The Jivin' Ladybug

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J. David Capps


Death Dream


“I dreamt of you last night. Strange seeing you in the snow....cold water...dogs rushing into the frigid stream....a flock of cardinals, then the white owl, we both see it, but only I say its name.


Good lord; it is terribly hard to kill hope.”




Read your note this morning

looking up the pale road

in the paler still of the lake,

geese honk trailing south in

dwindled dawn.


Dogs yowl and tumult 

across an isolated field

back of a road

off a major



They smell scattered

blood.  Deputies

spot it finally and

their hounds crash

into the bitter stream

your owl,

a fragment of skull

singing into thin



Dispatch is called.

Backup requested.

Radios chirp and

beep in the white




Where is Your Bitter Girl?


Morning half decayed.

Saturday sunlight races

over bone cool walls.


An argument swells.

Coffee scalds and

the baby squeals across

unfinished floors. 


Your mouth contorts, two blanched

red rivers cripple one another. 

If only I had told you—


Horses tear through



Now, it is a shift of murmuring

dahlia whose petals drift

oblique in copper light. 


Your sparks are penumbra,

half-illuminating a grand,

buried hurt.


I want to ease you.

To set at sea your shaking,

blazing temples.


The hot smoke in your eyes.



This is Hell, Take Off Your Shoes


The words. 

The letters,


Anvils black

against painless,




Not unlike

those issued

from judges.

Multisensory Language

Facilitators for Individuals

With Learning Differences. 

All of us

have those,


Yes ma’am. 

Yes ma’am. 

Yes ma’am.

The Jivin' Ladybug- A Skewered Journal of the Arts
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