Photo by Elizabeth Halt
Photo by Elizabeth Halt

Entries organized under word play

in darkness & light

January 22, 2017 | in darkness & light

i’m rattling the earth
from a cage without bars.
i’m silent as fury
in wars about wars.

i spit and i sputter –
snap crackle and scorn.
i wait and i wither –
beholden and torn.

surrounded yet lonely,
i’m chilled to the bone.
my spirit is weary.
my heart-strings are worn.

there’s chaos within
and destruction without.
down float feathers from angels;
a bomb took them out.

i can’t seem to find me
in darkness and night;
until i remember
i’m darkness and light.


November 12, 2016 | 3am

it’s 3am –
the dead of night.
my fears have grown
larger than life.

the trees are black
in the blackest night.
they pierce my heart
with shards of ice.

the shadows are long;
they pull me in.
my life seems over
before it begins.

the wolves are howling,
their voices raw.
they’re on my trail,
nose to the ground.

the water is calling;
it’s running aground.
its black depths surround me;
it wants me to drown.

when daylight comes,
they’re all my friends.
the light stops the stories
that swim in my head.


September 11, 2016 | homecoming

water was my first home.
for 9 months, i floated in a warm salty sea.

      & close
            & loud.


the steady rhythm of my mother’s heartbeat soothed me.

water was my first home.
whenever i am in the lake –

where watery arms cradle me,
where waves sing to me –


i remember.

i remember the ontonagon river

April 29, 2016 | i remember the ontonagon river

i remember how the water slipped & slid & tumbled down the black rocks. when it reached the bottom of the falls, it raced along the river banks and careened around the bend as if it were late for a date with its beloved friend the sea.

the light that afternoon was like an indulgent smile bestowed on a dearly beloved child.

what i mean by that is: the light didn’t try to stop the river; the light didn’t admonish the river for hurrying; the light simply watched the river run and loved it more than anything.

atlas says stay

January 25, 2016 | this is everything

i curl up at the foot of the bed,
a stack of pillows behind me,
journal & pen in my hand.

you are lying
on the bed,
(on your bed, you’d say)
your head near me.

you wriggle
your head
my thigh.

you push your head against me,
burrowing in.

your head
at rest,
you let out a long groan-sigh.

it says, this is nice.
it says, i am content.
it says, stay.

the sound
my ears,
slips down
my spine,
and lands
in my heart.

if i could,
i would stay

i got

January 18, 2016 | i got

i got crazy beams
& criss-cross seams
& tire tracks on my soul.

i got rattled gears
& rattlesnake ears
& thunderstorms in the snow.

i got panthers with their claws unfurled
& hear the lilies speak through tears
& even after all these years
a still noon tells me no.

my own dog

August 5, 2015 | my own dog

the car stops.

two legs step down.
four legs jump down.
feet (& paws) on the ground.

the leash comes off.
nose in the air, he runs down the sandy beach,
further & further
she can fit him
on her index finger.

he looks different somehow.

when he finally returns,
when panic has made her voice
her mind
she hugs him in relief.

what were you doing?

i was pretending i was my own dog.

a singing fire

August 3, 2015 | a singing fire

beauty is the sound of a milkweed lament
throbbing around a singing fire
and life
echoing through a whirlwind of elastic fireflies.


November 26, 2014 | gratitude

for my atlas pup, my family, my friends;
for kindhearted strangers;
for snow-covered pines, wild apples, autumn leaves, wildflowers;
for a roof over my head and food on my plate;
for capsule wardrobes, plaid scarves & fedoras;
for lilacs, cranberry bogs, clover, daisies;
for lake superior;
for clotheslines and gardens;
for savannah, benjamin, lars, lily, andrew, brady & sam;
for lattes, ice cream cones & homemade pie;
for lavender + pale pink sunrises and heart-shaped rocks;
for my four niece-kitties;
for warm smiles via skype, long hugs & even longer conversations with old + new friends;
for postcards in the mail and real life shared;
for toes in the sand, snowshoe hikes & icy dips in the lake;
for bonfires on the beach and sunday afternoon games;
for the northern lights, the milky way & orion;
for owl feathers, shed antlers, baby foxes, dragonflies;
for farkle, fantasy books & candy crush;
for a blue jay named fred and a chainsaw bear named buddy;
for yin yoga, snow scoops, squats, hilly trails;
for unexpected moments of delight, wordless truths & finding yourself where you are;
for bravery, truth, trust, surrender;
for wisdom, inspiration, compassion, peace, beauty & wonder;
for love – in all its forms;
for you;
and for so much more.

i am thankful.

three wishes

September 23, 2014 | three wishes

one flower
for a playful wink.
one flower
for a loving kiss.
one flower
for a heartfelt wish –
that you feel truly deeply completely safe & adored.