Sharp Dawn

Photo by Dawid Łabno via Unsplash   Sharp Dawn All night long, black moths shattered my bed with their bodies. I see your shape in the hallwaygrowing from my gnawed fingernails, bowing toward the earth. Who am I to honor you, Mother?Bring in your dog, sit by the fire. I have wine cooling in the bucket, bread and cheese on the... Continue Reading →

Birth

Photo by Annie Spratt via Unsplash . Birth .                                         For my grandmother She walked to the door: small, viscous steps. The apron tightened over her swollen belly. She called the virgin’s tender name and it came... Continue Reading →

Pelagic Poem

A few weeks ago, I discovered the beautiful poem "Delivery Rhyme" by Dora Malech and was inspired to use it for a whimsical art project during an online workshop with my soul sister--and fellow poet and artist--Marga Fripp. Marga's gorgeous artwork, entitled "Willow Dreams, a magical sisters' adventure," can be found here. Mine is below... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 30

Photo by Autumn Mott Rodeheaver via Unsplash . Today’s prompt challenges us to “write a poem about something that returns. For, just as the swallows come back to Capistrano each year, NaPoWriMo and GloPoWriMo will ride again!” ~ NaPoWriMo, Day 30 Once again, NaPoWriMo has been a wild, exuberant, insanely rewarding experience! I'm beyond grateful to Maureen Thorson for... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 29

Photo by Guillaume de Germain via Unsplash . Today’s prompt challenges us to “write a paean to the stalwart hero of your household: your pet. Sing high your praises and tell the tale of Kitty McFluffleface’s ascension of Mt. Couch. Let us hear how your intrepid doggo bravely answers the call to adventure whenever the leash jingles.” ~... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 28

Photo courtesy of stejarmasiv.ro . Today’s prompt is “brought to us by the Emily Dickinson Museum. First, read this brief reminiscence of Emily Dickinson, written by her niece. And now, here is the prompt that the museum suggests: Martha Dickinson Bianchi’s description of her aunt’s cozy room, scented with hyacinths and a crackling stove, warmly recalls the... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 26

Photo by Saud Edum via Unsplash . Today’s prompt asks us to “fill out, in five minutes or less, the following “Almanac Questionnaire.” Then, use your responses as to basis for a poem. Happy writing! Almanac Questionnaire Weather? Flora? Architecture? Customs? Mammals/reptiles/fish? Childhood dream? Found on the Street? Export? Graffiti? Lover? Conspiracy? Dress? Hometown memory? Notable person? Outside... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 22

Photo by Xavi Cabrera via Unsplash . Today's prompt asks us to “engage with different languages and cultures through the lens of proverbs and idiomatic phrases. Many different cultures have proverbs or phrases that have largely the same meaning, but are expressed in different ways. For example, in English we say “his bark is worse than his bite,”... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 14

Photo by Matthew T. Rader via Unsplash . Today's prompt invites us “to think about your own inspirations and forebears (whether literary or otherwise). Specifically, I challenge you today to write a poem that deals with the poems, poets, and other people who inspired you to write poems. These could be poems/poets/people that you strive to be like,... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 13

Photo by Carl Newton via Unsplash . “There’s a pithy phrase attributed to T.S. Eliot: “Good poets borrow; great poets steal.” (He actually said something a bit different, and phrased it a bit more pompously – after all, this is T.S. Eliot we’re talking about). Nonetheless, our optional prompt for today (developed by Rachel McKibbens, who is well-known for her imaginative and... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 12

Image from Lars von Trier's film Breaking the Waves (1996) . Today’s prompt challenges us to “write a triolet. These eight-line poems involve repeating lines and a tight rhyme scheme. The repetitions and rhymes can lend themselves to humorous poems, as well as to poems expressing dramatic or sorrowful moods. And sometimes the repetitions can be used... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 11

Photo by Annie Spratt via Unsplash . Today’s prompt “is based on the concept of the language of flowers. Have you ever heard, for example, that yellow roses stand for friendship, white roses for innocence, and red roses for love? Well, there are as many potential meanings for flowers as there are flowers. The Victorians were particularly ga-ga for... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 8

Photo by Giuseppe Martini via Unsplash . Today’s prompt asks us to peruse the work of several twitter bots (Sylvia Plath Bot, @PercyBotShelley, @ruefle_exe, @carsonbot, @sikenpoems, and @VogonB), and “use a line or two, or a phrase or even a word that stands out to you, as the seed for your own poem. Need an example? Well, there’s actually quite... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 6

Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch . Today's prompt challenges us to “write a poem from the point of view of one person/animal/thing from Hieronymous Bosch’s famous (and famously bizarre) triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. Whether you take the position of a twelve-legged clam, a narwhal with a cocktail olive... Continue Reading →

