MALEVOLENT MELODY- Blood Into Ink Curator Collaboration

(Aurora Phoenix)

Your Urgency Pierced My Marrow


with vanilla milquetoast


you spun a web

the envy of Arachne

smeared in syrupy cajolery –

I supped on hand-dipped flattery


your urgency pierced my marrow with flim flam



Dilly Dalliance Bound Me


Lavender dipped

indulgent tongue

dripped incantations,

salacious songs—

your abuse was tender


dilly dalliance bound me with feathers



The Honey You Gave

Those words were sweet as honey and I drank them down like they were all for me. I fell for each one. But slowly, beneath my rose-covered eyes, they soured.
And, piece by piece, you took all you wanted from me. 


(My Valiant Soul)

Your Hands Are Stiff Wire


Cinnamon sticks plummeting

screeching lullaby with love and hunger,

A spasm spews on the back of an ant

The circle of disgust and disgust

My legs are broken, my arms are missing

yellow stingy archaic cry

Ruffling touch,

You disappear like a swollen pollen grain

As I chop my hair, chop the hideous you.




Lies and Propaganda


Anything goes, according to your arrogant agenda

Gaslight fueled, devotion fooled

Poisonous thirst for possession

And domination obsession

Believing exemption from

Sugar coated sin

As long as you win


Sticks and stones broke my bones, your lies and propaganda broke my spirit




No Longer Your Canvas


I throw out the bouquet of violets, salvia, red roses

you lay in empty contrition on our sheets of white linen

where I nurse the most recent bruises you have drawn with your fists

once you are gone, I adorn myself in essential oils

bittersweet for truth

thyme for strength

rosemary for remembrance

though my left eye may be swollen shut

I have never seen more clearly

than I do as I walk out the door, hidden suitcases in hand


I will no longer be the canvas for your unholy rage

Unheard Incantations: A Collaborative Poem

The words we cannot say
Will be wept
Into silence between us (CER)

Breathe deep, dear love;
Be still with me
Listen to my heartstrings
A song meant just for you (KMA)

Each tear
An eloquent elegy
To tortured truths (AP)

Each note played
On a hand carved lute
Strung with strips
Of my soul (JWL)

Your breathless aura
Beats in time
Undulating ululation
With my exhaled psyche (AP)

Intertwined, tangled,
Unified: whole
Healed. (JWL)

Yet with hearts torn open
Bleeding out the notes of our song
You turned from me (ME)

I am fire
In desire
I beg
Save me (1W-W)

Fetch me an instrument,
For the untrained ear
Is soothed by that
Which it cannot comprehend. (LEL)

Not everything is black and white.
For even the eclipsed moon
Is not without a little light. (SD)

Whispers through the distance
I remember
As you reach for my hand
my heart (CER)

Our words
Drip like fire
Into embers
Wanting back
Their flame. (SFF)

The words we cannot say
Will be wept
Into silence between us (CER)

Written by:


Kindra M. Austin

Sarah Doughty

Michael Erickson

Stephen F. Fuller

John W. Leys

Lois E. Linkens

Aurora Phoenix

Christine E. Ray


Stirring – A Collaborative Poem from Kindra Austin, Christine Ray, and Aurora Phoenix

Your swift flowing water

Elusive, quicksilver

Brushes past my shores

my roughing grains
a flash flood

cut into earth
New veins carry fresh lifeblood

Awakening me

from long slumber

longing rippling outward

concentric circles


by turns urgent

and languid

your ebb

begets my flow

See the colors of infant life



brilliant resilience

inherited DNA




Kindra Austin is the voice at Kindra M. Austin

Aurora Phoenix writes at Insights from”Inside”

Christine Ray blogs at Brave and Reckless

All three can be found at Blood Into Ink and Sudden Denouement Literary Collective


Warrior Women Anthem

Collaboration with my amazingly fierce Warrior Sister Kindra M. Austin


Yes, I know my place—

And it’s not in the shadows of darkened corners,

Slumped over and bleeding, weeping.

It’s not in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant or otherwise.

It’s not in the hospital having bones reset, or split lips stitched.

