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2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 21

For today’s prompt, write an under the microscope poem. By that, the poem could be about something actually under the microscope–like single-cell organisms or leaves–or it could be more like “being under the microscope” in other people’s eyes.

Here’s my attempt:

“Blood Work”

Every vein, every blood vessel,
every electron orbiting its
nucleus–I was never the white blood
cell you expected. When all the data
flooded back from the laboratory,
what was I but an injured molecule
passing into your heart and out again.


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412 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 21

  1. AC Leming


    Conceived in a petri-dish,
    a bit of this chromosome, a dash of that.
    I’m neither homo nor sapien.
    I’m more than human, and less.

    Spliced together
    while some nameless scientist played God.
    I survive space without the mutations
    which would cost the company
    in lawsuit settlements.

  2. Christod

    Baby Particles

    I imagine Fantasia playing out
    in your womb, with a magical
    swoosh and spark that brings
    to life stars, baby parts,
    and a fantastical new feat.

    You just want a heartbeat.

  3. jendorf13

    The Stranger

    Steps into the unfamiliar
    Eyes focus then avert
    Some focus persists
    Becomes stronger
    Discomfort may reveal
    Prejudice, fear, distrust
    A smile brings
    An adjustment to the lens

    By Joanne Endorf

  4. po

    Strange by True

    Go to the Bloomington Biology
    Lab at Indiana University
    and under their electron micro-
    scopes you can watch the
    process of photosynthesis
    as it happens.
    Spent hours in the lab
    looking at slices of nature
    under this microscope
    of joy. I was a strange kid.

  5. seingraham

    A Life Unexamined

    fragments of my life
    are splayed
    on so many sites now
    i don’t want to turn
    the infernal
    machine on

    afraid that parts of myself
    may spill off the screen
    slide like swamp goop
    slimy and fetid

    details somewhere
    between veracity
    and total prevarication
    snipped free of whole cloth

    to take just a scraping
    a mitochondrial sized bit
    smoosh it between two tiny
    panes of glass

    and affix
    beneath the lens
    of my microscope
    hold fast my breath
    fussing with the focus
    bringing what’s blurred

    like the history of who
    i believed i was
    trying to reconcile
    what i see with who
    i think i am

    wondering all the while
    what social media
    has to do with any of it

  6. Arrvada

    You Ever
    You ever have that feeling
    That every move you make
    Every word you speak
    Is scrutinized and judge
    Analyzed and dissected
    Like you’re some alien specimen
    For the world to pry apart?
    Every day I walk
    With the feeling if I look back
    I will see someone there
    Recording me
    Questioning me
    Judging me
    I live a life under a microscope
    And organism on a slide
    Is it all in my mind?
    Or is someone watching me?
    Does God record every little thing?
    Every thought?
    If He does
    That really scares me

  7. Yolee

    He is Gone

    Slowly it comes,
    the news,
    and you’re taken aback.

    Emotions pile in
    under the indigo
    scope of the sky.

    Actuality is the meat
    of a peach that will not
    go down sweet.

  8. RobHalpin


    “I always feel like, somebody’s watching me (and I have no privacy)” –from Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me”

    Traffic light
    and street corner cameras,
    black boxes
    in your car…
    how long until we all have
    THE mirror at home?

  9. Paoos69

    My Biological Love

    The lab was mesmerizing
    Cryptic, scented, not really appetizing
    The human skeleton hanging in one corner
    Its limbs dangling, its jaws in a wide grin

    Microscopes on every table
    To view dissections and label
    Protozoas and cell membranes
    Nuclei and endoplasms sane

    Mitochondria the cell’s power house
    Endoplasmic reticulum, the protein carrier mouse
    The ever protecting nuclear membrane
    The amoeba and pseudopods mundane

    Roots monocotyledonous
    Shoots dicotyledonous
    Pretty patterns, magical shapes
    Some straight, some in curious drapes

    The biology lab was one creative venture
    With placentas, ovaries and cockroach dentures
    Thin, thin slices seen under the microscope
    Nerve rings of earthworm
    And sunflower florets, yellow and firm

    Although my love for botany and zoology
    Didn’t really turn me into medical clergy
    I like to reminisce
    And think back nostalgically
    To those days of magical discovery

  10. Michelle Hed

    Derogatory Purgatory

    Sometimes the smallest comments
    can make one
    place themselves under the microscope
    to see if there is something
    below the surface
    that makes them so different –
    that they are placed at the forefront,
    catching all the hurtful, mean words
    like bullets, scattered around the room
    and feeling as if they are all alone.

  11. HannaAnna

    Lab Cat

    Rescued from a certain death
    brought here when I was young
    Painted everyday with beauty
    and medication
    Forced, injected, studied,
    I’m put under the glass
    some expirament
    The only thing they don’t consider in their tests
    is the pain I suffer
    the trauma
    so they can safely sell a product

  12. tunesmiff


    She keeps an eye on everything I do;
    I think she thinks I’ve found somebody new.
    Every little thing is another little clue,
    Yeah, she keeps an eye on everything I do.

    Nights when I’ve been working late,
    Before I make it through the gate,
    It’s like she can barely wait,
    To ask if I’ve been on a date.

    And if I run to the hardware store,
    She wants to know what I went for,
    She thinks if after something more,
    Than what I need for some durn chore.

    She keeps an eye on everything I do;
    I think she thinks I’ve found somebody new.
    Every little thing is another little clue,
    She keeps an eye on everything I do.

    By now you’d think she’d know me,
    That she’d trust me further than she could throw me,
    If she’s got proof I wish she would show me…
    Yeah, by now you’d think the girl would know me.

    She comes and goes as she sees fit,
    And me? I’m quite alright with it,
    When she calls, I come lickety-split,
    Don’t know why she thinks I can’t commit…

    She keeps an eye on everything I do;
    I think she thinks I’ve found somebody new.
    Every little thing is another little clue,
    She keeps an eye on everything I do.

    I can’t check my e-mail,
    I can’t take a call;
    She’s got to know the details,
    She’s got to know it all,…

    She keeps an eye on everything I do;
    I think she thinks I’ve found somebody new.
    Every little thing is another little clue,
    She keeps an eye on everything I do.

    Why it’s so, I wish I only knew…
    She keeps an eye on everything I do.

  13. ellanytdavve


    Lilah, my lovey
    why have you left me
    to live with that loser, Larry?

    I feel like microscopic vermin
    under your giant feet.
    My rights are wronged
    my ire, rudely risen
    to rile my usually
    rosey heart.

    Oh, Lilah,please don’t go.
    I’ll give you the golden goose,
    the gamma yamma of
    the gonged universe if you’ll
    get on with me , Lilah my love.

    I see you’re not convinced.
    That look of wilting wrath is
    my warning of impending war.
    I’ll go, now. Nothing , no nothing
    could make me your nemesis for life.
    I’m gone, we’re nil,
    don’t call.

  14. Arike

    Idle Speculation

    How many atoms do your feathers have?
    Do electrons stream through your veins?
    Do you have quantum neurons in your brain?
    Zero and one efficiently stored
    What sort of body do angels have?
    Dancing on the head of a pin
    What music would be played?
    When a high screech sounds like whalesong
    What would they want to hear?

  15. Caren


    How many parts of me have been studied,
    X-rayed, put under a microscope? Brain,
    Spinal fluid, blood, urine, bones, lungs, skin,
    Tendons, cartilage, eyes, ears, teeth, hormones
    Top to bottom, hands and feet, front to back
    Even my thoughts and feelings analyzed
    Countless hours waiting, testing, waiting
    Again, for results that may or may not
    Result in answers. We’re ruling it out,
    They say, but I say, they don’t have a clue.

    Caren E. Salas

  16. cam45237

    Under the microscope

    Run your precision ground glass eye over me
    Fingers to toes, knees to shoulders, neck to nose.
    Find and catalog my imperfections
    From the over-large freckle near my cheek,
    To the loose hair clinging to my shoulder.
    Linger on the dry skin on my heels and elbows
    And the scar at my throat.

    Your fabled attention to detail,
    Your vaunted ability to see right through me,
    The mythic myopia of your singularly scientific sight
    May leave you connecting unconnected dots
    With a permanent black marker
    Unable to ever understand
    The sum of my parts.

  17. mschied

    Being Watched

    He sits there

    A silent spector

    Clacking doom in swift strokes

    Persperiation trickles in mocking tendrils
    down your face
    as clammy hands clench involuntarily

    You try to speak, but your breath hitches
    choked on you fear and paranoia

    Each tick of the clock sounds a death knell
    the final dissolution of hopes, aspirations, future

    In the back, your fate snaps shut with a click

  18. Mary Mansfield

    Blood Diamond

    Her carefully measured words
    Are always monitored
    For any hint of rebellion,
    Her dependence on him
    Crucial to his master plans.
    The ring on her left hand
    A mark of his ownership;
    Her life,
    Her body,
    Her blood,
    All his for the taking,
    Sacrificed on his altar of cruelty.
    A rumpled bed,
    A sullen glance,
    A dinner served five minutes late,
    All reasons show why
    A woman needs to kept in line
    By whatever means necessary.
    Tonight, however,
    She will reap
    Her carefully measured revenge,
    And the blood sacrificed
    Won’t be hers.

  19. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Reading Stone

    If you google “microscope” you’ll learn
    that the first one, called a reading stone,
    was invented by someone whose name
    we don’t know about one thousand AD
    and intended to magnify written words
    for those whose eyesight was impaired
    enough to need such a marvelous stone.

    As we all know, technology constantly
    changes, exponentially growing better.
    By the time Mark Twain came along
    he could write a character into a story
    who falls asleep after looking through
    a microscope with his child and seeing
    fascinating creatures in a water drop.

    In his dream this person, Henry, finds
    himself aboard a ship plying darkness
    where sea monsters threaten to swamp
    them, so they sail from the Great Dark
    to escape but end up beaching the ship
    in the searing heat of white light intense
    enough to blind and dehydrate them.

    Twain never finished this story, but
    after his death Bernard De Voto did
    it for him; thus I was able to read it
    in graduate school. It’s fitting, I think
    that something invented a millennium
    ago as a reading stone would wind up
    a microscope to read about in a story.

  20. JRSimmang

    A View from Heaven, or Why I am so Small

    I never stopped to ask him why.
    This little child, rocking on his heels,
    tormenting the glasses in the corner,
    throwing insults intended to mar and maim,
    still rocks in my dreams.
    He is one of a thousand.
    He is one of a kind.
    And yet, here he is, aggressive and loud,
    striking the ground with a closed fist.
    He has been moved, three
    five times since the bell first rang.
    He sits here with me now.
    We sit for a time,
    silence being the conversation.
    Then, without warning, his mouth starts to chew his words,
    slow distaste spreading quickly.
    His mother, dependent on a new high,
    refuses to answer the pleas buzzing through her high static.
    His father, behind the irons shackled around his wrists,
    cannot be troubled for fear of non-rehabilitation.
    He had dreams, he tells me.
    He had dreams of running and playing and singing.
    He had dreams of food and clean showers to wash away this
    I begin to notice the small bruises on his arms,
    the small stains on his shirt,
    the small spots of tarnished childhood
    smeared across his faded jeans.
    His shoes have no soles.
    His nails are used to hard work.
    The cuts on his knuckles and knees
    scream to me.
    Then, without warning, he stops.
    His mouth, with its jagged scar, stops moving.
    He stands, watches me from behind my glasses,
    and leaves.

  21. Pat Carroll Marcantel

    Close Inspection: Biology of Emotion 101

    Today, class, we shall inspect emotion’s

    effect upon our bodies.Did you know great

    emotion, sometimes referred to as “trauma,”

    is stored in your muscles? Did you know

    that pressing and probing in and around those

    muscles can produce a great production of tears–

    you know, those wet things that tend to run

    down your face, funnel down your neck and

    beyond? And then there’s the heart, the most

    important muscle of all. How does it take

    emotional trauma? The heart experiences

    an actual hurting and heart-break, both

    sensations that you will feel viscerally, oh

    definitely viscerally, perhaps even like a blow

    to the solarplexis, or a crack in your sternum

    between your breasts. The crack will be audible

    to you alone.You will feel it with such intensity

    that you are sure any other person in the room

    hears it too. But no, it’s only audible to you. Wait for it.

    It will come. You will not die but you will have a glimpse

    into what death feels like. Learn the following words and

    practice them now: “Live, Laugh, Love”– and exercise.

    Yes, prepare your muscles for great emotion. Now we

    will go into the lab and use the microscopes.

  22. omavi

    Unwanted Scrutiny

    I wanted to be perfect nor loved
    Or even liked
    Never wanted the spotlight or
    Limelight or recognition
    Overstepping that I am a man
    And should be respected
    Not as a right but a gift
    From you to me
    But everything else not wanted
    Or needed, nor requested or
    Asked to be some shining knight
    Or a role model
    Or hero
    Swooping in to make everything
    Proper and right
    I just want to be a man
    Now that is my

  23. Jamal Abboud

    Settle In My Heart

    Settle in my heart, swoon with my soul
    In a human delight, human after all,
    Where beauty blooms without bounds,
    Where flowers dance with no sounds,
    In a living soft drum, red, red-red
    Beats resonate a rhythm never been heard,
    With a flow of passion migrates red, red-red;
    O, this floods of regular love rhythm.
    It counts my sighs in cadence with them,
    When you packed memories, body and will,
    And departed countries late that evening,
    And returned with angels in a dew cell,
    On a harvest day, early one dear morning
    With songs of birds on kindled wings
    Invisible heavenly bliss, joyfully swings
    In meadows cradle that seems still;
    A bliss has chosen my heart to dwell,
    A human heart, a will with machine skill,
    That lives, loves and imitates a drowned bell.

  24. drwasy

    A Minister’s Wife

    Sundays when I sit
    in the front pew
    and listen to the words
    a path to God
    your hundred eyes
    bore into my back
    steel pinions
    a butterfly to velvet.

    Peace, LindaS-W

  25. Jaywig

    Day 21 – under the microscope

    Macro photography: God
    in the details

    What a discovery!
    An ant on a flower –
    a moth in a ball gown
    of crocheted lace –
    a harlequin bug
    magnified to beauty –
    a nail in an elm’s trunk –
    cobwebs – and new
    versions of old junk
    where before
    the flowers, the succulent,
    trees and bark, the pile
    of stuff, appeared
    as items, now
    looked at as access
    to a new universe.
    were filtered through
    the lens of largesse

  26. zevd2001


    I still don’t get it
    when people take folks like me
    off of the place I have been living
    for an eternity, carefully, to keep the skin
    intact, and put in some petri dish. Watching
    me. How embarrassing.

    They say it’s because
    There is something wrong about
    eating us. The planet earth is
    good enough for humankind. A tomato
    is fine with us . . . and

    if we end up among the greens, why
    should it bother anybody. Birds get to the vines, too

    it’s fact of life with us. Who will live and who will,
    what can I say. You have to give credit
    to some people, who care enough to
    give us a place underneath the eye
    of a microscope, a place to grow. I have known

    some of us get to laboratories
    where we they put us in drawers
    in file cabinets. It cool there . . . they also say

    the only reason people bring us there is to
    neuter us and send us back
    so we won’t reproduce. What a bummer,
    I’d rather be birdfood. That way

    we’d be part of the Great Chain of Being instead
    of Dustbin dwellers, with the flies and the ants
    crawling all over us. It’s the a matter of luck

    some of us are stars
    in awesome doctoral theses, a picture
    with the details of our family life . . .

    no such luck. This time
    it’s a birthday present, brand new,
    gotta try it out, just like
    in class at school. He found us in the vegetable bin,
    did everything he was supposed to do. Even
    a fresh petri dish with the right solution. Paradise,

    then wouldn’t ya’ know, his big sister comes by
    says, “Yuk, what’s that. Throw it away
    before it multiplies.” He’s thinking, maybe
    after he’s figured who we are he’ll do the right thing,
    take us where we can live again
    to the mulch pile.

    Zev Davis

  27. ina

    Very hard one for me to write. His death still hurts, nearly 30 years later.

    While I watched you dying

    The doctors wouldn’t touch you,
    so we took turns, watching
    your dying. You died before anyone
    knew what had invaded every
    cell, made you weak to all invaders.
    And yet, without knowing, I
    wished I could into your IV, plucked each
    knot of virus from each dying cell,
    conflagrated myself inside
    the sarcoma, just to let you
    breathe a little longer.

    1. ina

      So hard, apparently, that I couldn’t write it correctly. Here’s the corrected version with all the words intact.

      While I watched you dying

      The doctors wouldn’t touch you,
      so we took turns, watching
      your dying. You died before anyone
      knew what had invaded every
      cell, made you weak to all invaders.
      And yet, without knowing, I
      wished I could drain into your IV, pluck each
      knot of virus from each dying cell,
      conflagrate myself inside
      the sarcoma, just to let you
      breathe a little longer.

  28. Jane Beal - sanctuarypoet.net

    Faith is a fine invention
 / When Gentlemen can see—

    But Microscopes are prudent
 / In an Emergency.
    ~ Emily Dickinson


    Three baby birds in their nest
    suspended between rope and roof awning,
    yellow beaks open as they wait
    for their mother to return
    with food—

    I see you with my eyes
    through my kitchen window
    when I am standing at the sink,
    and with the microscope of my heart,
    I see your hungry longing.

    Jane Beal

  29. Khara H.


    You learn your bones are foreign to you now,
    that your marrow and your cells rebel like slaves
    in sugar cane fields knowing that the punishment
    for attacking the whites was death. Now

    the punishment in your bones is eating you
    like you, swallowing whole spoonfuls of rice
    dripping honey and sugar. I sit before you
    longing to cultivate the sugar cane inside you,

    longing to carry it to the sugar house,
    process the cane into crystal, for you,
    carried to ships, to ships that carry
    your enemy farther, farther away from your bones.

  30. Dan Collins

    Red Camellia

    Every spring there are two stories
    she tells me over an unadorned
    crystal punch bowl that sits
    in the middle of the table
    with four or five fresh Camellia
    blossoms floating on the surface.

    The first is about George,
    the most chivalrous
    man who ever lived. He would
    never let a lady, or even a girl
    like her leave his house in spring,
    without a Camellia
    he’d plucked from the bush himself.

    The other is about her.
    It always follows shortly.
    She was so shy in her twenties
    that she wouldn’t do a thing
    to attract attention;
    how badly she had wanted
    to snip a flower
    from the Camellia outside,
    to put it in his hands
    before they closed the casket.

  31. Rosangela

    New Lenses

    I’ll show you something
    Look closely
    It’s still too far
    Come closer
    More yet!
    Can you see now?
    Is it blurry?
    Don’t squint,
    just wide open your eyes.
    Observe the details,
    not only the big picture.
    What “What details?”?
    Don’t ask me that! You
    must see it now!
    Huh? Is all distorted?
    It cannot be!
    This is not what I was showing you!
    You must be using the wrong lenses!
    Change them!
    Now, can you see all the little things
    that make the whole?
    Isn’t that wonderful?
    You just had to change the lenses
    to see a totally different world!

  32. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    “I’m watching you”

    Beware of shish kebab vendors.
    They will rob you blind in New York!
    Tho’ the meat may be juicy and tender…
    Beware of shish kebab vendors.
    Before any money you surrender,
    put in some old-fashioned detective work.
    Beware of shish kebab vendors.
    They will rob you blind in New York!

    About an awful experience I had tonight in the city. I heard about it in the news but never thought it would actually happen to me. I had a hideous day all around but this just put me over the edge.

  33. Angie K

    .Inside the Cell

    Peering through the microscope, the diminutive cell seems
    more like a larger dwelling place, beyond my wildest dreams.
    The ruler is the nucleus, the center of it all,
    while the outer membrane makes a fence, forming quite a ball.
    What needs to be held in? Cytoplasm, so you see,
    while e. reticulum helps much to travel free.
    Ribosomes hold on then, just to make the ER rough,
    And we’re not quite sure how they can ever tell they’ve done enough.
    When things pass through the membrane, a new vacuole may form,
    And the Golgi Apparatus helps to ship it through the storm.
    How does the cell get energy to do these many things?
    Mitochondria, you see, can make the cell seem to have wings.
    Some cells may move, propelled by tiny cilia,
    Twirling little hairs that never seem to get their fillia.

    Who knew that just one cell had all these organelles,
    seeming not so simple now, like many clanging bells?
    But really, each of us is made of molecules and such,
    working hand-in-hand in ways that we can barely touch.
    The microscope can help me see that I am small indeed,
    like an organelle itself, helping to reach a world in need.
    God made cells, and He made me, though I can’t understand
    The workings at the nucleus of His amazing hand.

  34. vincegotera

    Mashed up your microscope prompt, Robert, with Maureen’s hay(na)ku at NaPoWriMo and Andrea’s palindrome at Circle the Blog PLUS Maureen’s homophonic translation (or translitic) from Day 12, and got this.

    Under the Microscope

        auto-translitic palindrome
        opening with a hay(na)ku

    Paramecium. Spirochetes.
    Algae. Planarian eyespots.

    Oh, gee. Plan your own ice pets.
    Pair of mice, yum. Spiral cats.
    I’m over.

    By Vince Gotera

  35. LCaramanna


    All germs on kindergarten fingers love
    art projects, tickled pink to hop on and off
    the drawing paper, hitch a ride as crayons,
    glue sticks, and glitter pass between classmates.
    More germs arrive on the ah choo of a sneeze spewed
    across the artwork, happy to enhance a masterpiece.
    All germs on kindergarten fingers mix and mingle
    with artists and friends – inevitable, invisible –
    until under the microscope,
    their identity reveals the need for soap suds.