Five Stages

Loss, a sculpture by Jane Mortimer Photo by K. Mitch Hodge via Unsplash . Five Stages   1. Denial It has no room in this house, she said. Leave it at the door. Tie it to the fence. Let it whimper and slobber away from my table. I cannot feed one more hunger. When night... Continue Reading →

Silence at Dawn

Photo by Juan Davila via Unsplash : Silence at Dawn : The lake wasn’t deep. We pushed the boat out and watched it take on water.  You  drank and drank  and  drank.    The  taste,  you  said,  an afterthought,  a bruise.  I wish you had let me drink,  too. Later,  the upended flask.  The snake... Continue Reading →

On the Bus

Photo by Julian Lozano via Unsplash : On the Bus : I wait to get home. The bus keeps on its route. Shadow buildings bow in the rain. The driver recites in staccato names of streets, names of people, years of passengers’ births and deaths. Each street grows its people. They ripen and wait to... Continue Reading →

Rain in March

Photo by Christopher via Unsplash : Rain in March : 1. It’s always the same every year: rescue teams fight the current, pick up the oddballs who wished for excitement and got plenty. Those who thrash about in the shallows, certain they’ll make the headlines, are left to their own devices. Why do I wish... Continue Reading →

Midnight Jasmine

Photo by Annie Spratt via Unsplash : Midnight Jasmine : I blame myself. The years that keep going by, the countries between us, the many hands that have touched you since, the many lips. You, who were so new. They say you love what you’ve lost. My loss is a desert of books, furniture, people.... Continue Reading →

The Fig Tree

Photo by Jeremy Bishop via Unsplash : The Fig Tree : We walk down the path with our children. Dust rises behind us like smoke.  The ground is littered with figs: small purple bodies burst open to show their red seeds.  Foreignness blooms quietly inside their wounds. All these years I wished to be whole,... Continue Reading →

The Riddle

Photo by Randy Tarampi via Unsplash :   The Riddle : A book is a set of dead symbols. And then, the right reader comes along and the words—or rather the poetry behind the words—spring into life and we have a resurrection of the word.                      ... Continue Reading →

Lizard

Photo by Milo McDowell via Unsplash : Lizard : I discover the meaning of time: time of swiftness and clawing the face of a stone; time of losing my tail to the slow hands of a child; time of gripping  the rotten log, black on black, nimble toes holding on to a friendly color;  time... Continue Reading →

Portrait with Crows

Photo by Alexander Sinn via Unsplash : Portrait with Crows : This evening turned the day’s blaze into rain. Crows beside the window, harsh caws carving a space in my stomach. The bright spot of orange hue in front of me stays. My daughter’s painting, untouched yet by artifice, nor willed into shape. So abstract... Continue Reading →

Finger-wagging

Photo by Erik Mclean via Unsplash : Finger-wagging : Do it in pairs. If there’s no one left in the world, wag at yourself. The rules are simple: find something to wag about. Reading too much. Cheating. Bad eating habits. Lack of exercise. Exorcisms. Out of body experiences. Politics, money, religion. Seriousness or frivolity. Sleeping.... Continue Reading →

Spring

Photo by Cathaleen Curtiss :   Spring : The water ran black in the mornings. .             The soil had plenty to say .                          after being silent for so long. .             It wasn’t even... Continue Reading →

A Woman Made Entirely of Air

Photo by Laurence Demaison :   A Woman Made Entirely of Air : these days I worry about          percentages :              who knows how much          fear is enough to inflict          irreversible :              damage           who knows if merely by passing through someone’s life :   ... Continue Reading →

The Photograph

Photo by Federico Bottos via Unsplash  :   The Photograph : It doesn’t matter what we should have argued about. Talking was something we couldn’t or wouldn’t do. We walked through a meadow instead, you slightly ahead and I taking pictures of things I wanted to remember, including that bloody sunset. The flowers parted before... Continue Reading →

Alter Ego

Photo by Harry Quan via Unsplash :   Alter Ego   : I didn’t know what she was: that brittle, reed-like, human-like riddle. A paper whisper. A burn. She made an ark for a language the color of loneliness. Words rushed to her. So did the clouds. It was hard to watch her drown in... Continue Reading →

The Snare

Photo by Tertia van Rensburg via Unsplash :   The Snare : A mind like a ring Sliding shut on some quick thing. ~ Sylvia Plath, “The Rabbit-Catcher” Had it been you, all along.       Had it been you.   Or my fear  of telling the truth.  Of telling the fear.    How do I know. ... Continue Reading →

Family Lore

Leonora Carrington  Self-Portrait: The Inn of the Dawn Horse :   Family Lore : 1. Wrath During lightning storms, my father rows out to sea. The villagers hide behind closed shutters, while the man they once hated lures the thunderclouds away from the shore. From the hill tower, my siblings and I watch the fireworks:... Continue Reading →

