Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day Fifteen - April PAD

Her face a mask
Impossible to read
ebony hair, dark as
the early morning gloom

Blood red coat
buttoned to her chin
black leather boots
that kiss her knees

Velvet riding helmut
strapped under her chin
cruel whisper of the crop
as it slashes the air

Leather boots creaking
voicing restless agitation
back, forth and back again
thru the carpet forest

A card on a silver tray
brought by cutaway butler
shredded to hurled confetti
a moment of red rage

Silky shoulders slump 
like a deflated ballon
then her arrogant chin lifts
a fox smile on her lips

Janice Kuykendall
April 15, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day Fourteen - April PAD

The night was innocent
And ripe with promise
He showered and shaved,
put on his best dress shirt
Placing his hat carefully
on his freshly combed hair
he lowered his head 
and gave the old mirror
his most beguiling look
His fingers slid round the brim
and snapped the tip
then he stepped out 
into the balmy night air
The old pick-up sputtered to life
He could already hear the music
the remembered notes 
She'd be there tonight
It was over, the final decree
that said she was blissfully free
He waited for and hour
that rolled into two, then three
fear tore at his heart
sweat broke out on his brow
he remembered the rage,
helpless as he held her hand
while she told of abuse
fear pushed him to the door
the night was dark and starless
as he raced the silent street
red lights had no meaning
he smoked his tires to a stop
the ring of the pistol shot
stopped him cold 
but the terrified scream
melted his frozen muscles
she stood over him, gun in hand
he lay in a pool of red 
to save her from the awful shame
he gladly took the blame
dressed demurely,she came to the trial
laid her hand on the bible,
and swore an oath 
but the teary story she swore was true 
sealed his doom and broke his heart 
she looked his way as she stood
a tear ran down on her cheek
but the truth was in her eyes 
he would pay with his life
for the woman he loved 
and wanted for his wife
Janice Kuykendall
April 14, 2012

Day Thirteen - April PAD

I mean no disrespect to one of my favorite poets, Edgar Allen Poe. I just thought it might be fun to lighten up this prompt and pay homage to the master of macabre. It is a poor attempt at best, but I had fun with it.


Once upon a night most weary,I contemplated, 
tired and bleary
over many a thumbed and dog eared volume of 
forbidden lore
While I dozed, nearly slumping, 
suddenly there came a thumping
as of someone loudly knocking,  
knocking on my bedroom door
It's only father, I grumbled, here to implore
It'll be that and probably more

Yes, I remember it was a sad, 
cold November
And I knew in my very marrow, 
what I had put off until tomorrow
the lessons I had failed to follow
would now bring me great sorrow
For, sadly I was about to walk 
the straight and narrow
I had no options to explore
It'll be that and probably more

But each angry curse, 
brought on hysterical mirth
as silly images of his mad 
and blustering visage
Rattled and danced across 
my brain most addled
So now to broker my wild 
and maniacal laughter
I did something I will regret ever after
I looked my father in the eye and ask him why

He sputtered at my absurd gumption 
to utter such a presumption 
I really had him railing 
about my latest, dismal failing
If had I only studied harder, 
I might be a just little smarter
and with a a parting bash
he yelled, get rid of the trash
before we come to an impasse
and nobody likes a wise ass 
I'm that and probably more

Janice Kuykendall
April 13, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day Twelve - April PAD


The Red Hot Chili Peppers
and Marilyn Monroe
Hot springs  
a summer day in New Mexico
diamond rings
and long, steamy love letters

The Sahara desert
and hot toddies
girls in bikinis
with curvy bodies
James Bond, a martini
and Harrison for dessert

A summer moon
your best girl by you side
a yellow convertible
a souped up ride
the pedal to the metal
and the radio wailing a favorite tune 

Falling in love 
Champagne, white lace
good poetry
a cozy fireplace
perfect symmetry
and a cabin with a loft above

Janice Kuykendall
April 12, 2012

Day Eleven - April PAD

I try and try to write in rhyme
Again and again on the paper
I dash word after word in vain
my noggin has nothing but vapor
pushing and drilling my exhausted brain
Maybe I'll be able to write in time

