Tell Us Your Publishing Story: Phillip Knight Scott

I am honored to be featured over at Go Dog Go Cafe sharing my story of publishing my first collection of poetry. Head over there and join a happy community in this time of intense uncertainty.

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Phillip Knight Scott picture - Phillip Scott

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, reading, and of course writing. Though writing embarrassingly self-important poems since childhood, it was only at age 39 that I published my first collection of poems, Paint the Living, Plant the Dead.

Tell us about your journey as a writer.
I wrote poems for much of my childhood but, with the intrusion of adulthood, only sporadically wrote while my career took hold. When I lost a job unexpectedly in 2018, I turned back to writing, working on a novel and diving back into the world poetry, which has been therapeutic and rewarding. Though my unemployment was short, I could not shake…

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This tree

Photo by Sue Vincent

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.


© 2020 | Phillip Knight Scott

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt: Still


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.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2020

Written for the Go Dog Go Cafe Tuesday Writing Prompt : “scarlet rosebud”


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.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2020

Written for the Go Dog Go Cafe Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge : “twenty four” and “ice”


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 
shining in the dark.


Phillip Knight Scott |© 2020

Today at dVerse Poets Pub, Mish asks us to choose last lines in a book and find inspiration in them. I took inspiration from this quote: “She shuts her eyes. Drifts off untroubled, everything clear, and radiant, and all at once.” — “And The Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini.

Written for the Go Dog Go Cafe Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge: “Standing in the mirror she”


Discolored past

Photo by Sue Vincent

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 
though the sun shines tomorrow.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2020

My first poem of the new year! Submitted to dVerse Poets Pub Open Mic Night #257

Written for:


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.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Year’s End



Chill

Photo by Sue Vincent

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)


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt: Chill #writephoto as well as Free Verse Revolution’s December Writing Prompt #2: to breathe.

Submitted for the dVerse Poetics Pub Thursday OpenLinkNight #256.


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?


Phillip Knight Scott |© 2019

Written for dVerse Poetics : “echo … echo … echo”