
swept downstream
to river’s brackish estuary
where
the salt
through osmosis
dehydrates cells

They swim
assimilating the filth
prostitution
drug abuse
theft
abuse
bulging, murderous eyes
desperate

They swim
until
defeated
oxygen depleted
poor little fish
belly up

They float

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

A Candle Lit

a candle lit
they made too much of it
it was nothing
little flicker
casting wimpy shadows
in a dark room
filled with the hot air
that
critics
naysayers
and
waylaying souls
all
breathe
like
wing-clipped, impotent dragons
fresh from
fire gland removal surgery
nail clipping
fang filing
and
plugging their nostrils with lambs’ wool to protect against the stench
of the sulfuric lies they spew

little flicker
like stage blood
offends
in drops
the cultured, privileged eyes
now covered
but
provides
aesthetic gore
to those sheep led to the slaughtering fields of
deprivation
starvation
and
war
their sanguine fluids shed
they
can
relate

little flicker
they made too much of it
it was nothing
wait
until
they
see
the
flame
it
sparked

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

 

If Nature Erected Walls

if nature erected walls
to keep foreign plants off native soil
dug the foundation deeply
to make evil roots recoil
built the barriers high
and
higher
could she prevent alien seeds from crossing
in their clingy flight on winged things
would she try
or
would she,
the master artist,
paint the vivid colors of biodiversity
and be glad for her expanding pallet
then
I wonder
if nature erected walls
to protect her vulnerable places
would she build herself a chastity-belt fence
to halt earth-stripping exposure
from lusty, mechanical hands
and
stop
fracked-oil raping
that leave her lovely portraits
smothered in charcoal hues
rent
and
ruined
I wonder
if nature erected walls
what part would she ban

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

My Striking Pen

Is my pen led astray?
Or just having its way?
two line strikes
and
those “rich green, carpet of flowing grasslands”
become
“verdant meadows”

Ideas morph in the margins
the chrysalis cracks
under the weight of my rolling, ballpoint pen
NOW
“the welcoming pale pink petals of my wax begonias that lure hummingbirds”
flutter away as
“blushing invitations to winged friends”

Arrows zing around my page
in colorful edits
this is war
in my mind
ten words drop in a single line:
“the furry, flop-eared bunny hopped, hid eggs and in the yard and, exhausted, dropped”
simply put:
“the rabbit died”

I’m not crying
rabbits
though cute
are ever multiplying
like words
before edits
they overrun the garden-page
NOW
weeded
hunted
tended
ideas flourish
under the cut of my striking pen
this is war

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

What?

what does a ban say
on a sunny Easter Day

THAT

starving children,
the moaning human refuse
collected
for posterity
in refugee wastelands
must starve
WHILE
sheltered youth,
plump and spoiled
dressed in pressed watercolors
not junk yard soiled
are allowed free run
on a White House lawn
to hunt for candy-filled eggs

what does a ban say
on a sunny Easter Day

THAT

this year
the Easter Bunny voted
rolled his eggs for Trump

WHILE

children, impoverished,
hunted meals
from the dump

what does a ban say
on a sunny Easter Day

WHAT?

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.