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.


© 2020 | Phillip Knight Scott

Written for Sue Vincent‘s Thursday photo prompt “clouded” #writephoto
Photo by Sue Vincent


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


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:


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.


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:


Colors at dawn

Photo by Sue Vincent

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.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt: Glow #writephoto


A catalyst

The flamboyant flame stands before me,
framed by garish smoke rising
to meet an aloof sky. The crackling embers — 
embarrassed to be seen laying down 
on the job — pop out of sight, 
making way for flashier lights.

The bonfire demands to be seen, illuminating
places undiscovered, too dark to survey. 
Is it possible my caustic humor burns 
those who venture too close? Do I dare
take stock of myself now — already gray — 
looking to pop where I lay?

Perhaps, just as winds breathe smoke 
unexpectedly back in our faces, 
I merely shift my perspective. 
There’s magic in turning sticks into wands


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt: Balefire #writephoto
Photo by Sue Vincent


The window glass

Photo by Sue Vincent

The snow breathed heavy that day,
a jolt of icy white confetti celebrating
winter’s return. Paralyzed by the cold,
we watched, transfixed by the beauty
and ferocity, as winter played out
its first act. Dazzled by the scene, I reached
as if called, for the cold, 
the glass chilly and inhospitable 
on my fingers as I tapped myself 
into the performance.

A stag, startled, heard my intrusion
and stared at us, a spark of terror 
in his eyes, hoofs frozen in fluffy earth. 
Nothing moved as he stood 
staring in a stupor as snow and tree limbs 
cascaded around those antlers, majestic 
and stock-still. What bravery to survive
the savagery spitting numbing flakes
on a naked face.

Just as suddenly he stirred from his bluff
and disappeared behind the stormy curtain,
forever relieving me of his second act. 
And I, roused and staring only at
my own reflection in the poorly insulated
window, resolved to buy some weather strips
and better protect myself from 
nature’s cruelty.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt : “calling”


A maritime scene

Photo by Sue Vincent

A seamstress swims by
the pirate ship, her hem undone
as her legs drum beneath
the water’s otherwise somber surface.

The sun’s light stretches longer
as it attempts to dip into the ocean
for the night, highlighting as it goes
the foibles riding along
the ocean’s impenetrable surface.

The fish – home from school –
tolerate this blemish, frustratingly
unaware that the sun dances in gold
just above the mysterious surface.

The seamstress swims along,
her head bobbing dolefully
on the surface, bubbles betraying her,
moments from a maritime scene
marred by murder.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt: Stillness #writephoto


Seasons and colors change

Photo by Sue Vincent

We walk this fall day – a few
more gray hairs than last – beneath
the leaves – rusted coppers
replacing youthful greens – clinging
to the only home they’ve ever known,
on the verge of their final voyage, that
rambling trek to what they know not.

This expedition under gray skies
takes us through the misty uncertainty
of that next great adventure, while
leaves search for courage to brave
one last tour – a change in altitude
if not attitude – of the crisp breezes
softening their descent to a new home.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt “copper” #writephoto