A Tall Tale and a Winter Wish (a blackout poem)


In the forest,
the sun made a place;
a little tree
fluttered its leaves.
The bird and the child
wished to be pines;
grew taller.

“I wish I was a tall tree.”

Sometimes winter lay
white on the ground.
Would spring jump
over the tree?
Would he be small?


Dance in Chaotic Grace

frozen cherry tree






Bitter winter wind
whispers cruel against the light,
discontent with change—
“Too hard, too scary, too much.”
—stubborn, frightened, balks at growth.

These branches will stretch.
This icy grip must give way,
cannot hold back spring.
This tree must divide and bloom—
must dance in chaotic grace.



A Japanese form, somonkas are comprised of 2 tankas written as love letters to each other (1 tanka per), usually 2 authors, or 1 poet taking  on 2 personas.  Tankas are 5-line poems, (If a haiku is 5/7/5 syllable distribution for a tanka is 5,7,5,7,7). A more correct interpretation of this form is 3 short lines (lines 2, 4, 5) and 2 very short lines (lines 1 and 3). While imagery is still important, tanka is more conversational than haiku. It allowing for metaphor and personification.

First Touch (a rondel poem)


The way your hand makes love to mine —
as though we’ve both been here before,
(perhaps a different life we wore?)
our palms just like the stars align!

Your touch is warm and your eyes shine!
Two dancers swaying on the floor:
the way your hand makes love to mine —
as though we’ve both been here before.

Our fingers and our souls entwine,
the way the sea kisses the shore.
Your gaze becomes an open door,
intoxicating as the wine —
the way your hand makes love to mine.



13 lines in 3 stanzas; rhyme scheme: ABba/abAB/abbaA (uppercase letters are refrains) Usually 8 syllables per line.

From the Ashes


I followed you, then
into the woods
trusting our love to shelter

running headlong
down tangled paths
chasing the sparks with you

we knew the dangers
truths we did not tell hearts
trusting our love to bend

lightning eventually struck
change we did not seek
ravaged our forest in flames

we stumbled from the inferno
singed, smelling of smoke
burned and barely able to breathe

blindly we reached, clasping hands
prayed for healing rain
trusting our love to survive

and so the rains did come
tears and ink have flowed
washed away the worst of hurts

now we stand dripping
gaze into each other’s eyes
trusting our love to stretch

testing our wings and voices
we declare our committment
we are transformed, stronger

on new winds of passion
we spread our healing wings
trusting our love to fly

we will rise from these ashes
as the forest begins to green
like a phoenix, together we’ll soar

He is Speaking Poet, Once Again

He has taken to conversing with me, in lines of meter and rhyme, even slipping into free verse… and I am falling for him again and again, after all this time…


Adrenaline may fade
Love marks the soul
As long as life

Attraction may reduce
To dim coals
The brands always remain

If you know,
Even after the stanza ends
Your course is eternally altered

Blindly we caress and explore
Our new reality
Life changed by our encounter

With the glow of the embers
We explore our new selves
In the dull glow

Through ink, passion and pain
We are transformed
Into new and beings

To restart with new forms
The brave will embrace
The change and reignite

— a man who loves this poet

You Asked Me What it Means to Be a Girl

woman-walking-in-long-dress-down-a-wooded-path-sandra-cunningham (2)

I am female, and if you ask me what that means, I struggle to answer — to disentangle that feminine thread from the mass of yarn that is me, is a challenge, a task I’m not sure I can accomplish.

So rather than unraveling the ball, untying knots, and disturbing the wonderfully complex snarl of string that is me, I will turn the whole of it in my hands, examine the strands, where they fray and where they weave, where they get lost in the over and under of it all — I will tell you what I see. Perhaps in this describing, you may find what you seek to understand.

I am richly and deeply woman. I look in the mirror, and see fullness, softness, sensuality. I revel in the female habits, lotions, make-up, hair, jewelry and clothes. I love the decadence of ribbons and lace, pretty underthings, soft stockings and laced corsets, luxurious fabrics, perfumes and polish. I drink in poetry, literature, words and phrases about love and living passionately. I am that romantic girly-girl.

I wonder sometimes, when I walk into a public space, whether others can see the raw feminine sexuality that I feel in my bones; I think sometimes it paints my skin; I smell it as the wind tousles my hair. Can others look into my eyes, and read the thoughts that color my whole being with the joy of passion, of living, and loving more? I am female, strong and fragile, tough and weak, fierce in my passions and in my defense of those I love. I am a nurturer, a teacher, a sister and friend.

I am courageously vulnerable, daring to risk, choosing pain over numbness, in the hope of ecstasy. My heart and mind are drawn to those who allow my femininity to shine, while not being intimidated by my depth, my intelligence or my dominance. I am both self contained, and messy, spilling out passion and poetry on anyone who gets close enough to be splashed. I am confident, and sexy, and at the same time shy and unsure.

My female heart is drawn to strength in men, to confidence, and power, to a sharp wit, a rich intelligence, and a passion that complements mine. Yin to yang — rich, earthy maleness to dark, raw femaleness — I soften against that strength, like I cannot when I stand alone. I find in those places — the crook of his arm, the gruff tenderness of his voice, the wonder in his eyes — a gentle little girl, who can melt into him and find it safe to be imperfect, weak, emotional and a dreamer.

My female heart is drawn to the sacred female in other women. I am maiden, mother, sister and crone. I am rich in this femininity, and my heart longs to connect to that feminine in another. I yearn to share sisterhood, and to revel with another very female lover in everything that makes us woman. I crave that softness and warmth that can only come from a feminine touch. I believe the sacred female has an inner light and power that belies the physical strength of a man. It goes deeper, runs in her veins, a holy strength, an incantation and a prayer. My inner female longs to find that beauty and power in another, to trust it, surrender to it, and mirror it back.

