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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 Pond

Image courtesy of Solitude Lake Management : The Pond : Writing is like fishing in that silt-choked pond behind your grandfather’s farm, where you knew you were unlikely to catch anything, since there were no fish left, only frogs, and maybe the occasional cottonmouth, which wasn’t something you hoped to reel in, and yet, here... Continue Reading →

Fear

Edvard Munch The Scream : Fear : It never goes away, it only diminishes, thins out like a bookmark you forget in one of the books you now rarely read. Then you find it while dusting one day. It springs out voluptuous, huge—this bosomy aunt who always arrives out of nowhere to stay, suitcases and... Continue Reading →

Welcome to NaPoWriMo 2018!

Image courtesy of http://www.napowrimo.net/ : The Date (Notes to Self) : Calm, cool, and collected, Poetry knocks at your door. I know you want to let him in. You should--no argument from me. But firstly, there are some things you might want to consider before cracking the door open and gazing into those dreamy eyes. That... Continue Reading →

Roots and Moss

Photo by Tim Laman : Speaking for the Trees : This page is an homage to things in nature that nourish a poet’s imagination: the roots and moss of poetry that contemplates, accepts, and embraces. So where does one start mapping this nest? Where does the glossary of tangible symbols that permeate a poet’s work... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2017

NaPoWriMo, the National Poetry Writing Month, begins in three days. Nothing like a deadline to light a fire under the caboose. Thirty poems in thirty days is no joke, but someone's gotta do it. This clayandbranches site has been a mere shadow of a thought for over a year. I may yet reach the conclusion that turning it into... Continue Reading →

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