A Tiny Flame



“There are two people you’ll meet in your life. One will run a finger down the index of who you are, and jump straight to the parts of you that peak their interest. The other will take his or her time reading through every one of your chapters and maybe fold corners of you that inspired them most. You will meet these two people; it’s a given. It is the third that you’ll never see coming. That one person who not only finishes your sentences, but keeps the book.” (source: ilovemylsi.com)

I would not exactly limit myself to two or three… but I am inspired by the imagery of a lover, thumbing through pages, finding himself, or herself, and perhaps, deciding to keep the book.

“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments of your life.” (source: OriahMountainDreamer.com)

I long to know someone this way, to love this deeply, not dependent, but with such passion and knowing… to know and be known… this is the cry of my polyamorous heart!

It has been six weeks since the official notification confirmed, “We are no longer in a relationship.” The hole in me that used to be filled with grief and longing for him, is now filled with what normally fills holes.


Now don’t get me wrong, there is a place in me where all the good memories are bundled in scarlet ribbon and packed away in a trunk, much like the photos, letters, and mementos that used to live in my bedroom. There is also a place in me that is still grieving, though the pain is less every day. I am remembering the good things, learning from the experience, and looking toward the future with what I would like to call hope.

Still, there is a space in me… not the one he used to fill, exactly… a space for loving intensely, for being known deeply and for passion enough to light the city of Chicago. Once this space held a love that burned like the great fire of 1871. Today, there is only a candle… a short stub of wax, with a flickering, guttering flame and no one to fan it but me.

The reality is that this most recent love lost, is not the first love to have filled this space. I have fallen, eyelashes over ankles, more than once in my life. I’ve written poems, compiled mix tapes, awakened at four in the morning, longing for others; it’s true. Part of the emptiness I feel today relates to the way my poly-heart works… and that is not an easy thing to explain.

I share my life with a man who has known me for most of my days. We met at four, became fast friends at fifteen, first kissed at eighteen, fell in love at twenty-five, and married twenty years ago, October, at twenty-seven. He is my rock. Since high-school, he has been the guy that always looked out for me. He has spent his life making mine rich, and full, working hard, to give us a home. My children are his, my grandchildren are his. To this day, I cannot mention that I admire the scarf on a mannequin in a department store, without the knowledge that he will likely go back and buy it, just to see me smile. He is a good man, a loving husband, a wonderful father. He is generous, responsible, provider, caretaker, lover, best-friend. What he is not, is passionate, creative, and soul-searching. He is, exactly what and who I need him to be. I love him dearly, and would give him the moon.

Still, there’s a space in me that needs other things, other qualities. There is a void in me that has been filled in the past by a different sort of love… and now it’s not. Maybe it’s because I’m complicated. Loving more than one, making room in my heart and seeking out more than one to love, seeking to be loved deeply, fully, in a complicated way… this is where my thoughts are today. This is why my soul is longing.

“Love her so much that she might doubt your sanity… but never your passion.” ~Dean Jackson (source: ilovemylsi.com)

I want to love again, so deeply, so fiercely, that my sanity might be questioned. I want to love passionately, and fully, and set my world ablaze once more. Today, I cradle a tiny flame, and carry it into a dark, empty room. Today, I sit for a while, watching the shadows flicker on the walls.


Day is Done (a somonka)


I’m longing for you;
my flesh trembles for your touch–
my mind chases you.
This hunger interrupts my
day. I can’t work for wanting.

This long day is done,
hastened by such fantasies.
You’ve been on my mind.
Come to bed, and find me here.
I will be waiting for you.

For today’s prompt, write a “calling it a day” poem. Some people might call this “Miller time,” others may refer to it as “closing time.” Just remember: Don’t call it a day until you put it in a poem.


The somonka is a Japanese form. In fact, it’s basically two tankas written as two love letters to each other (one tanka per love letter). This form usually demands two authors, but it is possible to have a poet take on two personas. A refresher on the tanka: If a haiku is usually (mistakenly) thought of as a 3-line, 5-7-5 syllable poem, then the tanka would be a 5-line, 5-7-5-7-7 syllable poem. However, as with haiku, it’s better to think of a tanka as a 5-line poem with 3 short lines (lines 2, 4, 5) and 2 very short lines (lines 1 and 3). While imagery is still important in tanka, the form is a little more conversational than haiku at times. It also allows for the use of poetic devices such as metaphor and personification (2 big haiku no-no’s). Like haiku, tanka is a Japanese poetic form. (for more on the tanka, see: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides/poetic-forms/tanka-bigger-and-more-relaxed-than-a-haiku for more on the somonka: http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/somonka-poetic-forms)



Wings in Ink (a rondel)


The ink in my skin is bewitched;
These feathers are thrumming like strings,
and life, it is flooding these wings.
It started this morning. It itched.

