Another 4 a.m

Here we are again

Long past midnight,

Stars are finally vanishing from sight

Dark velvety sky turning  shades of orange and blue

As the sun rises

I don’t.

I have been here since 11 pm

On the side of the bed

Even as a young girl, 

There were many nights like this

I suppose it comes from living in fiction 

Spending days, weeks,months in other worlds

So when I turn off the lights, am settled in bed

It seems impossible to turn off my brain

And to drift into slumber.
Now here I am 

Watching another morning dawn

Without relief.


Ray at 14- Dorianne Laux

I’m proud to share this piece by ​North Carolina poet Dorianne Laux. It resonated with me because I’ve known loss and seeing visages of lost ones in the faces of other family members. I love it and hope you all enjoy it too. 

Bless this boy, born with the strong face

of my older brother, the one I loved most,
who jumped with me from the roof
of the playhouse, my hand in his hand.
On Friday nights we watched Twilight Zone
and he let me hold the bowl of popcorn,
a blanket draped over our shoulders,
saying, Don’t be afraid. I was never afraid
when I was with my big brother
who let me touch the baseball-size muscles
living in his arms, who carried me on his back
through the lonely neighborhood,
held tight to the fender of my bike
until I made him let go.
The year he was fourteen
he looked just like Ray, and when he died
at twenty-two on a roadside in Germany
I thought he was gone forever.
But Ray runs into the kitchen: dirty T-shirt,
torn jeans, pushes back his sleeve.
He says, Feel my muscle, and I do. 


Papa’s Son 

There in the smell of Brut shaving cream, the feel of worn plaid shirts, and the taste of vanilla sugar wafers

We find you.
We catalog you

In memories of driving you home from card games,trips to the beach. rides for food and Saturday trips to Maxway.
We tell stories of you 

In the hopes 

 that the next generation knows you, 

Loves you, cherishes you like we do.
We are a testament to you

These girls drink like you, have your work ethic, and your style.

These boys tinker like you and curse like you.
We toast what you’ve gifted us with.

Family, strength, and confidence 

Connect us

These things, small and large, are just a remnant of what you left behind. 

poetry, writing

Everyday Poetry and Poetry Everyday

Poetry, poetry, poetry where would I be without you? I don’t really expect an answer but it’s an important question. One of the reasons that I am committed to participating in National Poetry Month and to grow poetry in my community is because of how poetry has influenced my life. This is especially important considering the state of poetry in publishing. I say this after being told many times that a lot of presses aren’t publishing poetry. Even though I see plenty of calls for poetry and chapbook competitions. 

I tell people, including my students, all the time that poetry does not have to be complex or over your head. It doesn’t have to be this brain racking, ball of confusing words and phrases. It is the human experience and I write poetry to express the mayhemail in my head and world. My poetry is my statement on current events, losses, food, trips, poetry, books even shoes. I determine what my poetry says but not who it touches. 

It should evoke, resonate and resound. For me, poetry is this palpable thing. It’s presence is something that I rely on to get through the hardest moments in my lifr. It is my coping mechanism. It is therapeutic and I think that my love for it grows every week. 

One of the best articles that I’ve read about the benefits of poetry comes from Writer’s Digest. I already knew that poetry was good for me and why but the reasons listed in the article made me want to share.I’ve included the link so that you can share the joy. 



EQUALITY-Maya Angelou

​In light of this past week, I don’t think any of my words are necessary. But this poem says so much of what’s in my heart right now. 

Be safe! Be thoughtful! Be a reflection of what you want to see in the world!

You declare you see me dimly 
through a glass which will not shine, 
though I stand before you boldly, 
trim in rank and making time.

You do own to hear me faintly 
as a whisper out of range, 
while my drums beat out the message 
and the rhythms never change.

Equality, and I will be free. 
Equality, and I will be free.

You announce my ways are wanton, 
that I fly from man to man, 
but if I’m just a shadow to you, 
could you ever understand?

We have lived a painful history, 
we know the shameful past, 
but I keep on marching forward, 
and you keep on coming last.

Equality, and I will be free. 
Equality, and I will be free.

Take the blinders from your vision, 
take the padding from your ears, 
and confess you’ve heard me crying, 
and admit you’ve seen my tears.

Hear the tempo so compelling, 
hear the blood throb through my veins. 
Yes, my drums are beating nightly, 
and the rhythms never change.

Equality, and I will be free. 
Equality, and I will be free.


Flirtation-Rita Dove

​This week’s poem comes from the indomitable former poet laureate.She is not only a gifted poet but also the author of fi tion and several short story collections. Flirtation is an example of her diverse and vast range. 

After all, there’s no need 

to say anything 

at first. An orange, peeled 

and quartered, flares 

like a tulip on a wedgewood plate 

Anything can happen. 

Outside the sun 

has rolled up her rugs 

and night strewn salt 

across the sky. My heart 

is humming a tune 

I haven’t heard in years! 

Quiet’s cool flesh— 

let’s sniff and eat it. 

There are ways 

to make of the moment 

a topiary 

so the pleasure’s in 

walking through.