Monday, August 31, 2009


She's there, I'll find her, hasty
piecing together
this twilight's sparkling
caught in splintered hazel shards
I gather close, then spin to

cast kaleidoscope stencils
of stained eyes, dripping
twin-hearted hours, glass
tears slipping away, snapping,
spilling out timeless

grains push-pulled by moistened breaths
to dune round lank reeds
clutched in shallow sipping
the clouded puddles
of a leaky shore. That's where

I'll be, dipping abandoned
shells I'll put to ear
to listen for the whispered
tides baring see-saw fables:
her life, still unborn.

Francis Scudellari

Lid of mottled grays

Lid of mottled grays
snapped tightly over, casting
moods to scuttle by

Sunday, August 30, 2009

In that voided space

In that voided space
where mingling, light and dust danced
then fled, long-ago
heavens slowed by age, collide
a dull thud, low-pitched echoes

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Low, milky vapors

Low, milky vapors
raised by the sun's softened tears
sprawl across paved stones
hissing wispy blue ballads
of their head-consuming tales

Friday, August 28, 2009

Twin hourglass tears drop

Twin hourglass tears drop,
snap to spill out timeless grains
wish-filled accounting

Chasm's sculpted edge

Chasm's sculpted edge, poised
turquoise calm pooled below, tempts
foolish leaps, joy's falls

Monday, August 24, 2009

We all go round in circles

By Francis Scudellari

"We all go round in circles,"
science has weighed in.
Its confusion-clear voice
lithely concluding:

Leave us to walk blindfolded
in a clueless traveling,
going far enough, we'll end
where we started.

That may not surprise,
all of us tied down so long
to this marbled mother-sphere's
endless spinning,

but if science recalibrated
to measure perhaps,
it would find our orbits
are elliptic

and, like the greater bodies,
our movements, a revolving;
pulled around by someone, or
something, we love

This poem was written in response to Read Write Prompt #89 at Read Write Poem. The "challenge" is to take a news headline as inspiration. For mine, I used the story We all go round in circles by Emma Woollacott.

Not a haiku

This poem might have
seventeen syllables, but
it's not a haiku

Knobbed twigs, puppet arms

Knobbed twigs, puppet arms
string-pulled to a snared center
tap out glassy rhythms

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Silence's blank weaves

Silence's blank weaves
haircloth coves, sanguine pricking
beads of when, why's drops

And an alternate take...

Silence - woven blank
rough-spun cloth draping, pricking
beads of when, why's drops

I prefer the first, others seem to like the second. Feel free to weigh in through comments...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Warm and Fuzzy

There are those moments
warm and fuzzy, when
walking my fawning pugs,
Albert pushes that flat,

wet nose to nuzzle
the muzzle of his house-mate
Lucy, as if to say:
"Hi, and bye the bye,

I'm always right here!"
After seven years, each
time he reaches for her,
I still smile and sigh.

Francis Scudellari

If I could steal it

If I could steal it
your sadness, I'd swallow it
whole and deep, keep it
where blind, trapped, never would it
twist its dark ways back to you

Rushing low whispers

Rushing low whispers
gurgle of foreign lands, push
away loose pebbles

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sky splashed blood-orange

Sky splashed blood-orange
awe strikes the waking earth mute
webbed eyes still glued, shut
till one warbling voice sings out
a silent needing, broken

Unsugared absence

Unsugared absence
lumped in quick-gulped memories
turns a full stomach

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A kissed randomness

This is another poem born of a structured randomness. The words were mostly provided by the Twitter Magnets Web application, but I embellished, smoothed and stretched them out. I think of it as a variation on the idea of "found poetry." Here's the final result:

Wholesome clouded kiss
By Francis Scudellari

In a wholesome clouded kiss,
her puffed pink lips lock
to the hardened lines
of this wandering,
thunder-headed stranger

The heavy blanketing peace
of her color-blinded sadness
woolly pulls apart
to here's frayed-edges,
their bitter-quilted coupling

Pale moon's crescent glance

Pale moon's crescent glance
side-long, unfocused, pushes
my heart to the shore

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Prompted: Coiled Rope

Coiled rope
By Francis Scudellari

With a swollen tongue,
years saturated in bile,
he rolls and flings frothy tales
tinged rancid yellow,
coating his tight lip's corners
already primed spittle white;

These sing-song rants he chants
in a cursing elocution
over salacious beats
that ride the tangled ribbons
of his long-ago committed
8-track mind, slow unreeling...

gifts to a sore gullet
caked-up with coagulate
black grease, moldy dust;
The spoon-fed, eager gulps
of plastic pablum soothing
tumbled down disturbances—

deep-belly laughs captured
in photographs he clips sun-bleached
to mouthy, drooped lines
stringing together a coarse film
painted electric by diodes
snapped off fragile circuits. Bored,

his motor idles outside
belching exhausted breezes
that strum stained curtains
in a melodic bustle
to hustle clutter on a hitch
and pull the coiled rope, homeward

This poem is written in response to the Read Write Poem Prompt #88, which suggested 14 words to build a verse around. It was a difficult challenge met. If you haven't yet checked out Read Write Poem, it's well worth a look:

Cream colored canvas

Cream colored canvas
black dots not painted, crawling
beetle invasion

This abetting night

This abetting night
spills out, an indigo stain
my sins smudged inky

Monday, August 17, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tweetku, Twaiku, Tweeku... how about Tweetanka?

