Identity Crisis 

If you hold my hand,
can you feel the words
just beneath my skin–
Ink pulsing in my veins?

When your eyes meet mine,
do you see the lines
flying through my head–
poems too quick to write?

When you catch my breath
with kisses from your mouth,
do I taste like rhyme–
or dissonance and doubt?




The Words

The words have flown — I don’t know why.
Perhaps they’re nesting in the trees.
My pen is empty, ink is dry–
my thoughts are drifting on a breeze.

I will not worry, at my lack
of flowing verbiage for a poem.
They’ve fled before; they will be back. 
Like me, they know the road to home.



Out of Ink


Some days
even though words
are all around me
–on page after page
in book after book
on shelf after shelf
–on the back of every
shampoo bottle
in the shower
–in every envelope
of every piece
of junk mail
in the mailbox
–on every label
of every box and can
in the kitchen.
I still cannot seem
to find the right ones
for a poem.
It’s a good thing
silence and I have
become friends
when I sit still
and listen, she
reminds me — poems
take coaxing — words
can be shy — maybe



I am the Hollow


My flesh is a bowl
— words dripping
from the brim.

I am the place
where words breathe,
beat as a pumping heart.

I am a cavern —
empty, and full of
echoes and bodies,

spilling out words.
They cry in pain,
dance in celebration.

I am where words go
— to mingle, and to flirt
— to kiss, and to fuck.

I am the hollow,
and I am the spoon,
dipping out language.

I am white linen —
a bed dampened
by the sweat of ink.

I am the cup —
words — the elixir,
the heat and the cool,

from which a soul sips
reason or rhyme–
sometimes both.

I am the sanctuary
where verses pray,
incantations rising.

I watch them slip through
cracked, stained glass
— a poem taking wing.



Paper Loves Ink (a palindrome poem)


Ravens tell poets,
“Paper loves ink,”
(while ruffling feathers)
“like words whisper secrets.”
Stories unravel
thread by thread.
So spills ink, into
into ink spills.
“So, thread by thread,
unravel stories.”
Secrets whisper words,
like feathers
ruffling, while,
“Ink loves paper.”
Poets tell ravens.

Palindrome – Use the same words in 1st half of the poem as the 2nd half, but reverse the order for 2nd half, and use a word in the middle as a bridge between 2 halves.




I wrote poetry yesterday, about feeling dry, needing sunshine, kisses, and some sort of renewal before the ink might flow again.  Today, I’ve spent too much time trying — to get something interesting down on paper — to find a topic that inspired me or a writing prompt that would push me into creativity.

I found out what I already knew, deep down.

I’m empty.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’ve written today.  I (semi) regularly put my backside in the chair, and write whatever comes out, even on days that I don’t really think it will be worth the effort.  I know there’s something valuable in the discipline it takes to write, whether I feel like it or not. Today, this may be all I’ve gotten out of the exercise:  a check mark on my list for a task completed.

But I know too, that what I really need is a few hours with a warm beverage, a comfy blanket, a good book. Perhaps I’ll dig into the pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia I’ve got hidden in the freezer.

Life is good, my friends, even on days when the words seem to fight me at every scratch of the pen.  I trust the voices in my head that say a some good literature and perhaps a nap will kick-start me like a full cup of java on a cold, wintry morning.

Hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow with something to show for myself.

Meantime, shhhh… I feel a nap coming on.

running dry


sometimes the ink
 in my veins
 from my pen
 starts to dry
 cannot stretch
 across the page
 to complete this
 simple poem

some mornings
 my soul, like a
 sponge, squeezed
too long needs
a drink, needs
 the rain to soak
 deeply and revive

this morning
I am weary,
 stretched too thin
 letters fading
 on the parchment
I need to walk
 in the sunlight
 feel the wind
 tug at my hair

let me drink
 long, wet kisses
 from your lips
 until I’m filled
 and these words
 darkly rich will
 find the new ink
finish the poem
That I began.

ABOUT:  I woke up, with the image of this poem in my head, the way the ink faded with each line, from left to right. I knew it would be about feeling dry, and needing to rest, to soak in beauty and life so I could write again.

The Earth

The Earth is the strong, silent type. His broad shoulders cast a shadow wherever he goes. He looks awkward walking about, a little bit uncomfortable standing. He seems most at ease when he sits or reclines, relaxed with a smile on his face.  He’s dependable; if he says he’ll do it, you can count on him to keep his word.

He’s friendly, and gracious, giving the benefit of the doubt to all. He is a people person, though he’s not comfortable in the spotlight, he’s happier listening, watching from the sidelines, observant to a fault. He rarely gets angry, it takes years for his temper to build.  Once it erupts, he cools down quickly, and becomes his happy self again.

The Earth is ruddy and weathered — with lines on his hands and lines on his face — in that attractive way of old cowboys who spend their lives driving cattle across the plains.  His skin turns to leather in the heat of the sun and he strums his guitar by the campfire when the stars dot the cooling night sky. You’ll hear him humming softly, especially when he’s working, a tune that reminds you of childhood, the song you can’t quite place.

You may think the Earth is unaware, but he isn’t.  He’s the quiet one who feels everything, sees and hears everything.  He is a patient listener, never judging, always nodding understanding. He remembers what you’ve forgotten: when it last rained, which way to Albuquerque, and where you left your keys.


Inspired by “The Book of Qualities” by J. Ruth Gendler, this bit of creative prose reminds me that everything seems to have a spirit, a personality, even those things we call inanimate.  This is, in part, what poetry is, telling the world how patient is the earth, or how seductive is the full moon.

(image credit: