Dr. Ralph Monday Returns

Poem de Fickle 


My poem looked at another poet.

How could you crush me this way,

Why did you betray me? I gave

You the best lines of my life.


I worked my pen down to the bare

Nib, murmured words of love, ached

For your motif. Sacrificed for you

Like no other. Remained faithful even


When tempted by younger forms.

Who is it? Yeats, Eliot, Stevens,

Or some bad boy postmodern

Deconstructionist who wouldn’t


Know a sonnet from a cento? Do you think

me an ode poet? Did he tell you that he

would dress you up as a love sonnet?

Make of you a Mexican sestina?


Did he lie through lyrics, swear that the

two of you would be a couplet?

Did he seduce with rhetorical rhyme?

I bet he promised new meter, cooed


That he had never met a personification

Like you, that you were the hottest

Imagery on the page, destined to be an epic.

When he sticks his foot in his hyperbole,


Reveals what an idiom he is, when the

Stress is too much to scan, and he proves

To be a villanelle, you will return to my

Rhythm and scansion, trope run home.





I dreamed that I was the seasons.

Each in its turn, each out of order.


As summer a fertile woman prepared

to be draped with long, slow days,

ripening blood berries, the ascent

and decline of tides matching my

liquid rivers.


As spring the holy chorus of mating

birds nesting in my hair, sharp cracks

of ice splintering apart like lines on

my hands, sun making of my eyes an

equinox for the living.


As winter the lost kiss of lost boys and girls

hiding behind crusted trees, silent speech

tongued from a language of the land that

uttered this alphabet only once before

erasing the letters in snow.


As fall the time of russet sorrows,

burned sienna songs, fat nuts filling

the jaws of the anxious, trees unzipping

their skin to bare bark, naked days



Asleep, awake, drowsy—mind’s succession,

epicenter for mortal equinox.


Dr. Ralph Monday is an Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN., where he teaches composition, literature, and creative writing courses. He has been published widely in over 50 journals including Agenda, The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, Fiction Week Literary Review and many others.  His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Houghton Mifflin’s “Best of” Anthologies, as well as other awards. A chapbook, All American Girl and Other Poems, was published in July 2014. A book Lost Houses and American Renditions is scheduled for publication in May 2015 by Aldrich Press.




About vision791

Pushcart nominee Jeanette Cheezum has been published on several online writing sites and in fifteen Anthology books and four poetry books. Three of these books have made the New York Times Best Sellers list. Awarded The Helium Networks Premium Writer’s Badge, Bronze Creative Writing Award and a Marketplace Writers award. Recently she has published fourteen ebooks at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You may find a list of some of her work at www.hamptonroadswriters.org
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