Spring Rain

Spring Rain

Right before the rain, the cat came, slinky soft,

curving around the corner of the house, arching a greeting to my ankles.

The clouds waltzed and tangoed across the horizon to the arms of the sun –

they danced and this is how it started.


The maples decided to give it a whirl,

little by little the lilacs and currents joined, ducking and bending each branch and leaf.

Winging away were a robin, a sparrow,

a goose or two, and a cardinal.


Rich! what-cheer, cheer, cheer! purty-purty-purty-purty

After the rain – plum blossom – sweet and heavy on the breeze

and I could swear I heard the earthworms, glistening through the grass roots.

Lilac gratitude goes to Simon from the Lawless Poetry group on Facebook.



To the Community of Poets

To the Community of Poets

“For every atom belonging to me as good
belongs to you…”

The Barbaric Yawp Open Mic Reading Series is a monthly event, curated and hosted by Christopher Title, and held in St. Paul, the twin sister of Minneapolis.

Tonight was the 10th Anniversary of the series, and I gotta say – we all did it up right tonight. What a blast! Energy levels were high, the poetry and stories were fresh and edgy and fun. We had a *great time.

All the performers read their own work, and then each took one of the stanzas of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.”

“I mind how once we lay such a transparent summer morning,
How you settled your head athwart my hips
and gently turn’d over upon me,
And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and
plunged your tongue to my bare-stript heart…”

I took my place at the mic tonight, and I had verse 19 from Whitman’s “Song.”

This is the meal equally set, this the meat for natural hunger,
It is for the wicked just the same as the righteous, I make appointments with all,
I will not have a single person slighted or left away,
The kept-woman, sponger, thief, are hereby invited,
The heavy-lipp’d slave is invited, the venerealee is invited;

There shall be no difference between them and the rest.

This is the press of a bashful hand, this the float and odor of hair,

This the touch of my lips to yours, this the murmur of yearning,
This the far-off depth and height reflecting my own face,

This the thoughtful merge of myself, and the outlet again.

Do you guess I have some intricate purpose?

Well I have, for the Fourth-month showers have, and the mica on the side of a rock has.

Do you take it I would astonish?

Does the daylight astonish? does the early redstart twittering through the woods?

Do I astonish more than they?

This hour I tell things in confidence,

I might not tell everybody, but I will tell you.

But first I read a piece that I wrote in Wendy Brown-Baez’s most recent poetry workshop. Wendy’s a really good teacher – I’ve learned so much from her. So, I’ll share here the unexpurgated version of the poem I read tonight at the celebration.

To the Community of Poets

Praise to the community of poets!
The writers, toiling away,
creating pictures in words,
crafted from the weavings and leavings of the Muse.
They are like lyrical ants,
antennae pressing into each letter,
every word a grain of wheat
gathered and arranged
and offered up.
Plopping ladles of alphabet soup into each bowl,
the reader tastes,
and like unfolding clouds of incense,
wonder rises like steam from the plate.

Praise to the community of poets!

On social media, in meeting rooms –
a gathering storm of wordsmiths
sits around restaurant tables,
sprawls on couches and pillows and chairs,
writing and laughter rising and falling,
and tears in turn.

Praise to the community of poets!
Praise to them
and these hearths of faces and keyboards too,
crackling with villanelles,
and sonnets rising up like charmed snakes from the midst of them.
Shoulder to shoulder they seek for the perfect word
to hymn of love gained and lost,
of new cars skimming along streets,
of rusty cars left behind,
of weevils teeming in bags of spilled grain
of mountains thundering with trees,
of children birthed, grown and gone.

Praise to the community of poets!
Praise to the giddy company of poets
Who learnt the trick of breaking into the places where fire is stored.
Like wild monks, they guzzle the wine there,
and then bring some back to spike the punch
with words that slip through the barricades
around the souls of the sleepers,
bringing hearts to heal
and beat and throb with the perfection of the world
as it is –
only better.

Sing Along With Dada

Sing Along With Dada

Sing Along with Dada
by Michele Montserrat


As dear Tzara said,
“…if we reveal the crime, it’s to please you, dear audience.”

AND! dear Tzara didn’t say,
but I believe he would have, if dear Tzara were alive –
“Lick here,
you might be one of the lucky 25.”

