April PAD Challenge: Day 20

We’re now 66.7% of the way through April (after finishing today’s poem). Despite crazy technological snafus, I think we’re going to make it. Only 10 days to go after today! Yay!

For today’s prompt, I want you to write a poem of rebirth. There are many different types of rebirth available, including the changing of the seasons, the beginning of the day, religious or spiritual rebirth, a reconfirmation of good in people, re-learning how to love, etc. So think on it a bit, and create a stellar rebirth poem.

Here’s my attempt for the day:

“No one would know”

This countertop was covered
in potato peels, onions, and
celery scraps. Flour, spilled
tomato sauce. Every meal,
a new mess. His movements
are methodical, measurements
precise. He imagines he is
making up for Chemistry 101
when he adds a teaspoon
of oregano and basil. He’s
already browned the beef,
set everything to slowly cook
as he scaped away ingredients
left over, washed measuring
spoons and cutting board
now ready for the next meal.


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866 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge: Day 20

  1. JL Smither


    We all saw Kara’s ship
    explode, Star Wars-style.
    So we had a few questions
    when she returned, spotless,
    scratchless, oblivious.
    We waited week after week
    for the big reveal, but finally,
    she simply disappeared, an angel
    of death leading us to our own answers.

  2. Dione

    Letting the pages of your story thus far curl
    in a tomb, buried safely beneath six feet of soil packed warm and tight,
    you climb out of the debris , sooty-faced but
    with hope still shining in your eyes, and take
    the first breath of this new life.

  3. yolanda davis-overstreet

    Day 20

    Peeling away
    What could be considered unnecessary baggage
    In slang
    Peeling and disposing of all
    That abandons one in an unknown village
    Left in an idol standing position
    Gasping at times – it seems
    for air
    -the breathe that is needed to find the way
    Crawling through cave-like tunnels of mother earth
    – In my dreams.
    It is told –things will happen
    As you draw near to your

  4. Maureen Hurley

    Laving Las Vegas

    We’re stuck in purgatory
    because we were two minutes late
    for a 7 AM flight. Perhaps seeking words.
    my lost penknife mysteriously
    reappeared like a calyx in the spiral ring of my journal
    and Homeland Security took it far too seriously.
    No matter that I’d turned my backpack inside out,
    spilling its guts on the bed, trying to find it.

    I yelled but it was my grandfather’s
    just take it, we’ll miss our flight
    the guard, trying to assuage my tears,
    said you can mail it to yourself.

    We ran the long mile to the gate
    and were bumped from 6 standby lists
    to anywhere in the Bay Area.
    Our luggage boarded the first flight
    and arrived unchaperoned.

    Like the movie says,
    leaving Las Vegas is indeed hard.
    Very Bukowski as in Barfly.
    Every flight was overbooked
    between the Miss USA pageant in town,
    and the world’s largest horse show,
    people milled like cattle, played the slots,
    or slept it off beneath the pay phones.

    I won a nickel jackpot: wow, 35 cents.
    Last of the high rollers, stick in Vegas.
    Five more jackpots to go
    and maybe I can buy a cuppa coffee.

    Maybe we’ll get lucky this time.
    Catch the full LA flight, then another to Oakland.
    Seventh time is a charm. Will we make the cut?
    They announce our names over the loudspeaker
    and we feel like we won first place or the jackpot.
    A friend said she flew to Beijing in less time.

    Already I miss the bone-handled penknife,
    a family heirloom carried a lifetime in the pocket.
    Once young Irish boys sharpened goose quills on it,
    carved their initials on the trunks of trees,
    and I fixed meals and screws with that tool.
    A faithful traveling companion in tight times.
    Now all I can offer is a few bone-dry words.
    I can scribe no remembrance
    or scratch feathered flights of fancy,
    except on the steel wings of planes
    carrying us homeward into the west.

  5. Kelly Ellis

    About Rebirth

    This born-again loser’s
    phoenix crashed and burned
    several times over

    I am done dusting off
    I am worn thin
    rubbing that coin

    and can’t uncrumple
    no poem today

    maybe later

  6. Elise Huneke Stone

    I carried the baby high.
    Everyone thought she’d be a boy.
    I carried my own birth, too.
    The story is in our genes.
    I was born in the daytime.
    2:00 in the afternoon,
    in August. When any
    self-respecting mammal
    would be taking a nap in the shade.
    Most of our kind come under cover
    of darkness, between midnight
    and 4 am. Birth used to be
    the mother’s secret. It used to be
    her private hell and heaven.
    The menfolk waited outside.
    I have borne a daybaby too,
    one November noon.
    A birth and a rebirth,
    the daughter becoming the mother
    of the daughter.

  7. LindaTK

    Day 20:
    On Writing (Villanelle)

    Each time that I sit down to write
    My efforts get thwarted right off.
    I then cast my eyes to the light.

    I will not give up with no fight.
    If I do, then my brain will get soft.
    Each time that I sit down to write.

    I decided to try it at night.
    In no time my mind shut right off.
    I then cast my eyes to the light.

    Frustration is part of my plight.
    “I want to write!” I shout from aloft.
    Each time that I sit down to write.

    “Don’t Give Up!” is my mantra tonight.
    “Interruptions will happen,” I scoff.
    I then cast my eyes to the light.

    “I’m a writer!” I shout to the night.
    “I can do this – I can! I’m not soft!”
    Each time that I sit down to write
    I then cast my eyes to the light.

  8. Tara Vaughan-Williams

    Tenderly massaging the baby hair of each fruit
    And mediating on the rivulets gathered at my chin,
    I bite the peach again, and it answers in kind.

    The tang pooling beneath my tongue electrifies
    My teeth, jaw, and pulse points. Refreshing
    Sweetness cools a thirsty, angry mouth.

    And I have yet to swallow either the peach or my
    Predicament, but I am learning to love again
    With each bite of fruit, of life, even as the colors fade.

  9. Leslie Uehara


    Who cares which came first
    the chicken or the egg
    as long as they add up to breakfast
    on my plate yolk-centered suns
    beating onto dunked toast
    running warm yellow rays
    under a heap of pan fries.

    My reality births eggs in cartons
    in multiples of twelve
    consistently delivered through
    nourishing acts by strangers
    routinely filling baskets
    as the sun cracks open
    its nighttime shell.

  10. Reesha

    The nifty tool (thanks btw for that!) said I didn’t have a poem for Day 20. I thought I had posted it but apparently not. Sorry if this is a double submission.


    It’s the simple things
    Like Orange Juice in the morning
    Or time to drink it,
    A simple thing like
    Seeing the sun break through
    The clouds,
    Simple things like
    The crunch of gravel
    Under rubber soles
    Echoing across a hot, summer
    lawn filled with
    brown grass and children playing
    In the sprinkler,
    It’s a simple thing like
    Realizing or remembering that thing
    That makes you really excited
    To get out of bed,
    or finally succeeding or getting
    Something done,
    It’s the simplest things
    That make inspiration
    Surge forth anew
    Pumping through the soul,
    the head, the eyes,
    Until there is nothing to do
    But shine brilliantly forth
    And leave the vivid air
    Singed by an idea
    Whose time has come.

  11. Kripa Nidhi

    When I walked down these cobblestone-laden
    streets the early hours of Saturday,
    these alleys smelled of beer and pee
    littered with vomit and cigarette butts. And I,
    like the rest who, wobbled along resting
    our hands on the shoulders of our less inebriated
    partners. This afternoon though, treading
    the same path, the streets sparkle with life –
    and shimmer bright under a spring sky.
    All round, though my head is still a little groggy,
    I smell colognes and perfumes of those seeking
    to make a better impression than they did last night –
    Never knew rains and showers could do so much.

    – Kripa Nidhi

  12. Lissa

    The Egyptians Believed

    Have I known you before?
    The instant of you walking through the door
    dressed all in black
    is etched too well
    to be a single memory.

    Maybe I have understood you
    in obscure whispers
    without a source,
    tasted you from the golden nib
    and smelled you in lush soil.

    Maybe I have seen you in
    spaces between the stars,
    or in the final pitch of dreams
    before reawakening.

  13. Claudia Marie Clemente

    **********************************************(slightly revised)****

    *the constant*

    cell by cell,
    our bodies rebirth
    every seven years

    gray matter
    however, renews
    much more slowly,

    cushioning the last
    exception: organic

    indelibly written –
    housing memory, lasting
    as long as the I, in I.

    Now, I am considering
    my finger, lined
    by a butter knife,

    scarred longer
    than seven years, all
    while my mind busily erases

    dinner sunday afternoon,
    bergman’s dress in casablanca,
    and high school math;

    drives pushing
    information synapse
    by synapse until

    that moment
    no energy remains
    queued to spew.

    What stays constant
    in regeneration,
    and what alters while fixed,

    and vice versa:
    but just the way

    it is,
    a fact, empirical –
    just like this

    love for you


  14. Claudia Marie Clemente

    **********************************************(slightly revised)****

    *the constant*

    cell by cell,
    our bodies rebirth
    every seven years

    gray matter
    however, renews
    much more slowly,

    cushioning the last
    exception: organic

    indelibly written –
    housing memory, lasting
    as long as the I, in I.

