Your Fire



there’s a fire in your bones
and you play with the flames
and I love just to watch
you make them dance
I have never seen you happier
than when you’re in that furnace
but when you’re struggling
and your body is tired
the sparks start to fade
and I wish I could light
the fire for you again.



Tired Wolf


(for Christal, on your birthday)

When your night is too long
— I will come to you.
When you can’t find your song
— I will sing to you.
When the strength in you tires
— I’ll be strong for you.
I’ll bring flame to the fires
–that burn low in you.
No matter how far you roam
— I will run to you.
I will carry you home
— I will find you.


A New Road (a #NaPoMo #APRPAD Rondeau poem)


We’ve not been down this road before.
So, take my hand. I’ll follow you,
through the unknown and struggles, new.
We’ll face them, hand in hand — explore.

I know that change can feel like war.
Our minds resist the growth that’s due.
We’ve not been down this road before,
So, take my hand. I’ll follow you.

We’ll fight and climb until we’re sore.
We’ll make this path our triumph too,
and find the summit, drink the view.
We’ll spread our wings. We’ll leap and soar–
though we’ve not walked this road before.


Poetic Asides #April Poem-A-Day Challenge – PAD #5:

For today’s prompt, we’ve actually got two prompts (that is, a Two-for-Tuesday prompt). Here we go:

1. Write an experienced poem
2. Write an inexperienced poem

The word “experience” can be applied to a multitude of things and situations. Soo… there’s a lot of possibilities today!


The poetic form focus for my PAD 2016 Challenge is the Rondeau — 13 lines in 3 stanzas; rhyme scheme: ABba/abAB/abbaA (uppercase letters are refrains) Usually 8 syllables per line. For info:



Listen to A New Road by Penelope Connor #np on #SoundCloud

Belief (a quatern)


I do believe in wolves, it’s true.
It may not seem that much to you:
to say the truth that I’ve come to
— is that they love like very few.

And when I say — like it is new —
that I believe a wolf is true,
I’m speaking of a person, who
has a wolf-heart, of truest hue.

She looks at me like she could chew
right through my skin. She will pursue!
Oh, I believe she’ll catch me — true.
It’s in her eyes. I’m in her view.

But she’ll defend me, jump into
whatever fight some fool calls due.
She’s fierce and strong. It’s time you knew.
— I do believe in wolves, it’s true.



16 lines broken up into 4 quatrains (or 4-line stanzas). Each line is comprised of 8 syllables. 1st line is the refrain (R). In the 2nd stanza, the refrain appears in the 2nd line; in the 3rd stanza, the 3rd line; in the 4th stanza, the 4th (and final) line. There are no rules for rhyming or iambics.



sunsetonwatermohawk (2)

The woods were calling.

I sat at at the feet of my Wolf, with tears in my eyes, at having received unexpected news of loss. My heart was spilling over with sorrow, and I could only think of running to the trees. So she took me by the hand, and wiped tears from my eyes. She drove to our favorite set of trails, and let me lead the way. We hiked along, through wet grass and slippery mud as we made our way deeper into the wooded area and turned the corner to a favorite path — one that’s been under water  for months.

Accompanied by the frenzied calls of geese and ducks from the nearby marsh, we stepped from the planked walkway into ankle deep water feeling the mud suck and grasp at our boots. Sticking to the center of the path, or the edges, depending on the depth, she splashed along beside me, softly speaking words of love and encouragement, with a smile in her voice.

We waded.

And we talked, about the sorrow of losing a man who has loved me since the day I was born — he was one of the few people in this life I can say that about — and the sudden absence of his presence in this world was a reality I was struggling to absorb. But the woods and the water were soothing. Placing my hands against tree trunks was comforting, and the sound of her voice made it easier to breathe.

The sky overhead was dark, overcast by clouds that promised rain, but held off for reasons unknown. The sun would set in an hour, and the sounds of ducks and geese in preparation for this nightly event filled my ears. Finally, I found the place I’d been longing for since that morning — a stone bench surrounded by trees, deep enough in the woods that I knew I’d see wildlife, if only we were still for a little while.

