There are many hours

I dreamt last night I was in
a ribbon-stitched competition
& though its details are lost
to the murky meanderings
of sleep, the image of her cheering
the loudest in the crowd
stayed with me
through the morning.

I’m tempted by stubborn clocks
that tick on lemon-kissed walls
to believe the world changes
in the sunlight, but no matter the hour
I hear her over the noise
enthusiastically
calling me home.


© 2022 | Phillip Knight Scott

Shay’s Word Garden Word List #9 (Joan Colby): clocks, kissed, ribbon, stitched, tempted

Unexpected jolts

That light switch always gives
a little shock
when I touch it in this dry January air
& still every time
it surprises me like a goldfish
circling the same water, losing its place
without a thought.

She sends a similar spark that lifts me
into the air
with that smile that could never
ground me
& I’m jolted into jagged lines
of unexpected experiences once again lost
without a worry.


© 2022 | Phillip Knight Scott

A walk

We approach the future as we do
this deep fog: hopeful but still
watching for shit between steps
in the still sleeping field You suggest
we walk towards the sun but I plan
on a long journey & don’t want to walk
in circles Instead we hold the light
dear as it clears the mist ahead
The field melts into a path of thistle-
kissed sun-dipped clarity
so we skip clean-shoed through the day.


© 2022 | Phillip Knight Scott

Prompts:

Approach – Image by KL Caley

The jacket in the back

I lost myself in discovery,
crashing into
the crushing essence of a
back-of-the-closet suit
I haven’t worn
since the funeral. I’ve practiced
the craft of nodding
small talk since, though
it fits as well as
that old jacket. Some things
I have no trouble throwing
out, while others cling
like a dryer sheet
waiting to tumble from a shift sleeve.
The program from
the memorial is still
in the inside breast pocket & I’m still
a pall bearer struggling
to carry the load while
the powder blue jacket hides in the back
but not forgotten.


© 2022 | Phillip Knight Scott

Prompts:

Inside joke

There’s something arch
in my muse, the way
she can arrest me
with a particular turn of her lip
like a wind-spattered umbrella twists
so rain tastes my face.

She playfully wipes me
dry & I have to laugh
at our dewy inside joke.


© 2022 | Phillip Knight Scott

Written for dVerse Quadrille #143: Muse Cues. I also incorporated pensitivity101’s Three Things Challenge: abstract, arrest, arch, Word of the Day Challenge (particular), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (spatter).

French-pressed

If we made an Eiffel Tower
out of lemon pulp and limbs
would the neighbors jeer from moss-green door frames
or merely envy the taste? Would you offer

a cuppa
to the unarmed crowd
even if they couldn’t put their finger on it?

Or should we visit the Louvre
in picture books while we curl
up on the sofa
wrapped in a blanket
& each other
French-pressed
coffee raining on the table.


© 2022 | Phillip Knight Scott

Written for dVerse’s Poetics – Exploring the realm of French Literature. I went with French-inspired imagery.

Other prompts:

In tarot cards

I envy crows who hold grudges
against scared straw men —
plotting murder
with black medicine —
while you marvel at tarot cards
boasting of teamwork.

Before we say goodnight
and reflect
on the feathered farce
outside, you remind me
life is an interpretation
with every deal.


© 2022 | Phillip Knight Scott

Prompts:

New year

A year is just a product
of its age, days adding up
until finally a new year springs
to life, breathing in hope

among waves of salty beach
air. The sun screams its ascent
as it climbs out of the ocean,
lifting our spirits like
champagne glasses toasting

absent lights. Up and down
is a binary distinction I’m resolved
to overcome, like gravity
or monotony I must rise above.

I see clearly this year beginning
differently than last — your eyes
floating in my dreams,
fragrant in my breath.


© 2021 | Phillip Knight Scott

Prompts:

Asteroids (collision)

And after forever the gin-flavored breeze
remains like a tonic
police sirens
caught in the wind & blown miles
off course
bath water salty from the tide
coming in, then out
before silence
collapses on us both and stars
like beer-battered fish leap into Milky Way sauces.

In all the universe I chose my way
but did not see her coming
asteroids crash
to make a new world of ocean-swept
grounds
the smell of coffee fireworks pop
in approval
an alarm shatters the dark alerting
us to tides turning abruptly
the first sound
I’ve understood now sings in unison always.