    Now, I am considering
    my finger, lined
    by a butter knife,

    scarred longer
    than seven years, all
    while my mind busily erases

    dinner sunday afternoon,
    bergman’s dress in casablanca,
    and high school math;

    drives pushing
    information synapse
    by synapse until

    that moment
    no energy remains
    queued to spew.

    What stays constant
    in regeneration,
    and what alters while fixed,

    and vice versa:
    but just the way

    it is,
    a fact, empirical –
    just like this

    love for you


  15. Merddyn Aladar

    "From Parent to Child"

    Nutrients pass from corpse to plant
    So that when that plant’s a corpse
    It’ll bring more nourishment to others

    Knowledge passes from father to son
    So that when the son is a father
    He can give more knowledge to his son.

    A star collapses on itself, exploding
    Starting the life of nearby protostars
    So that stars spread across eternity

    The cycle continues for all time
    The parent improving on the children
    So never is there a limit on everything

  16. Lynne


    When we have committed humanicide
    after failing as caretakers of our
    planet, may the next incarnation
    learn from our mistakes, may they
    abolish greed along with the sense
    of entitlement regardless of
    consequence, may they embrace love
    for all existence and recognize the
    value of diversity.

    Lynne Nelsen

  17. Amanda Caldwell


    We baptized our toddler today
    at the church we thought of leaving.
    He was supposed to be a baby,
    but we dithered for two years,
    too lazy to leave, too discouraged to stay,
    or so we thought.
    Too lazy won out,
    and then maybe a rebirth of encouragement,
    a friendship here and there,
    and a glimpse of hope that
    we might still be at home.

    In the sprinkling of the water,
    in the reciting of the vows,
    in the faces of the congregation,
    we pledged our baby,
    we pledged ourselves.

  18. T.B. Bryceson


    A murder of crows came down, around,
    And ogled the peach fallen to the ground
    They, one by one, took turns to savagely feed
    The fruit was tender, sweet and supple
    It lay at their mercy, never struggled,
    Giving itself to nurture their hungry need

    Their nature was selfish, craving, and ravenous,
    Their need long unsated, dark and cavernous,
    Though not of their failing, for circumstance made them so
    One by one, they took their turn,
    Each peck reducing the thing they yearned,
    ‘Til sweet and tender was cut down to cold, hard stone

    And thus, there lay my used, spent heart,
    Finished, devoured, ripped apart,
    A cold, sharp stone, all that was left of it
    A lifeless looking thing, indeed,
    And yet, perhaps, a living seed
    To sprout forth hope from within that cold hard pit

    Copyright 2009 by T.B. Bryceson

  19. Ivy Merwine

    It is as simple as your state of mind.
    Everything dies and everything comes back in a few form.
    Nothing really stops; it just transforms.
    Old ways can change by thinking new thoughts.
    Old things can be restored.
    Nothing is designed to die and cease to exist.
    It’s just recycled into something else.

  20. Cathy Sapunor


    The ranger warned us Hat Lake would
    go away, as silt carried down the feeder creek
    built up year after year.

    We hoped Mount Lassen
    would erupt again, just so we could
    say we saw it. But the lake?
    I grieved that it would vanish.

    Forty years later, the lake is small but there.
    And around its edges grass and Jeffrey Pine,
    flowers I cannot name, and butterflies.

    Mount Lassen vents steam,
    In its shadow, Hat Meadow blooms.

    Cathy Sapunor

  21. Alyssa Watson

    Falling Winter

    Leaves are a swirl of colors
    In the dim twilight
    The light fades
    And shadows move across them
    Silent, shivering shapes

    The glorious morn arises
    Solemn and bright
    White with the crisp, fallen snow
    Joy in its beginning
    Silver, shining sleet

  22. Nikki Griffith

    and one more…

    Poetic expressions sublime
    from forms I love to rhyme
    whatever its worth
    to seek true rebirth
    Don’t procrastinate, stay on time

  23. Nikki Griffith

    Rebirth, Three Simple Nursery Rhymes

    Poetic expressions of art
    from forms I must plan the dart
    whatever its worth
    to seek true rebirth
    push myself, won’t stay long on start

    Poetic expressions of care
    from forms plan to always beware
    whatever its worth
    to seek true rebirth
    be daring, can’t pull out my hair

    Poetic expressions of art
    from forms plan to never depart
    whatever its worth
    to seek true rebirth
    bare down, write where I feel my heart

  24. Elaine Parny


    fresh dirt, morning grass
    after the rain, honeysuckle,
    etched by the years,
    lies dormant
    in the nursing home;
    walking alone on the cement
    path past the clinic,
    squinting on the bench,
    my home can be seen
    just over yonder

  25. Nancy Breen


    It’s against my nature to ravage books,
    to enjoy seeing their pages torn
    or the words obscured with paint
    and collage. But the original tome

    was a cast-off at the Goodwill,
    denuded of its dust jacket,
    a really bad edition of a really
    bad book. Why not
    rescue it from its limbo

    with jewels and fibers,
    with images and windows
    cut through signatures to make
    niches where treasures hide,
    or goddesses or saints–
    a shrine to the rebirth
    of the homely and commonplace
    rethought and redesigned,
    art elevated to new art.

  26. gbivings

    In the Dead of Autumn

    hands that used to find
    each other with ease
    now cringe at the thought.
    love has not left the building,
    it merely needs a rest.
    the leaves are dead and dying.

    the breeze whispers softly
    ushering in a season of
    release, from the activity
    of minds that are discontent.
    quiet stillness settles;
    love returns anew.

  27. Adriana Borzellino

    The universe is shifting
    In ways that
    I never could have imagined
    Expanding my thought process
    To a place where possibility exists
    Within me
    Rather than something I have to seek

    I can now see
    Multiple visions for my future
    I am over-flowing with creative ideas
    As an expanse of what I’m capable of
    The doors of my soul are opening
    In preparation for
    The overhauling of a hopeless system

    Appearing as visions, I’m overcome with ideas
    Plans are beginning to involve action
    Instead of dying on the vine
    Necessary movement
    That is gaining traction
    Trickling up my spine
    And taking root
    As an uprising

    The future is mine.

  28. Stacey Cornwell


    After the ravishes of winter
    The world around seems dead
    And empty of all life

    Or so one might think
    Until the first flower
    Pushes through the ground

    It stands tall on its own
    The first pilgrim into a new world
    That still seems strange and barren

    But then more come along
    And it seems as if one cannot walk
    Without treading on fragile life

    Where from did this life come?
    Did it spring from wishes?
    Or does Nature have some magic
    That we humans could learn from

  29. Carrie Johns

    I will be reborn, I hope one day
    And until then I do pray
    That all my wrongs & all my rights
    Will find a balance in the night
    To help me from going astray.

    The right & wrong I hope to weigh;
    A celestial judge to hope to sway
    And in the darkness show me light
    I will be reborn.

    When it comes to face that day
    And black and white will blend to gray
    Know that you’re always in my sight
    And we’ll find each other in the light
    For like you, I solemnly pray
    I will be reborn.

  30. Lytton Bell

    The Chick

    I ran all the way through the woods
    from the big house before tea just to hold this
    baby pheasant in my hands
    The tall, silent man stood close behind me

    Through bluebells, leaf buds
    warm rain in a half-blue sky, and sun
    I ran, crying
    to behold the spark of life
    in the little hatchling

    Why did the man reach out his hand?

    Life delivers us out of our solitude
    fingers tender, motherly
    holds us moist and new in the fresh light
    of wonder

    vibrant and whole
    our every possibility as intact
    and smooth as eggshell
    time and timelessness
    streaming like rain from our every motion
    blazing out from us
    like daylight

  31. Julie Bloss Kelsey


    Lying prone under
    the sterile pool of light
    my body is shaking,
    strapped like a package
    bursting at the seams.
    The doctor consoles,
    "It’s almost time,"
    to feel again
    the tugging sensation,
    as you are ripped
    apart from my body.
    I am crying, but
    I must stop myself
    mid-fit to listen.
    Only when I hear
    your cry in return
    am I reborn a mother.

  32. Raven Zu


    Chronic Fatigue is a thief.
    It robs and pilfers and leaves
    no energy,
    no brain,
    only pain persists.
    Even the semblence of
    a life lived is taken.

    Recovery, though slow, brings
    more energy,
    more brain,
    less pain.
    A life, a real life, a new life.
    For me, a writer’s life.

    Who would have thought
    the thief would give
    more than it stole?

  33. Ramona Gonzales


    But…I LIKE my shell.
    It’s so warm, and cozy and familiar
    and I know how to do this
    be here, feel it on me and know I’m safe.

    But…I do always complain about it
    weighing me down
    making me lumpy, heavy, slow

    But…I know all the rules of the shell!
    I know how things go, what it means when
    people look at it.
    I know how the see me, what they think of
    That first image means something and I don’t
    have to guess anymore.
    I know this shell so well.

    Molting is changing and learning new rules and
    new languages.
    New is unstable. I want to be solid.
    I want to know, know, KNOW.

    But…I have to leave now and
    it will hurt. The new light will sting,
    all touch will be torture.

    But…I made it through last time.
    I’ll make it again.