  36. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Under the microscope,
    Is hardly a means to cope!
    Being observed with all you do,
    Even if you don’t have a clue,
    Is that for me . . .?


    What if I appeared to be a dope?
    How would I ever maintain hope!
    You’d see all that I use,
    To entertain my muse,
    You’d even know how much I love . . .


    No, I don’t want you to see,
    All the different aspects of me,
    I wing it, don’t plan it,
    As I fly off as Janet Planet,
    Singing on a tease of a breeze . . .

    “I’m free!” :)

  37. Walt Wojtanik


    Little one, your hands are so small,
    gripping my finger so tightly.
    This new life you’ve assumed offers you all
    of the chances to shine your light brightly.
    We have been blessed to be given this chance
    to guide and to nurture your living,
    the music of you makes us get up and dance
    with all of the love you are giving.

    Little one, you are growing so fast
    and we watch every step of the way.
    Memories of all the years that have passed
    are cherished by us every day.
    With each step you’ve taken, with you we have walked,
    and with every word you have said,
    teaching the ways of the world through our talks
    have taught us so much instead.

    Little one, you no longer are,
    your grace and your beauty defined,
    although you remain our shining star
    you look forward and never behind.
    Under a watchful eye you have flourished,
    under our roof you have grown,
    here in our hearts and hearth you were nourished;
    soon have a family of your own.

    Little one, you’ll soon be a bride,
    and you and your young man will find,
    that your own little one will fill you with pride
    and comfort your uncertain minds.
    And when we will grow old, it’s your eyes that will see
    and we will be happy and proud
    that our little one has grown up to be
    all that her loving heart has allowed.

  38. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Under the microscope since a child,
    No one was allowed to go wild,

    A strict structured form,
    Became an early boxed in form,

    Manners were clear and tight,
    Careful movements day and night,

    Watched over with intensity,
    Reinforced by the whole city,

    All eyes were on alert,
    For any speck of dirt,

    Landing on unsuspecting clothes,
    Forget the bloody nose!

    Speech could only utter,
    Words as soft as butter,

    All matter of food or drink,
    If unacceptable would raise a stink.

    Perfection was the rule,
    In or out of school,

    Family took the out front lead,
    To be living examples, indeed!

    Even the marriages,
    Style of carriages,

    Always with the right name,
    Individual searches for fame!

    All was scrutinized,
    Many dreams not realized,

    Everyone did as they were taught,
    If not, all feared they’d get caught!

    Certain careers were accepted as right,
    Anything else would create a fight!

    Subtle as it would be,
    One could eventually be set free!

    Finally to break out,
    If they were willing to go without,

    Any further support or love,
    Showing what they were really made of,

    In that case, family members could go their own way,
    Find their voice, have their say . . .
    Like the poet . . .

    Who writes this today!

  39. Connie Peters

    Under the Microscope

    The jeweler showed us
    (his prospective customers)
    how the cut of the diamond
    effected the price.

    The finer the cut,
    the clearer the diamond,
    and the more expensive.
    A tiny diamond could be
    far more costly
    than a big flashy one.

    For years, I questioned myself,
    about my impulsive decision
    when I pointed to the smallest
    well-cut one as the one I wanted,
    and my fiancé, eager to please,
    didn’t question me.

    Looking back, I think
    I subconsciously chose
    to not value appearance so much,
    but something inward,
    pure, valuable, unpretentious
    like I wanted our relationship,
    a true gem, love being the fine cut.

  40. Bruce Niedt

    NaPoWriMo’s prompt of the day is to write a hay(na)ku. I couldn’t seem to get the microscope, literal or metaphorical, out of my head.

    focuses lenses,
    discovers invisible parties

    microscope: Hubble
    for tiny galaxies

    a bond
    between two molecules

    a virus
    media: a microscope

    words make
    a poem microscopic

  41. Kendall A. Bell

    What is left behind

    You remove the adjectives first,
    tell me how useless it is to have
    them in a poem, extract the gerunds
    and whittle them down to two, maybe
    three. Next, you become the cliche
    police and tell me my metaphors are
    droll and overused. You slice my
    stanzas with your sharp, red lines
    and what is left is a hollowed out
    fruit, a petri dish with a crumb.

  42. alotus_poetry

    Fractures (A Haibun)

    I have known that the taste of you would be the sweetest thing I would ever hold in my heart. It is as simple as inhaling the ripe scent of persimmons or mandarins in the wind. But to savor it, like ambrosia from the pores of your skin is like piecing every molecule of your being into mine the way the morning mist generously scatters dewdrops on a spider’s web.

    My breath becomes ragged instinctively, wedged between our shadows whenever your touch traces another rippling shiver down my arms. How do you know me well enough to extract that fragile molecule of love from underneath all the years of doubt and mistrust?

    once more
    our souls fracture
    the still dark


  43. ceeess

    YAY caught up at last!

    A Clockwork Red/Read

    Regular intervals, there’s the night of fasting
    followed by early morning hospital run
    a few blocks or many miles, depending.

    The poke and prod of arms for arteries
    the ones that used to pop to attention
    now always in hiding. Even veins
    reluctant to offer themselves as
    sacrifice to intrusive needles.
    Later there will be bruises.

    Five vials of red to fill, blood pumping
    out of safe haven into clear sterile tubes,
    wrapped round with administrative detail:
    patient name, health card number, type
    of results required.

    Then the countdown to appointment where
    doctor tells you the results of specimens
    spun and separated, examined, notations made
    creatinine count, A1C levels, deficiencies
    noted and recorded.

    Every six months like clockwork for the last three
    years, five months and uncounted days, hours, minutes.
    Worry all the way to two o’clock, when the doc
    says: Kidney function stable. You’re looking
    good on paper, even if your worried
    brain thinks otherwise.

    Carol A. Stephen
    April 21, 2012

  44. claudsy

    Can’t stay. Have an appointment. Just dropping off one poem for now. Maybe more later. Enjoy!

    What Price Celebrity

    What price paid for fame
    That we seek this scrutiny?
    What price extracted in a game
    Of hide and seek and infamy?

    What price do innocents pay
    For camera shots at school,
    Where others are brought to bay
    And thrill-makers stand to drool?

    What price for bodies abused
    For weight, highs, lows, or sleep?
    What price to be so pursued,
    In the name of love, admiration deep?

    What price paid for a moment’s peace
    Within the fish bowl of personal making?

  45. Michele Brenton

    None so blind.

    There is only one way to deal with fear
    head on – facing forward –
    look it in the eyes and stare it down.

    I know you were right.
    That is how you dealt with
    your final enemy
    and when it would not be defeated
    you took it down with you
    dignified to the last breath.

    I’d rather not know. Ignorance is bliss.

    And that has definite attractions.
    Mother’s way – under the bedclothes,
    reading something gripping – watching tv –
    laughing loudly.

    I see no ships, the lens is to my blind eye.
    But the tide is coming in.

  46. Miss R.


    Perspiration pools in the creases of my palms,
    And I can feel my face warming to a shade of
    Self-conscious crimson. I duck my head, hoping
    That my tremulous legs don’t give me away.
    My eyes wander desperately, avoiding contact
    With yours, and when I finally manage to look,
    I realize you never saw me in the first place.

  47. De Jackson

    Freshman Biology

    I remember feeling sorry
    for the slimy little suckers
    as we sliced them open,
    identifying organs: lungs,
    stomach, liver,
    scraping cell samples
    from each onto glass
    taking notes,
    Mr. G jabbering on
    kingdom, phylum,
    class, order, family, genus,

    The way your hair
    curled just right over
    your collar as your
    eyes conducted
    of their own.

    moving up to
    advanced anatomy.

    with scalpel in hand
    wanting only
    to flay my own heart.

  48. hurtin-heart

    If u put me under a microscope

    If u put me under a microcsope
    this is what you’d see.
    Ice cold blood runnin’ through my veins and a heart full of pain.
    You’d see in me a beautiful rose that once was but little by little each petal falling down leaving me empty.
    And thorns sticking through me leaving me to bleed freely.
    You’d see me on an emotional roller coaster trying my best to go another round.
    So if you put me under a microscope it might surprise you of the many things that could be found.
    Samantha Tinney

  49. PSC in CT

    Yin and Yang

    On the surface
    one’s life might seem
    perfect, but
    upon closer examination
    flaws will surface,
    and while
    some defects are fatal,
    others are only
    and yet we elect
    to ferret them out
    rather than
    let sleeping dogs lie
    why? Note to self:
    When yang reigns
    do not opt
    to probe for yin, pursuing
    another shoe to drop.
    When yang rules,

  50. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Taking the Obs

    Around his neck, under his pyjama top,
    a white plastic rectangle hangs from tapes.
    It has a dial with lights and symbols
    which the nurses can decode. ‘We think
    it might be your ticker causing the falls.’

    They take his blood sugar, more often
    I suspect, than the twice a day
    I’ve been doing at home. And they take
    blood pressure, temperature, pulse, all that.
    They check his waterworks, intake and output,
    and whether his bowels have opened today.

    I am a visitor now. I must relinquish him
    into other care than mine. I am training myself
    not to ask what his blood sugar is this time,
    nor at what hour they gave his insulin dose.
    ‘He’s in good hands,’ the nurses reassure.
    ‘You’ve done a wonderful job,’ says the doctor.
    ‘It’s enough! Time to let us look after him now.’

    Only last week, when I started a cold,
    he was the one looking after me,
    wrapping his warm arms around me,
    stroking my hair, soothing me off to sleep.
    I examine, now, as he lies in his hospital bed,
    the smile in his eyes as we share a joke,
    the timbre of his voice as he asks the nurses,
    ‘Where did you grow up? Where did you train?’

    I observe the way his hair curls over his ear.
    I watch his hand take hold of mine. I perceive
    the gentleness of his touch, the warmth
    of his loving clasp. I monitor not the beat
    but the inclination of his heart, its directions;
    I try to gauge his happiness levels, his peace.
    This has been my chief occupation for years.
    I can’t stop noticing and caring, just because
    he’s now in a hospital bed, clinically observed.

        1. Hannah

          OH MY! Rosemary, this is SO moving. Your final paragraph but goosebumps and tears-welling! I especially LOVE this: “I monitor not the beat
          but the inclination of his heart,” truly, a well written piece, and so authentic!

    1. lionmother

      Rosemary, I went through a similar experience yesterday when my husband was in the hospital. After many times of having to “relinquish him” to the care of doctors and nurses I now accept I will feel a sudden emptiness and refrain from suggesting too much to the people who care for him at these times. Anyway, he doesn’t like my telling anything to them, because he always thinks I get things wrong. The truth is there were many times when he doesn’t remember all of his illness and his care. So I try to fill in to the doctors if they are new.:) Hope your special someone is better now.

  51. wolfbolz

    How Large the Small

    How large the small in our world,
    those monsters living in the dust,
    the water and the juices of those things,
    which find us tasty in the night.
    They lurk within the shells
    of buzzing bombers seeking blood
    like time-bombs waiting to explode.

