Of Mother

the spirits of the ancients

rumble in ochred striations

rasp with copper calls

of the wisdom of the earth.

this petrified sand, here,

that grabs my foot-treads

\while I suspect it of slippery treachery\

roots me, through the centuries,

in ways only my soles

can wearily fathom.

wild beauty surges through thundering veins

with every startling gust

that reminds me, breathless,

of my cosmic insignificance.

sandstone vistas ransack my wind

\as I grasp, mindless and controlling\

while my cap is strewn in the dust

with all my careful planning.

long deceased, gnarled juniper branches

smoothed with the oils

of countless fearful

lend strength and support

as stubborn doggedness flags.

there are cliffhangers here

\rarefied legends beyond my ken\

that cling, dusty and persistent,

to knotted and testy calves.

mother o’erwatches

omnipotent and ever-present

as I traverse her playground.

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Requiem in Red- Aurora Phoenix

My most recent piece on SD!

A Global Divergent Literary Collective

she etched an elegy

for herself

in her arm.

it was not that she wished she were dead,

it was that in her heart, she already was

with each draw of the blade

she eased mournful notes

skillful as a virtuoso violinist

from her love-starved skin.

this one, scratched doleful in minor D

laments a childhood forlorn

lost in the tumbleweeds

of mother’s hypodermic windstorm.

tentative lacerations mimic

the rent fabric of comfort

in which she was never swaddled.

that one, carved in hesitant desperation

released a cacophony of hushed howls

an orchestra of screeching duduks

protesting the predators’ parade

that prowled unguarded through her dreams

         day and night. –

cuts, breaking your heart if not

her parched and thirsting skin

berate the moon and sun

who sheltered her not, while each

beseeches the silent heavens

“was I not worthy of protection?”

 

she proffers her arm, bared

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The Value of Book Reviews

INDIE BLU(E)

Book.png

Book reviews are currency for the indie author, especially when reader feedback appears on Amazon and Goodreads. That makes sense, considering the weight of word of mouth marketing. I read an article on Impactrecently that stated consumers are 4x more likely to buy goods and services when referred by a friend, and 63% of visitors are more likely to make purchases from websites with reviews/ratings.

Why then, does word of mouth seem to fail so many fantastic indie writers? Because the number of Amazon book purchasers who go back to leave a review, or even a star rating, are few and far between. Derek Haines at Just Publishing Advice says listing your Kindle book as free for a promotional period can help stimulate readers to leave a review; however, reviews of free books are even lower than for actual sales. This rings true for me. I ran a week…

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Fevered

it is a cat-scratch in the arch of my tenderfoot

this swelling, welling in my soul

back arched and forehead burning

I hiss

at the brush of your outstretched paw.

hairs upended and mewling

black yesterdays slink under ladders

splattered in the shabby patina

of abandoned masterpieces.

steeped in antiquated ammonia

vintage carpets curl in threadbare sedition

I weep

silent rivers of involuntary revulsion

swiped away with defiant wrist wipes

these salted choleric commentaries, unleashed

lest you read weakness in the tracks

overlaid in the dust of my disgust.

i know the rules to this game

as I clamber broken rungs, clattering

upward

upward and away from the furballs

you hock up by the scores, licking

yourself in depraved self- gratification.
your nine lives evaporate, evanescent

and vitreous, recalled by the fiends

that birthed them. i humor you

and watch you disintegrate

vanishing

Trees in Winter, Siberia

(This piece was prompted by today’s NaPoWriMo prompt, using Adrienne Rich’s “What Kind of Times Are These” as my inspiration)

 

in winter, trees are stark naked, like my truths

when they creak and groan in the howling wind

your ears prick up, fixated and keen

living under them, as you do.

 

I know my truths are hushed, silenced and quashed

shriveled scarlet maple leaves, flaming in shame

peeking, hide and seeking, from their burial spots –

hidden ‘neath the blizzard banks, ‘tween I can’t tell and you won’t ask.

 

it’s funny how I disappear a little more each day

in this wasteland of muzzled testimony,

gagging on marinated bear paws, downed with guzzled vodka

as I wonder how I landed in this Siberia of veritas, right here at home.

 

I am a shadow of myself, disappeared with my truths

lost, until I stumble upon the gathering place, brimming

with diademed women – walkers of the shadowed roads –  who conjure

now the midday sun, glittering experiential jewels, scattered in hilltop shouts.

A Little Walk

hills called me forward

another and another

ever exploring

 

solo adventure

scrambling well off beaten paths

dusk drew nigh, slyly

 

each next summit piques

my need to conquer the next

majestic views ‘wait

 

minutes, well-trodden

morph into worrisome hours

mom never forgets

2020

“things will be so much better then”

proclaimed the dying sage

her declaration sure and certain

\how strong the words\

belying the papery thinness

of her withering husk.

her whispers rattled as I

read them, steadying my shaky

heart, rapt across the miles.

i swiped backhanded at doubts

\dripping wayward tears\

mortified at my wet-noodled spine

she is tranquil in contemplation

of her death (permanent)

while i am moldering

\rank and stagnant\

in the aftermath of mine

(though my death was the temporary kind)

 

on that steel stool

in my concrete cage

better was beyond the ken

a theoretical construct

\like relativity or the Big Bang\

which i believe exists on an astral plane

other than where i reside, somewhere

  • out there

(though let me tell you about a Big ass Bang!)

 

yet she averred to me

\hope and constancy\

this woman wise and warm

from the glowing embers

of her fading days

  • tattooing better

upon my flagging spirit

so i tucked her prophecy

\folded and tattered\

between my fraying ventricles

staining it with each bloodied beat

as i crawled from then

  • forward

 

now i catch a glimpse of better

\from time to time\

guttering in the distance

a candle buffeted

  • and burning still