  34. Pearl Pirie

    off yours, lazy bones

    asses to asses, and duff to duff
    everybody’s torn to lie down their
    wide load? nuh-huh.

    everybody must stand up and sit down
    on their tailgate, or integral rumble seat
    end or butt, even if injured in the line
    of booty, if swatted, cuffed or strapped
    for cash, still the rear guarded, dear rump
    is not sitting on easy seat.

    sweet cheeks, go on, blush. the crack made
    and derriere’s back smile’s grin must be
    sturdy enough to rise again. after all
    it’s the biggest muscle
    the phoenix of the trunk
    and must be at a moment’s notice
    and call go, bottoms up.

    there are breeches to slip into,
    the tail wind of up and at em, the buttock
    stops here but only for a quick hiney minute.
    not near done.

  35. Christine Brandel


    Despite my previous insistence, I confess
    I didn’t really believe it until the morning she died
    and the barren and neglected violet plant
    produced ten purple blooms with yellow eyes.
    In the cold, dark January morning when death
    filled the house, this sign of life. And this spring,
    a bed of violets fills the garden. The new grass
    dappled with deep purple reminders of her.

  36. Cheryl Pearson

    Recollections of a Fossil

    There was sun, and there was rain. Above my head,
    a private ceiling strung with stars. Underfoot,
    a womb of loam, the umbilical map of my thin roots spreading,
    tiny veins, rivers, earthward.

    These were the days I moved in the wind,
    my green arms conducting their singular music.

    The stars revolved, a perfect audience.
    The sun spread her bright hands out and played for me.

    Then came a long sleep in a rocky coffin,
    crushed under fathoms in a new sea.

    A dreamless sleep while the world circled
    and fish swam in the silence
    and their thin fins stroked me.

    Now, I am a ghost of myself. A perfect memory.
    Pressed into stone like a prom-flower pressed between sheets of vellum
    and remembered, vaguely,

    Now, I am a ghost who dreams of sun.

    (I fade in the glare
    of the aquarium bulb.
    And fish swim in the silence above me,
    and their thin fins stroke me).

  37. Tony Walker

    April 20th prompt: Rebirth
    Dawn, the air is cool
    The sky is light
    The breeze, like a damp cloth
    Washes my face
    The world is new again
    The day has been reborn
    Life expectancy: 12 hours

  38. Sally Deems-Mogyordy

    “Rebirth” (a villanelle)

    Dying is not the hardest part,
    nor is the shedding of old skin.
    It’s all about rebirth of heart.

    To figure a new course to chart,
    ignore the noise above the din.
    Dying is not the hardest part.

    A faithful guide right from the start,
    the voice that whispers from within–
    it’s all about rebirth of heart.

    Some dreams the mind attempts to thwart;
    the theft of them would be a sin.
    Dying is not the hardest part.

    When mind and body drift apart–
    alive, but watching hope grow thin–
    it’s all about rebirth of heart.

    Wisdom tells us when change is smart,
    so invite courage to come in.
    Dying is not the hardest part;
    it’s all about rebirth of heart.

    © 2009 Sally Deems-Mogyordy

  39. Jackie

    Motherly Markings

    She peeks at me in the checkout line,
    flushed cheeks, sticky lips, shining eyes;
    he smiles at me over his father’s shoulder
    three proud teeth, coppery floss, creamy forehead–
    children everywhere are drawn to me,
    somehow they sense the birth of years ago,
    the birth of the mother, who will catch
    your vomit, soothe your fever, poke
    your tummy to hear your giggles, pack
    a picnic in five minutes. Even
    though I can be out in the world,
    footloose and child-free, anywhere
    I go, a child will seek me out,
    will claim me with chubby hands
    and mark me as a mother.

  40. David H. Snell


    paints another original masterpiece on sky canvas
    cooks an array of Gaian dishes and
    washes away the film of shadow, rubbing
    new shine into leaf and lodge

    flings white spectral dust across heavens
    tucks the world into sleep
    projects first-run dreams on mind screens,
    invites strange liaisons

  41. Molly Fisk

    Folk Wisdom

    My friend says depression is curable
    by washing your sheets and your hair
    on the same day so when you crawl
    into bed everything’s wonderful.
    It works for her. I’ve tried it, the smells
    are good, it cheers me up for maybe
    an hour. I need stronger medication,
    which I swallow twice a day with milk
    and sometimes a chocolate donut.
    Calories don’t stick if you eat standing up.

  42. riddlewoman

    Anew You

    What would happen..
    Ever wondered..
    what it might be like?

    If you could be you but new?

    Can you see the,
    Changes you have made,
    Things left behind and re-arranged..
    And whats it like,

    being new,
    and still being you..

    Something like joy.
    And what would happen if…

    You wanted that to be,
    The next reality that you create?

    And supposing if I said,
    That it all happens,

    in your head..
    and that it as easy as,
    as easy..

    as you’d like it to be
    being new,
    and being you.
    You wondered.


  43. Jin

    "After The Rain"

    Doesn’t the grass always seem
    greener after the rain?
    When the storm ceases
    and the sun parts
    the charcoal clouds,
    doesn’t light shine
    on the Earth?
    A baptism of the land
    born again anew,
    doesn’t the grass always seem
    greener after the rain?

  44. Ruth Mattern

    Mother Earth

    I love to see the springtime come
    with longer days and lots of sun.
    When everything is fresh and new,
    it takes away the winter blues.
    Seedlings sprout up from the ground.
    The birds and butterflies abound.
    You look and see that tiny leaves
    begin to cover all the trees.
    I love the Spring, time for rebirth
    of the gracious Mother Earth.

  45. Julie Fisher


    My salty damp skin
    cools as the tickle of breeze
    slinks through the window.

    My nipples
    rise up when
    the invisible caress

    My limbs are splayed
    across him
    along the bed

    I relinquish
    knots in my neck
    clench of shoulders
    vitriol held behind
    pressed teeth.

    Tongue lashing
    dissolves into
    French kisses

    Shirts, belts
    melt onto the floor.

    The Harpy retreats
    as pleasure
    rises from ashes.

  46. Michael Roy

    “New Day”

    Each moment is an opportunity to embrace
    As time moves on its endless pace
    The past is filled with moments of anger and mistakes
    These times are remembered like planted stakes
    But time moves on with a steady beat
    Forgive the past and the marker will fall
    For the new day is here, so enjoy the treat

  47. jane penland hoover

    Break Out

    How complete
    this layered fight
    boxed in again
    by your witty lines
    pointing always out
    your singular intent

    to keep me round
    not fat but not away
    and never outside
    your fine-drawn perimeter

    no matter what the size
    a cage is still a cage
    whether it be circular or concave
    or some expanded representation
    of your pyramidal mind
    heavy at the bottom and
    pointed at the top

    without eyes
    the thought of vision
    you fail to see the ellipsis left
    with I refuse your fight
    walk out
    into the light
    never to return
    to your dark universe.

  48. JaniceMartin

    Born Again

    There is a song in my soul
    That birds will never sing.
    There is a feeling that I know
    That outshines everything.

    It is the Spirit as He whispers.
    It is the Spirit as He shouts.
    It is the Spirit living in me
    That I cannot live without.

    Before I never knew
    Just what my life could be.
    The old man that I was
    Had me blind, I couldn’t see.

    Then Jesus came one night,
    Told me I was forgiven,
    Gave me a second chance
    To leave death and join the living.

    The mysteries of the Bible
    Thru revelation He unfolds.
    Caretaker of my heart
    And of all the dreams it holds.

    I know I’ll live in heaven.
    That’s the promise He gave to me.
    Forgave me all my wickedness,
    Healed my soul and set me free.

  49. Cassandra O'Shea


    I searched from sea to sea
    weeping openly.

    I cried from coast to coast
    looking for a ghost.

    I laughed from land to land
    and held my own hand.

  50. Roy

    The Rising

    The flour goes into the bowl with salt.
    A teaspoonful. Bread soda, sieved. You mix
    In a handful of wheatmeal. Buttermilk
    Turns it all into a damp paste. You cradle
    It onto the table and knead it well
    To take the cracks from the dull lifeless form.
    Your knife marks the sign of the cross on it
    To scare the fairies. Into the oven.
    Through the glass door you can see the bread rise.

  51. Lisa W.

    Many Births

    I have been many
    in the time I’ve
    been here.

    Many roles ended,
    going into my
    beloved cocoon,
    to re-emerge anew.

    Lisa A. Wooley

  52. Lisa W.

    Many Births

    I have been many
    in the time I’ve
    been here.

    Many roles ended,
    going into my
    beloved cocoon,
    to re-emerge anew.

    Lisa A. Wooley

  53. Bernadette McComish

    Tidal Force

    Both my homes melt
    today. I can’t escape the stink of otherness—
    like exhaled smoke.

    We are not frigid just lonely
    under starless nights. There is no home
    where no rose grows and the dark terrain
    makes me long for an end of ice.

    How fast we sink into craters of liquid
    My mask slips and fails,
    flees down sea, disappears into dim,
    deep as Earth twilight.

    How slow the sun kills what smells
    like my favorite woman
    her flesh fresh from sleep.

  54. Valerie Polichar


    He explained
    that this is how a piece of wire
    becomes melody;
    the wire resonates
    at a certain frequency,
    the soundhole amplifies,
    and there is music.

