Straw In The Wind

2010-12-28 13.54.35The great depression felt
for thousands like an empty straw
and most men were grabbing for one
filled with a dose of hope.

Nearly every father on the high plains
felt like he’d drawn the short straw
’cause the fate of family and friends
was up to him, staring at an empty field.

The wind blew, picked up the dirt,
acres and acres of sand and straw.
It filled houses, cars, stores and everyone’s lungs
until clean air became the rarest commodity.

When that black storm Sunday came,
wiping out the first fine day in years,
it was a generation’s last straw.
The world had come to an end for many.

If there was air to breathe to stay alive
if there were jobs to earn bread and keep,
If there was straw to weave, and baskets to fill
somewhere else, then it became the time to leave.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 4.25.14 * All Rights Reserved

Tell It To The Shadows



Tell it to the shadows
as they dance and wave,
stick-men on the windows
rumbas swaying on the panes.

In silhouettes of flowers,
pointing out the routes of bees
and other insects who motor
trails between the trees.

Listen to the shadows
who whisper songs of play.
Actors in the sun’s tableaux
in colors dark as clay.

Live among the shadows;
watch as light gives way
to purples as they undergo
a contrast in the underlay .

Lie within the shadows
as the moon sends highways
to the night, while star glow
calls us all to float away..

© Gay Reiser Cannon *4.24.14* All Rights Reserved

Love Song to Dancing with the (Ice) Stars


Charlie White and Meryl Davis – Sonja Henie – Me at Dallas Nationals

At nine, the score to Skater’s Waltz appealed
to me with Sonja’s photo gracing it.
I could not guess I would insinuate
myself into that complex and crazy world,
that I would bear a child obsessed to skate.
That this ice discipline would join with dance
as well, would have both shocked and puzzled me.

But now, ice judge for thirty years, I’m hooked!
Therefore, I was delighted when our U.S.
dance team in Sochi earned Olympic Golds;
and then became contestants on that well
watched television dancing show because
their young dance choreographer enticed
that dazzling couple to the ballroom floor.

Already, fans of both The Voice and Danc-
ing with the Stars, my friend and I must choose
each Monday night which show to watch and which
record – the agonizing wait to find
which singers will survive and learn the scores
for Meryl Davis and for Charlie White.
It’s fun to see that creativity!

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 4.17.14

a response to a self-portrait (of sorts) and to the pop culture prompt of the day for NaPoWriMo at Writer’s Digest


Earth’s Loss

Ogborone from the book MASKE - art photos  © Phyllis Galembo

Ogborone from the book MASKE – art photos © Phyllis Galembo

It seems an annual vile masquerade
of camouflage that masks the great deceit —
to hunt is justified. By their intrigue
of luring forest dwellers to descend
into their traps, what they, in fact, desire
is pleasuring themselves by deaths to possess

the total aggregate the animals possess.
They claim they need their meat; but masquerade
their true intent, the festering desire
for more: gain power, conquer by deceit.
They don’t assess the cost as they descend
into blood lust while plotting new intrigue.

A few demented minds who use intrigue,
inflict great pain on creatures who possess
no natural defense to guns. Descend
into those psyches, strip their masquerade.
Their cruel methods reveal deceptions
enhance their want, their weapons, their desire.

Do they respect the creatures’ needs, their desire
to feed and shelter their own young? Intrigue
and dark designs may yield more deceit
as they, like men of old, who tracked, possess
some now unneeded skills. This fact they masquerade
as need before they take their young, descend

again to ritualistic haunts, descend
with cautious words as they’re the prey desired
by deer or elk. Sometimes they masquerade
while dressed in their dead furs, suppose intrigue.
The animals would plot demise, and would possess
outstanding skill, while using wild deceit.

These men presume their minds would craft deceit
like wolf, or bear or fox. This lore allows descent
to worlds of mythic times where they possess
more skill than they’ve acquired; when need, desire
made hunting mandatory by intrigue,
when their survival was not masquerade.

Through their deceit and mad-to-kill desire,
the hunters now descend through wild intrigue;
possess a madness through their masquerade.

© Gay Reiser Cannon

A Sestina – (my second) – posted for day 13 on Writer’s Digest PAD for April Poetry Month and posted for 4.15.14 for my friend Anthony’s prompt using Phyllis Galembo’s fine arts photographs. 

The Rapacious

My eyes
can see the dark
and hidden places where
they meet to steal the wealth beneath
our feet, contaminate the air we breathe.
They play a propaganda game,
extolling wealth that will
be gained as they
the threat they pose
to water, air, and land.
Distracting us with techno toys
as they position mean machines that tear
the gas and oil from mile deep rocks.
Those profits will enrich
the haughty few
with lives
of Gatsby wealth
insured by covert schemes
while taking it away from those
who need it most. They’re drilling deep below
our homes, releasing side effects –
disease and parasites.
Cabals control
by lies,
denying deeds;
their greed extracts great tolls
on earth and all who dwell thereon.
What they forget is even wealth will not
protect them from the ravages
that they’ve unleashed. They too
may face what they

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 4.8.2014

in response to the form I composed and named “Falling Diamonds”  or the “Quarrel” (so named for a quarrel window – made of diamond shaped window panes).

It is composed of a series of lines beginning with one line of one iambic foot, then two, three, four, five, four, three, two iambic feet and then again one iambic foot where the one foot lines must rhyme. Basically then the form is blank verse that is shaped in diamonds or triangles with one sustaining middle rhyme. You may choose to add either internal or end rhymes as well but the only requirement is for the one foot lines to rhyme. Hyphenating end words is prohibited. A minimum of two diamonds should be made.

It occurs to me (after having written this poem) that an interesting use of the form would be to devote each diamond to one viewpoint and the next to the opposing viewpoint, a debate, a true quarrel.