Nothing Catty on this Roof

we are a scrappy pair

we two

as we scratch and claw our way

from under this dung heap

into which society

shat us out.

you shred skin

as you shed convention

laboriously hefting

lifting you

from beneath the shadows.

I reinvent myself

rewriting the future

on the blunted nib

of frenetically wielded quill

revising me

into a long cool

draft of summer breeze.

we scrabble together a moment

amongst the endless scramble

a breath, a bite, a word.

deadlines loom

thunderheads gloom

your steadfast grip

lifting me

trembling rooftop helpmate

barefoot hammering

racing the clock

while a storm rolls in.

you find me cheeky

up here

skittish and determined

give an appreciative wink

at my disheveled skirted squat.

we giggle at hot footed dance

you secure my safe descent

lifting us

beyond the hectic humdrum

and I tuck this moment

sweaty and dusty

with my windblown locks

behind my ear

where I will hold it


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


Welcome Home

he dashes

to greet me

slender frame


in trembling excitement


into my embrace

he squirms

wriggling frenetically


enthusiastic kisses

exuberant welcome


predicted trepidation

though years parted

vigorous reception

wags his tail

tells his tale

devotion undiminished

umpteen days

I longed to receive you

with ecstatic wriggling

maybe my kisses

were too slobbery

my nails scratched you

in my leaping

or my tail bruised

in pandemonious wagging

I wonder if you wished

he me disremembered

did you convince yourself

he drank from your well

of stagnant unforgiveness

can you feel

my lingering caresses


enduring on his body

as once they did

on yours?



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

Collections of a Life

traipsing along the shores

lapping edges of a life

she collects

souls’ vestiges

shimmering shards

salted among

flotsam and jetsam

eddying in surf’s

ebb and flow

she is pulled

by sparkling hues

singing kaleidoscopic

mermaid refrains


jagged or tumbled smooth

slosh- suck at heartstrings

filling sandy pockets

she embraces

all reverently

even those that wriggle

frenetic and foaming

retreat to murky depths

When Demons Come Out to Play

our demons cavort madly

shadowed in the slatted

streaming moonlit haze

sweat-drenched and howling

they grapple uproariously

embraced in contortions

with themselves

each other


showdown to the finish

slip-sliding feverish


toward oblivion

horns locked

forked tails entwining

in the skirmish

scaled skin flakes

softens in the grinding

your fear upon my dread

my worry against your angst

your careworn imp

gets lost deep inside

my weary resigned rogue

heated and ravishing

we engage our hellions

soul to soul

breathless battling

until we both succumb

annihilating culmination

monsters quieted

devils shed and glowing

torment released


held skin to skin

warmed in blurred radiance










A Conversation, Colored Lonely

(written in collaboration with the inimitable Lois E Linkens)


it is at night,
when the silence screams the loudest.
when the curtains are drawn,
and the candle snuffed –
the air is burnt,
with the orange glow
of the blackened wick.
a single star
in an empty sky,
a tiger’s eye
in the witching forest,
a lonely car
on the midnight highway.

in the daylight

the silence is shushed

its horns ground down

under the trampling of the day

it finds kindred spirits

lurking in the pauses

poised to pounce

between hither and yon

a rabid Chimera

intent on foiling its captors

it is at night,
when the silence grows its wings;
when it becomes
arms and fingers
that squeeze and squash,
leaving their purple stains
across my skin.
so tomorrow,
i’ll cover up –
for what does loneliness wear,
when it wants to make a friend?


in the daylight

I dress to kill that silence

bedecked with breastplates

silvery self-reliance

protecting mawkish heartstrings

strained to breaking

by the violent plucking

of the silence in the

blue-black night

diamond crusted gauntlets

constrict my fingers

stretching toward contact


it is at night,
when the ancient words echo;
Plato’s Symposium
rattles through my brain
like bullets fleeing from the barrel.
you are incomplete,
he whispers;
your God-given substance
will not sustain,
your severed arms
are bound to flail
in this darkness,
grappling for a mate
that never comes near.
as i topple on the edge of sleep,
the condescending voice
of ancient wisdom
bends my will across its knee.


in the daylight

learned philosophers


under Ra’s harsh glare –

elderly drunkards

babbling in their cups –

beneath the penetrating rays

hypocrisy illumined.

I splashdown

in the well of loneliness

dug by my constraints

listen as they old-woman cackle

when I savor the dip.

I taste the madness

of love requited

sip from my flask

fractious firewater

eau de fierce independence

with the throatiest of howls

I birth my own

dancing star




Boxed In

in a society obsessed

with boxes

we lost ourselves

in the boxing

and unboxing

of where we fit

and didn’t

within ourselves

each other

and this judging world


the boxes fell upon us


no such address

return to sender

all stickered, stamped

and labeled

waiting for UPS

to pick us up

and deliver

as if authenticity

were an address

the post office

cannot find


if only

we could have

delivered ourselves


our love became nested

deep inside matryoshkas

a tiny hard babushka

buried deep inside personas

public reserve

shellacking over

private passion

dolls, un-womanly

wooden and distorted


my heated curves

and sharp edges

don’t fare well

in boxes


I was punch drunk

in the corner

from all this

boxing ourselves in

I cracked

knocked things over

I meant

to tear off labels

break down

confining boxes


I tore

your heart out

broke the back

of our love


I wanted to love you


now I don’t get

to love you at all






my heart was petrified

fossilized remains

of tenderness

turned to stone

under voluminous ash

on sight, you intuited

its squishy loving center

under the calcified layers

I felt a crumpling

beneath the heat-lamp

of the soul in your eyes

I gave a stern warning

to this wayward heart

cracks in ossification

lead to devastation


my heart was petrified

quaking and quivering

while it ping-pong

between twin ghouls

Loneliness and Pretend I’m Okay

Pretend I’m Okay

a stately presence

marched me past you


on her mission

while Loneliness

saw I caught your eye

I delivered a full lecture

abandoning the lectern

pacing, with emphasis

terrors inherent

in this connection apparent


my heart


hopelessly hopeful

failed this course

in self-protection