Conversation

Vincent Van Gogh  Enclosed Field in the Rain : Conversation : It’s frivolous, this rain, with its .            unreasonable claims .                         on our silence. You stalk the hallway, I crush .            tears in my fist.... Continue Reading →

A Poet Is

Photo by Dominik VO via Unsplash : A Poet Is : 1. An eel, open-mouthed at the mouth of its burrow, borrowing time until the right prey comes along. Fish glide by with their frivolous tails of who kissed whom in the seaweed and who got in trouble with the shark. 2. An owl, morose... Continue Reading →

Four Nightmares

Photo by Tersius van Rhyn via Unsplash : : Four Nightmares : It choked her path in the first one, tall as a wall, wide as the sea at night. It spewed darkness, waves of it clogging the shore of her sleep. She was somewhere near it, but couldn’t see herself. Beyond, was the world... Continue Reading →

Fine, Then

Image courtesy of Alien Covenant : Fine, Then : No one wants to touch the skin of this poem, its unhatched enigma. The words sit in rows like alien pods, oozing deceit. Truth is rarely the destination to begin with, but it helps to know where you’re going. Or so I’ve been told. Perhaps there’s... Continue Reading →

Spring Inspection

Photo by Anton Scherbakov via Unsplash : : Spring Inspection : She lies on the couch, legs crossed, eyes staring into the ceiling. A day comes when she’ll have to do something: go out and shuffle through the snow, fall on the ground, stand up and run, smell the bushes for a sign of spring or dog... Continue Reading →

Salt Marsh

Photo by Christin Hume via Unsplash :   Salt Marsh   : Someday she will start writing, leaving her fear behind— a coat on the doorstep. Words, rusty in their hinges, will blow against the old barn, will whistle in the thin rain. She’ll hear a door close with a bang, a dog howl at... Continue Reading →

Compromise

Photo by Hilthart Pedersen via Unsplash   : Compromise : A flask empty of wine on the table. The table wanting for food in a house missing its people. Things are meant to be filled with other things. The sky, empty of birds, has clouds, at least. They carry no rain. Far below, the earth... Continue Reading →

Count Your Blessings

Photo by Taylor Ann Wright via Unsplash : Count Your Blessings : Sneer, counting the moments touched by joy, the ones currently marching like mad across your front lawn. You clearly see them for what they are—frauds, counterfeit, foolish impostors, because, let’s be real, no way in hell do you deserve what brushed by with... Continue Reading →

Amnesia

Photo by Gaelle Marcel via Unsplash :: Amnesia : 1. We’re alone on the brink of this tabletop. .           We rub air between our palms, sweat .           between our bellies. .                      Our voices drop like ripe fruit.... Continue Reading →

The Icon

St. John the Theologian : : The Icon : We crouched in the dirt behind the empty church and watered dry lumpy clods with our piss. We laughed at the yellow jets running between our feet, twin rivulets rushing to meet and flood a colony of ants. Disaster, perhaps, on a miniature scale, but not... Continue Reading →

The Fool

Image courtesy of incandescenttarrot.com : The Fool :  The fool pauses on the precipice of a word. He surveys the great blue. It’s cloudy today. Perhaps tomorrow he’ll write a poem about flying. Today must be rooted in dirt. Step after step after step, the fool descends. It’s been eons since he left the summit.... Continue Reading →

Bread

Image courtesy of the historical archive AGERPRESS : Bread : My father stands with his back to the wall, clutching his fists. The boys are tall. They lower their shaved heads. Show us your hands, they say. If you're not hiding anything. My father knows he'll cry soon. He calls grandma, but she can't hear... Continue Reading →

Rites of Passage

Photo by Fabrizio Conti via Unsplash Rites of Passage : I The rock was thrown as a joke, a sleight of hand. Then, the bursting eye, the entrails- like stuff pouring out. I knew it was an eye, but it looked like an unhatched egg, the embryo throbbing with its own hunger for life. It... Continue Reading →

The Guest

Photo by Martino Pietropoli via Unsplash : The Guest : My house grows small waiting for her to leave. Today I opened the door to the cellar and it wasn’t there. I climbed the staircase to the attic— it ended in a dead wall. The bathroom I’ve been so proud of shrank to the size... Continue Reading →

Body Not Hers

Photo by Janco Ferlich via Unsplash : Body Not Hers : For my children, when they grow up 1. The darkness within me, it’s all- engulfing, viscous, and real, the mystery of its black rose still blooming. Dark objects fall in and out like planets. Mars glides by glowing red, a fascinating eye into hell.... Continue Reading →

Winter

Photo by Fabrice Villard via Unsplash : Winter : A woman writes a line in the snow and leaves. Nothing else is new in that quiet field. Large snowflakes seal in her words, an envelope, closing. Next summer, she won't remember what she has written, or why. In the wake of retreating steps, silence keeps the... Continue Reading →

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