    How large the small that end more lives
    than all the wars we fought.
    One third of all the world once fell,
    not from the rats,
    nor from the fleas,
    but from those little beasts
    who in those insects dwell.
    And sixteen million when the war was won.
    The doughboys coughed,
    no bullets now
    and yet their lives were done.

    How large the small in our world.
    Each days these tiny reapers feed
    And having fed move on,
    While we in trust of modern life
    Don’t fear what we can’t see
    As falsely safe we feel at night
    When little beasts roam free.

  52. Benjamin Thomas

    Supplier of Life

    Precious is the heart
    the invigorating muscle of the human body
    Constantly handling our life blood
    day in, day out

    Effortlessly dispensing
    the precious life juice
    to every cell in need
    fostering growth, function

    Precious is the heart, the enduring ox
    that only knows to labor
    showing no tire
    knowing no fatigue

  53. Sara McNulty

    April 21, 2012 – Day 21
    Write an under the microscope poem

    Triple Analysis

    Dressed in lab coat,
    her table piled with overload
    of specimens–blood, urine
    cultures–all arrayed
    to be analyzed under
    a microscope.

    With cutbacks, illnesses,
    and vacations, she becomes
    the Superwoman specimen
    under the auspices
    of a supervisory microscope,
    and cannot leave any
    accumulated work undone.
    So her hours often double
    along with her vision, yet

    somehow seems preferable
    to the family-sized scope,
    where scrutiny crystallizes
    life choices better left
    dulled and out of focus.

  54. eljulia

    PAD Therapy Day 21

    (not enough) OXYGEN

    I pinned the carcass in the wax-filled box
    nose wrinkled, averse to killing even a bug
    eighth grade project, doing the minimum for the grade
    having seen enough death in our home
    enough decay in the demise of hope
    enough to steal a small girl’s smile
    to keep us captured for a while
    till you led us to be set free
    but things meant for harm just made us seek
    a different way to be so we
    turned our backs on imprisoned breath
    no more holding back instead we’d give
    oxygen to those we loved

    I carried the pictures to the funeral home
    clenched teeth hard against my trembling lips
    one more project of specimens gleaned
    from your twenty photo books
    where you kept the cards and memories
    of those you loved and who loved you back
    I chose the most of you and he
    who found your smile again
    but I love the one of you and me
    sitting on the steps when I was three
    two girls back when our lives were new
    and I wish I could be your oxygen
    and have you and not just
    photo specimens.

  55. posmic


    I bet you’re surprised.
    You didn’t know we could
    dance, did you?

    Well, I’ve never had
    much sense of rhythm,
    but I can jiggle with

    the best of them, and if
    you count it off for me,
    I can wiggle my cilia

    in time to your voice.
    Amoebas bore me,
    but I like you.

    Do you have a definite
    shape? Is your membrane
    stiff, but elastic, like mine?

    I sensed that about you;
    that’s why I dance for you
    on a glass slide, in your light.

  56. RJ Clarken

    Forensically Yours

    “I am the Energizer bunny of forensic science: I never sleep and I never give up.” ~Abby Sciuto, Forensic Expert, NCIS

    Put me under your microscope.
    You’ll find my heart is full of hope.
    Examine me extensively.
    I’m always yours, forensically.

    Take me as a slice on a slide.
    Darling, I have nothing to hide.
    All the suspense is killing me
    but I am yours, forensically.

    Please check my DNA. I’m sure
    you’ll find my tox screen says I’m pure-
    ly mad about you. Happily,
    I’m always yours, forensically.

    Procedural-type TV shows
    are all about the labs and pros
    but all you need are eyes to see
    I’m always yours, forensically.


  57. mlcastejon

    Analyzing my-self

    Inside of me, there was a blaze crystallized
    a tiny black spot, tearing off out of my reach
    a diminutive voice, a twisted counsellor
    One day I took a scalpel and opened me widely.

    Now it’s gone, the silence is back.

  58. taylor graham


    A hollow stump – I look closer.
    Not hollow, but
    honeycombed to its ancient
    woodgrain. Gray. No,
    silver with sound. Not humming,
    infinitesimal vibration
    of wings. Thousands. Silver
    spurting from the stump, a swelling
    chorus without words,
    insect rapture rising from a ruined
    choir, the stump-core.
    Termites erupting too fast too many
    to count. Seeking what?
    Life. Famished to eat the world.
    Renewal. From dead
    wood, a silver jet of Spring,
    that crazy dance we all
    must join in.

  59. Domino

    Microscope Vision

    Glasses, I wear them, it’s true.
    (Be careful, don’t knock them askew!)
    They are heavy and thick
    but they do the trick
    They help me simply to see you.

    It ain’t fun wearing glasses, I’ll tell ya
    Though contacts can help me feel less blah
    Boys just don’t make passes
    at girls who wear glasses,
    But without I can’t see an inch from my jaw.

    But there’s a benefit to being myopic
    That you just don’t get just being hydropic
    My unfiltered vision
    Helps me see with precision
    Removing kids’ splinters microscopic

    And when doing embroidery fine
    stitching a near invisible line
    I just take off my glasses
    and I can see passes
    that make my work look just divine.

    So when laser surgery’s suggested
    When I go to have my eyes tested
    Since my microscope vision,
    helps me see with precision
    I think I’ll leave my eyes unmolested.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  60. uneven steven

    _________________For years
    ______________he perfected the art
    ______________of drawing his love
    _______________on a grain of rice
    ____________when he finally looked up
    ________________to show her
    _______________she was even
    _______________more beautiful
    ________________than he had

    1. De Jackson

      This is a beautiful thought, uneven steven.
      If you’re on a Mac, you can make hard spaces without the lines by pushing the “Option” (alt) key the same time you press the space bar (every time you want a hard space.)

  61. Michael Grove

    One Eye Open

    Close one, keep one eye open.
    Barely seen and rarely heard.
    Looking through your microscope
    perspectives become blurred.

    One eye closed and one eye open.
    Daggers glancing off your back.
    Ever mindful of aggressors,
    yet, immune to their attack.

    You should sleep with one eye open,
    so you’ll see what must be seen.
    You shall dream in living color.
    Caution keeps your visions keen.

    Go ahead and count your blessings,
    as you drift off holding hope,
    remember, one eye open,
    looking thru your microscope.

    Seek out places in between
    the smoothest road and deepest rut,
    only seen with one eye open,
    and perceived with one eye shut.

    By Michael Grove

  62. Earl Parsons


    We look at each other
    Through judgmental glasses
    Tinted with prejudices
    Spotted with jealousy
    And smeared with distrust
    Often forgetting that
    We clearly cannot see
    The real other person
    While looking through
    Filthy spectacles

  63. Joseph Harker

    This is going to show up bold-italic if I post it here, so I’m linking it on my blog in the way it’s meant to be viewed: Dreaming of Nicholas. But here it is, anyway…

    Dreaming of Nicholas

    He brings over a book of color micrographs,
    showing us a record of the war. White blood cell,
    he says, pointing to a blue-black mass: that name
    with its paladin sound must be more of a metaphor.

    And that’s the virus: one withered finger brushes
    lurid green flecks dusted over the lymphocyte like
    powdered sage. Or pollen, like the blood’s flowers
    are betraying themselves with their own reproduction.

    It seems strange, that these punctuation marks could
    so overwhelm a body. Half-seconds of decision,
    wrapped in overcoats of protein, hardly even worth
    thinking about. (But of course that’s how they slip in.)

    He swirls his cup of rum and coke, watching the ice
    tumble around and slowly dissolve. He takes a long
    pull from his spliff. He watches us with the book,
    daring us, with the dulled needles of his eyes, to cry.

    We think of Heisenberg’s principle: is this predator
    furtive enough that just when you’re convinced
    you’ve cornered it, it slips away from where it was?
    Even greened electrons might be unable to trap it.

    But to think about that leads to too many questions:
    if we listen to him say, fucking science, right?, if we
    stare at him crippled on the couch, will he vanish like
    a dandelion, will we all remember this upon waking–

  64. J.lynn Sheridan

    “Heart surgery”

    I have never heard a heart
    beat quite like yours-
    one that jingles as you walk.

    It’s almost as if I can hear
    each chamber chime
    in harmony,
    each step building into
    a full arterial cathedral bell choir—

    a crescendo of freedom and joy.

    My heart lifts just watching you
    from the balcony where I can see
    inside you, each blood cell bursting
    in life-giving warmth and bliss.

    How can a heart be so free?
    Is this the secret reward for
    willing forgiveness or
    daily gratefulness or
    is it a special gifting?

    I would slice a vein and bleed
    all over life and me if I knew
    I could grow a heart like yours.

  65. deedeekm


    carved onto blank slate
    pieced in letter and pause
    punctuated by breaths
    an unfinished picture
    like the elephant in the room
    each part scrutinized
    as though the whole
    how can you know
    when I don’t know
    this is who I am today
    this moment – but it passes
    and I gauge your response
    curious to see
    what I said
    to you

  66. Michael Grove

    Dissect Everything

    The view through a wide
    angle lens can be much
    more pleasing than that
    which is seen under a
    microscope. Must we
    dissect everything in
    efforts to find problems
    that are not otherwise
    evident or obvious.

    By Michael Grove

  67. lionmother

    Under the Microscope

    Should we dissect each
    other like a science project
    pinning a part of each
    to respective slides
    and figure out why
    we continue to exist
    as a couple?
    Why when all sense of
    coupleness has disappeared
    and the light in your eyes
    only sometimes shines
    for me
    Why when the juices
    flowing through our
    respective bodies
    have taken a hike and
    yet there still remains
    that undefinable spark
    perhaps found when
    examined closely
    under more magnification
    to figure out why it still
    exists when all conspires
    to snuff it out
    Is it like the burning ember
    still smoldering under the
    burnt logs now ashes
    Can if be fanned to burst
    forth in flames or is it soon
    to burn out if left alone?

    1. Hannah

      “Can if be fanned to burst
      forth in flames or is it soon
      to burn out if left alone?”

      Oh, I like this, teetering on that balance, short space in time left for decision…gorgeous write, lionmother!

  68. DanielAri


    and everybody around here has been talking about
    the New York Times article where they took a core
    sample from a cushion from the seat of a Bay Area
    Rapid Transit train and ran tests; and though I can’t
    quote you the statistics (no one seems to be able to)
    everybody keep saying, “It is not good.” But I want
    to ask them and the New York Times, “Well, what
    do you think you are anyway? And if not a medley
    of germs and pieces of fecal dirt, loosely held in a
    form, then stop overestimating yourself. Everybody
    knows not to put an unwrapped sandwich on the seat
    of a public transport vehicle and dine there; however,
    unless your immune system is bubble-boy tenuous,
    it doesn’t help you to get stuck on the dichotomy of
    clean versus dirty. You are just a collection of cells
    and the muck that holds them together, like anybody
    who rides the train or reads The New York Times.


