This tree wraps the sky in its arms, a promise
of salvation buried beneath bark
as leaves peak at the surface, buoyed
by the world’s pledge of protection
softly cooing on the wind.
The breeze dissolves as all things must
into an atmosphere of unmoving refuse
where changing winds turn away
against the backdrop of cows laying still
under the too-slow warming sun.
And still this tree shivers looking ahead,
optimism scrubbing bark clean of dirt
and other residue otherwise clouding its defense, stronger in the effort while grasping
at the heavens, uncertain as they are.
I am delighted to share that I am featured in the most recent issue of Scarlet Leaf Review. I have four poems in there — check it out!
We search for a scarlet rosebud,
grabbing past the dreary thorns —
hidden but hopeful — pricking us
on our pursuit of that perfect bloom
sprouting defiantly for us.
The fire reveals the fruit but
illuminates scars — some we’d hoped
to hide with half-eaten candy —
not realizing that the bigger the room
the more places for serpents to hide.
I feel fortune’s poke in this, propelling us
on a treasure hunt where X
misses the mark sometimes while
our best highwater pants
keep our shins delightfully dry.
Morning arrived with an icy slap
of good intentions — a cheeky
red reminder to weather another day.
Will the unwritten tourist hasten
to the conclusion, twenty-four unlived
chapters cut for time?
Or will she hold the day close and enjoy
whatever blows in with the chill, knowing
we cannot choose the story but relish the book?
The sun illuminates
what night tries to hide — a colorless tale
cannot survive long.
Standing in the mirror
she failed to divine
of a universe just above
the horizon. Unseen
distracted by visions
of reflected glory, her dreams
begged for sunlight.
The astronaut neglected
to recognize the gravity
of the situation,
but with luck she will
seize the opportunity
another daybreak illuminates, light
the star-point hopes
lost among the dark.
I have some incredibly awesome news: my poem “Another storm” is included in a brand new poetry anthology, Pain & Renewal from the wonderful Brian Geiger at Vita Brevis Press. That anthology was released yesterday and shot to #1 in Amazon’s poetry anthology list. It is such an incredible honor to be included in this work with a wide collection of talented poets.
The rocks mark the ground
between prospering weeds enriched
by the warmth of a sun surging overhead,
encircling those of us interred
on a planet whose
percussive heartbeat rocks me to sleep.
I sense the presence of wildflowers,
of ants scurrying together in the dirt,
of life — too bountiful to count or name —
thriving in the darkness or
at least out of sight —
I dare not note a difference in perspective.
Photos remain after we pass on
a gentle breeze that thoughtlessly turns
blacks to sepia, discoloring too many memories
otherwise cruelly lost
even though the sun shines tomorrow.
I just this week completed the first draft of my first novel, tentatively called That Time the Earth Almost Melted: A land-based space comedy. If you hate that title, well there’s plenty more to hate after that. And that’s where you come in: I need volunteers to help me out by beta reading this tome before I even think about publishing it.
The twilight of another year sparkles
with flashes — burning brilliance —
so I cannot leave them behind
as we place one foot into the future.
I pause now, lingering
on the twinkling moments,
savoring the sweet stamped imprints
while my month waters
in anticipation of more to come.
Even the sad, the hurt,
the bulbs I’d replace if I could —
I’ll take them with me. Sometimes
any light is a reminder
that life glimmers between bursts
of radiant light
whether we’re looking or not.
Her cheeks glow from the wine,
confidence radiating beneath
warm brown eyes looking to a future
we share with another bottle.
She inspires me, warm comfort
in a life where nothing is promised,
as we decant our vows again
reassured by her smoldering flush.
As I leap into middle age
I wonder if the greatest adventure
is merely to breathe
(snow meets altruistic land)
In a world spinning its wheels,
(frigid morning scrubs icy)
the eager sound can’t whine for change,
stale taste of winter
(skin burning with the chill)
The calendar will jump to Spring
(teeth rattle loose)
anticipation blooming every dewy night
I snore away
(gray hair wind-blown)
Who will hear our prayer,
echoing through the empty air
that divides us, an appeal
to something unseen and unseeable,
our invocation lost among nothing?
Who will hear our psalm,
the choir humbly beseeched
by a chorus reverberating with thanks
in its every deliverance before
the entreating congregation?
Who will answer our pleas,
voices searching for seraphic blessing
while some celestial body
of spiritual vitality circles —
words bouncing in the void?
Colors are not frozen, shyly hiding
In the shadows while hinting at
a deeper shade. Colors can be different
colors, attacking us with their brilliance
or assaulting us through blue dreams
that search for softer complexion,
a complexity of consciousness.
Color may dance in musical hues
of pixelated pigment only I can hear,
telling stories too bold for black and white.
A brutal world craves absolutes, leaving us
to unearth our own meaning where we may.
A colorless tale has no heart. Let it go.