    As he spoke, he drew a coil of rusted wire
    from his pocket
    Drilled a couple of holes
    in an old wooden tissue holder
    Set in screws
    Wound the wire around
    Wound it tight.

    He made a rag bow
    from a snapped piece of fishing pole
    and drew it across the string,
    wire so rusty it made a pattern
    of orange across the scrap of cloth.

    We all heard the note,
    painful, squeaking, hesitant and new.
    "There, you see,"
    he said, looking down,
    as if talking to the instrument.
    "There’s hope for all of us.
    "Even garbage
    can be reborn as music."

  55. Cheryl Foreman


    Ready to be born
    Eager to try again
    Boldly opening wider
    I am newly formed
    Reeling from possibilities
    Touched by angels
    Healed by faith

  56. amanda

    On Deciding to Leave my Marriage

    “They flee from me
    that sometime did me seek,” I said
    and gently spilled
    my soul about the room.

    Then falling
    back upon the bed,
    I lay there with my Self borne open
    to let his words fall to my chest.

    That night, beneath the icy sheets
    my body rocked, grew
    white and hummed, abuzz
    with talk of Spain.

    Through the open hotel window then
    gray Night swept in the room,
    and carried with her
    like jagged trees
    that burst
    from cracked and bleeding earth
    in places dead and holy
    to beseech the salmon sky.

    Then in one breath,
    I found
    I knew.

  57. Erin Sway

    Past lives

    I read a book once about a girl
    who used to be an Egyptian princess in a past life.
    What if I were reincarnated?
    My golden hair might have come from
    Helen of Troy after a makeover from King Midas
    Maybe my stubborn disposition came from a crusty
    New England harbormaster who saw
    the Indians dump the tea
    If my brain was a gift from Einstein,
    the generations have diluted it somewhat.
    Do the strains of Mozart run through my veins –
    does Jenny Lind’s spirit entwine with mine?
    Does my need to know everything come directly from
    a 1920’s muckraker?
    Or am I just me?
    One life, one spirit, one past which I alone create.

  58. Carol Berger


    Every night, I die to the world.
    My sleep mask helps darken the room
    by shutting out any stray beams of light
    from street lamps and headlights at night,
    or from the rising sun which streams in the
    window opposite the bed in the morning,

    My ear plugs help cover the sounds of
    cars and trucks going by on the highway
    below my window, the phone ringing in
    another room, the upstairs neighbor’s
    flushing toilet or the sound of her dog’s
    toenails clicking on the floor above my head.

    But that is only the first line of defense
    against noise in the night.
    A small machine next to my bed
    makes the sound of the ocean
    breaking on the shore, and the floor fan
    drowns out even the tsunami sirens.

    Sleep is sacred and not to be disturbed,
    even at the risk of drowning in a tsunami
    or waking up to a house fire.
    Should these calamities befall me in the night,
    I will deal with then – the odds are slim –
    and so I sleep the sleep of a dead man.

    Come morning, whether it be 6 a.m. or noon,
    is when the miracle occurs every day.
    Where, with the help of copious quantities
    of chocolate milk and a long hot shower,
    I resurrect myself for the day,
    longing all the while to go back to bed.

  59. K Weber

    And bloom

    I wake up with good intentions
    if I manage a shower.

    Otherwise, I spend an entire day
    worrying about my scent.

    How do you break the cycle
    perpetuated, woman-long, in the bloodline?

    I start again with water, shampoo
    and release every stain and disdain.

    The basin clogs with worry
    and I’m free to move along.

    I smell like ginger and flowers
    and the day wafts newly.

    The rotten garbage and clutter
    of despair disappear into the drain of disposal.

    I fade into my own skin
    and wash, rinse and renew.

  60. Nadia Kazakov


    I close my eyes
    And imagine a renewed beginning

    The slate is clean
    The storms of life diminished

    I’m wise with words
    Nothing’s done without a purpose

    I’m confident
    The heart is calm I have no worries

    I am reborn
    I’ve taken on a better image

  61. Kelli Russell Agodon

    The Persistence of Time

    She thinks heaven
    and the pocket watch
    she kept from her father begins
    to tick. There are people
    in her home holding Easter lilies.
    There is a Bible being carried
    from room to room.
    She has placed rice crackers and brie
    on the kitchen table. Someone
    is praying for more deviled
    eggs. She never expected
    emptiness to be served to her
    in a crystal goblet,
    that she would be the one
    washing the dishes in the end.
    Someone says, Your father
    was a good man. Someone says, Thanks.
    There are voices in the corners
    whispering on their cellphones.
    The pocket watch still ticks,
    an unusual way to hear
    heaven, she thinks.

  62. Nancy Hatamiya


    I believed I was doing
    My best to be a good boss,
    A good person, a good wife
    A good mother;

    Living my life guided by
    Lists of things to do,
    Juggling work, marriage, home
    And taking care of the kids;

    Feeling exhausted,
    As though lost in the desert,
    Feeling the heat burning
    Through the soles of my
    Shoes like flames licking
    My feet;

    Beginning to feel the
    Sun is just too bright
    and that my eyes can’t focus—
    Feeling a bit dizzy,
    Disoriented, but
    Determined to

    Not noticing the edgy
    Tone and lack of patience,
    But attributing it to the
    Fact that I don’t suffer
    Fools well;

    Feeling that I can’t do
    Really well anymore,
    Just hanging on at work,
    And forgetting
    To nurture and cherish
    My marriage,
    much less
    Take care of myself;

    The guilt bringing me to
    Tears when I drop off my
    Son at the Elementary School
    Excited to go
    on a class field trip,
    But not able to go
    with him to share it
    As I’ll be busy
    with a visiting client

    The downward spiral
    Feels like a death watch,
    The slow decline,
    The tortuous journey,
    Mitigated by moments of
    Joy and gratitude—
    A kiss, a humorous
    Observation, a monumental
    Achievement by the boys,
    And then jerked back
    Down by a
    Argument or
    a dual
    Of wills
    Takes over once

    How many years
    Of focusing on
    Child rearing?

    On making ends

    On climbing a
    Career ladder?

    And how many
    Years to realize
    That something
    Must change?

    Then one day,
    Two amazing poets
    Wrote me notes
    On the same day;
    Each suggesting that
    Perhaps I should
    Try writing poetry
    Because I love
    Reading it so much;

    So on a cold, rainy
    Day in Eureka,
    In a dingy hotel room,
    I took out my
    Lap top and
    Started to write;

    And every day since
    Then, I have either
    Been writing or
    Thinking about
    What I would like
    To write;

    And in a few
    Weeks, I began
    To feel purpose
    In my life,
    To recognize
    My own voice
    It struck me
    That I would
    Never be able
    To be the partner
    Or the mother
    I wish to be
    Unless I could
    Find myself


  63. Eileen Rosensteel


    You tell me you have been
    Reborn into a new life.
    Like a phoenix rising from the ashes.
    Swearing that this time,
    Will be different.
    But I see
    You are holding the
    Book of matches
    That started the last fire.

  64. Lauren Clare Buchanan

    ok, this was gonna be about ovid and caesar’s trasformation into a star and then augustus … but this hit … it shld probaby be in the angry poem day but meh …

    ~ Phoenix Rising ~

    I hate you I despise you I loathe You
    Detestation, Revulsion, You Sicken Me
    Trying to Infect Me

    Just try little swine
    Spread your damn flu
    Your bacterial agents
    Hellbent on KILLING
    Yup, that’s YOU!

    Guess what dear DAEMON .. I’m Immune to you NOW
    Your name says it all, just replace the ‘e’ with an ‘i’
    There may be no ‘E’ but by God, there’s an ‘I’
    and EYE see straight though YOU
    I recognise your kind

    Your ‘I’ rules YOU, like the i in Lucifer
    Your selfishness, sollipsism, self-centredness
    Your warped and pathetic world view

    All people are dogs you say
    All out to get you
    All conspiring against you
    All lying and spinning stories
    They call you a fake, a liar, an actor
    Thou doth protest … a little too much methinks.

    Ever wondered why they hate you so much?
    Because all they say is true!
    You’re a malicious paranoid lonely spider preying and feasting on suffering souls,
    Who loves to watch his malevolent schadenfraude,
    You dug your grave so long ago
    Your foresight at least,
    I must applaud!

    Luckily I fall no longer under your spell
    Your actions tonight made me see just how correct my intuition was
    And of course my friends, who wish only for my health and happiness,
    How right they were to keep warning me against you.

    So like the Phoenix Rising
    I rise from the ashes of our "love"
    The ashes are cold as are you and my heart
    I am Fire
    I am Warmth
    I am usually Compassionate
    But for you

    I am Renewed
    I am Reborn
    I am A New Woman
    Stronger and Mightier
    Than Ever Before.