© 2021 | Phillip Knight Scott

Written for pensitivity101’s Three Things Challenge #828: beer, police, caught

Her crystal ball

She casually showed me her crystal ball
but said the future is uncertain —
creamy mist running in disorganized patterns
to places out of focus. Sunlight filters through
translucent spirits beyond the horizon,
a glassy wind-swept silence on my elbow
& she wearing a medium t-shirt.

Every soul glitters in a palpable pattern
if you have the patience to look. She can look
past my sins, beyond this body & its base
elements down to the light that works loud
patterns beckon the future come in its own time.
She traces my luster in the globe, my aura reflected
in her witch’s eye, tomorrow’s haze evaporated.


© 2021 | Phillip Knight Scott

Prompts:

Two drum beats

The rain drums on my umbrella
with a cadence I don’t recognize
        stealing the quiet
                rattling fallen leaves with lyrics written in clouds
        dripping rhythmically in rows
beneath the evergreen.

The green seems to argue
with the browns wrapped over the ground
        crunching underfoot
                quieter now
        or perhaps drowned out
beneath the drums.

And still I feel like singing along
with the melody, those notes of green
        thriving in the winter
                thrashing against the cold on its cheeks
        supported by the song
beneath the surface.

Eventually the rain disappears
with the return of the sun
        but the song remains
                tattooed in green ink on our limbs
        keeping the rhythm
with mirrored drum beats.


© 2021 | Phillip Knight Scott

Prompts:

Reflection

The sun loses itself in its own
reflection
as it submerges into the lake tonight
vibrant curtains of light
pavonine stripes covering the skies
too proud
to go quietly into the dark.

I sit perplexed at such vanity —
bright feathered clouds
dissolve into

  • waning wisps of water vapor
  • moonlit memories of the day
  • bullet lists in PowerPoints due tomorrow

                as a whole world turns
from the show ready to
move on
I reflect on another day
more beautiful with her here.


© 2021 | Phillip Knight Scott

Prompts:

  • Word of the Day Challenge: bright
  • Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt #240 – Pavonine

For the light

December refuses to jump
fully into Winter, thin strings of green
               poke through hollow white snow
       stretch toward aching gray skies
trying to swallow the Earth.

Another year beckons us
           with resolutions to stretch
like a sapling discovering brighter spaces
           in a slowly graying world.

The world revolves around love
each orbit brings seasons
of color and flavors
too potent to survive
alone — I taste the cold
metallic daze hidden in clouds
the world unfocused

until the sunrise
        lights her face
                reds replace gray
                        she sees me again.


© 2021 | Phillip Knight Scott

Written for dVerse Poets Pub “Kwansaba & Blessings.” This is a response to “Blessing for the Light” from The Bell and the Blackbird by David Whyte

Prompts:

  • Ragtag Daily Prompt: hollow
  • Fandango One Word Challenge: bring
  • New2Writing #writephoto: Snowy Peaks – Image by KL Caley

A belt in the sky

I can almost hear the rhapsody of stars
singing of a hunter whose belt
cinched tight holds the sky above

my head rests uneasy

a frosty mask dotted with stardust
remains of something once
significant, other matter occupies

my mind struggles starlorn

the universe is expanding, adding
infinity to forever & the song
is swallowed in the earth’s atmosphere


© 2021 | Phillip Knight Scott

Written for dVerse’s Poetics: The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. I chose Starlorn: a sense of loneliness looking up at the night sky, feeling like a castaway in the middle of the ocean, whose currents are steadily carrying off all other castaways.

Other prompts:

By any other name

This season demands so much
attention it has two names,
as if we could ignore Autumn
without the Fall. October fans
its leaves in vanity, colorfully spread
like a peacock posing
for photographs. The wind whistles
through them as if
it does us a favor. We’re listening.

The sun lazes low in the sky, refusing to climb
higher, taunting us with tantalizing heat
evaporating in the atmosphere
just beyond our reach.

The leaves eat the grass in November
swallow the ground completely
until all I hear is the chewing
underfoot. The wind blows silent through
pursed lips, impotent
in the cacophony crunching colorfully
under marching feet pressing
towards December and the frost.

No matter how proud the season it must give
way to the next, one generation follows
another thinking it knows better
& it always Falls the same.