  69. Jackie Casey

    Another View of Love

    I put my love under the microscope.
    Brought focus to bear on all the main parts.
    Hidden bits swirled; humor mixed with his hope
    and an intellect seen for slinging darts.

    There mixed with the slide, discovered his heart;
    a kind, loving sphere is what I did skim.
    The atom of him the forgiving part.
    I wept when I looked at that piece of him.

    Have kept the small marker he left behind.
    Careless eyes see not what he did reflect.
    His species rare in a world not benign.
    Close scrutiny left me with new respect.

    Empyrean love’s reflection may be
    viewed only by humans able to see.

  70. dextrousdigits

    Microscope eyes turn inward
    message forwarded to brain central.
    Which gets on the intercom
    to remind me and every working cell
    the job is not yet

  71. dextrousdigits

    A new supervisor hovers about
    a quiet helicopter with binoculars
    watching each person’s actions and words.
    I hope I will be good enough
    she can hover somewhere else.
    Then I can actually get some work done.

  72. cstewart

    From Afar

    When comets bring us new microbes,
    We might fall like in the past plagues

    Ice and rubble and melting virus’
    Whisking about with the spring wind.

    To new locations of habitation and growth
    Where they might flourish or not.

    Our lives depending on their growth possibilities,
    The reproduction success of minute particles,

    Those things we can’t see,
    Controlling the only thing we have.

  73. JRSimmang

    Cubs v Mets: May 2007

    Bottom of the ninth inning and five runs
    in, a great rally for the 25 gloved
    rocket launchers.
    The stands, filled with nacho cheese and deep fried dreams,
    watched an ass dragging for 1 – 8.
    The dread of head-hanging shame into a weekend
    of boozing away the lost memory
    of a lost season.
    The crowd had to be silent.
    It was more a prayer.
    Then, the mound started to get lazy.
    Walks and runs, the field turned into a 5K,
    Piniella putting on his lecture coat and glasses, pulling out a
    yardstick and chalkboard,
    schooling the pilot.
    The lesson away,
    the ball released,
    that shining orb of victory pounding away at the soft ground below,
    brought in the final finishers.
    But for those who have no faith,
    what was it?
    Misplaced litanies,
    egregious grace?
    Can you touch it? Feel it?
    Is it the same for baseball as it is for bawling baselessly?
    We saw a man kneel that day.
    We saw a man cross himself.
    To which god do we pray?
    Where is our faith if not bound up in a dear diary?

    When that ninth was greeted with rushings from the dugout,
    Thank you, Jesus, was the word on lips.

    His life for our sins and the diamond.

  74. Benjamin Thomas

    Dear precious PAD,

    Had a Crazy idea of writing poem for every major organ system in the human body represented by a cell. Such as Respiratory system, Heart, Blood, Integumentary system (skin), Digestive, Nervous, Muscular, Skeletal etc.
    Anyone feel free to join in (don’t know if I’ll acutally pull it off). Be back, later poets. Have to make a run with the kids.

      1. cindishipley

        That’s what Joyce did with Finnegan’s Wake. Every chapter signified a different part of the body, and then in the end he had a created a man, and he felt that he was equal to God.

  75. Andrew Kreider

    A friendly chat

    Full name. Social. Valid credit card.
    Cell number for emergency contact.
    Vehicle license and VIN.
    Proof of insurance, medical and automobile.
    Number and location of tattoos.
    Rashes, spots, anything nasty and communicable.
    Baptized? Circumcised? Fear of God?
    Ten p.m.

  76. MiskMask


    A critical eye he cast
    across the multitudes before him.
    So vast
    this task it was a throttling sinew
    and he knew
    that only a charitable heart would change
    the past.
    Charity always begets charity, he said.
    At last
    he thought he could change the world.

  77. Katrin

    Usually, it was the
    eyelash monsters
    who would sabotage my view

    But when I finally conquered
    them with patience and the
    art of placement,
    my universe, through a pinhole,
    somehow expanded

    as I spotted the
    world in a water drop
    in my toy microscope–
    just the right size
    for exploding

    1. eljulia

      haha! “eyelash monsters.” Remember them well! This brought back up in my memory that feeling of impatience and waiting to see “the world in a water drop” if i could only just get everything right.

  78. Marie Elena


    We gave your wife
    your kids
    safe harbor

    She, on the phone
    with you
    your rambling
    your threats
    to kill her
    your kids

    Your tears
    your pleads
    your gun


    She, dropping to the floor
    your gun
    your lie.

    I grab the phone.
    “Larry? LARRY!”


    Then this:

    My teeth clench.

    For the first time in my life,
    I hate.
    I loathe.

    Oh, God
    forgive me as I curse
    every living
    in that

    1. Marie Elena

      She was my ex sister-in-law, and that was about 27 years ago. The emotions are still raw whenever he comes to mind. And believe it or not, though I am no longer married to her brother, she is still married to – as Janet aptly puts it – that .

      I seldom write about strongly emotional issues (love, anger, fear, etc.), as I feel I don’t adequately express those emotions on paper. Your words (powerful, gripping, chilling, riveting) mean more to me than I can explain. Thank you so much.

      1. Jane Shlensky

        Marie, this is as raw a piece as I’ve read from you, and all the more powerful for it. I guess if we can love hell, we’re in heaven, hm? Loved this piece.

  79. Marjory MT

    SPRING BRIGHT (tritina)

    Beneath the microscope of spring
    as the bulbs begin to flower
    my days slowly begin to brighten.

    Like the dew resting on the flower
    my hurting heart grows bright
    covered by the soothing breath of spring

    Slowly the darkness turns to brightness
    I watch while the winter turns to spring
    and once again the heart opens to flower.

    Hearts grow bright in the flowering of spring.

  80. Mike Bayles


    On a slide it waits
    for close observation
    under a lens,
    a still portrait
    of shape and form,
    a revelation
    it had been with us
    all along,
    while under the light
    it keeps secret
    a story left untold,
    this cell
    this particle
    with so much left to see
    like life inside me
    and stirring.

  81. Sharon


    I am a Christian
    one who believes
    yet one who is flawed,
    acting in ways
    that others
    can say,
    A Christian, is that how they behave?

    Under the eyes
    of judges who smirk
    praying for guidance
    and knowing God is at work
    I try to be “good”
    and am grateful I’m sure
    to know the heavenly Watcher
    knows I’m not pure.

    By Him I am watched
    and forgiven by turns
    A Christian not perfect
    whose care for all burns.
    I ask your forbearance
    in my imperfect state.
    The world’s watchers
    may judge, God seals my fate.

      1. Hannah

        God bless you for your wondrous words and honesty, Sharon, it is truly heart stirring, thank you!

        and Marjory, I love that, Blood broke the microscope and the rest!! Stated so beautifully!

  82. Sally Jadlow

    Under the Microscope

    Of concordances’ careful scrutiny,
    I examine, observe, and test
    the Word of God,
    to understand the full meaning
    of what He says,
    in order to teach the truth
    with bull’s eye accuracy.

  83. cindishipley

    everything freezes in Cuba.
    The air sits in front of you looking heavy
    and thick. The rubbish
    in the streets moves slightly,
    but maintains its’ original position,
    and it will be there the next time you pass.
    The water a beautiful brilliant aqua
    with a white fringe, doesn’t go anywhere.
    It surrounds you
    like a prison.

    What was once an elegant hotel
    where guests sat on balconies
    sipping foaming champagne
    and scrupulously peeled pieces
    of tropical fruit, served by
    bronzed men and women
    in black and white uniforms,

    is now covered by the grey
    dust of communism.
    The rich velvet curtains
    blackened at the tops
    with streams of color loss
    and deliberate
    lack of care.

    Those men and women
    now sit in brightly painted
    darkened doorways,
    eyes wide open,
    not blinking.

    A cat wants to go out
    but it can’t, and it silently screams.

    Che Guevera pictures
    painted on the walls
    of a closed casino,
    tells you
    that now you are free.
    gorgeous man, you just want to believe him.
    Big paintings, big hope.
    The sidewalks have
    50 or more years of nervous gum chewing
    footprints. Blackened and not washed

    Tourists are not allowed
    to buy vegetables
    at the market, so
    a special currency
    was invented- for
    Cuban’s only. The
    darkly wrinkled
    lettuce only as big
    as a clenched fist
    is not for you.
    These vegetables are pricey
    and the leftovers of
    the government’s first pick.

    The rules have grown lax
    since Fidel has aged.
    Now you can have
    a personal enterprise
    out of your front door,
    but you can only sell
    7 items- brillo pads –
    toothbrush-no toothpaste-
    a hair scrunchy-paper
    towels and aluminum
    foil are too capitalistic-
    a single piece of green
    Tupperware-a very very small
    notebook-a plastic bracelet-
    and a matching ring-
    and your biggest item
    is you hope and dignity.

    At night jump into
    an illegal cab, an
    American car from
    the 1950’s. The driver
    is a doctor during the day-
    we all have to make ends meet.
    Go to the airport
    and cry your way back
    to that terrible
    capitalistic country

  84. maggzee

    Microscopic Television

    Why do I
    Watch CSI
    To see what’s going on inside?

    I’m no chicken
    But some sights sicken
    The plots are thin but the gore does thicken

    Why do we
    Watch bad TV?
    Lessons in anatomy?

    Bits of brains
    Suspect stains
    Do actors like to play remains?

    But sex is taboo
    Complexity too
    So instead of human drama, we get human goo

    The chef-ly arts
    Now there’s some smarts
    At least they cook their body parts

  85. De Jackson

    One for the Ladies
    (a kyrielle)

    Look very closely, yes it’s true,
    He’s made of diff’rent stuff than you.
    Things known him and him alone
    It must be that “Y” chromosome.

    He only has one word for “bummed;”
    We have one hundred eighty-one.
    “Fine” was his day, when he gets home.
    It must be that “Y” chromosome.

    He shoots 3-pointers Saturday.
    Laundry basket’s too far away?
    These mysteries are still unknown.
    It must be that “Y” chromosome.

    Won’t dance at weddings, no Siree,
    But throw a football, set him free,
    He’ll boogie down in the end zone.
    It must be that “Y” chromosome.

    The slightest ping under the hood
    Is heard and answered, understood.
    But baby’s cry at midnight: huh?
    It must be that “Y” chromosome.

    He has his ways, we have our wiles.
    Perhaps we should call The X Files?
    Men shake their heads; we women moan,
    It must be that Why? Chromosome.


    1. Brian Slusher

      I particularly liked the basketball / laundry basket and the wordplay of the final line. It’s a pleasure to see wit galloping along in your poem–even if it IS a sly attack of my gender. Oh well, I’ll survive!

      1. De Jackson

        No worries, Brian. I’m married to one of the good ones, and only the laundry basket stanza applies to him. Only meant to be a gentle gender prod via amalgamation of some friends’ husbands, as well. ;)
        Glad you liked.