    Because Unlike you, I do not play by your rules
    No liar am I, No actor, No fake
    I wear my heart on my sleeve
    By god how you partook of that trait
    I have consecrated my life to truth
    "vitam impendere vero,"
    Yes, I know my Juvenal, my Rousseau, my Philosophers and Poets

    And since I am none of the things that you are
    I will be saved
    And Rise Once More
    Ready to face all that life holds
    Ready to fight more daemons
    Not you though, You’re gone!
    Left in derision, pity and scorn
    Your so-called God hath little time for those like you
    Who buy their way into heaven through the collection plate
    He aint savin’ you
    He got no time for swines like you
    Lucifer’s your best bet
    I can introduce you two

    As for the rest of us humans
    Yes, that’s what we’re called
    Not dogs as you call us
    Not bloody likely …
    We Don’t like Your Kind
    We Don’t Like You


    oooh look, i just stomped on a spider!
    If shoo shoo doesnt work, red lacoste moonboots work wonders.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ LCB ~ ~ ~ ~

  65. LaQuisha Hall

    A Virtuous Woman

    There was a time I knew of no goodness,
    I thought chastity was for the birds.
    I was not always a woman of the spirit,
    But I was graced with a resolution.
    I suffered through many shortcomings,
    After denying my strength.
    Yet, I now stand to receive my honor,
    Being a lady of excellent wisdom.
    I have obtained moral excellence.
    I live a life of righteousness.
    I do not need praise to know I am spoken well of.
    I trust that my master has received me,
    I seek only His favor and deliver to Him endearments.
    I am now simple in my design and style.
    I behold a beauty inside that radiates through my exterior surface.
    I will firmly continue with good principles.
    I value received and given good words.
    Encouragement is my care to those who are busy with worldliness,
    Yet I only stand for what is Godly and right.
    Take a walk in my shoes and you will call me blessed.
    I now hold my peace so that my good works will proclaim my praise.
    In the mirror of life, the reflection I receive is what I desired.
    My adornment praises, honors and glorifies Him.
    I am valued at priceless,
    I am a steady and believing
    Virtuous Woman.

  66. Iris Deurmyer

    April 20 (prompt=rebirth)

    Death Row

    This cell is as cold as Michigan winters
    and hard as the highways I used to travel on.
    For months I have been captured,
    Assigned to this blank cell.
    My mind alone is allowed to escape,
    To explore the world beyond these bars.
    Strangers read my mail, order my day,
    set my routines, cook my meals.
    The only decision left to me is
    whether to open my eyes or feign sleep,
    whenever they bring my tray.
    The bars are on my hospital bed.
    My ward is in a retirement home.
    The wardens are my nurses and
    my sentence is life.
    In death I will once again
    be free to wander and explore.
    I embrace death that I might
    Have life once again.

  67. Julie Fisher


    My salty damp skin
    cools as the tickle of breeze
    slinks through the window.

    My nipples
    rise up when
    the invisible caress

    My limbs are splayed
    across him
    along the bed

    I relinquish
    knots in my neck
    clench of shoulders
    vitriol held behind
    pressed teeth.

    Tongue lashing
    dissolves into
    French kisses

    Shirts, belts
    melt onto the floor.

    The Harpy retreats
    as pleasure
    rises from ashes.

  68. Elaine Wilson

    A Soul Reborn

    I feel water, cool and wet
    sliding over my skin
    as if the membrane is a shell, not part of who I am.

    They say the day I took the trip
    down the birth canal
    to the light, that I couldn’t tell what was me and what was the wet.
    and that is why I screamed.

    They say it took a long time to tell the difference.
    A lifetime of scraped knees
    Burst burn blisters and aching joints.

    They say there’s a canal at the end of it all
    and a light.
    But they don’t tell me if I’ll have another membrane,
    another lesson in boundaries.

  69. Helene Kwong

    It is only the beginning of something new
    Only the end of the old, the end of old thoughts
    It happens, creeps up suddenly
    And then, it breaks forward
    Life appears new again, but it’s the same as before
    Yet, the feeling of new lingers.
    It is only that.

  70. Sarah

    Three Seasons

    Cars packed with people split the swamp
    where my creek flows. They never pause
    to stare at hollowed logs, branchless trunks,
    wonder about the end of winter, spring still a whisper
    in the trickle of cold water through the culvert.

    What does this dying mean, this surrender
    after striving for three seasons? Grasses
    have been shedding locks for decades,
    climbing out of caskets, grow and grow
    over their flawed history. We are all eating

    ourselves, regurgitating what we thought
    was digested, disposed and left behind.
    But it heaves back, the crunch of gravel
    chip and seal, the steady rain falling
    after having traveled the culvert just yesterday,

    when I straddled the guard rail, cold metal
    creasing my thighs, watching
    every season of my life die and be reborn.

  71. Maria D. Laso


    red says,
    “look at me”
    kissing lips
    swishing hips
    stilettos patently
    red for love
    for danger
    for stop right there,
    missy—seeing red
    matador red ready
    set go big red
    paint the town
    shield the telltale
    bloodshot eyes
    ready for another
    red-letter day

  72. Kathleen Jercich


    good morning, cirrus circus stealaway.
    here are hooks behind your knees
    and in your palms
    they tug as you trudge. you’re the chief puppeteer.

    the stars hang strings of their own to catch flyboys
    singing "here, here, jupiter" and he thinks
    just once I’d like to lie against a headstone
    and not be feared for moon-dust in the twilight

    it’s easy. it dawns: it’s easy.
    he’s his own puppetmaster, for the sake of his palms
    he’ll wake with the first crack of morning in the cabinet
    singing with smoke still afloat in his molars

  73. Karen Perry

    Changing Where The Sun Is Not

    Your mustache
    hangs like a
    lop-sided goatee

    Your left ear slides
    down your neck
    to rest on your shoulder

    Your shoulder slumps,
    becomes a long
    extension of your hand
    rising upwards
    like red exploding lava

    Your blood bubbles out
    through the pores in your skin
    now gushing down your
    torso and legs

    to your feet which now
    widen and flatten
    like mounds of
    soft clay
    heating higher
    and higher until
    bits of flesh
    drip through the
    floor boards
    onto the earth

    the earth turns again
    and soaks up the
    melted flesh along
    with all those before
    turning faster faster
    until all knowledge
    of you has become
    the molten core
    of existence.

    — karen perry

  74. Dr. Jeanne Hounshell


    You say
    think and write
    a stellar poem
    on rebirth.

    Poetry is not
    Poetry is song
    the soul singing
    to remind us
    of our Divinity.

    Every poem
    is a rebirth
    of my soul
    as it tells me
    in ever new ways
    the truths of live.

    The joys and the sorrows
    the good and the bad
    the tears and the laughter
    spill onto the page.

    And I am born anew
    with each memory
    with each prophesy
    with each song.

    Nay, think not
    let your heart
    write the poem
    let your soul write
    the poem.

    And you will
    find yourself
    ever new
    and ever
    in new ways.

  75. Jodi Adamson


    She strains underneath the water.
    Her face a red tomato, her chest in a vice.
    He is holding her down forever,
    But it is only a second.
    She surfaces and gulps blessed air.
    She is reborn.

  76. Sonia L. Russell

    How Can I Be Reborn?

    How can I be reborn?
    I mean how silly to fathom such?

    Well when a flower opens wide
    And drops its seeds outside
    They replant into the earth
    That’s one definition of rebirth

    But what is that to do with me?
    It doesn’t seem the same too much

    Okay, well we’ll try this scenario
    The first birth is totally physical
    But to be reborn a second time
    You must confess Christ with your mouth, heart, and mind.

    Uh, okay, I think I understand
    Reborn in the spirit, with God’s touch

    See, now you have it, a seed planted in fertile ground
    Once it takes root, goodness will abound
    You see you can’t come to the father, except through His son
    So when you have been born again, you accept them and the Holy Spirit as one

  77. Sarah Provence

    Love Reset

    Move all the hands back an hour or two.
    Forget everything you have learned about love –
    its many alarm clocks and unbalanced poses,
    its seven sweet surprises,
    its fortune cookie endings.

    You can break it open later.
    For now the code can be uncracked.
    Pretend the lilacs have not yet bloomed, and
    all eggshells have yet to be broken.

  78. Melanie

    Flowers blossom and birds sing,
    This reminds me of so many things.
    – Memories of longer days
    Hearing what nature has to say.
    The cold death of winter is no more.
    I watch the world return to life
    The greenest grass comforts the soul that is sore
    And the warmth of the sun erases strife

  79. John Davies


    at calculated points
    around the sphere of rock.

    falls through emptiness
    piercing the surface.

    carried into the shelter
    of pools within deep caves.

    opened to nurture,
    to stimulate growth.

    brought to sterile dust and water.
    A world born anew.

  80. Jean Tschohl Quinn

    This is what comes from watching recordings of "Supernatural" when recovering from jet lag:

    A Villainous Villanelle

    Out of the oozing, slaggy deep
    It claws its way up onto the rock
    It only wants to help you to sleep

    Out of the oozing, slaggy deep
    It moves among us; yes, it can walk
    And glide or shuffle, follow and creep
    It only wants to help you to sleep
    “Relax,” you’ll hear its charming talk
    “Trust me,” it whispers, “Now, not a peep”

    Out of the oozing, slaggy deep
    You realize you cannot block
    Its forceful strength, its charming sweep

    It only wants to help you to sleep
    It takes you leisurely to the dock
    And bids you with it now to “Leap”

    Without reserve the promise you’ll keep
    It drags you under, beyond shock
    Out of the oozing, slaggy deep
    It only wants to help you to sleep

  81. Susan Brennan


    Rows of sedum heads cluster
    like green clouds to catch rain.
    Bald buildings finally toupee’d.

