Conversant in Thistle and Butterfly

I am perched on a boulder

hidden in the shadowed corner

of the garden

behind the nodding thistle

perspicacious heads of lavender

spy nonchalant while I

whisper to the yellow jacket

of my hopes and aspirations.

reticent in rectitude

I whistle

ruby hummingbirded

wings, bejeweled

of agile green escapes

while my cheeks

shift from aching to numb

on the roughening façade


I flew here to lament

my autumnal crackling

tears quiver, unfallen

past the tickle

of thistledown coating

the chill of my belabored bewailing.

sun cajoles prickly remorse

from the thistle

it drips sticky stamen residue

at the scars it gifted

in my passing.

a fritillary alights and wistfully peruses

the honeyed depths of contemplation

nectar beads, seeding

the coveted urn of renewal


I am at home here

secluded among the desiccated foliage

it was well tended until season’s end

now it is covered in harvest residuals

scarlet and umber detritus

girding itself to winter over

tears threaten the dam

swelling against patches in my heart

the yellow jacket’s docile sunning

belies the fury of his reputation

as I, akin, do mine.

I have stung betimes

solely under the looming adumbration

of imminent mortal swatting.

my shins glisten

with lazy droplets of blood

imprint of thorns’ bequest of sheltering

to label them scratches


the bounds of damage

as we humans are wont to do

the thistle meant me no harm

as she bowed

under the weight of the reckless wind

grazing my fragile skin.


the fritillary opens and folds

wings of spangled spun gold

the steady metronomic beat,

a saffron rhythmic hypnosis

unravels universal mysteries.

wing beats fan the furling fronds

fashioning a fictional furrow

where I can bury angst

overlay with crunchy amber dust

canonizing my misery.

littering the air

atomized must


stokes rueful rumination.

decrescent rays caress

my rumpled brow

reflect obsidian obeisance

hang on horizon’s whims,

diffuse coral

clots of anoxic penitence

as the fritillary glides afield.

I surrender to the gloaming

tippling crimson cumulus

as the yellow jackets

buzz in approbation









Short, So Sweet

that dream, though

I saw the old warmth

deep in mahogany eyes

not the frosted tips

of your downturned lashes

I felt the sincerity

in tentative compassionate


I heard the triple bolted door

creak falteringly

on its unoiled hinges

I smelled the freshness

of my airy castle

tasted saline

in my crusted hopes

waking in dream’s afterglow

I shivered

in gathering chill

of reality

that dream, though


Requiem, At Dawn

Inspired by the introductory post by A, G Diedericks on Sudden Denouement. Please be sure to read his brilliant writing.


you drowned in the well

incognizant, I dug

I was tunneling

to the dawn of us

through the purgatory

of your distance

my shovel struck bedrock

immutable, unyielding

flinty faux foundation

fossilized connection

deflected, I excavated


tapped a hole

in the banks of Styx

inundated our

sacred rooms


I drowned in the well

unwitting, you unearthed

you were scrambling

for safety

craving concealment

hunted wolf cub

covering its scat

you sought burrowed refuge

tang of your fear

hung heavy on my tongue

frantic scrabbling

furrowed a pit

your sorrows swelled

rivulets to raging

unheeding I fell

over the brink


our dawn

was a golden reveille

an estival serenade

summons to rapturous

dispelling of vernal chill

from glittering gems of dew


our dusk plummeted precipitously

arctic dirge

to autumnal hurricanes

Abaddon escorts

to hibernal frigidity

dark, unconscionably soon

fell between me and you

When Worlds Collide

we were both grievously wounded

post the collision

though not because of

the concussive crash

our wounds oozed

guts and gore

as individual universi

went whirling

off their axes

we limped through the wreckage

earning Academy nods

riveting as also-rans

we tended each other’s wounds

wrapped with tattered Teflon


my tears saturated your shoulder

sopping soppy sop

seeping from choked up hazel

tender under fingertips

I kissed yours away

our worlds resumed their spinning

if tilted off-their-kilters

we stammer translations

of each other’s dialects

stumbling and bumbling

walking hand and hand

the trappings unembellished

the wrappings second hand

our souls sing

an a capella duet

measured and harmonious

slightly off key





Cooking for a Ghost

my contacts are blurry

sedimented with the salts of tears

cried and un-

the crows scarred your eyes

with the feet

of their raucous gathering

your skin has been kissed by the sun

though you rebuffed

the intimacy of its affections

I stand before the sizzling stove

stewing nurturance

for my lover, never you

while your ghost spins

on the blades

of the ceiling fan that won’t turn off

trailing tenacious tendrils

of ethereal palpable scorn

I can’t stop shivering

Of Heart and Home

when home

is where the heart is

where do you live


sing me home

chittering sparrows

winging esurient

to my empty

tarnished feeder

shrill my heart

red-bellied eluder

you beckon


my dogged pursuit

habituate a habitation

eddies in estuaries

brooking becks

of nested nuance

swell my marrow

surf billow


toward the crest

crucial crux

in the nuclear winter

of my frozen nucleus

I toy with


shoot the rapids

hearken to the call

of the welcoming wild

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



chilled in the shadows

overhang of looming doom

weary of buffeting

by whipping winds of change

they flounder off course

clashing in the thrashing

covenance smashing

post the grappling

with issues weighty

they tranquilize

feinting phantoms


tentacled disquietude

with fearsome friction

as souls collide

crash, meld



of satiated breath

abated consternation

tether each other

to the solidity

radiance of now

sole to sole


my eyes

launch celestial rockets

from limpid labyrinthine pools

spark interest

blur your vision

my murmurs

Calliope elegiac symphonies

sway limbs rhythmic

tilt you off-kilter

my touch

feathered fingertip graze

flutters kaleidoscope of butterflies

incites your insides

to inebriated riot

my kiss

spiced violet blackberry

lingers on your tongue

leggy blushes

beyond the pale

in vino vertigo

savoring languorous sips

my skin

subsumes your senses