  86. Jerry Walraven

    “Data Points”

    Under the sterile lights
    of a laboratory,
    the distance between
    love and understanding
    was calculated to be
    28 nanometers.
    The distance between
    understanding and try
    could not be calculated
    due to
    a lack
    of data.

  87. Jane Shlensky

    Sea Monkeys and Brother Blood

    That first microscope kit
    was the best gift in years,
    allowing us to confirm
    what we had suspected
    of one another for years:
    that girls could ignore
    pain in the interest of
    science, sacrifice being
    second nature to them;
    that our brother’s blood,
    moving ruby crystals,
    bore a resemblance to
    sea monkeys we’d just
    examined on that slide.
    We’d begin again with
    a clean slide. He had
    plenty of blood left
    and four sisters
    to retrieve a sample.

  88. Margot Suydam


    Sundays construct
    a scattered life

    nose, paper
    rustles dire news

    in glossy magazines
    puzzle you cranky

    how loving
    language passes on

    microscope’s eye
    cells replicate, divide

    shuffle information
    down to daughters

    eyes meld
    into garish hair

    minds meet
    tendencies to yawn

    family twists
    chromosomes into fresh

    cells program
    to split, diminish.

  89. Jane Shlensky

    The Labs Will Tell Us If This Transplant Worked

    when your marrow
    slid beneath their scope
    they saw leukemia
    a twisted rope
    of your cells rejecting mine
    no trace of hope
    what they saw rewrote
    what life would be
    our futures hung on
    what they didn’t see

  90. RASlater

    Loved your poem Robert! Here’s mine:

    Imperfect Lens

    Every status update
    Every blog entry
    Down to the smallest tweet
    Can come under scrutiny
    Of someone somewhere at some time
    The more famous you are
    The more likely it will be
    But it can happen to the most ordinary
    Your joke wasn’t funny
    Or the picture was lame
    Your topic too bland
    Or just incendiary
    Bosses look and frown
    Relatives see and gasp
    Strangers may applaud
    -or throw a fit as the mood may be
    There is no privacy
    And room to just be free
    This imperfect lens
    That society uses
    To judge, condemn and stone
    The whole story we do not see
    Of the loneliness, fear, and insecurity
    The masks we need to wear
    Are more truer than we know
    Made clear on this internet
    That we are more alike than not
    And some just can’t handle that

  91. Brian Slusher


    The assignment was to recite
    the last nine lines of “Thanatopsis”
    from memory. My summons came,
    I stood much like a quarry-slave,
    felt the scourge of fifty eyes.
    I spoke, got halfway through, then
    blanked. So this is what it is to die
    I thought, my breath arrested,
    my hands two fists of winter.

    Miss Chandler asked (me new
    to the school) What is your name
    again? and from the dungeon
    of my throat I blurted Does it
    really matter at this point? The class
    shattered into laughter as though
    I were Oscar Wilde, purple wings
    unfurling from my shoulders.
    I ascended into instant triumph—
    a realm of gold I’ll never know

    again, but travel my long
    caravan of days In hope to find.

  92. just Lynne

    here there are too many eyes
    the cluster of people in white jackets
    watching from the glass nurse’s station
    some of us stumble about wearing patterned hospital gowns
    I wear lumpy sweatshirts and old jeans
    well-worn sneakers
    we sit about round tables
    they give us paper and crayons
    at least I have space to draw
    write whispering poems on scraps of pink paper
    when they briefly allow me a pen

    the lectures on cures for our illnesses
    ideas so simple I know they’ll fail
    there are no easy prescriptions for our peculiar diseases
    I speak with a beautiful 19-year-old drug addict with too much eyeshadow,
    wavy blonde hair and a husky voice
    bitter but always laughing
    we watch the new admit, shaped muscles under his tight t-shirt, gelled hair, a crooked grin
    she flirts
    but he likes me instead, lost in my private reverie
    even with my lumpy sweatshirt and rumbled hair
    dyed the wrong color

    everyone hides their secrets
    (except for the suicidal,
    who are too desperate to care)
    the rest of us live in hospital gowns but remain strangers
    they give me a salad for lunch every day and refuse to accept
    that my vegan diet was my choice
    and I’m ready to leave it, so tired of salad

    my favorite part is our occasional smoke breaks
    I go out with the smokers and sing while they drag on cigarettes
    last night we sang “Amazing Grace” and I watched the starry night
    from our little fenced-in corner
    at least there is space here
    for me to sing

  93. Beth Rodgers

    Robert – love yours today! How beautifully written! Here’s mine:

    It’s upsetting
    When one can’t decipher
    Metaphor from actual implementation
    Of a reality that could be had.

    There are those
    Who seek
    To put down
    To go against the grain
    To interpret life
    Following ill-advised paths.

    These people
    Put everyone under scrutiny
    Weighing what they consider
    Imbalances in a person’s moral structure
    Scrutinizing their scruples
    Chipping away at their character.

    Consider that life is a
    Flash forward
    A bird’s eye view into
    What the future holds
    A strong advisement to
    Waylay issues before they arise
    And set aside differences before they hinder
    Forward movement.

  94. JanetRuth

    From umber granules
    Laced with countless miracles
    Everything begins

    God breathed on dust
    Man became a living soul
    Setting him apart

    Earth’s organisms
    The study of scientists
    All victims of Time
    Microscopes cannot
    Examine the mystery
    Of man’s living soul

    Mankind cannot comprehend
    Vast eternity

  95. De Jackson


    It’s like one of those quizzes
    (Can you guess what this is?)
    where it looks like a giant
    Seussian forest of terrifying
    tubular trees screaming up
    to the sky and it’s really just
    a tiny patch of hair. We are
    looking at this thing too close
    -ly, and it’s scaring us. Let’s
    unclip, slip off of this slide,
    unsmear our fear and just be.

  96. Nancy Posey

    Up Close

    Up close the most insidious cell
    is rendered artful, the malignant strain
    magnified a million times its size,
    transforms, an abstract canvas
    deceptively innocuous,

    while through the same lens,
    your skin, so tender, soft
    against my fingertips
    becomes a desert, parched,
    sparse follicles like cholla,
    yucca under the sun’s glare.

  97. PKP

    Okay … starting bottom’s up.. HOPE I CAN POST COMMENTS!!!

    ARGGGGHHHHHH my first comment above… stopped by the “POSTING TOO FAST POLICE”

    What a poetic party pooper! Who hired this “guy” (or gal) ? lol

    1. JanetRuth

      Pearl, I HEAR you!!! I am intensely moved and pleasured by these great poems today…but the attempt to post comments is….AAARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!!! Whoever they hired…is FIRED!
      If this takes more than 12 attempts at posting no one will see my little ‘vent':)
      Blessings to all my poetic friends here!

  98. PKP

    Would Be Baby

    They scraped a few cells
    from the infanted surround
    there unviable

    Take the microscope
    smash it bearer of such news
    knowledge bringing pain

    Month melting to month
    scraped cells pathos awaiting
    verdict all is well


  99. Marianv

    Mother to Daughter

    You know, there are so many things that people
    Just don’t care about any more. Like when I was
    Growing up if a boy asked me out, he would have
    To meet my folks and my Dad would ask him
    Questions and they would end up talking about
    Football, but the guy always dreaded it – it was
    Like being put under a microscope. I hated
    It too, I only hung around with kids from school
    And the neighborhood, it’s not like I was having
    A date with Jack the Ripper.

    Oh yes, how is your friend Cara doing?
    That was so terrible, what happened to her
    And her girlfriends, but thank God the one
    Girl was able to get away and went straight
    to the police. I swear I don’t know what
    this world is coming to any more, and
    right here in our own neighborhood. I
    hate sounding like some old-timer, but
    really, things just aren’t what they used to be.

    1. PKP

      Aw… so much said about yes… the way things just aren’t… Well done!

      (argggg here we go ahead… two three tries at least for each posting why????!!!!!)
      I know the technological possibilities of the answer to that scream .. but WHY???

  100. Walt Wojtanik


    The nurses there are on the ball,
    the doctor are quite caring,
    checking on your chart quite often,
    it’s intensive care they’re sharing.
    When your health in on the wane,
    aneurysms, attacks, or terrible strains,
    they keep a watchful eye on you
    at the Peek-a-Boo I.C.U.

  101. PKP

    The Would-Be-Micro-Biology-Scholar

    she spoke in whispered syllables
    filaments floating in the air
    eyes averted as she had been
    schooled to elders who were there

    she spoke in whispered syllables
    sitting straight backed in her chair
    hands folded calmly loose
    head scarf soft covering her bare

    the paneled wooded table shone
    with sunshafted bouncing oiled sunlight
    her papers, spread untidily before them
    oddly out of place disturbingly unright

    as she left on soft feet across that polished wooded floor
    they smiled with emptied eyes filled her with chagrin
    she heard one loudly murmur to the other so strange in today’s world
    and she knew with frozen clarity that her work here would not begin

    out on the campus beneath a soaring chestnut tree
    pulled her cell phone from her pocket called home
    and relayed in whispered syllables
    “I am sorry for your sacrifice – still they do not like me”

    1. Ber

      home sick like so many my son is studying bioscience but is studying it close to home. This hit my heart strings i know so many mothers who are separated from their children and miss them as do their children miss their parents. Working in retail i serve so many students and they are so lovely and cant wait to go home to see their loved ones.

  102. PKP

    Taking A Stroll

    Was walking down
    that street soft
    chestnut petals
    falling in softer air
    arms swinging loose
    scent of fresh shampoo
    free from a single
    floating thought
    of watchful eyes
    Who Knew?

  103. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Infinitesimally Small

    Like a speck
    of dust
    like a culture
    on a slide
    like a sub-atomic particle
    of astounding insignificance
    I see the world
    as I sit
    in awe
    on top of the roof
    on a clear bright night
    and gaze at the stars
    I see us for what we are
    and wonder
    if somewhere
    far, far away
    someone is sitting
    and feeling
    just like me
    infinitesimally small


  104. JanetRuth

    Through my Lens

    Through my lens
    I see a miracle
    of chromosomes
    In other people’s eyes
    criticism may rise
    But I have known you
    since you were
    a flutter near my heart
    my entire universe
    Hope abides.
    And beneath the microscope
    of a mother’s love
    there is only perfection
    Imperfect perfection.
    God’s threads woven
    to a beautiful you
    a reflection of His wonder
    poured into freckles
    and stumbles
    and the beautiful ache
    in my soul

    1. Hannah

      “But I have known you
      since you were
      a flutter near my heart
      my entire universe”

      This is so sacred, Janet

      and “imperfect perfection…”

      PERFECT!! Warm smiles to you!

  105. Marjory MT


    The light of day
    is peeping round
    the window shade.
    The night has ended.
    Freshness fills the morning.
    Examining my day,
    I see sunlight.

    1. PKP

      Marjory… This one has me taking a deep clear breath. LOVELY

      ARGGGGHHHHH don’t know how long I can last with this infernal triple try posting on each wonderful poem.. talk about breaking the mood …!