    Soon, legions of Maize will ripen golden
    pods and belly up to the sun; silks
    and green flag leaves will wave announcement

    of the botanical dynasty. Below, neo cons fossilize
    their tongues; demonize the age of seed while fruit, node
    and whorl plump and shimmy off Bacchanal vines.

  82. Rebecca Chasteen

    There’s No Epidural by Rebecca Chasteen

    You know,
    it’s not easy
    re-birthing people

    The canal
    is less than willing to oblige
    the membrane
    is thick with
    and regrets
    embedded with patterns
    seeming unbreakable

    The only
    ones that make it out
    are the ones that don’t care
    how dirty they get
    in the meantime.

  83. Arnissa H.

    A Rebirth

    The bright sun popping out the sky
    On a early Monday day
    Refreshing, inspiring, a whole new awakening
    To start off a day, with a clean slate
    Running fast to the finish line
    Until it starts again

  84. Tracy Chiles McGhee

    Black Broadway

    At the intersection of jazz and cool
    two brown-skinned dolls hip rockin
    down the boulevard while three cats
    draped in zoot suits keep pace

    Swingin’clubs and bustling shops
    wait to empty any pocket with loot
    and the Scurlock brothers
    snap shots before the cats and dolls
    cruise off to do the Lindy Hop

    Royalty cutting the rug! Righteous!

    They called it Black Broadway-
    right in DC down on 14th and U
    If you don’t believe me, ask
    Zora, Langston, Ella, Pearl and Duke
    and that’s just to name drop a few!

    No jive!

    And the party lasted a good long while
    Until they killed our King
    Then Boomerang!
    The people burned down the house that pride built

    Gone just like that!

    Dope dealers and hoodlums paraded in
    like they owned the joint and
    broke down folks took up residence
    in boarded up buildings with no dreams and no hope

    A damn shame! Made you wanna cry!

    But that was then and this is now
    and something new is stirring in the ashes

    Good times rising!

    Different times and a different crowd
    but you best believe U Street is where
    I be! Still lookin sharp too!
    Got swagger like the youngins say!
    And you can put a C-note on that!

    But those were the days
    Black Broadway
    Yep! That’s what they called it
    at the intersection of jazz and cool
    where we had a ball and broke all the rules!

  85. Tammy Paolino

    The cleansing

    A day without a shower
    is always a little bit off.

    As you age, your hair really
    doesn’t need to be washed
    each day, but skipping a day –
    lather, rinse, repeat –
    sets the morning off
    on an unsettling course
    from which it won’t recover.

    And it’s not just about your hair,
    which will annoy you all day long.
    Even your favorite outfit
    won’t feel pulled together,
    a bit too frumpy, a bit too stiff,
    from overcompensating, pressed
    into service for the wrong date.

    You will choose the wrong shoes.
    The lipstick you select
    will be too bright, the wrong pink.
    Your keys won’t be hanging
    in the proper spot, making you later.
    You’ll leave your lunch in the fridge,
    find the tank on E, skip the coffee.

    All day long, you’ll feel ill at ease,
    and ill-prepared, and just plain ill.
    There’ll be more meetings,
    and your boss will make them all.
    Your podmate will show off
    a great new haircut, and
    over lunch she’ll get engaged.

    She dreams of wedding dresses,
    but you dream of Suave, and Finesse
    and White Rain, of the soap and
    rushing water, the downpour that
    will wash away all the evidence
    of a day without a shower,
    which is always just a little off.

  86. Julie Hayes


    Walking on the hot coals
    No pain is felt
    Only a love so pure
    And so true

    Walking on the hot coals
    Complete awareness abounds
    All sins are swept away
    And life is here to stay

    Walking on the hot coals
    The old life is gone
    And a new life is born
    As if dead skin was torn.

  87. Kristin

    for the children
    too many of them in the paper lately
    the ones that died at the hands of their own parents
    I wish for you a rebirth
    to start again

    to be born into a family with a mother and father
    who are thrilled to hear you are on the way
    who mark doctor’s appointments carefully on a calendar
    who have tears of joys in their eyes when they hear your heartbeat
    for the first time
    with a big, excited family of grandparents, aunts, uncles and
    cousins in the waiting room
    waiting for you
    as your mother pushes you gently into the world again
    for a new start

    your new mother
    will hold you close to her warm breast
    and the first thing you will see as you open your dark blue eyes
    is her calm and smiling face

    your new father
    will sit in a chair with a pillow on his lap
    waiting for your mother to bring you to him
    you in your warm swaddled bundle
    he’ll be nervous and eager, sitting still
    to ensure he hold you comfortably and closely
    that very first time
    he’ll hold you carefully and coo at you
    marveling at your tiny lips and pink cheeks
    your mother will have tears in her eyes
    so joyous to be a part of this miracle of life
    you feel warm and safe and secure
    and loved
    I wish for you this new beginning

  88. shann palmer

    Becoming Barbra

    In the new millennium, she recreates
    her former self, a gift for the devout-
    all they want for whatever she can ask,
    and she can ask a lot, more than most

    women who made it in a man’s world,
    wrangling their dream with hardly any pull,
    left to hold the daily grudge hard work culls
    as though it might be missed when over.

    She would never sing only for the money;
    For a cause, a debt, some crazy notion
    that makes the world a better place? For that
    she’ll drag out the high dollar arrangements

    she keeps under the stairwell, hidden
    with the ski boots, the right to silence
    earned before half her fans were born,
    competency is its own reward, scripting

    her story, lest you forget habit is reliable,
    a memory retold often enough becomes true,
    the way we were seen in impossible colors,
    the way we are reborn in such small ways.

  89. SB Williamson

    Stirred Awake

    I felt a flutter, a
    reminder of some
    distant sensation

    like when I
    first felt my
    unborn child,
    but deeper.

    like when I
    first felt I
    would not
    die of grief.

    I felt a flutter.
    I felt.

  90. Nori Odoi

    (resubmitted due to different email address)

    I am not the same
    as the I of a moment ago
    even now I die painlessly
    barely noticing the being
    who has supplanted me

    every moment I am reborn
    an almost clone
    infinitesmally different
    we are linked like paper cutouts
    tied by memory and passion

    now I am reading a journal entry
    written during my college years
    my chest tightens in sudden pain
    I remember the dreamer that was
    I grieve like a child who has lost her mother

  91. Nike Binger Marshall

    Birthing a Seed

    It begins as an inkling,
    a seed of thought,
    and thought
    builds on thought,
    a solid foundation
    until height
    and depth
    and mass
    are achieved.
    Concept upon concept,
    each word
    becomes like strands
    of a painter’s brush
    with each syllable,
    a picture is formed
    creating new realities,
    dreams and fantasies.
    is what poetry is to me.

  92. James Longley

    Hungry Carnation

    A Seer told me that my grandmother
    helped a dying man to fan out
    into the brilliance of a goldfish
    as he passed. I felt, on the night
    she died without my knowledge,
    some part of her fanned out into me:

    the extravagant youth and barking
    marrow hungry for the fruit of night
    and for meat. Why this should be
    strange, or its passing stranger
    is not clear to me. But this spectral
    afternoon I am not ruddy and clear.

    I am a tangle of mottled down, milkweed
    and gossamer through which she
    and countless other lives and my own
    have blown and twisted. Perhaps
    to reincarnate when a salted bread
    and oil are taken with wine,

    but just as likely to scatter up
    to the whispering cloud or into
    other spirits scattered haphazardly about.

  93. Juanita Snyder

    second coming
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    when our bodies lie
    in the bowels of the earth
    stiff and blackened,
    and the memories come back to
    haunt us like a flipbook of charcoal drawings,
    you’ll roll those dark eyes
    I love and covet, and
    bitch for a do-over,
    citing interference and marked cards
    in a garden filled with serpents
    and red apples,
    while I open my own arms
    instead to butterflies
    who stop long enough to
    drink salt from my
    own decaying body before
    cocooning into flight…

    © 2009 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  94. Nori Odoi


    I am not the same
    as the I of a moment ago
    even now I die painlessly
    barely noticing the being
    who has supplanted me

    every moment I am reborn
    an almost clone
    infinitesmally different
    we are linked like paper cutouts
    tied by memory and passion

    now I am reading a journal entry
    written during my college years
    my chest tightens in sudden pain
    I remember the dreamer that was
    I grieve like a child who has lost her mother

  95. Sherilyn Lee

    Today is Moving Day

    I had no idea it was like this.
    I thought I had sorted through my clothes already.

    We agreed that I’d fill the wardrobe boxes,
    the movers would bring them down the hall and he’d empty them.

    The patient mover brings empty boxes and waits as
    I transfer armfuls of blouses, pants, and skirts.

    What is this still doing here?
    I thought I had gone through my clothes.

    Why do I have so many clothes?
    I am angry at my closet.

    The next day, I want to get rid of every thread, dud, button.
    I only wear the same five things anyway.

    Don’t read the size tag.
    Size is a lie, everything from S to XL hangs on this bar.

    Try everything on.
    Would I buy this again?

    Don’t look at the price tag – still attached.
    Pitch it.

    Someone else will love it.
    No one benefits from it hanging here.