We will find warmth in tinctured breaths.
Originally posted on FREE VERSE REVOLUTION:
Dear reader, Welcome to December on Free Verse Revolution! This month’s theme is Endings and there are still 8 spots available for contributing writers. If you would like to submit, see the guidelines here. This week began the month with a variety of responses to the theme: Tuesday –…
My murky memory extrapolates the smoke,
pixelated recollections somewhere in the cache
that clears itself (a grasp slackens)
as I hasten to replace lost echoes
with reminiscences to come,
not forgotten among the ash,
rising if we dare stretch hereafter.
The future — always fuzzy like sleep
that won’t rub out of our eyes — changes
every time we look at it, as we push forward
carrying the momentum of those better angels
urging us to grow our own wings
and launch ourselves to join those
refusing to leave progress to others.
Time will tell what tales we create,
Proceeding only where we dare.
I lack the spirit
of my younger self,
that satisfying zest
I’ve since replaced
with cynicism or something
just as sour.
Perhaps it’s merely
misplaced, that zeal
that bubbles in youth,
a soapy froth sterilizing
us as we age
unless we embrace the dirt.
The tree stretches like a snowflake,
a white quilt whispering winter along
evergreen branches, lulling day
to sleep while cold quiet announces
the end of another year.
The tree earns another ring, thankful
for moderation in all things living
and dead. Moments of profound insight
from regular cycles leave a peaceful chill
in the air, holding me close, shivering
in the still afternoon sun.
In the end we still look to what comes
next, hushed faces in the setting sun
bracing against the cold, aware
somehow the light will return.
The festive shade arranges our regret
in dark circles beneath well-lit disco balls
that perceive more than they admit.
We can try to escape — reason born
of wisdom implores the effort of
savvy sailors drifting too close
to menacing falls — and if we find absolution
when awakened, free of misplaced remorse,
paint our knees penitent, prudent
while shouting in the winds of the future,
shaking but confident in the effort of
reclaiming the shade for ourselves.
The comprehensive volume
ate the details for a reader’s
digestion, its stomach aching for
absolution. How absurd is heaven?
Beyond life — an after life like a river
struggling to find its course while
bemused water fowl refuse
to follow the march to eternity.
The wandering fact
missed the hereafter, forfeiting glory
for eternal restlessness, light
balancing good and evil while
the judge looks bored in black.
What of the crowing girl who murders
a scarecrow? The last straw
dances in fields of gray.
Just a murmur of a scent —
whispering as it passes in my nose —
announcing a chill with a hint
of pine (sweet as it burns) carrying
smokey remembrances of hot chocolate
afternoons on rising clouds
of melting obligations.
Those fabled days — when white
shrouded the world as far as
we could image — of mythic adventures
unfold like loosely packed snowballs
too ravishing for famished children
hungry to breathe in winter’s
husky bite too often now.
What monsters creep
on broken ice, cracks
beneath the weight of overlarge
frigid footfalls frozen
in the night?
Is it the chill
or fear that has me
for warmth and home,
hounded by unseen glaciers,
winter’s snowy persistence
tapping my shoulder.
I guess this plane is going down the hard way. It’s funny (in its way) — I thought I’d be falling into hysterics at the end. Instead I’m startlinglyat peace, an armistice I must have agreed toor don’t feel like fighting against. Grandpa was half my age when his plane went down over a Germany taken over by hysterics … Read More
I am stuck
at the beginning,
at rice like
the expectant mother
out of breath
The other side is often pregnant.
we fixate elsewhere,
I don’t always recognize
Tomorrow takes its own word for granted.
Ambition shoves us
though I wish
stop long enough
the track, rushing,
stuck at the
Light thaws in its own time.
What does one say to a sky
glowing in scarlet brilliance
at this early hour, blinking sleep
casting long shadows over dreams
half remembered, if all?
These vermilion pigments dance
among clouds, warming to the idea
of another day and whatever
unwraps the blues of normalcy,
I’ll not let this complexion slip
to ordinary, even as trees
envelop us in shade, days creep
shorter, and shadows — those
dark false realities that smooth
us out to remove a dimension
on chilly, fallow ground — lurk
behind but never catch us.
Originally posted on FREE VERSE REVOLUTION:
Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed the first week of Metamorphosis on Free Verse Revolution. If you missed any of the pieces, you can catch up below: Tuesday – Gabriela M Wednesday – Eric Syrdal Thursday – Michael Starr Friday – Fokkina McDonnell Saturday – Kristiana Reed This week’s…
So I collected some poems into a book which you can download for free today and tomorrow on Amazon. That comes out to an average of $0/poem. Download, read, and leave a review please please please!
You look confused, eyes tangled
in bewilderment, unsure what comes
next. Flustered words slowly swim
upstream, tangled in the waterweeds
and obscuring the direction
of the current sweeping
your feet out from underneath.