      1. Marjory MT

        I personally think the ‘system’ can only handle one post at a time.
        If I post a second before you post,
        my post wins
        as my post out-posts
        your post. :)

        That’s my ‘take’ and I’ll stick with it.

        And thank you both for your encourageing words or dare I say Posts?

    2. Ber

      Bright and happy like Fridays love them. I love how you describe freshness fills the morning that is th air i most enjoy the first deep breath of air theres something about it beautiful

  106. Walt Wojtanik


    Watchful eyes, spy and question,
    introspection in life, micro managed
    and damaging your image.
    A driving passion can be deterred
    by words that hurt reputations.
    Feeling the laser points probing,
    disrobing the emperor leaving him
    naked to the world. Dissection
    is never for your protection.
    The microscope looks too closely,
    cover your tracks and step back.
    See the big picture.

  107. Linda Rhinehart Neas


    They seem to have appeared over-night,
    these fine lines around the eyes and mouth.
    I wonder how this could happen to someone
    who never forgets her sunscreen, always moisturizes
    Then, I focus deeper, falling into each tiny line
    there – hidden in the valleys and crevices –
    are the joys of children birthed –
    are the remnants of tears spilled –
    are the ponderings of introspection –
    are the moments of awe and wonder.

    1. Marjory MT


      Will you look closely please,
      Stop, Bend down as with a child
      To see as she sees
      A blade of grass, a beetle,
      Flowers hidden in the moss.

    2. PKP

      Full of wisdom and delight… congratulate your “fine” wrinkles …

      Okay… going to read… will deal with my frustration at not being able to post .. but refuse to surrender the pleasure of reading when I have some time to do so!

  108. PowerUnit

    *Today was an exercise in description. I watched a video called ‘The Stages Of Mitosis’ and described what I saw with trope.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WwIKdyBN_s

    A purple clamshell surrounded by moons
    Particle blasts from the golf ball surface,
    sunken volcanoes, spewing a halo of sustenance
    We float in together, through one of the dimples
    A kaleidoscopic tunnel of purple cabbage shards
    Syncopated with the beat of a distant drum
    Destroys the glop blocking our path.
    Poof, she’s gone!
    Then reforms as a mass of cabbage tubes.
    And the golf ball explodes as if stuck by a thousand tiger teeth
    To reveal the intricate sausage strings of cabbage forming into a
    Giant wall of radiator grill.
    The golden spiders of life attach from either side
    And suck the nothingness with their stringy, dangling tendrils.
    The cabbage wall splits, a waffle iron opening to reveal the prize.
    The hungry little children ignore the waffle,
    the emptiness replacing the majesty.
    They swarm the two cabbage halves
    Like they were beer gardens
    Opened for business on a hot Berlin night
    Two golf balls form.
    They float in space and ponder each other
    Assessing the their differences
    A young woman examining her new breasts in a mirror
    They float away with their entourages
    Who pack in around her and protect her
    Form a barrier, a gated bubble of teenagers
    New kids on the block.
    Ready to party

    1. KristiOhio

      Continually surprising! The beer garden and the new breasts line really are striking in their clarity. Very successful in turning the elements of a single, reproducing cell into complex human beings. Without the explanation at the beginning though, I wouldn’t get it.

  109. Billie

    Cellular Memory

    The Fortune teller is reading lines from our palms
    As the Stars fall across the sky
    She tells me about my kids
    three boys.

    And our hearts are broken
    You will only have one child.
    One day we will drift apart

    But not in heart
    My heart will remember you
    My arteries will always flow For you
    Muscles will contract
    Blood will flow
    Straight to the heart

    My veins will remind me of the way
    your eyes drink me in
    The times you touch my hand
    The way you walk like the devil
    In high heels

    We ride the tilt 0 wheel
    Till you throw up
    I hold back your hair
    It won’t be that way I say.
    Just another fortune teller.

  110. Imaginalchemy

    “Earth’s Millenium Check-Up”

    I don’t doubt that somewhere out there
    There is some omnipresent eye
    Who, every couple millennia or so
    Checks up on us, peering down
    Through some imperceptible, celestial scope.
    And that analytical appraiser of the Earth’s health
    Will stare a moment,
    Shake its head,
    And say, “Yikes, it’s sicker than I thought!”

    …All I ask is, no shots, please.

  111. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,
    Well, well, what a way to spoil
    a birthday party!!! 6 -2! I love it!
    I also loved seeing all the old-style
    1912 uniforms, so cool! That Sox
    bullpen is gonna be under the microscope
    today for sure, along with tier supposed
    big hitters. Two more glorious days of ball
    and freedom before the ball and chains
    get back from Atlanta. Jimmy the Greek
    is spitting feathers down there! Schmuck!
    Though I guess he’s happy the Braves had a big
    win yesterday. Pick ya up in the lobby at 2 –
    first pitch is 4:15. I’ll get the dogs and beer.

    Yours gloatingly,
    Ringo the Howler

  112. Billie


    Everything feels wrong
    I must trust what I feel inside.
    And what I feel inside

    Is that you’re a creep

    I feel your eyes
    Creeping over my skin , face, hair and eyes.
    You really are standing too close
    And I can’t move my lips fast enough
    To get you to go

    They have told me that I am strong
    But I know what I am inside
    And what I feel inside

    Is that I am week

    I am not your prize
    And those words are lies
    And it really shows
    And I can’t get away fast enough

    I feel your eyes.

  113. KristiOhio

    Our Histology

    Under the thinnest sheet of glass,
    I fix a sample of your heart
    to search for evidence of the pathogen
    preventing you from loving me anymore –
    an invading species, a colony
    of parisitic bacteria consuming,
    decomposing the organic
    and blissful.

    I follow the paths
    where blood used to flow
    and find no obstructions.

    I examine the muscle
    from your heart wall
    and see only strength.

    Finally, I remove the cover from the slide,
    but still sense a barrier;
    and I realize that the heart
    I need to examine is my own.

    1. Hannah

      This is a creative way to state this, Kristi,

      “I fix a sample of your heart
      to search for evidence of the pathogen
      preventing you from loving me anymore –”

      I enjoyed that and also like your realization moment in your closing.

    2. cam45237

      You’re always so good when you use science! I really loved this one from the perfect title to the first line to the first stanza to your catalog of actions to your conclusion. Maybe compose a couple more action stanzas and use the best – I found the blood stanza stronger than the muscle stanza. The end is great, but I think if you play with it, you can make it exceptional.Did I mention how much I loved the title?

  114. Ber

    Looking in the Mirror

    Life was complicated
    Her situation was under estimated
    She tried to fit in
    But was not allowed

    She was pushed in to isolation
    Not included in all that was there for the taking
    At home things were no better
    She worked hard to participate

    But to no avail
    Nothing she done could compensate
    Working hard and getting no thanks in return
    Hands tired, body and mind empty

    No matter what she done
    Others took plenty
    Standing alone in the world
    No one to turn to

    Looking at herself in the mirror
    She couldn’t stand at who she seen
    Not one for makeup
    She had a face of porcelain

    Crying in bed at night
    Trying to make sense of it all
    When a knock on the door the following day
    A friend from the past

    Had come to see her
    They had a blast
    They chatted away for hours on end
    She now had someone to turn to she had a friend

    Her friend got to the bottom of what was going on
    She had isolated herself and didn’t know where she did belong
    As her confidence grew so did she
    Nothing stayed the same
    She could be the person now she wanted to be

    Looking and judging herself was her biggest flaw
    Looking in the mirror now was so easy for her
    Taking pride in who she was it felt like she had won the draw
    This was her cross roads
    She now knew which road to take
    She knew who she was
    She was not fake

    1. Hannah

      This is a striking image, Ber,

      “Not one for makeup
      She had a face of porcelain
      “Crying in bed at night

      I t speaks to me of such fragility and sudden fracture.

      Your poem expresses so well the importance of edifying one another. Such a beautifully crafted poem!

    2. PKP

      Ooooh Ber this is wise and lovely and achingly loving of self and others

      okay tried posting again still the “EVIL AUTO-EDITOR” has me stopped at the gate
      try #3

      1. Ber

        Thank you very much it had a twist i know but that was to make your mind understand it more and stand back. I always try and do this with everyone i meet in my daily life no one knows what people have to worry about so this is one discription of isolating and how easy it happens. Knowing where the person is coming from or going through can make the world of a difference to understanding outlooks and behaviours of others

  115. emmajordan

    Onion Cells

    We cut the cold onion
    She peeled the brown
    outer skin away,
    the first layer
    and set it down.
    I teased the thin
    membrane from
    between the layers
    and with tweezers and slide,
    successfully place a portion at
    the center
    and add one drop of methylene blue,
    protecting it with the coverslip.
    She placed the slide gently
    between the clips
    which then moved toward center
    watching so nothing slips
    out of place.
    Unable to wait, I look first,
    turning the focus knob lightly
    It comes into view!
    My heart jumps at the sight.
    Light purple illuminates the onion skin
    cells packed together
    holding on to each other
    reveal membrane
    appearing now
    on my microscope’s stage.
    I could not be happier
    and imagine the cells all bow,
    confident in their presto-change-o
    from flimsy
    easily ripped self
    to show stoppers
    hugging one another
    after a job well done.

    1. KristiOhio

      The ending is cute and a bit of a surprise. I remember being surprised at what DNA looked like after we extracted it from an onion in my botany lab. I appreciate the details, especially the dye, and I like the pace. It is slow even though it is a “presto-change-o”. I guess it is the build-up to the finale. I also like the contrast of the careful language with the fun language.

  116. emmajordan


    Apprehensive, I stand waiting
    watching others who go before me
    Looking down at nothing
    hearing in my head the music
    feeling in my body each crescendo
    every nuance of the piece.
    My body knows what goes
    with each moment of the composition
    and rehearses without moving.
    I have practiced deeply
    with a passion for dancing
    becoming not the dancer
    but the dance.

    Walking out to center stage
    I introduce myself
    the music
    the choreographer.
    Stepping back into place,
    my music begins
    and I am dance.
    No one is there except me,
    no one sees
    I dance for the love
    of the music
    of dance.
    Tour, tour, tour jete,
    I dance
    hidden in the music.
    Quiet now
    it is done
    and body memory leads to
    a deep curtsy
    I hear applause.
    Walking off the stage
    I wonder if I will be hearing from them
    or at all.
    But my soul feels the happiness
    of a piece well danced.

  117. Linda Voit


    I knew the rule in biology class –
    both eyes open when you look
    through the eyepiece, but
    when I leaned in, I always closed
    the eye toward the wider world
    out of instinct to focus
    on what I was supposed to see
    and just as I tried harder to see it
    I would realize that, once again,
    my other eye was squeezed tight
    and I felt like I just kept failing.
    I never did share this with my dad,
    the biologist, because I was sure
    I would be letting him down.
    Now, with both eyes open,
    I know better.

    Linda Voit

      1. Linda Voit

        Thanks everyone. This was one of those poetry writing moments I love . . . where I am writing without knowing where it’s going, when suddenly the message reveals itself and there is just is no way around it.