© 2021 | Phillip Knight Scott

Prompts:

  • Word of the Day Challenge: crunch
  • Fandango One Word Challenge: silence

Christmas party

You smuggled a spreadsheet into the Christmas party
and sat in the corner while the host
served greetings from
a -moon-rock-colored- platter
decorative holly garnish
threatening to devour
a pockmarked planet

You said the numbers didn’t add up
so I reviewed your every cell until we were both satisfied

Mercury the messenger carries the one
around the sun
we make a silent night of the party.


© 2021 | Phillip Knight Scott

Prompts:

Measure the light

We measure the light by our phones
alerting us to the revelry in the skies
jet engines rumble
in our heads

passengers shuffle papers between
layovers perhaps
unable to sleep
preoccupied by an elbow
hanging over the armrest

just a bit too far — even in my head
I’m anxious —
jigsaw puzzle bruises groan in purple

Instead I look to her
radiant bands in her palm
clouds dripping salt water taffy
between our fingers

somewhere a fire
extinguishes ordinary evenings
grape jelly jet fumes
spread over exhausted toast

& us with sticky hands on a black night
creating our own light.


© 2021 | Phillip Knight Scott

Prompts:

Memories

I don’t blame trees for blanketing
the grass
in brown memories of greener
months
nor the sun for plunging out
of view
while the clock still has hours left
to roll.

I’ve noticed that time moves at its
own pace
& memories come in different
colors
some at pleasant octaves we sing
along with
others hum so softly we don’t
notice them.

My earliest memories of you feel new
like yesterday
and worn in like a hundred years
of polish
dazzling as they hang from a pedestal
of stars
outshining even my brightest
wishes.


© 2021 | Phillip Knight Scott

Written for pensitivity101’s Three Things Challenge #804 — octave, clock, pedestal

Scenes of home

I see her face familiar
the smell of butter warming
in a pan before
grilled cheese sandwiches

houndstooth pattern
transcribed from the sofa
to my cheek
on a lazy Saturday afternoon

James Taylor slowly pouring
from the speakers
like hot water in a mug
of Mom’s instant coffee

Her face double-exposed
over older memories
scenes of home flashing
from her propulsive influence

purifying moments woefully absent
of that face — the second place
I consider home
has always been there.


© 2021 | Phillip Knight Scott

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: “Familiar

A statue

She lingers at the door, silent except
for the half smile singed on her lips

like a historical marker trying to freeze
a moment in time. We’re older but I swear

she hasn’t aged a day since this morning —
those eyes still coyly tow me in

and I’m a wreck for her. I could build
a monument to this moment, one of many

that holds a place at the center of me —
cemented to last well beyond my life.

She lingers at the door, but calls me home.


© 2021 | Phillip Knight Scott

Prompts:

Fragrant fragments

I borrow moments from your future
because the past
smells old

sneakers left in the rain while you slept
inside. Slept and slept
until

what has become of you
comes nearer to what has become of me
awake for the first time. I can remember

looking forward
a lighthouse on the beach drawing circles
fussy hermit crabs finding new homes

the smell of salty sea air
seemed far away though it waved to me
I shouldn’t speak of nose hairs

something dances inside me
aromas of tomorrow. Inside now

today’s heartbeat thumps
this banging

growing louder as we get closer
bang bang

stealing from tomorrow only enlarges
the craving

pounding right now
now you’ve become my very blood

the oxygen I pull in my nose

breezy with age

banging


© 2021 | Phillip Knight Scott

Written for dVerse Poetics: Picking up some pieces

The scene unfolds somewhere

The coals scream beneath the fire
because they cannot watch that scene

just out of sight

where flames dance like wisps of jellyfish
or misplaced popsicle sticks that

tumble out of reach

The wind carries a cruel sting
numbing even to deep-furred wolves

howling out of earshot

Or perhaps we’re not missing anything

Ash falls on the breeze like daffodil petals
set free in a gust — free from the flames

finally out of mind


© 2021 | Phillip Knight Scott

Written for dVerse Poetics – This one’s for Bjorn where we needed to use one line from “Dancing Queen.” True ABBA fans will find my selection in the first stanza.

A kingdom of two

The leaves circle the sky
in sun-washed indulgence,
a crown atop the earth.

We look up and see clouds —
curtains drawn so stars
can only dream of us here

as we hold court in shades of grass,
a private kingdom we rule as partners.


© 2021 | Phillip Knight Scott

Written for dVerse Poetics Quadrille #141: Heady is the Poem That Wears the Crown