• A Conversation in Poems

Tankatrumps and Haikuhats


This timely conversation in haiku and tankesque forms emerged from a class taught by Stephanie Barbe Hammer through the Inlandia Institute. While Lady/Liberty/Lit is dedicated to publishing work by women-identifying writers, we are happy to welcome two male allies in the eleven voices here.

When the women marched


it became fashionable 


Wear a pussy hat CLSF

Oh, Cat in the Hat,


Please put on your pussy hat.


Now's the time for that! Get Sally and her


brother, and your big red box.


Thing One, Thing Two rock!



They'd wear pussy hats


While flying kites in the house!


What will mother say? RF

My mother'd say "fine. Still pussy's a prissy word, despite James Bond films;


Cunt's a lot stronger: our best cuss words are Saxon. I've always liked them Vaginas aren't cats. Once ladies _had_ to wear hats. Don't knit me one-- thanks." SBH

Don’t knit me a hat


knit your arms together with mine


Wear all black and we’ll storm the gates KA

sharpen axes like claws


sweet ninja cats


let's climb the walls tonight JCK

My cat has her nerve.


She surreptitiously slips


out the closed screen door

Feigning innocence,


but revealed by the claw marks


she leaves on the screen.



She doesn’t know why


the Coyotes howl at night 


But I know it is 


For House Cat Tartare JOH

Kitty exhibits


certain kinds of sweetness, then


her gaze: sharp as claws. SC

That's what they want, right?


Kind, sweetness, in a woman,


Not me, I'm salty. MM

Salty like potato chips.


My words make those who indulge flatten their lips into thin lines. I can see the fury inflating

their heads like balloons.


They're ready to fly. MS

Opinions, free press


salt, sour and bitter tasting


because words matter JCK

One day words mattered


alt facts new rule of law


now they don’t KA

“Alt” means “old” auf deutsch.


Our senators look grey, worn;


Most speak a strange tongue: A language of less, no, none.


Still the stock market rises. SBH

Stocks rise like the tide


In surrealist paintings


Like brine in their booze


And sailors squeeze limes


Into their seaweed



Like starfish


Like Man of War, not


The sleek, long-legged beauty.


But the one with the rapturous 


Tentacles, the one


that remains, when the poisoned


ocean refuses to ebb 


and flow. JOH

He has tentacles


Like an octopus he grabs


All the vaginas If you look closely


His tiny hands have suckers


On each fingertip



Don't let him touch you


His hands may stick to your skin


Also he might kiss you


He can't help himself MM

Trump is not my god.


He won't dictate what kind of


person I will be

There are fights to fight


words to say, marches to march,


but I won't bow down



to any mortal


flawed, imperfect, misled man.
 SC

An imperfect man


A many fights to fight man


A mislead marcher


With a marchless heart that leads


us to many mortal fights RF

I am caught in the grasp of


greedy octopus


news. Enervated. Stuck Meanwhile, the plumber recites


a poem he wrote


the summer of his divorce


"The Rat and I" - lonely guys


sharing a berry pie NN

combine flour, salt, desire, tears


cut in butter, anger, despair


roll vigorously, until smooth and calm until her smile dissipates, until her face fades,


until her words no longer penetrate the aorta


add berries, sugar, corn starch, irony


bake until pain subsides AS

until the pain subsides


keep moving forward


in a walking meditation like Basho KA

Move forward in light


Unafraid to stand up tall


Never fear the fight MM

Roots grow deep in soil 


While branches stretch ever up


The sky is falling CLSF

Poets: Khadija Anderson, Sara Callor, CLS Ferguson, Rich Ferguson, Stephanie Barbe Hammer, Jane O’Shields Hayner, Judy Conibear Kohnen, Mandy Manning, Nancy Norton, Andy Seiple and Melinda Smoot.


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