  118. Hannah


    When the chill of blood
    spilling through
    your veins becomes
    I find you in the clearing.
    Just beyond the turn ahead
    in the space between
    the timber that was felled
    last Fall and the one that
    fell naturally.
    It’s roots are splayed into a
    sodden arch,
    crumbling and hanging
    from the dense weight of dirt;
    its deep underbelly exposed,
    it’s very heart.
    It is there that I will find you,
    breathing methodically
    when the icy feeling
    becomes intolerable.
    Your source, coursing cold
    through tiny tubular veins
    struggles to nourish,
    to oxygenate your body;
    as a pair of lungs,
    upon opening and closing,
    a full breath is taken.
    I speak silent words
    of encouragement to you
    and almost as if you hear me
    you rise on sudden flit of wing,
    a fit of swooping,
    in a dance
    that meets my soul
    and you land ever so lightly,
    tasting my hair as it shines;
    swirling up you loop around
    and then down
    a pause
    and you greet me
    with beautiful butterfly kisses.
    Settling before me
    in pine-needled glory,
    your colors are vivid
    while your garment
    is ultra violet,
    colors are invisible
    until you lift delicate wing
    showing miniscule scales
    toward the light to display
    portraying only the color
    you’re meant to.
    Even though you posses
    the potential in each fragile limb,
    on every soft,
    powdered, gossamer scrim
    you hold the entire rainbow in your wings.

    © H.G. @ P.A. 4/21/12

        1. Ber

          Beautiful expression of your day out and how you captured this event in your mind a woodland fairy butterfly my oh my simply wonderful. I have to say i could look at butterflies for ever they are amazing and so pretty

          1. Hannah

            I’m so grateful for this, Ber, I so agree, I really could look at butterflies forever, too. I had SUCH a hard time dragging myself away from that clearing in the woods, I tell you! Thank you, for talking with me today. :)

    1. KristiOhio

      I like the moments in the poem that feel like they are rare spaces or occurances, such as the space between the two timbers and seeing the scales on the wings. I don’t know if you want critical comments. If not, then you may want to stop reading. I like your poem overall, but some things stood out.(Of course, I am an amateur, so take this for what it’s worth.) I would rethink mentioning the vivid colors before saying the colors are invisible. I really like the revealing of the colors and describing how it is done with the scales and interaction of light. The pine needles seem out of place. They connote winter and lack of sun while the butterfly connotes spring and sun. Also, I wonder about the first line. I think of a person at first, but then it seems that the speaker is talking to the butterfly, which doesn’t have veins. The use of “icy” too is too extreme.

      1. Marie Elena

        I can speak only for myself here, but I appreciate it when someone gives me an honest, hard-line critique of my work.

        That said, we need to mostly understand that we are getting someone’s opinion. An example is seen in judging music at state-level contest: the high school band I was in once received 3 “ones” and a “four.” ;)

        1. Hannah

          I’m with you, Marie!! :)

          It is all a matter of opinion and artistic choices. That being said, I do like to try and keep my poems truthful to the extent of delivering truthful details though. I usually do a bit of research if needed. :)

          Thank you!

      2. Hannah

        Thank you, for the thought that you’ve put into this, I appreciate it, Kristi. As far as the order in which I described the color of the butterfly I chose to state that the wings were vivid and explain more afterward about why. A matter of preference, I suppose. I displayed her against the bright contrast of orange pine-needles because in early Spring that is where you will find them in the woods, (that is how I found the one of which I write).

        I am speaking to the butterfly and yes, they do have veins. This is a bit I’ve clipped from the web for you:

        Butterfly wings are made of two chitonous layers (membranes) that are nourished and supported by tubular veins. The veins also function in oxygen exchange (“breathing”).

        I dramatized the cold-blooded quality of the butterfly and used a different variation of the word cold, hence icy. Artistic choices presented in every word choice.

        I’m glad that the timber part worked for you and I hope my explanation clears up for you a little more, my mental process.

          1. Hannah

            I do, too, cindishipley, although for me, (I don’t know if you like this also), but I like the space to interpret first and then be able to compare with where the writer was coming from afterward. I find it super interesting to learn of the writer’s processes though! Smiles!

        1. KristiOhio

          I agree that it comes down to artistic choices. I like this blog because we can get other people’s take on our choices. You got mine, and really what am I to you? I am 100% confident that you didn’t write the poem for me. Having said that, I think that it is helpful to realize that your reader probably isn’t going to research before reading your poems, and it is good to keep in mind his/her interpretation. Places in the poem where this sort of thing happens will have more attention on them and will either help or hinder the success of the poem.

          I took veins to be a part of the circulatory system, and butterflies have an open circulatory system. I am not a butterfly expert, so I am relying on what I learned at school and the little search I did before posting about your poem. From your comment, it seems that you are using veins as part of the respiratory system, and yes, that would be similar to veins in structure.

          Below is my one source:

          “A butterfly’s circulatory system is relatively simple. The heart is a pump attached to a long tube that extends from the abdomen to the head. The blood is pumped through this tube and released into the tissues. Through a pressure gradient, the blood seeps through the tissue back to the abdomen. There it is sucked back into the heart and pumped forward again.

          In a butterfly, there is no transportation of oxygen in the blood. Butterflies have valves called spiracles along either side of their bodies. Some of these spiracles, located mostly along the abdomen, allow oxygen to enter. Other spiracles exhale carbon dioxide. In this way oxygen will enter the body directly. Once inside, there is a network of tunnels similar to the network of veins in the human body. Oxygen will travel directly to where it is needed and pass into the tissue.”


          1. PKP

            Kristi … veddy interesting… although you do sound like a butterfly expert… Maybe can chalk up the inconsistencies that fly in the face of this info to “poetic license” … Apologies for poor punning…

            Happy poeming :)

          2. Hannah

            I’m seeing that the conflict for you on the word, “vein,” seems to be cleared up here in the research that we both did…

            “network of tunnels similar to the network of veins” as opposed to my info which states, “nourished and supported by tubular veins. The veins also function in oxygen exchange (“breathing”).

            Not so much different from each other really, Kristi.

            Yes, poetic choices/license etc. is a gift but at the same time we should take our readers into consideration and I can assure you that I do otherwise I would not do the research that I do to get the “details,” right and search for words that have same meanings to keep our readers interested. Nobody wants to hear the the word, “cold,” repeated three times for instance, hence chilly and icy might be more dramatic or extreme (as Marjory states).

            Thank s for your thoughts on this. Smiles and happy writing to you!

            PKP (Pearl), not wasted on me, I love a pun or two, keeps it light! :)

            Oh, Marjory, I can smell those pine-needles in your description!! So much a part of what I remember about hot, dry summer stretches. Thank you so much for your thoughts and warm smiles to you!

      3. Marjory MT

        Me think you do protest tooooo much.

        One thing I recall from childhood – from many camping ( the old green tent type ) trips in the mountains of So.Calif- ( in the SUMMER time) – was the smell of pine needles and dust which lay everwhere. It was in part that wonderful feeling and smell that led us to select our present home here in the NW. The needles in Calif were not lacking sun, rather they denoted too much sun and too little water.

        You might use a dictionary to see the various meanings and uses of a given word – Try vein for starters

        I am sorry that you can not relate. I find that sometimes it is only the extreme that can extress a truely deep thought or feeling, or beauty.
        If someone has never experienced ‘extreme’ (which in itself is unforturate for them.) that someone can not identy with extremes expressed by others and that someone could end up being trapped in the mundane where poetry becomes a useless avenue of expression.

    2. PKP

      Okay even if I have to post ten times I must get this comment in…
      Watched you walk onto the street with tentative steps until now we all
      run to your Eden tinged fields to marvel at the beauty you reveal with
      such grace and exquisite delicacy … tentative no longer – you soar …

      1. JanetRuth

        Thank-you Pearl for your tenacity at posting beautiful encouragement…Not only do I recognize Pearl as a beautiful word-smith, Pearl, you are a darling encourager! I simply met Hannah since she is soaring and she lifts me over the mundane over and over again!

    3. lionmother

      I’ve read all the replies and for me all I can say is how wonderful this experience was of following a butterfly and feeling its”butterfly kisses”. Your images brought me right into the moment and I loved the ending. The colors didn’t mean much to me, because I was so caught up in the experience!! Hannah, you have the ability to bring us into your dreams and this is beautiful!!

      1. Hannah

        I’m so honored to be able to share with you (and everyone), this happened to me and our two boys out on our woods walk yesterday and it was a magical experience like none other!! Thank you for joining me in the miracle of it, lionmother! Warm smiles to you!

        1. lionmother

          Hannah, you’re welcome and how magical to experience this with your children! I think the more kids can see the magic in nature the more they will want to protect it!! As usual, you and I are thinking side by side:)

  119. competitivewriter

    The most powerful germ

    Once infected you will feel the following symptoms
    Nausea-your stomach will feel like cat got caught in a wash machine
    Cold sweats- most notably in your palms but also down your spine
    Dry mouth- speaking gets tough and your tongue is useless
    Mood swings- emotional anarchy it’s rage, despair and bliss
    Hot flashes- mostly felt in the face as cheeks grow lobster red
    Insomnia- thoughts through rowdy parties when you go to bed
    Dizziness- the whole world’s off its axis even time appears to slow
    Increased pulse- as if your body’s playing salsa and your heart’s the bongos

    Once infected, there’s not a lot the doc will do, other than shake your hand or pat your back because falling in love ithe best bug you can ever catch

    1. competitivewriter

      Apparently writing at 4 in the morning yields sloppy work…re-posting for personal pride.

      Once infected you will feel the following symptoms
      Nausea-your stomach will feel like a cat got caught in a wash machine
      Cold sweats- most notably in your palms but also down your spine
      Dry mouth- speaking gets tough and your tongue is useless
      Mood swings- emotional anarchy it’s rage, despair and bliss
      Hot flashes- mostly felt in the face as cheeks grow lobster red
      Insomnia- thoughts throw rowdy parties when you go to bed
      Dizziness- the whole world’s off its axis even time appears to slow
      Increased pulse- as if your body’s playing salsa and your heart’s the bongos

      Once infected, there’s not a lot the doc will do,
      other than shake your hand or pat your back
      because falling in love is the best bug you can ever catch

      1. Linda Voit

        Good descriptions – especially the cat in the wash machine for nausea!
        And, I’d love to see a little poem called “re-posting for personal pride” – funny! Only other poets will completely understand the compelling need to re-post for one mark, one word, one line break, etc, etc.

      1. competitivewriter

        thanks everyone – I’m really enjoying reading a lot of your posts as well. I get a lot of ‘posting to quickly’ messages which makes commenting frustrating. That said, it’s been a lot of fun this month and quite inspiring. I was kinda of in a poetic rut before this month and now I’ve rekindled my love for the art.

        I’m also visiting your websites one at a time. See ya round the internet!