For The Birds (Two Poems)

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Bird Calls (or The Life of Birds in East Texas)

An unseen bird attempts to be heard

over the whir-chunk-clamor

of machinery digging up dirt

on a Sunday before noon.

Not many cars drive down the nearby road,

past the partially cleared forest

that frames a farm house covered

in a final vinyl after years of peeling paint.

A ten-year-old girl is indoors,

listening to the cacophonous music,

after faking an illness

to escape another sermon that always seems to end

with a dove flying over a mythical man’s head.

Maybe the preacher likes birds, like her,

watches and listens to  them in the early morning

before the competing sound of progress

uproots more tress, digs up more ground below

in which will flow a human obsession

that burns up and disappears quicker than a passion,

while the calls of birds remain unanswered.

(October 2012, in support of the Tar Sands Blockade in East Texas. (Take action in your community and donate to the cause to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline @ )

V-Formation (or The Life of Birds at Town Lake)

Music after the afternoon dream coos

in the trees, lofty wild parrots squawk,

aping human noises; mocking birds

chirp like false car alarms

in a new condo complex parking lot.

On a day of breezes, black birds fight

with broken glass as ducks float

on Town Lake, a slow picture show

before the storm of man-made rapture…

I’lll miss the green grass and man-made happy trails

to a nature landing, on the cool bank where two friends

sit silently, skipping stones and an unimportant destination.

There is no human v-formation.

(March 2012)

“Bird Calls” and “V-Formation” © 2012 by Danna Williams, a.k.a. Renée Valmont.


!rorriM eht ni dekaN / Naked in the Mirror!

from The Full Body Project by Leonard Nimoy

from The Full Body Project: Photographs by Leonard Nimoy

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The fat woman stares at me – glares at me –
with eyes and folds of fleshy flesh.
Oh, the horror! Oh, the humanity!
She’s not a stately Rubenesque model –
she’s an “indecent” Polaroid android,
posing full frontal for the hustler and
the square staring at the stark, bountiful vision,
reflected in a painted looking glass.
Both women aren’t disgusted by what they see?!
Oh, the horror. Oh, the humanity.

“Naked in the Mirror!” © 2009 by Danna Williams, submitted to Lipstick Pages as a poem by Renée Valmont.

Flowers for Mom: “How to Care for African Violets”

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How to Care for African Violets

You loved flowering plants, Mama,
but never had a green thumb.
Your thumb was fleshy pink underneath sepia,
darker than your official retirement gift:
a solid oak wall clock—and softer.

After your last day at work
you put the potted plant gift
on the kitchen windowsill—
the shade ceremoniously drawn at half-mast
to welcome the rising sun.

When company would come
you’d set the blooming plant on the tallest table
in the living room.
The brilliant violet petals and wooly waxen leaves
would glow under artificial light.

On special family occasions,
your brown hands delivered the flower plant
to the dining room table.
You’d ask my sister or me
to gently open the window blinds.

My sister and I gladly obliged,
eager to see you, beautiful in the light—
even as your petals fell and
your leaves bent with acceptance
of the end of your season.

(for P.A.W.)

Audio: How to Care for African Violets by Danna Williams

“How to Care for African Violets” © 2009 by Danna Williams; from Sense, a collection of previously published and unpublished poems.


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Birthday Girl April 17, 1952

Birthday Girl - April 17, 1952


i’m so tired of this static life –

tired of the cling of socks and sleeves

but something held me back before.

i thought it was a brief rest stop

but it was the trap of comfort.

i’m working it out like jackie –

classic dance beats and memories

wrap me in a blanket of grief.

we die alone in this world but –

it’s a journey we take together

i can’t look death in the eyes

until i plan a funeral

for self-centered youthful excess.

but i won’t let go of it now –

not for all the days of my life.

i’m working it out like kevin –

dark disco beats and cold comfort –

we really aren’t alone in this.

we have all been in denial but

it’s a journey we take alone.

should i kick and scream like a child

or leave a note for translation:

“Non. Non je ne regrette rien”?

melodrama is too easy –

living by my own wits is hard.

now i have different travel plans –

sometimes with a map or compass

sometimes we’ll intersect or pass each other

without a cross word-

or a crooked middle finger.

(For P.A.W.)

©2005, 2009 Danna Williams

Animal Flower Cave Sonnet

Animal Flower Cave - Barbados

Animal Flower Cave in Barbados

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The following poem was almost submitted to H&H for review, but I considered it a waste of an effort so snatched it from the queue to place here as the early start of National Poetry Month.  “Animal Flower Cave” is one of a few recent attempts to compose a contemporary sonnet.  I won’t bore readers with the source of inspiration, but I will admit it has been too long since I’ve done a strict meter and rhyme verse.  My hope is that anyone reading it won’t judge it or the poet too harshly.  This may be my last sonnet, unless the ghost of Shakespeare inhabits my body, which is very unlikely.

Without further ado about nothing:

Animal Flower Cave Sonnet

Your parting lips that touch the brazen sun,
also graze my tongue – suddenly struck dumb.
The thought of our sex under a sea bed,
and Barrett Browning swimming in my head
confounds the bounds of the hours and long miles-
rhyme conquers reason with seraphic smiles,
between the words and the stories we’ve told,
and sharp shears in your mouth you always hold.
Come swiftly, a speed of light, a heat wave-
through the walls and opening cave.
Wisdom comes to fools in the darkest hours,
truth and love shower the budding flowers.
In the cave’s light I want to hold your hand-
as riptides above separate the sand.

© 2009 Danna Williams

Pending Review: “Lovedoll Desperation”

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Desperate Teenage Lovedolls (1984)

Desperate Teenage Lovedolls (1984)

Lovedoll Desperation

Back to back denials of eating flesh
confound love for the young plastic lovedoll.
It comes to life-a civilized cannibal with a camera-
eating raw emotions, spooning heart and liver
to a rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack pumping hormones
and teenage sex through speakers in our heads.
“Lovedoll’s so punk, it doesn’t even know it,”
never escapes lips frozen in a frame like words-
pinned under glass for human display
in a museum curated by monarch butterflies.

Addendum: The above free verse pending review for publication (since October 21) is in no way associated with the last post. The title and first two lines are completely coincidental. But coincidence is cool sometimes, isn’t it?

LastFM\”Ballad of a Lovedoll\” by Redd Kross (Desperate Teenage Lovedoll OST+)

Let them eat cake! (and “Another Case of Writer’s Block”)

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It’s been a while. I loved this blog, so I’m not sure why I abandoned it. But the gardener is back to cut away the weeds and start planting. Now is my time to be fruitful I suppose.

The following is all about my writing and eating disorder, a poem I was too embarrassed to submit to H&H. My excuse was it was too autobiographical and not “experimental” enough. And I felt naked, talking about my personal battles. Two years later, and still I struggle… Ah, well, here it is:

another case of writer’s block (July 2006)

everything has been written before

so i’ve given up poetry for good.

now I can write that dessert menu –

the world needs more pies and pastries,

not “clever” ways to express joy & pain-

the hot and cold of the human condition.

give me a homemade carrot cake,

not another awful love poem-

sweetened with insincere artifice.

let me dream of dark chocolate truffles

while malaise covers me like a blanket,

because it’s comforting food to me now-

and you can’t eat words.