Now my little grey cells are vacant
searching furiously for fine words
sifting through my dull, jaded mind
for nouns, adjectives and verbs
but no eloquent phrasing I find
between my ears remains dormant

Janice Kuykendall 
April 11, 2012

Day Ten - April PAD


The tree stood in the middle of the garden
under it's cool canopy, 
the young couple pledged their hearts 
each to the other forever
the years passed,their family grew 
children played under the canopied shade
little girls with their dainty tea parties,
the boys built a tree house with a sign
posted below that said "Keep Out"

The years passed and grandchildren 
played under it's spreading canopy
a bench built round it's twisted feet
so the old couple could sit and read
their backs resting against it's sturdy trunk
the tree was happy and grew complacent
then the old couple stopped coming
and a memorial service was held
under it's aging, spreading bower

the children and grandchildren moved away
and the big house fell into decay
the old tree stood alone and lonely
sighing in the restless, changing wind
the only visitors were couples or teens
seeking privacy to steal a kiss or more
the curling, gnarled bark felt many a knife
It's skin tattooed with proclamations of love

then came a day, hot and noisy
with the big machines all around
a violent tremor shook it to it's roots
as the sting of an axe
it's hard, sharp, blade 
bit into it again and again
until it split it's heart, a loud crack
with a shuddering groan it stood no more

It's called progress..

Janice Kuykendall
April 10, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day Nine - April PAD

We sat in the shade that day
you and I, heat rose from the sidewalk
and I gave you the last of my water
you panted, I stroked your matted fur
you licked the sweet candy smears
from my dirty, sticky fingers
I tucked my knobby knees under my dress
and you laid your head in my lap
We sat in the shade you and I
a cool breeze lifted a wisp of my hair
I brushed it back and wiped a tear
from my grimy cheek
You looked at me with soulful eyes
that begged me to take you home
And I knew I would, 
because you must have lost someone
just like me 
and I knew that daddy
wouldn't say no that day
that day that had started like any other
with daddy and momma hardly speaking
he called me from the house
and we sat in the shade in the front yard
while momma packed a suitcase
climbed into the waiting car
and drove away with one last glance
at daddy and I sitting in the shade

Janice Kuykendall
April 9, 2012

Day Eight - April PAD


I sling my purse on the table
shrug out of my coat
calling your name
you come to stand
silently at my side
your eyes searching my face
with a question mark look
I pour out the sad tale
of my day sunk in black gloom
the alarm clock failed 
the old water heater decided to quit
cold shower, empty shampoo bottle
frantic search for lost car keys,
only to find them in my coat pocket
tripped and broke the heel of my shoe
on the back step only to behold
a flat tire, and then to add to my woe
a flat spare, trip on the same step
in my rush back in to call a cab
search through my jumbled closet
for another pair of matching shoes
an hour and twenty minutes late to work, 
coffee spilled on my new suit,
the boss shreds my report,
humiliating me in front of everyone
my secretary smirks 
while I dictate a new report
I sputter and spew
while you remain silent
finally I reach to pat your head
and you turn and walk away
your tail defiantly in the air
you pause at your empty food dish
turn, sink down on your belly
placing you head on your paws
with a final disgruntled whine
I sink in the nearest chair 
kick off my tight shoes
remembering why I never wear them
I rip open the crumpled letter 
I retrieved from the floor
where I dropped it and stepped on it
while fumbling for the door keys
I stare, uncomprehending, I read it twice, 
Thank you for your query, however……..

Janice Kuykendall
April 8, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day Seven - April PAD

You turn your head 
I can see by the thin slash of your mouth
and the tiny furrow between your brows
that you are angry
you try to hide it from me 
with a thin smile that doesn't reach your eyes
my mouth opens, but
I am arrested by a slight shake of your head
my hands drop to my sides
a soft sigh, my shoulders deflate 
you carefully lay your book on the table
a gesture of tight control
and I know you are fighting hard
to keep your anger from exploding
I slip into the chair across from you
and spread my hands flat on the table
staring at them instead 
I can feel your eyes boring into me
daring me to make excuses
but of course I have none

Janice Kuykendall
April 7, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day Six- April PAD


Oily, brown beans
kept sealed in the freezer
clatter into the grinder
like brown pearls, glistening
the whir of the blades
drowns all conversation
loose brown powder 
spills into the white paper sleeve
fresh water in a clear urn
poured quickly into the reservoir
flip a switch, a pungent smell
invades the room
it's heady aroma 
calls forth the zombies
led by their noses
one by one they 
shuffle into the kitchen
grab their favorite cup
a splash of milk in this one
a dollop of cream in that one
strong brown gold
hidden in a little brown bean
jumpstarts the morning!

