by Antoinette Payne


Our Crazy World

Finding hiccups in her pocket

Like tiny balls of colored lint

Questions posed

Left plausible accounts


Prophetic stories

Too soon, too foul  

Crowds fall in massive graves

Discharged to heaven


Nude leotard moves in space

No one cares  

When other women covered

All but wide brown eyes  


Stoned down for love

Drug cartel heeds only pesos

Sneezing urban neighbors

Follow evil smeared landscape


Idle chatter assumes stance for truth

Unfathomable acts

Cough up humanity unrealized

Delayed consequences of global warming


Evolved ancient planet 

Children pick pumpkins in

Play grounds plagued by live arsenal and

Precarious shooters.



The Ordinary

Unfortunately the light beige room

Held no attraction for the woman.

Flaunting white pasty skin with iridescent 

Orange pink undertones in the morning sun.

Her loose hair reflects an unsettling

Resemblance to huge gray green serpent 

regularly seen breaking brick walls that lead to a mossy pond.

Clear glass door tightly closed

No possibility of merging man & spirit

They did not believe the snake was true until

Like a railway car, it bolted forward shattering

The ordinary.

No cause for alarm the tourists whispered, 

Buying uggs an eggs from the young man’s store

He’s doing a lot better this year. The economy sucks. It does not matter 

The light beige room has a view and is currently occupied.


No Time


Time an illusion takes her away

An inner city child’s fever burns 

Balks at bile, good health gone astray

Like black gold she explodes and

Doubles over 

Nostalgia an illusive blue sky 

Carries her over the ridge, a mountain  

Of flowers fill a melancholy room with

Barely recognized souls.

Stout hearted , resolute woman

Flees to Paris before a plane crash.

With no American word,

She makes her will.

Hiking Montana de Oro 

On cliffs above crashing surf,

He slips and falls into the ocean

Leaves time behind.





Still in San Francisco

Wandering Dogtown

Searching streets for hints of acceptance  

In century old Victorians needing  paint.

Gentrification at 28th & West.

Young black man at his aunt’s :

Estate sale.

Someone else will live there.

Prostitutes & drug deals sprinkle

Streets like brown sugar on 

Cinnamon toast.

Gay families fill factory lofts,

Hyroponic garden, fenced  yard,

Prayer flags, 

Large barking dogs own the place.





She didn’t know how far she’d go

Til doula  chanting cushioned 

Birthing cries, heavy breathing

Autumn rainbow sky, summer star

Born from father’s spirit swim.

We all come from the same source

Miracle of self, growing inside mother

Heart, lungs, skin, bone, blood

Sight, sound, feeling air as we push through the canal

Gasp at life never look back

Each one of millions 

A different path, a different body, a different disorder.



Predictable words emerge 

At every turn 

A tape recorder

Loops behind 

Similar events and

Evokes the same response.

I forgot my keys

“That was quick”

“You didn’t get far”

I’m leaving for a few days

“Do you want to have sex”

“I’ll be fine”

I want a divorce.

“I’m a survivor” 


“Have a good day, I love you”

Authenticity takes vigilance.

“Love takes patience.”

I’m not perfect

“You got that right”




Cast favors to tarot

Telling fortunes

At each corner where

Fate rests her long white legs

Sparkling stratosphere whispers

Tales of folly or labor

Boasts God's song under the rustling branches

Sending chirping birds to feed at low tide

Like angels in precision's dance

Hover scoop flit drop away.

Sure sun's joy holds full heart

Blocked by extravagant paths

Strive for unseen equity

Barter basement leaves fatal disquiet alone

Ruined & Abandoned by bright prospects.

Gratitude. Acceptance. Presence.




Like a car speeding past , hope lost it’s drive.

Heavy winds rustle leaves like God’s whisper in the night.

Pineapple ice cream tastes like changing seasons in the sun.

Morning aches reminds her that gravity is more than a serious talk with the attorney.

A secret  longing to manifest intention is like a sharp shooter’s eye on target.

Stepping out of your own way is like a dolphin missing the fisherman’s net. 




Dust particles in prism light

Floating over a wood slat floor

A child almost that small 

Laying flat and watching 

Miniscule fairies ride light beams.

Mesmerized by swirling mirage, 

Not knowing if it’s real. 

The housekeeper comes.

She talks on the phone

Standing in the hallway.

The child turns over

Looks up her dress 

Where swooshing specs vanish.



Beyond Beauty


Cashing in on social security,

high school seems not that far back

Beyond beauty, turning grey

Sage husk in downward dog.


Stiff limb discards ease of motion,

Life wears down parts we counted on.

Senses are not that sure.


The art of loss shines forth.

Lose keys, memory, looks, money,

Lose  future hopes &  plans .


Walk in the face of warrior woman

Stand brave behind adult children

A lifetime to go with footing unsure

We breathe and follow the Tao.



Out of the City


Maximize full circle do  good work

Marriage falls prey to earthbound rules.

Fish food falters down deep rivers,

We go on foot through mountain path

Arduous uphill flimsy steps.

Wind thrashes leaves down in crop patterns.

Find meaning in remote silence on a hill

While winter soul sister cries

To be heard.


Redwood Grove


Redwoods embrace a glint of light

We squint to see muted color.

Rooted in the soft underbelly of bear hugs 

Tiny rooms, ropes and bridges support the passage of others.

No cause for despair,

Pirates climb in fortuitous rows

Where treasure n bounty

Prove that we are not alone

In this place.





White whiskers, gnarled hands

The book by your bed 

'Compassionate advice for compulsive hoarders'

With the receipt saved since 2008

It's not you, it's me

We have irreconcilable differences

If you stay,

I'll cause you to have Alzheimers

If I stay,

I'll wait

For purple iris, lemons and bougainvillea

To bloom in our garden.


Antoinette Payne is a realtor. Let her know your reaction to her words:


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