A Poet Is

Photo by Dominik VO via Unsplash : A new poem is out in the world, swimming with elephants! Thank you to Kat Crespin for selecting this poem for the March Weekly Write at Swimming with Elephants Publications. :   A Poet Is : 1. An eel, open-mouthed at the mouth of its burrow, borrowing time... Continue Reading →

Fine, Then

Image courtesy of Alien Covenant   Delighted to have two of my poems published by The Normal School: A Literary Magazine. The one below is a 'revenge' poem, written after receiving three rejections in one day.☺️ I wish it were my standard answer to all life's setbacks! : Fine, Then : No one wants to touch the skin... Continue Reading →

Why I Like Hot Showers

Gian Lorenzo Bernini The Ecstasy of St. Theresa, detail : My contributor's copy of beautiful PonderReview arrived and I can't help but share the joy! Thank you to Kendall Dunkelberg and his enthusiastic editorial team for all their good work on this gorgeous issue. :   Why I Like Hot Showers   : Forgive me,... 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 : Delighted to announce that three of my poems found a home in the fall issue of Watershed Review. A big thank you to Sarah Pape and her wonderful editorial team for taking in these word-children of mine! : Compromise : A flask empty of wine on the table.... 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 : Beyond excited to have two of my poems come out in The American Journal of Poetry ! Thankful to Robert Nazarene and James Wilson for selecting this work to join that of numerous amazing poets. I'm truly grateful and my head hasn't stopped spinning since last night, when Volume... Continue Reading →

The Icon

St. John the Theologian : Guess what came in the mail today? Issue 7 of saltfront: studies in human habit(at), with my poem "The Icon" in it! In late 2017, I started sending work out again after a very long hiatus and saltfront was among the first journals to publish me this past year. I'm grateful for... 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 →

Writer to Writer

I’m ecstatic to join an amazing group of writers for the fall session of AWP’s Writer to Writer Mentorship Program! My mentor is the wonderfully gifted poet Erin Hoover, whose poetry collection “Barnburner” won the Elixir Press’s 2017 Antivenom Award. I’m still in arm-pinching mode and immensely grateful to Erin and AWP for picking my... 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 →

The Wolves and the Crucifix

Keith Haring's wolves : The Wolves and the Crucifix : Based on Keith Haring’s “Suite of Five Prints,”—(“Two Animal Images Falling/Jumping”; “Two Figures with Crucifix”), screenprint on paper, 1982. : The wolves keep coming to my door, they keep coming. Today they hold a cross like a trophy. Ink drips from their paws onto the... 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 →

Dreaming in Swiss (Again)

Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash : Happy to see my March post Dreaming in Swiss appear on the Ruminate Blog today! "For people feeling overwhelmed by life's frantic pace," says the Ruminate website, "a contemplative and imaginative space changes everything. Join our community, and let's practice staying awake together." Check them out. You won't regret it.

Tentative Futures

Greg Spalenka Divinus : Tentative Futures : You try to forgive words their push and pull. In the garden, the cherry tree has sprouted buds, each one enveloping a heartbeat. You lean against the trunk, listening to the hum under its bark, remembering what it was like to carry that same echo deep in the... Continue Reading →

The Lion

Leonard Myburgh Airbrushed Lion Courtesy of lonehillart.com : The Lion : Every angel is terrifying.                         ~ Rilke He comes in the dark, breaks doors, muscles his way through windows. His wings wrap around my heart like sin. His words run through my blood... Continue Reading →

Migration

Migrating Snow Geese in Pennsylvania Photo courtesy of WabbyTwaxx via Birdshare : Migration : When the season ends, we flock South to the house of unfinished poems. Tired birds, we crowd in its rooms. Though close enough, our wings barely touch. They sweep the dust off the floor, the cobwebs off the ceiling. We have never tasted... Continue Reading →

On Solitude

Salvador Dali  Head Exploding : On Solitude : I love my solitude. It’s a presence more than an absence, a place more than a state of being. It’s home. Like a snail carrying its shell, I carry my solitude with me wherever I go. There is a door into my solitude. It has no lock. I... Continue Reading →

The Mirror

Image courtesy of kreuzberged.com : The Mirror : You lie here wide-eyed as if the icon on the wall came alive—the small hand of the woman in red robes resting on your forehead. I wish I could be happy. Tomorrow the squirm in my blood will seem insignificant. The window checkers the bedspread. Meandering sleighs of... Continue Reading →

The Road

Dan Thomsett Snow in Minster : The Road : Just above the road there was this pale hand waving at me. Dust and ashes rose in the sun, The trees seemed to be in winter. Their long, crooked limbs poked into my eyes. I stepped on patches of ice. It could have been cotton, hardened... Continue Reading →

Talcfundi

Photo courtesy of Flickr : Talcfundi : Talcfundi likes to close windows. When it rains outside he shuts them tight. He keeps the sun in a bottle under his bed. This is the time he pulls out the cork. He lets his prisoner slam its body on wooden shutters. When it snows, Talcfundi shuts the... 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 →

On Beauty

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.org : “Beauty like that is strength. […] One could turn the world upside down with beauty like that.” ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky “The Idiot” This page is dedicated to the work of human spirit: the things that feed our soul, keep us warm, make us grow. A brooding bird will often pluck its... Continue Reading →

Learning from the Swallow

Image courtesy of  www.stevegettle.com : A good part of my childhood was spent in my grandmother’s village, where I grew up believing that the mud nests the swallows built under our eaves brought us good luck. More swallow nests meant better luck. I remember the joy when yet another swallow family would choose to raise its young... Continue Reading →

Beyond the Threshold

: If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. ~ William Blake My neighbors are temporarily storing a barn door in the hallway of our apartment building. It’s intricately carved, iron-studded, worn by wind, rain, the hands of several generations of farmers. I dare not ask why... 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 →

Pebbles and Sand

Image courtesy of www.littleterns.org : Poets throughout history have turned to animal and mineral being to express their own because from that storehouse a larger vocabulary of being, particularity, and wisdom can emerge. ~ Jane Hirshfield “Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry” Some poems are pebbles and some are sand. This sounds like the beginning... Continue Reading →

Impetus and Inertia

Photo source: Nividia Cave : I've always wondered what brings a work of art into being. The creative process is a mysterious one and I approach it with trepidation. There have been times when it seized me and tossed me around like a giant wave—and I've come to define those instances as moments of true inspiration.... Continue Reading →

Dreaming in Swiss

Pablo Picasso The Dream : To paraphrase the problem of the Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu, I may be a woman who has dreamed herself a skunk, or a skunk still dreaming she is a woman. ~ Louise Erdrich “The Blue Jay’s Dance” They say you know you've made it in a different language when you start dreaming... 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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