Janice Kuykendall
Arpil 6, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day Five


Wearily she places her hand upon her rounding tummy
what foolishness convinced her this would work
there was too much distance between them
too many hurtful, harsh words flung in moments of heat
the baby moves away from her probing hands
perhaps sensing her misery 
she had been too young to marry, anyone could see that
now she was saddled with one child and another on the way
there had been a chance, but momma scolded her
a husband and child made you responsible 
too responsible to turn your back and run away
but she had wanted to go, to be anywhere but here
she didn't want this child that burdened her body
a husband worn thin from hard work 
dust and heat that clogged her brain
they told her another child would heal the wounds
wounds they had inflicted on one another
marriage was a holy bond, not to be broken
but she longed for another life, any life 
where she would be young and free
free of cattle, children, dust and heat
and most of all a husband she didn't love
but she would stay until the baby was born
Then she would leave us
my brother, my father and me

           Janice Kuykendall
           April 5, 2012

Day Four


I am 100 percent fool 
for when I am around you
My tongue becomes clumsy
pushing foolish words
from my silly, smiling lips
I act the fool when you smile
lips, but that I could softly kiss
your teeth like precious pearls
music of the angels when you speak
I am running to pick up the flowers
that fall from your pretty mouth
Happiness is a seat next to you
grabbing the scraps of your words
wolfing them down like a hungry dog
you turn your head and your hair
dark as the midnight sun
falls across your lovely shoulder
in my mind I see my fingers
threading through it silken strands
Yes, I am 100 percent fool
for you don't even know I am alive
You look through me when he enters
The glow from your eyes lights the room
I see love stand between the two of you
a magnet pulling at your hearts
and the love I foolishly hold for you
falls to the cold, hard floor
to shatter like my silly porcelain heart
Yes, I am 100 percent fool

      Janice Kuykendall
      April 4, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day Three


Should I say I am I sorry
I suppose
You were almost right
when you said I was wrong
But how wrong was I
or was I wrong at all
The things you said were not quite right
The things I said were almost right
Just how right was I
or was I right at all
Who was right and who was wrong
Or were either of us 
right or wrong at all
Should I suppose I'm to blame
Or did you cause it all
So am I sorry
Now I'm not sure at all

Janice Kuykendall
April 3, 2012

Day Two

I am bent with age, just like the old tree on the hill
my hands are gnarled and spotted
like the curled bark and tangled roots
I have less hair and fewer teeth
and the old tree's branches are bare bones
her sap has thickened and stilled
my blood is heavy and moves slowly
through my clotted veins
my bones creak as I slowly lower myself 
to sit beneath her empty canopy
Her branches rub and sigh in the soft wind
gently whispering to me, our time is almost up
after all, we are only visitors
who have outstayed our welcome
Janice Kuykendall
                  April 2, 2012



I knew at once, the delicate pink space
the thin spidery lines, like living black lace 
spreading across the thin parchment 
Even though it had been years
I still knew the slant of her hand
I could see the touch of her fingers
I swear I could even smell her perfume
Her throaty laughter rose from the paper
And pierced my heart, like an arrow from hell
I could see the sweep of her long black hair
as it fell over her pale shoulder
the look in her dark eyes, the amusement
that fell from her full lips as she told me
she didn't love me, had never loved me
I felt the pain anew as my trembling hands
tore open the seal on the thin envelope
she and my only brother whispered in my ear
fool, such a fool, how could you not see
what all others knew, what you knew
but would not see, could not see
Now the thin black letters rose up
and choked my throat with unshed tears
my heart shattered into a million pieces
my brother, my betrayer was dead

                       JANICE KUYKENDALL
                       APRIL 1, 2012