The Twitterverse hasn't yet settled on a name for Tweeted Haiku, but that won't stop me from posting the 17 syllable mini-poems. Nor will it keep me from tooting my own horn about a most surprising development. Check out my "ranking" in this article at Chicago Now's Breaking Tweets Chicago: Top Haiku Twitter accounts in Chicago. Many thanks to Craig Kanalley for the honor.

It inspired the following haiku:
Slow-creeping, pink blush
false humility's dyed mask
smiles, overwhelming
Meanwhile, here's my attempt at the 5-7-5-7-7 structure of a tanka, which I tweeted yesterday in response to the word prompt "weary":
Mid-summer sunlight's
wavy, white radiation
fans glass-print petals
pushes shut moon-weary lids
burns a crimson path inward

Friday, August 14, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Learning from Randomness

This is another poetic exercise born of my Twittering. Through a fellow poet's tweeted stream, I discovered a Web app called Twitter Magnets. It's the Internet's version of the poetry game that used refrigerator magnets to build poems from a random selection of words.

I tried to use as many of the words and punctuation offered as I could without going over the 120-character limit. This is what I came up with:
soft yesterday of reproach, always present
picks cold heart
i growl glass,
two-fist embrace it.
flick needle?
I really liked some of the unusual word combinations it forced me to use. I liked them so much, in fact, I decided to build on the skeleton of that magnet exercise to create the following slightly longer poem.

By Francis Scudellari

A soft yesterday's sharp reproach,
always present,
pricks my calloused heart

I growl out glass
caught between gritted teeth
and two-fisted embrace it

Pulling the knot tight,
I flick this needle's glint
a spiked drop, acceptance

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Because Twitter imposes a 140 character limit, there are a lot of tweet-poets reviving the Japanese poetry forms of haiku, tanka and senryƫ. To see some good examples, just search on those tags at Twitter.

This new-fangled adaptation will probably rankle the literary purists, but they're the sort to always get rankled about something. I've tried my hand at writing a few of what I'll call tweetku — since I'm sure they don't rise to the level of haiku. They're a nice diversion. Back to longer form poetry soon.

Soft-breeze dawn voices
ripple curtains glowing rose
hint at worlds beyond

This ripe, round moment
dangles tantalizing, close
then shrivels, too soon

Ripe plum once bitten
sits wound-up on back-stairs rail
offering to birds?

Cajoling bird songs
backed by dissonant chorus
five fan blades abuzz

Monday, August 10, 2009

Both Sapped and Nourished

There's a prickly feeling tucked deep inside this verse, but I've camouflaged it well enough to confuse its prey.

By Francis Scudellari

Sprinkled in her snowy cup
there's a powder-sweet wish
for this passing shade
who with shifting stripes, dappled shell,
and feather-creased skin
fractures the dawn
in a soft-buzzed calling
to sip at nectars
tendered, nestled deep
in conic blossoms...

Will he suckle to nourish,
and tasting such sweet water
abide the day?

Then with whimsied leaving
his barbed tail twitches and jumps
as he dashes away
in careless seeking
distant other's untapped blooms
and these supple leaves
once so pertly pricked,
grown thick in wing-beat light,
droop and trail
after the lilting dusk...

Till a stemming sap
recalls her blush
to the morning he visits again.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Two Souls, Hunched Up

This is part eight of my mythic poem-cycle Two Souls, Twin Lives. You can check out the other seven parts by clicking here (note that they're listed in reverse order, most recent first).

VIII. Hunched
By Francis Scudellari

Willful drawn, down to clay
ruts choked with grass,
edged by berried brambles
whose thorny twists
bend to a lowering sky
as its grumble
stabs open wounds, gushing
muddy instants
to puddle, pool, swell, swallow
the black-humped plains,
and force he-she up, hunched
to scour trappings
of craggy, gouged rock skins

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Magic potions

This poem is about tranformation, or the desire for it. It's a bit magical in tone, as it's informed by the Alchemist's concept of the Elixir of Life (with special thanks to fellow poet Jemfyr for the inspiration).

By Francis Scudellari

This Elixir of light,
distilled from lime-green tears
of lunar moth
moved by the monthly turning
of his mistress'
full and silvery back,

drops dripped from ducts
to vial, to tongue
and is sealed with pursed lips
that push back the fluorescent
waves washing down
to stir a still larval heart...

stretching, yawning, a flame.
Dancing particles
of iridescent powder
carried on one thousand tiny wings
twirl back through my mouth
to enliven a sleep-thicketed forest

with the fluttered speaking
of her name

Monday, August 03, 2009

Feeding, frenzied

Don't ask me about meaning. There is no meaning. There are only the words...

Faithful Feeders
By Francis Scudellari

It's not the sweetness
coursing crimson inside
that these faithful feeders seek
drawn darkly
by the midnight blue
currents we wade across

Nor is it the pink flesh
of tensed muscles
closely cupped to catch
a filtered fire
slow-dripped till clear
through the morning's lucent mist

No, they feast instead
at noon's shallow edges
with greased hands that tear spines
from fathomless tomes
of hobbled scriptures
to suck the pasty marrow