Breath. Collect your thoughts — they are
but two-cent pieces taking
up space in a piggy bank you had
hoped fattened by now, or full enough
at least for the both of us.
I’ll be here when you’re ready.
The caged butterfly beats wings
against captivity, hostage to forces
beyond the walls imprisoning it.
Arresting (and attractive) orange
(dotted with black) elegance —
I am enchanted by such
spunky thrashing against its netted bondage,
beauty bound for something more.
What makes me move on past
the incongruous scene (set behind
an inhibiting screen) is the thought
(or is it hope?) that the lattice serves as shield,
protecting the gentle innocence within,
armor against the elements — a matter
of perspective authentically mine,
beset with doubts until I’m out of view.
What mystery lives in the black,
those dark corners where light
fears to enter, abandoning
sharp edges for the comfort
of round sides and smooth edges.
The charade may encircle us (eyes
blind the gust of puzzles pointing us
in the wrong direction) binding us
to this place in knots of fear
that only the unrevealed can tie.
I choose to embrace the dark,
the baffling ambivalence that bubbles
when we feel underwater, though
the lake remains half full
whatever lurks beneath.
I revel in the in between, the moments
that cling to my swiftly failing memory
like a sock from the dryer that refuses to unhand
my shirt — something electric to embrace
the shocking windfall overtaking me.
I feel fortune’s stroke in this,
a lamp post spotlighting those moments —
unforgettable dots on a map
they blur past scurrying to the flashier dots,
leaving the in between her to us.
Originally posted on Marysa Writes:
Hello Hello! I know, I am terribly, horribly late in posting the winner for this contest. My only excuse is the business of life! Congratulations Phillip, with ‘Serenity Now?’ We are all connected. The woman in line at the grocery store too tired to say no to one more question.…
Morning keeps arriving
with a slap of good intentions —
cheeky red reminder
that fortune favors those
bold enough to get out of bed.
Do I merely follow the sun
on Instagram or
dance cheek to cheek
with others audacious enough
to face another day?
Can dreams be real? They exist
at night — in the dark
ineffable phantoms haunting us
like hazy ephemera disappearing
when we watch too long.
No — I think of other dreams,
the ivory hopes spring
for however long we have. We write
them on the clouds until
we dream up something higher.
Are dreams real before
they come true? Does it matter?
I prefer to spend energy
Finding time to nap.
I am thrilled, delighted, terrified and other emotions to announce that my first collection of poetry is now available to purchase: If you’ve enjoyed reading my poems here on my site, you will definitely enjoy this collection. Paint the living, plant the dead is a nice mix of poems I’ve posted here and a few that have never … Read More
I wouldn’t call it arachnophobia.
I’m not paralyzed at the sight of a spider
proudly squatting on a sticky throne
enormous bug eyes surveilling
the nightmares of smaller bugs soon to wander
through a web of foreboding.
But the thought of eight legs skittering
across my skin — pincers pelting me with jitters,
tremors rippling over me
in concentric circles of panic,
now unsure of my link
on the food chain.
Oh hell. Now I can’t sleep.
I heard the voice — whirling in my ears
like a breeze whistling on leaves
with the bluster of November not expecting
December to overshadow it — though
in my delirium I could not find it.
The voice — alien and incoherent as it seized
my mind without a through to the impression
it left — told me to leave (bounded
in lunacy and invisible) to
the irrational rabble wrapped in regret.
Was it mania — a psychic knot tied
to some forgotten tram unspooling and
unwelcome — or merely benign?
I am not delusional enough
to think I know the difference.
What intimacy in a rose —
unafraid to draw blood it
entangles (or ensnares) all brave enough
to reach (stuck in that moment)
for a thrill.
Its perfume no longer pricks
my nose (in moments overcome
by desire I stick my nose in)
bred instead for its petals —
so red (or pink).
I’ll let this rose rest in a vase,
passion burning in tepid water
(I must remember to change
the water) — safe from plucky hands
Originally posted on FREE VERSE REVOLUTION:
Dear reader, First of all, my apologies for missing last week’s Sunday Best post. This week’s will provide you a catch up of both last week and this week on FVR, as a result of my forgetfulness. Without further ado: Tuesday – HLR & Mark Tulin Wednesday – Rachel…
What do we say in the twilight
of a republic? Roman walls fell
into darkness as emperors fiddled
with extravagance, confident
eternity comes to those who wait.
We are a nation doomed
to repeat mistakes of dead
immortals — blinded by hindsight,
history befalls us.
These memories may thaw but
they refuse to melt away —
stubborn stains impervious to
my meticulous clawing.
Blankets and band-aids cover scars
but the scorn burns — contempt
for what was and won’t be.
We lack agency in our most
chilling moments, coughing
against whatever fate has consigned
to us (Did I cough when
you left? That particular
memory escapes me) futilely
clutching a blanket for warmth.