    Half a dozen black trash bags later, everything in my closet fits.
    This is now a place of possibility.

  96. Kimberlee Thompson

    To Stand On

    The surgeon says,
    “She’ll hop right out of the cage.”

    He’ll take her first
    by dint of age.

    Just an overnight stay.
    Old pets do better at home.

    She does hop out of the cage,
    sans one back leg.

    She can climb onto the bed
    but forgets she can’t scratch

    on that side. Soon, she sashays
    up and down the stairs.

    “There’s nothing wrong with her,”
    my sister-in-law marvels

    at the landing. “Oh yes,”
    we agree, “pets can make you feel

    it’s different, but still okay.”

  97. F.L.Topliff

    Becoming again

    What of the this barren, wasted lot
    on the northwest corner of Lystra
    and the state highway? After all
    the oak and hickory were felled,
    the bulldozers finally left, logs
    hauled for timber, trampled scrub
    compacted and left for dead.
    The county says its “Commercial”;
    oversized signs blaze, “For Lease”.
    But it is, from my car window, quite useless
    other than as a landmark or reminder
    of the downside of speculation. For now,
    only broom sedge claims sparse victory
    over this vast, dry patch of red clay
    until such time as the sweet gum and pine
    see fit to jump start the forest cycle anew.

  98. Deb Brunell

    Me Again

    Not what I was
    Growing into something new
    Though I’ve made changes before
    I hope this time, I am true

    Not who I was
    From this lifetimes past
    Dropping all the negatives
    Daring to take a chance

    Wanting to be
    The very best me
    Find the path
    That is meant to be

    A fresh start
    Play a new part
    Live a better life
    With a stronger heart

    Stronger in mind
    Healthier in body
    Today I live
    As somebody

  99. Patricia Bostian

    The East Wind
    a new telling of an old story

    facing the east wind will bring babies the old Iroquois warned,
    but the ocean was eastward and the wind turned Woman’s head

    others are walking that early morning stretch of sand,
    too happy to notice Woman pleading with the wind

    they gather their shells, poke at a beached jellyfish,
    and Woman cries softly, blaming the setting moon

    a dog pounds past, drops of water swinging from his tail;
    Woman wades along the slapping waves, cursing the sun

    seagulls fight over a dead crab, tugging the meat from its shell;
    Woman leans her head against a pier piling and wails,

    moving out into the sucking tide, east, east, and deep:
    Turtle lumbers west to lay her eggs in the night’s empty sand.

  100. Susan M. Bell

    She Finally

    She finally left today
    Just took off without a word
    She had nothing to say
    Except maybe goodbye

    She finally figured out
    What to do with her life
    Stop listening to his shouts
    And live for herself

    She became a new person
    Who she’d always wanted to be
    She’d stopped searching
    And was finally free

  101. Andrew Schuch


    Upon liberty
    A man is reborn
    Beginning a new day
    Free from the chains
    Of yesterday

    Don’t question?
    …just obey?
    A man cannot understand
    Without questioning

    He cannot learn
    What to believe

    And without beliefs
    A man’s existence is meaningless

    Welcome to the new world

    A.J. Schuch

  102. J. Thomas Ross

    In Springtime
    by J. Thomas Ross

    In springtime –
    life bursts forth anew.

    From the brown-leafed forest floor
    yellow-green sprouts peek
    upon a world reborn.
    Like petaled prisms sparking light,
    flowers flirt among upthrust roots,
    attracting packs of pollinators.

    The forest’s black tree behemoths,
    their long bare limbs now lined
    with butterfly flowers fluttering
    as if to warm their wings –
    flash yellow, red, or pink or white
    in the dazzling springtime sun.

    Worms uprise to till the soil;
    bees emerge, and squirrels and skunks.
    Red-chested robins hunt for worms,
    while cardinals construct nests above.
    Rabbits nibble tender shoots,
    and peepers fill the night with song.

    In springtime –
    life bursts forth anew.

  103. Lauri Land


    Mother of a child
    Structuring her world
    Preschool, playdates, same time, another day
    Hot dogs, bologna, chicken fingers
    Knowing, talking to, visiting with all the parents of her friends
    Staying with her when she plays.

    Someday rule change
    Waiting by the phone for the text to pick her up
    From where today?
    School? Play rehearsal? French Club?
    Baked potatoes, veggie burgers, no food with a face
    Always dropping her off in the driveway
    Watching her knock on the door
    Parents not met, they seem nice enough
    At the door
    Mother of a teen.

  104. Shirley Alexander

    Seeing Me Again

    Thunderheads boil six shades black,
    stampeding monsters, splayed
    by a blinding rage of fire.
    At the darkest hour
    light spills here,
    and in one fractured breath
    everything changes.

    A night clouded, without stars or moon,
    deep without shape or shadow;
    struck down by one arm of dawn.
    At the darkest hour
    light spills here,
    and in one fractured breath
    everything changes.

    I wandered years, no courage for dreams.
    Tired eyes, a woman too old to be new.
    Sunlight in a mirror, and blue eyes remember.
    At my darkest hour
    light spills here,
    and in one fractured breath
    everything changes.

  105. Lauren Dixon

    It’s about time
    for a rebirth.
    So stagnant for years,
    same state, same house,
    same weather, no family.

    Time to shake it up
    Before we’re too old
    to be shaken.
    Time to find the last
    place to be.

    The grandchildren are
    growing up before others eyes
    not ours.

  106. Sharon Spielman


    “To personify,” a tree once said to me,
    “Is to give me life and personality.
    When springtime comes I love it so
    Because I grow and grow and grow!”

  107. LaDonna Reed

    Growing up
    composed by LaDonna Reed 04/26/09

    Learning how to become an adult…
    accepting additional responsibilities…
    since your death.

    your death is teaching me to grow up;
    stop being the "child;"
    I can no longer depend upon you…
    my mom, even though I’m an adult;
    now, I must depend upon me;

    your death is my rebirth
    my growth; finally becoming an adult;
    with real responsibilities: paying bills, cleaning house, maintaining a job…

  108. Kathryn G. McCarty kgmccarty.com

    Every couple years I wake up
    in someone else’s body
    in someone else’s home
    I avoid mirrors.
    My reflection, combination
    of who I used to be
    and all I’ve ever wanted.
    I am the residual of every small step
    what’s left of every wish
    every explored temptation
    turned reality
    Have found
    exploring 180 degrees in any direction
    in an infinite universe
    transforms the soul with possibility

  109. Sheila Murphy


    Picture a matched set, initialed G,
    one for each decade, volume eight
    unfinished now, forever.

    Childhood, volume one, fat, ripe
    for revisiting our olden days
    with talk of firecrackers, purple
    Easter chicks, Palfrey Hill
    and Jimmie doughnuts
    both of us spinning tales until…

    Suppose the story ended
    just like that
    no denouement
    flashes of a far-off highway
    a too fast teenage driver,
    a carful of kids
    were they talking texting
    their words when yours
    were stopped?

    Imagine a Gulf coast mist a breeze riffling the pages
    on walks and days I pass and sometimes see
    as if
    a story about black bears in Connecticut
    a book on golf for your next birthday
    an old Philco in an antique store
    a news story I almost clip to send
    with pictures of the dog to make you laugh
    were not too late.

    Now the next book begins
    my pages
    annotating you.

  110. Jennifer VanBuren

    All the other succulents in my garden
    thrived, growing out and up as they should
    except this flaccid cactus. I added more soil,
    mixed in sand, pressed it tight,
    proud monument re-erected.

    A day or two, he’s back down.
    Stubborn! I pushed him back upright
    rocks piled and propped, days later,
    horizontal. Again I prop and curse until

    giving up, I swear and say fine
    lie down and die, shame of my potted garden!

    Week later
    a row of buds pop,
    each reaching upright
    from the fallen father.

    Little fucker just wanted to lie down,
    labor in peace, prepare
    a foundation, pass on the view.

  111. Linda Black

    Born Again

    The desktop’s cluttered
    with paper, pens, and clips.
    Everyday more is poured
    onto the already high piles
    of stuff. A clear spot can’t
    be found anywhere. She removes
    every iota of the mumble jumble
    in preparation to start all over

  112. Tiffany Quick

    "Winter to Spring."

    It’s cold outside,
    a blanket of snow
    kills every grass,
    every flower, every
    tree. They want to
    be alive again, but
    the cold and the snow
    kill them. So they
    sleep, and stay hidden
    and wait for spring
    to come, and to bring
    them back to life.

    Spring comes again,
    right on time. Trees,
    grass, flowers, come back
    to life. The cold blanket
    melts and turns into water,
    giving them something they
    need to be back alive again.
    Thankful, they are to be here
    to be green and colorful. To
    be here for a long period of time.

