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”


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.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for several prompts!


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 breathless if we dare stretch.

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 weightless where we dare.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for Go Dog Go Cafe’s Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge (leaving) and Free Verse Revolution’s December Writing Prompt #1 (time will tell) and dVerse Poetics “Less is more, more or less


A tree in winter

Photo by Sue Vincent

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.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for several prompts:


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.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

For Go Dog Go Cafe Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge : swiftly failing memory


Elemental swing

I marvel at my son, this winded child,
boasting about hitting the baseball.
“Did you see that?” he shouts,
breath escaping in gasps, jubilant fireworks
celebrating a victory for the ages.

I see it. The pride in his face — a lion
reveling over a gazelle that will feed 
her entire family — sustains us,
nourishment neither of us knew we needed
but is now elemental to our survival.

We watch the pomp, sharing in 
the ostentatious delight only a child 
revels in. He’ll stumble — superheroes 
sometimes step on their capes  —  but 
swing again, confident in any winds.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for Go Dog Go‘s Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge : “winded child”


Last dying kiss

We must remember as we bravely parachute
to our final landing place to make the most
of all the lasts – a last meal to energize
a breaking body, last words to inspire
those not jumping though clouds, last visits
with passing specters sharing last goodbyes.

A death bed is just one last stage, one final
curtain call before an audience left wanting
more, grasping at minutes as they dissolve
between clapping fingers. Where does
the time go? Where does anything?

Winds blow in without warning
and dissipate just as quickly. Change
can revitalize whatever breezes
haven’t swept farther down the road.

Our end is an end, one of millions every
day that taste salty on pursed lips
aching under the weight of uncertainty.

I will not waste mine. With my last
dying kiss, I’ll noiselessly thank you

for a life well played.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for the Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge at Go Dog Go Cafe – “last dying kiss”


Keep kicking

Somewhere beneath the waters
of another dream washing the day off
I slumber through the dark, uncertain night.
What is life but a series
of best guesses, sailors choosing a course
without stars guiding them? We swim,
arms flailing, struggling to keep our heads
above the salty tides pulling us
somewhere – better?

With the sun I’ll break free of this repose,
swim this way – or that
way – guessing at an island paradise
I can almost see beyond the reach
of my freestyle fingers, stretched straight
like they taught me. I’ll keep kicking,
keep moving, keep ahead
of the currents – but for now I rest
my weary legs, my arms.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for the Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge over at Go Do Go Cafe – “beneath the waters”