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Clouded future

Time was an afterthought
as the clouds called us to attention,
demanding we acknowledge
through misty eyes
or other fog-soaked facilities
the half-eaten candy of a pastoral dream
where rolling grasses trampled
through an otherwise quiet afternoon.

The half-hidden sun
implored us to come outside,
though we misunderstood
as he went in circles for days,
refusing to get to the point,
so we sat inside, anticipation dawning
with dew-drenched ideas of misadventures
masked by another day’s ascent.

Brilliant arc

That memory we used to share
comes asking for blueberries when I close
my eyes. I see a kaleidoscope.
Purple juice carries more than it thought
when pinched between fingers that just a moment ago
looked white.

You tried to ruin me but I know
tomorrow jumps two ways. A shooting star tells the tale
for only a moment, extinguished on descent,
though its arc burns red against the black
as if the contrast should surprise us.
The fire reveals the fruit.

Sarcastic shoes

Sneezes can be sneaky and
on particularly
warm nights when fireflies dot the horizon
like sarcastic shoes
leaving prints on white carpet,

the clock kills time
as tick (time
obscured in shadow or yellow dust)
tocs (keeping its own time)
slice through secondary thoughts.

Insects feel ephemeral
(though I hope
they feel nothing) as sarcastic shoes
envelop then in shadow,
interrupting time’s deliberate walk.

Tell Us Your Publishing Story: Phillip Knight Scott

Originally posted on Go Dog Go Café:
Name You Write Under Phillip Knight Scott In what part of the world do you live? North Carolina Tell us a little about yourself. I am a native of Durham, North Carolina, where I live and write poetry. A husband and father, I find happiness in family, friends,…

This tree

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.

Featured in Scarlet Leaf Review

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!

Through the thorns

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.

Survive the ice

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.
Survive long.

Reflections in space

Standing in the mirror
she failed to divine
the scope
of a universe just above
the horizon. Unseen
within herself,
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
bounding among
the star-point hopes
lost among the dark.

Poem included in new #1 anthology

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.

Discolored past

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
in darkness
even though the sun shines tomorrow.

Where has Phillip been? WRITING

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 year in light

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.

Wine glow

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.

Chill

As I leap into middle age
(knuckles white)
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?

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 can be different

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.

Sunday Best: time will tell

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 memory (to come)

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.

Bubbles in youth

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.

A tree in winter

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.

In the shade (an awakening)

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.

How absurd

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.

Winter scent

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.

Cracked ice

What monsters creep
on broken ice, cracks
beneath the weight of overlarge
beasts,
frigid footfalls frozen
in the night?

Is it the chill
or fear that has me
clattering,
clamoring
for warmth and home,
hounded by unseen glaciers,
winter’s snowy persistence
tapping my shoulder.

Two airplanes

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

Pinching

I am stuck
at the beginning,
pinching
at rice like
the expectant mother
pausing
out of breath
mid-stair.
The other side is often pregnant.

Intention grows
even in
chilled winds,
germinating while
we fixate elsewhere,
though
I don’t always recognize
its birth.
Tomorrow takes its own word for granted.

Ambition shoves us
forward,
though I wish
I could
stop long enough
to admire
the track, rushing,
stuck at the
start.
Light thaws in its own time.

Colors at dawn

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,
mundane. Routine.

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.

Sunday Best: the butterfly

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…

My eBook collection is FREE today

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!

Just breathe

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.

One perspective

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.

In the black

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.

The in between

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.

Serenity Now? – Phillip Knight Scott

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.…

Another audacious day

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?

If dreams

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.

My first poetry collection is available now!

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

Spiders are fine. They’re fine.

I wouldn’t call it arachnophobia.
I’m not paralyzed at the sight of a spider
proudly squatting on a sticky throne
creepily waiting,
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.

The voice

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.