the words blurred into one another,
every yellowed page like the one before,
every phrase becoming more foreign,
each syllable more severe

so, I walked away;
I sank into the wordless sea,
sight distorted,
down to where the light
was but a glimmer up above,
where the cold encased me,
a soothing balm against the burning
of the sun

I sank into the wordless sea,
enamored by the consuming silence,
by the thrum of my own heart,
a metronome for the endless swaying

I sank into the wordless sea,
but I was not drowning

I heard the sound of my own voice

-artwork via Pinterest, by Jael Segura; written in response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday, where the first line is provided, and you must devise the rest


Grace, a Quadrille

I don’t know if I can go on;
your words haunt me,
a constant murmer,
ringing in my ears

I miss you
the world has dulled,
and everything has gone gray

I just keep thinking –
true strength paints itself
in the colors of grace

-created in response to the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge #201, as well as the dVerse Poet Pub’s Quadrille Challenge, Murmur; image by Kyle Thompson


you tell yourself what you think you need to,
rationalizations, one after the next,
constructing and threading and weaving,
in order to go on

you dig and bore and bury,
you force it down, down, down,
into the pit,
locking it away,
resigned to doing whatever it take to keep it there,
fear and shame fueling defiance

and you protect it,
clutching the lies like a shield,
believing the hurt will be less,
the humiliation slighter,
if only no one can see it

except it only grows and metastasizes,
the loathe a burning itch,
the fear always there,
just beneath the surface of your skin,
the shame a purpling, omniscient bruise,
an ache invading,
taking up more and more space,
taking over

there it is –
in your eyes that say what your mouth does not,
in the slight recoil at a simple touch,
in the humiliating burn behind your eyes
that threatens to spill in revealing droplets,
in the distance you keep,
no matter how close you get

there it is,
in the silence,
a clamoring so loud,
it won’t ever allow you rest

it never stays down
I know,
I’ve told myself the same lies

-reworked as part of Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge

Death By Roses

death by roses, she thought, 
death by roses

but she couldn’t write about that right now –
her skin was too thin not to write about stars,  
because heartache was a burden that was too heavy to bear

so, she sat there, writing about stars, 
forgetting about how he once brought her red roses and watched her bloom

she wrote about stars and kittens and the rising of the sun on cold January mornings, 
so that warmth might settle into her bones,
if only for a moment 

she sat there, pen in hand, 
pretending everything was fine,
writing about stars she couldn’t see,
warmth she could no longer feel

her skin was too thin not to write about stars,  
because heartache was a burden that was too heavy to bear,
and when she stopped writing about stars and kittens and the rising of the sun on cold January mornings,
the bruises felt all too fresh and the scars still itchy and tender 

when she stopped writing about stars and kittens and the rising of the sun on cold January mornings,
her pen couldn’t stop writing about how he cracked open her rib cage with fistfuls of longing, 
about how he watched as her entire being bent toward the light of his promises of forever,
about how she gave him pieces of herself she’d never shown another human being,
only to be pricked by his indifferent thorns,
about how he haphazardly plucked her from the life-altering soil and left her to wither to dust 

she knew for certain that to love is to burden oneself with cracks in one’s rib cage,
with bruises and scars,
with the inevitable dangers of thorns

her skin was too thin not to write about stars –
but if he were to show up on her doorstep with open arms and a fistful of red roses…..

death by roses, she thought, 
death by roses

image via Pixabay; written in response to Mindlovemisery’s First Line Friday prompt; another popular, older poem that’s been revised a bit (again)


below them,
the dark streets beckoned
with crimson light,
come dance with me
in the pale moonlight

as their eyes vibrated electric
in fight or flight,
with hair drenched in sweat,
whole-body tremors,
and no appetites

hooked, no money in their pockets,
they hunted like wolves
in the night,
lines so bent and blurred,
wrong looked a lot like right

they did what they must
to feed the hungry demon’s grip
all day and night –
ain’t no sleepin’ tight tonite,
out there, the bedbugs bite

-image via Pixabay; created in response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday, where the First Line was ‘below them the dark streets beckoned with crimson light’


Ain’t nobody celebratin’
No phone calls or happy wishes
No songs a’ dedicatin’
Or favorite dinner dishes

Ain’t no floaty balloons
No fancy cake with flowers
Just me, starin’ at the moon
Sittin’ ‘lone, countin’ hours 

It ain’t my favorite day
Reminded I was birthed and forsaken
So I use the 364 unbirthdays
To celebrate my makin’

-image from Alice and Wonderland via Tumblr; shared in response to the Mindlovemisery Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt, unbirthday; it’s not my birthday, and this isn’t indicative of my experience, just imagining how it might feel

Storm’s Eye

oh, divine, insidious pull
help me please, my soul is full

my shallow roots are tattered and splintered
my tired heart has been battered and wintered

your cradled strings strangely unbind me
and your wistful cloud holds some mystical key

I’ve try to stay grounded, but the din is too heady
I’m already rising, I think I’m ready

into storm’s eye, allow me to fly
will it unwind me?
I’m willing to try

do I get to return?
or should I say goodbye?

*written as part of Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge 104


I’ve always had a thing for small spaces,
for hidden corners in coffee shops,
October breezes tucked beneath the
green cover of a willow tree,
for lone forest exploring,
and paddling with no destination in mind,
but staying close to the safety of the shore

for the longest time,
I had this feeling, this conviction,
that I’d been surrounded by earthen walls,
myopic vision only seeing that which was directly in front of me,
small-pictures with man-made frames,
seeing that which has meaning only to me

while feet away,
the autumn wind was blowing metamorphosis,
the tree tops slanted toward something unseeable,
swaying branches whispered existential,
and birds sang thanks to the sunrise
for things my soul longed to understand

mourning doves coo-cooed,
a murmuring of some essential secret
I did not yet know,
that I might never know,
because I didn’t know it was possible
to lift my head,
to venture outward and allow
my vision to broaden,
to peek out between the willow branches
and see beyond,
to venture far from the shore

oh, but if curiosity is allowed to
bubble freely to the surface,
and fear to diminish into the background,
if I dare to dive for treasure within,
I lift my head and apply it,
I see possibility,
I see meaning,
I feel the connectedness in all things,
find purpose in the spirited seeking
of truth

to seek truth is human –
humanness in a world
that discourages humanity
isn’t easy

but, I have a thing for being human

-shared as part of the Mindlovemisery Menagerie prompt, sunrise


Rising from voluminous depths
Words pass through to fingertips

Momentarily, they beg to stay
For when they flow, they bend and fray

Threatening to splinter my fragile heart
To claw and shred, tearing me apart

Sharp edges reflecting back at me
On virtual paper for the world to see

Purged, leaving room for more and more
An endless flow, a melodious roar

Yet, instead of wreckage left behind
The words untangle busy mind

Guttural cries no longer submerged
Inch by inch, I emerge

-photo credit Arno Rafael Minkkinen

Can’t Look Up


Every night, I search for you,
Along the Milky Way,
Chin upturned, as my heart yearns,
So many miles away

Last night, I wondered, if I’d feel you there,
If you were gazing too,
If our spirits could share, way up there,
Amidst the brilliant blue

But while I gazed, connecting dots,
The picture grew much clearer,
Stomach whirling, a cosmic unfurling,
I realized why you’re not nearer

For, I am not the one you want,
And the stars have lost their shine,
Now, I can’t look up, because all I see,
Is your heart inside of mine

-image found on Pinterest, shared as part of the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie prompt, lost