I sat, and she stood — leaning against a nearby trunk, listening while I shared with her what was on my heart. As I wound down, and fell into thought, they came. First, it was two young deer, who stopped in the nearby copse of trees and stared at me, ears twitching, and bodies perfectly still. The near one and I gazed into each other’s eyes for several long moments, in silent conversation. Then the birds began to call from the tops of the trees, a woodpecker worked steadily in the distance, and briefly, a very large and beautiful brown owl graced us with a silent, overhead flight.

I breathed in these gifts of presence, and pointed out each of them to her, as she watched me. At one point she asked me to do her a favor, and it was really a gift she was giving to me. At her request, I chose a song (the one that had been in my heart all morning, since I’d heard the news) and queued it on my phone. She stepped away, wet, rippling, water sounds following her, as she retreated to some not-too-distant place behind my back, and left me alone in my sanctuary.

I pressed my boots into the sludge and water at my feet, imagining the mud between my toes as I grounded myself. I took a deep breath, before slipping my ear buds into my ears, and starting the song. I sobbed, breathed deeply, and let the words wash over me… just as the sun broke through the clouds over my left shoulder, and cast its reflection into the water at my feet like a blanket.

I cried until I  felt I could breathe again – thankful for this quiet, sacred space, and for a Wolf who would watch over me as I got lost in it. The song was set to repeat, and when it began again, I took another, deeper breath, and sang it aloud — to the trees, to the distant deer and the birds overhead, to the wet earth, the water and the sunlight pooling at my feet. I sang aloud, not caring who might hear, or how it might sound. It was my declaration and my prayer. The well of emotion in me surged, and I rode the wave, singing triumphantly,  in gratitude.

As the last notes faded, the beautiful sun pulled her blanket of cloud cover back over her shoulders and ducked toward the horizon. I watched for a moment, then stood slowly to my feet. I put away my phone, and gathered myself, turning to find my Wolf sitting not ten steps away, smiling softly at me. She took me by the hand and together we walked through the water, through the trees, and the fading sunlight — finding our way back to dry land.





My mess is yours, your doubts are mine.
The way you hold my truth, I trust —
because you hand me yours, and just
pour out your fears like sweet, red wine.

I’m like a child — resist and whine.
My cares can leave me feeling trussed.
My mess is yours, your doubts are mine.
The way you hold my truth, I trust.

We let our weakness intertwine,
splash in the mud without disgust,
refuse to feed our wanderlust.
We know our love is genuine.
My mess is yours, your doubts are mine.


Rondel – a French form, similar to the rondeau and the triolet, consisting of 13 eight-syllable lines in three stanzas. Rhyme scheme = ABba/abAB/abbaA





There’s a wolf at my back —
bristling fur, thick and black, and she
lends her power to me.
At my side, you will see a bear —
shoulders strong — fierce, dark stare.
Nearby too, see her there — she is
lioness, courageous —
my friend. She loves my mess as though
it was her own, I know.
We stand. We fight. We grow — as one.
We’ll climb until we’re done,
and stand there in the sun. We’ll dance,
unbowed by circumstance.
No foe with sword or lance – could stop
our progress to the top.
Our gaze need never drop — our pride,
found only in our stride.
In love we are allied, and strong.
To us we each belong —
our truth is now the song of pack.



luc bat – (vietnamese “six-eight”) Alternating lines of 6 and 8 syllables. The rhyme scheme renews at the end of every 8-syllable line and rhymes on the 6th syllable of both lines. No set length or subject matter.








I trust you
you make my truth safe
share your fears
hold me close
you show me my mess is yours
and your strength is mine


Shardorma is a Spanish 6-line syllabic poem of 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllable lines respectively. – See more at:





A hunger that claws
lives in the air between us.
No matter the distance
I will always need your flesh,
and your hunger taking mine.

We are tied by red rope
a twist of muscle and blood.
Though you leave me here,
I can always feel the tug
of your appetite for me.

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. Click here for a refresher on the tanka.