I am hesitant, shy in that longing, as I have trusted my feminine vulnerability to another woman, and been hurt far more deeply than any man could reach. I have healed, and found my strength from that wounding. I have come away stronger, more beautiful for the scars. But while I can confidently gaze into the eyes of a strong, attractive man, and know that I have power to win his heart, to seduce his mind, I lack that sureness when it comes to connecting with a woman I find lovely, in spirit and body — I have been, again and again overcome and silenced by the beauty, the poetry, and the magic I find in her. But, I play it safe.

I am womanly in my reasoning, in my art, in the way I set my soul on fire every day to cast a light that leads others to freedom, to love, to living fully. I pour my femaleness into words and poems, into paint and ink, I shout my femininity from the rooftops, from the open windows of my car, from the air as I fly, soaring on the wind, my own music pounding in my ears, shaking the trees and clouds as they witness and sing along. I want others to see me, my freedom, and find themselves, see the beauty and the reward of living fully vulnerable and courageous. As a girl-child, I was taught to hold back, to demure, to dampen my enthusiasm, and to reign in my passion. As an adult, I refuse. I am determined to live fully in this richness that is every womanly part of who I am.

I hope those who see me doing so, are inspired to tear down their walls, to risk and live, to love and make and be with burning passion. This is my gift to the world, and to myself. I will burn in my femaleness, to light the path for anyone who might follow my faltering but enthusiastic footsteps. It may be tangled and overgrown, this path, there may well be an easier way. But I refuse to miss this rugged beauty, the scraped knees and bruised hands, the falls and the getting back up to press forward and celebrate. This is my womanhood. This is me.

On second thought maybe I am unraveling that spool, just to mark the path, in case you wish to follow, to catch up, and walk beside me through these woods.

Burn With Me?


If the rush of adrenaline
lasts only as long
as this poem…

If the attraction
flickers and flames,
from the very first rhyme…

If you know,
with every new stanza,
that we’ll tumble headlong…

If we’re kissing and groping,
smoldering all the way
to the very last line…

Will the flicker of heat
be enough to hold you,
until the ink and the words ignite…

Will you burn
in the fires of passion,
until climax leaves you gasping…

Will you start again,
when the ink runs out,
will you read slower this time?

Glimpses and Reflections at 2:00 a.m.


I like dark chocolate, hot tea, new books, fountain pens, rainy days, the three full weeks that are autumn, form-poetry, flickering candles, wordplay, a dry sense of humor, warm freckles on pale skin,  being behind a camera, bits of ephemera, red wine, white wine, deep elaborate fiction, sad songs and working typewriters.

I like having my own space, falling in love,  creative freedom, hours of solitude, the way two bodies fit together in an embrace, the feel of the earth beneath my bare feet, the wind tugging at my hair, a gnarled tree at my back, and first-date conversations that last for seven hours.

I like the way words taste in my mouth, the way river stones feel in my hand, the heat and aroma of coffee in a ceramic cup, the way the moon always finds my window, a thousand kisses – long and slow, hard and deep, warm and soft – sixth date conversations that end at sunrise, and crying over movies or sappy holiday commercials.

I like songs, poems, photographs that are so pure and beautiful they take your breath and make your heart ache. I like creative vulnerability, the smell of ink, the curve of a guitar, the texture of canvas, and the intimacy of sharing absolute silence.

I like the journey an intense bdsm scene can take… the climb, building slowly, surrendering to the sensations, the dance along the edge, the pain, the rip in the fabric of time I can slip through, the strength of a safe word, deepening trust, the taking flight, the shattering and the pieces coming back together, the endorphins and adrenaline, the  finding myself back on earth feeling balanced and whole again, and the spiritual connection between a top and a bottom.

I like the silence and freedom that come from surrender, being in that head space… giving up control. I like a good strong intelligence, a sense of honor and integrity, a powerful mind fuck, I like sex that leaves me sore and trembling and a lover who doesn’t just tolerate my sexuality and sluthood but encourages and celebrates them.

Most of this for me — the kink, the passion, the art, the poetry, love and human connecting — is about having enough confidence to risk showing your soul, and to see into someone else’s at the same time, without flinching at the intensity or the  vulnerability. I like that electricity, that courage and that reward.

Dry Spell


I wrap myself in rain soaked sheets,
my skin well drenched in poet’s ink.
Words drip from fingers, lashes, hair,
although the squall line’s past, I think.

A rolling thunder echoes now.
Tempted I am, to seed the sky —
(I feel it in my skin, my bones.)
to dance a prayer against the dry.

To gauge the weather, test the air —
while rushing winds in whispered voice
make promises of darker clouds —
for instruments — I have one choice:

I’ll take my pen, write rhymes in form.
hold back the sun, bring on the storm.

He Wants to Speak Poet



Sometimes a poet girl is lucky enough to find a lover who wants to share poetry with her. I’ve been lucky, more than once. This week, a lover I’ve known for a very long time chose to write me two poems.  A math-brained man, with very sexy intelligence, he took a risk, chose the Shardorma form, and jumped into the unknown, all to speak my language. The results left my heart full, and my mouth empty, with no words to describe the gift I’ve been given.

Every girl should feel so celebrated:



surprise kiss
the curve of her neck
sun kissed
inked skin
passion of word within her
lust after touching


fire inside
to touch a stranger
bold hunger
new delight
embraced burning passion
flying above the sky



Shardorma is a Spanish 6-line syllabic poem of 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllable lines respectively. – See more at: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides/poets/shadorma-a-highly-addictive-poetic-form-from-spain#sthash.bn2uFi5o.dpuf