My shoulders have through the day twitched,
You’re stretching, and my pale flesh stings.
The ink in my skin is bewitched.
Your call echoes loudly, it rings.

You leap to the air without hitch,
while I’m tethered by earthly things.
Your first flight is fire, as it sings.
I’d give anything to have switched!
The ink in my skin is bewitched.

The final Two-for-Tuesday prompt for this month is:
Write a realism poem. A poem that is rooted in the real world. Or…
Write a magical poem. A poem that incorporates magical or fantastical elements.

Or write like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and do both!

The rondel, a French poetic form, is a close cousin to the rondeau and triolet.

Here are the rondel poetry form rules:
1.Poem consists of 13 lines in 3 stanzas
2.Rhyme scheme: ABba/abAB/abbaA (uppercase letters are refrains)
3.Usually 8 syllables per line

If you wish to write a rondel prime (or supreme), add a 14th line.



Prayer Before Bed (a pantoum)

sleeping woman in bed of leaves stone

While I settle to the ground,
close my eyes and try to breathe,
while the forest fills with sound–
silence whispers, underneath.

I close my eyes, struggle to breathe.
I cannot face the stars or moon.
Silence taunts me underneath.
I turn to face the earth, here strewn

with broken shards of stars and moon.
I lie beside them, near to where
the pieces of my heart, are strewn.
In time my tears become a prayer.

I lie here, lonely, near to where
discarded stars and leaves have blown.
Tears oft repeated, become a prayer:
Let me just lie here, turn to stone.

Discarded stars and leaves have blown,
and gathered, rest around this tree.
Let me just lie here, turn to stone,
release my pain and be set free.

Come gather near, around this tree,
and see the work that grief has done.
Woman of stone, I’ve been set free.
Washed by the rain, warmed by the sun.

For today’s prompt, write a settled poem. Settled can be a good, relaxing thing; settled can be an accepting something that wasn’t your first choice thing; settled can be coming to a stop; settled can be pioneers in a strange land; and so on. With only three days left, don’t settle for less than your best.

The pantoum is a poetic form originating in Malay where poets write quatrains (4-line stanzas) with an abab rhyme scheme and repeat lines 2 and 4 in the previous stanza as lines 1 and 3 in the next stanza. Poets differ on how to treat the final quatrain: Some poets repeat lines 1 and 3 of the original quatrain as lines 2 and 4 in the final quatrain; other poets invert lines 1 and 3 so that the beginning line of the poem is also the final line of the poem.



The Fiend (a gwawdodyn)


Grief comes, and it chooses the hour
it torments as I’m in the shower;
There’s really no trick for not getting sick,
on my swallowed tears turning sour.

For today’s prompt, write a monster poem. There are the usual suspects: zombies, vampires, werewolves, and mummies. But monsters can take any form and terrorize a variety of victims. So have fun playing around with this one, because we’ve only got a few days of April left.


The gwawdodyn is a Welsh poetic form with a couple variations. However, both versions are comprised of quatrains (4-line stanzas) that have a 9/9/10/9 syllable pattern and matching end rhymes on lines 1, 2, and 4. The variations are made in that third line:
One version has an internal rhyme within the third line. So there’s a rhyme somewhere within the third line with the end rhyme on the third line.
The other version has an internal rhyme within the third line that rhymes with an internal rhyme in the fourth line.

In both cases, the rhyme starts somewhere in the middle of the third line and it is a unique rhyme to the end rhyme in lines 1, 2, and 4.

Here’s a possible diagram for the first version (with the x’s symbolizing syllables):


Note: The “b” rhyme in the middle of line 3 could slide to the left or right as needed by the poet.

Here’s a possible diagram for the second version:


Note: In this version, both “b” rhymes can slide around in their respective lines, which affords the poet a little extra freedom.

FOR MORE INFO ON THIS FORM: http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/gwawdodyn-poetic-forms