Yes, I know my place—

Push me down, drag me out,

And I will get up on my two feet

Because my place is to stand among my Warrior Sisters


I have been out of place

cowering, confused by calamities

conforming, if only for moments

to lessened expectations

I have been out of place

biting my lip

silencing caustic retorts

eviscerating commentary

on the lot I was caste

I have been out of place

head shamefully bowed

hiding my brilliant plumage

muffling scintillating wit

lest I overstep, overshadow

narrowly defined confines


Shed used skin—toss it away

And open eyes, newborn light.

Hold on heart, the time is now—

Cast aside those ropes,

Take up your banner.

Riot for your life.


it has been said

I am out of line

dare I speak too loudly

of my truths

my place is colored riotous rainbows

outside your compliant lines

it has been said

I am out of line

dare I dance with abandon

in the face of obsolescence

my place is scented midnight jasmine

in the garden where my good

overgrows obsequious evils







With Starlight for Dessert

Spontaneous collaboration, compiled from comments, with the ridiculously brilliant Ward Clever.

We’ve been eating word salad

With obfuscation vinaigrette

At a table set with bewilderment

In a confuse booth

With the daze de resistance

And an after-dinner cafe misto-fied

Will we ever get our just desserts?


He set it up

And she fell for it

He caught her just in time

Buckling his legs

Stopping them both at the last second, with a wink

She swoons, overcome with giggling

He gently lifts her to her feet,

And with his smile promises

He’ll never let her fall

She hesitates…..smiles in return

Arm in arm, they go off to look for champagne

Since they are feeling bubbly

And effervescent

They toast in silly self reference

Giggling at everything, the bubbles tickling their noses

Sipping tendriled wisps of joy

In due course

In the afters

Before the accomplish mints

Under the nightcap

After the happy spirits set in

Until the dawn breaks fast

And what passed between dusk and dawn had absolutely no leftovers

They were just picking up crumbs

Having devoured one another entirely

Hungers satisfied for the moment

Until the next elegant banquet

She sighs

He closes his eyes and smiles

Sleep drifts in contentedly

Dreams are undertones of happiness

Symphonic in the afterglow

Soothing in the epiphany

They offer each other refreshment

Warm feelings, like blankets before a fire

Comfort to the soul, in a glance or the slightest touch

Invisible sparks tingle, energizing happiness

Alighting aloft, new stars in the sky

They wish upon themselves immediately

Breathing life into future joys

Giving form to future smiles

Tattoing hope into their hearts

Contextual Tango, Greened

Written in collaboration with a very Clever (make that Ward Clever) poet


From across the room

you catch their eyes

smile hazeled twinkles

while crooking the finger

of your jostling thoughts

the words don’t realize

they are wending toward you

until they stand breath held

two steps back, left side


Bending to your will

their eyes follow, captivating

whispers pouring from lips

right hand on the small of your back

your green emeralds fractured

hearing them in kaleidoscope

they form in mist on window glass

you finally exhale

breathe in secret messages


Under centripetal force

of your dancing syllables

they twirl in burbling cadence

threading whispers through stars

jades of your soul refracting

waft in impish perfume

scatter gems of hinted meaning

on a symphonic whim

each breath a studded lifetime


Furtively, like Cupid’s assassins

they gracefully stalk your senses

arching backs, hazel lights ablaze

shooting glances into hearts

savoring verdant spirits

intoxicating to discern

dizzying lyrical harmonies

breaths escape in laughter

with smiles, the chasers


In metaphors’ enchantment

swim arcs of fantasy

scented emerald as the isles

you spin through luscious syntaxes

orchestrating heady liberty

fleetfooted and provocative

they pause, softly wink

you gasp inaudibly

anticipate the leap


Hands meet in chiasmus

the steps foretold in dreams

leaving softly spoken footprints

in sea foam scrubbed sand

they harmonize in dulcet tones

daring your aerial motion

catching you in sweet nothings

breathing in lullabies

singing songs of your grace


Their choreography phases

shifts to luminous humming

draping across your soul

kelly blankets of intuition

bridge known and connotated

touching sips of permanence

in the pause between notions

drift murmurs salted sweet

your breathing sighs apace


Shadows from every letter

waltzing to minuets

stars twinkle to dazzling darkness

strobing, midori afterglow

their effect forming rivulets

streaming down your memories

you mouth the words

falling from sage lips

with one last tranquil breath



(photo: mine)