Dada is
world soul without end,
and Dada is
revolution without a pawnshop,
and Dada is
a learned denunciator
currently working the sign without a net.

h’um dear dada,
h’um dear dada!

Dada can be found
whistling at your friends,
and Dada is
yelling at Fellini,
and Dada can be found
feeling up the surrealists.

dada m’dada,
dada m’DAda!
dada m’dada
bordello m’DAda!

Dada is
teatime for burglars,
and Dada is
a scandal to the ants,
and Dada finds a happy ending
in tank traps especially.

h’um dear dada,
h’um dear dada!

Dada is
firing your neurons,
and Dada is the one
who said goodbye,
and Dada can be found
pulling the strings,
and Dada is the one
who stole your paint-by-number picture
and put it in the Louvre.

dada m’dada, dada m’DAda!
dada m’dada bordello m’DAda!

Dada is
kissing the wind,
and Dada can be found
with a gleam in its eye,
and Dada is
drinking the milk
of manufacturers
and evangelists.

dada m’dada, dada m’DAda!
dada m’dada, bordello m’DAda!
hu’um dear dada,
umhum dear dada,
in bordello Jesus!

Alchemical Romance

Alchemical Romance

Alchemical Romance
by Michele Montserrat

Kiss me, Phlogiston.
Your invisible, sticky dew,
underlying all that burns
and not burns.
I sweetly burn
In the not-burning for you.

Kiss me, Phlogiston!
When your lips touch mine
I become you
and you become mine.
Oneness, forever,
in unity.
Kiss me, Phlogiston.
Kiss me.

O kiss me, Phlogiston.
Again and again and forever-all-ways!
Your touch makes me swoon,
and sizzle,
and burn
with ancient anticipation.

Kiss me, Phlogiston
with your alchemystery.
Kiss me under that secret flag of yours
until I’m dry
and sane
and ready to fly.

Kiss me!

Kiss me, Phlogiston!
Over the moon,
And under the sea, and on top of the world.
Kiss me on the other side of reason
Kiss me
until you and I
and end
with each other.

Kiss me Phlogiston –
until the cows come home
in your tophat and tails
on the stair,
in your underwear
like a prayer,
through the air.

Kiss me, Phlogiston
Kiss me before there was
“Let there be Light”
and kiss me
after the Hallelujah at the end of the world.
Kiss me here and there,
Kiss me there.

Oh Yes –
Kiss me there –


One Wild Life (2)
Photo by Michele Montserrat


Note: Phlogiston is the hypothetical fiery principle formerly assumed to be a necessary constituent of combustible bodies and to be given up by them in burning.

Featured image courtesy of Pexels.

Poetry and Art Wonders from Candia

Poetry and Art Wonders from Candia

I just found this blog called Candia Comes Clean, and it is a journal after my own heart. Her writing is excellent, which you’ll be able to see in the attached poem from her post entitled News from Nowhere. She’s also got quite the talent for sketching and images. This piece, a sad beauty about lovers parting, is a treat. Enjoy!

via News From Nowhere


Plant photo by Michele Montserrat

Manikin photo from Pexels

What I Call a Miracle

What I Call a Miracle

What I Call A Miracle

Bent over, hobbling,
each step a new kind of pain
dark and bone-deep,
like the scraping metal of a spoon in an empty bowl,
like the crush of the crowd
stumbling over the homeless body in the street.

This world will steal the purple joy from my heart, if I let it.

But then I feel the sun warm on my face.
This will break the spell,
and the bad dream recedes.
The landscape rolling,
a healing flowing
from rivers,
known and unknown –
St. Croix, Mississippi,
and the swimming pool of my childhood home.

Despair blown away with delight,
remembering the way I felt,
eager and free
wind blowing in my hair
eyes streaming in sun and happiness,
gazing over the cottonwoods
laid out in endless sighing green.

This is what I call a miracle.


Door photo by Michele Montserrat, 2016.

Rolling Forest – stock photo image from Pexels.



For a moment
you could see the movement of air, just there,
unseen but for the dust
drifting in shining stream, revealed in windowlight.
Feel the invisible rich haze,
silent walzing mote formation –
a playmate for the drafting air,
as they kiss, joined, whirling together,
moving in brightness
then disappearing in shadow.pexels-photo-164018.jpeg