  113. Laurel Kallen

    Why Change is Difficult

    The birth canal is narrow. It takes a
    long time to travel through the lush, nerveless
    cervix and blurt into the world and, once
    you’ve managed it, the forest continues
    ahead of you if you’re lucky they coo
    comfort you after slapping your bottom
    to ensure you are crying and breathing
    so, naturally, you do not plan to put
    yourself through that process ever again,
    to travel the narrow birth canal, nerve-

    Laurel Kallen

  114. Michelle Bonczek


    Our landlord, Jeremy, has poured so many seeds
    that his grass has crept into our garden. We spray
    weed killer and other poisons onto his green
    blades he hoped would make this property more
    valuable, lush. I pull up bulbs and root, toss them
    into a compost heap beside the barn while you
    sprinkle powder to kill the beetles, slugs, and mites.
    No cure, it seems, for roly polys, those potato bugs
    that curl into a bullet if you poke their soft bellies
    with twigs. No easy way to rid of the bad insects
    without harming the good ones, the ladybugs,
    spiders, the butterflies I hope to attract
    with fountains of French lavender. I once had
    a neighbor rip the bushes in front of our house
    out, cut the lavender down from two feet
    to two inches. I saw her head out my living room
    window. When I opened the door she looked up at me
    and yelled, “It’s growing out of control! It looks so
    unmanaged!” I wanted to kick her in the mouth.
    She was the wife of a priest, born agains, some small
    church up north Washington on the border of Canada.
    Her apartment was uncluttered: white walls, one table
    in the kitchen, one picture of each of her three children
    on the wall, no smiles. She was twenty-five. Her children
    drew crosses with pink and blue sidewalk chalk on Saturday
    afternoons, knelt in the grass to pray before they ate
    peanut butter and jelly sandwiches each day after school.
    Never did I hear music through the wall. I was happy
    when they decided to move back north and live on a commune.
    Thrilled when a big white van pulled up and they loaded
    Their bodies and few belongings, the butchered lavender
    so short it couldn’t blow in the wind, the bushes all gone
    so she could see me in the window, naked, flipping her off.

  115. Barbara A. Ostrander

    Born Into A World Of Sin:

    Born into a world of sin,
    But do not have to enter in.
    Look to God and choose the right.
    Follow the path that is bright.
    Be reborn, be free, choose God
    To meet your needs.

  116. Stephanie D.


    is any chance
    at cosmic do-over
    discarding previous mistakes
    evaluating experiences
    effecting positive changes
    determined to succeed
    and not to waste

    (*Author’s note: Rictameter form, syllable count is 2,4,6,8,10,8,6,4,2, respectively, and first and last lines are the same)

  117. Anahbird

    Spring Flower

    Tiny green leaves
    poke their heads
    through the tough
    winter soil.
    They didn’t remember
    it being so difficult
    during their last life.
    each time; it becomes
    harder and harder;
    more difficult;
    more concrete and asphalt;
    fewer places to make a home;
    fewer chances to be
    born again in the seeds
    of tomorrows yet to come.

  118. Janne

    REBIRTH (PAD April 20, 2009 – Rebirth)

    I love you Mommy
    I read the sentence that so long ago
    I wrote upon the yellowed page
    The uneven childish scribble
    the faded crayon drawing
    in the upper corner
    I see once again the teardrop
    fall and spread the stain
    puckering the paper
    where I had carefully drawn the face
    The brown squiggly lines of her hair
    poking like twigs from the ball of her head
    Underneath is written My Mommy

    I love you Jody begins
    the sentence I wrote today
    The even, refined writing
    upon the clean, white page of my journal
    A color photograph
    in the upper corner
    I see the happy, smiling face
    the long mass of her shining hair
    falling around her shoulders
    So like the mother
    with the brown twig hair
    I shed tears for so long ago
    Underneath is written My Daughter

  119. trigger


    Dear dark angel, covered
    In your bed of roses, lay.
    Fragile petals smothered
    Dying, life becomes decay.

    Precious deadened heart, survive!
    Rose thorns yield not to earth.
    Pierce the conscience, prick, revive!
    Awaken hope, spur rebirth.

  120. Martin Anthony Dorn

    R ekindled
    E fforts
    B ring
    I mmediate
    R evitalization,
    T ransforming
    H istory


    Have we not all
    sometimes or on
    some occasion
    set some goal?

    And have we not all
    encountered this:
    These difficulties
    and problems all?

    But how did we all
    these stops incur?
    Why do they occur
    to block our goal?

    How come this all?
    How you incur a stop?
    By putting it on top
    of your very goal.

    Putting attention all
    on stops, it shifts.
    Off goal it drifts,
    loosing sight of goal.

    How to revert it all?
    Simple as snip it is.
    Attention back on this:
    Creating on your goal.

    Revitalize your goal.
    Goal starts to appear,
    stops will disappear.
    You’ll reach the goal.

    © April 2009 by Martin Anthony Dorn

  121. Amy Nixon Karsmizki

    Louisiana Love Song
    (a Terzanelle)

    I’m coming down to the bayou,
    where the sea wets the land just right.
    I need zydeco and voodoo,

    to spend a swampy, sticky night
    drowning in your sweet whiskey eyes,
    where the sea wets the land just right.

    Under black, passion-flower skies
    I’ll hold you tight, my Cajun love,
    drowning in your sweet whiskey eyes.

    Let the storm rage around, above.
    Nothing can tear your skin from mine;
    I’ll hold you tight, my Cajun love.

    We’ll make magic when we entwine;
    our bodies will sing in Creole.
    Nothing can tear your skin from mine.

    Up here, without you, I’m not whole;
    I need zydeco and voodoo.
    Our bodies will sing in Creole,
    when I come down to the bayou.

  122. H. Marable


    They burst through the snow
    Like hands reaching for heaven
    Stretching to grasp hold of the sun
    To pull themselves ever upward

    They brave the frigid cold
    Like polar bear clubbers
    Absorbing the chill
    Surrendering to threatening icy waters

    They peak through the snow
    Like sequoias surging through the clouds
    Patiently claiming their share
    Of earth’s cyclic energy

    Breaking through the snow
    They are like fog-capped mountains
    shedding their cover.
    They are molehill-like, yet they dare to be more.

  123. Ronda Broatch

    Trying this one more time:

    .’s represent tabs


    As a child
    no one told her
    …not to


    How different
    The lawn a patch
    …work universe

    ……of green

    How much better
    …to fix
    to pick


    from its crown
    ………..to free
    ……each star

  124. Ronda Broatch


    As a child
    no one told her
    not to


    How different
    The lawn a patch
    work universe

    of green

    How much better
    to fix
    to pick


    from its crown
    free its stars

  125. Julia Holzer

    Prompt 20
    His First Birth A Good Omen From the Gods of Our Good Earth,
    Now Son of O-Lan Receives a Bone Marrow Transplant

    Insurance forms need fax.
    Next of kin. Packed cells.
    Mental health phone calls.
    Vials. Carboplatin.
    Lovenox shots sting.
    Illicit ice cream.
    Keep all receipts.

    Calendar. Hydrate.
    Cell phone and charger.
    Postage stamps. Lists’ lists.
    Clinical trials.
    Advanced Directive.
    Fluid replacement.
    I.V. Magnesium.

    Protonix. Prograf.
    Power port. PET Scan.
    Peridex. Sunblock.
    Cortisone creams.
    Strong Vancomycin.
    Artery draw.
    Varied-gauge needles.

    Ultrasound. Capex.
    Ativan. Kytril.
    Heparin. Charge nurse.
    Keep warm cap handy.
    Blood pressure cuff.

    Busulfan. Hickman.
    Aranesp. Procrit.
    Lacrilube. MESNA.
    Important numbers.
    Sterile and sun gloves.

    Prednisone. Platelets.
    Nasal smear pending.
    Rituxan. Zofran.
    Face mask and cane.
    Demarol. Morphine.
    Marrow biopsies.
    Colace and Senna.

    One lumbar puncture.
    Tylenol. Codeine.
    Tegaderm. Bandaids.
    Insulin. Valtrex.
    Vincristine. Bed pan.
    Nourishment, lipids,
    tubed to the veins.

    Quarantine. Buy wig?
    Electrolyte balance.
    Take-home I.V. pole.
    Oxygen sensor.
    Photographed loved ones.
    Anti-germ cream.

    Caregiver schedules.
    M.R.I. C.T.
    Benadryl. VFend.
    Hemorrhoid cream.
    Neupagen. Gargles.
    Firm faith in God’s team.
    Donor cell marrow.
    O Positive.

    Julia Holzer

  126. Kimiko Martinez

    I don’t know when
    My gray matter
    Was whitewashed

    Somewhere in the
    Day-to-day list
    Of must-do’s

    I’ve lost all the
    Memories of
    Things I’ve learned

    My brain is blank
    Like my empty
    Living room walls

    Begging for
    a fresh coat
    of paint

  127. Stacy-Jane Etal


    I am reinventing myself
    With lots of help and pain
    Being reborn given a chance
    To start my life over again
    Like a beautiful butterfly must start out its life
    As an ugly grub struggling to just stay alive
    Knowing that its life will be transformed one day
    As long as it continues its fight to survive
    Knowing the pain and fears of the past
    Will only serve to make it strong
    And it will become a thing of beauty
    After feeling worthless for so long
    I am reinventing myself through self love
    And learning to self care
    By doing all things I’ve always wanted to do
    But was too lacking in self confidence to dare
    I am being reborn in to the person
    I would have been without the abuse of my childhood
    Yet it is because of the ugly things in my life
    I can now truly see the good.

    © 2009. By S-J Etal.

  128. Sam Nielson

    Spring Waxwings

    In the mornings
    I startle a bunch of waxwings
    From the crab-apple tree
    In my front yard.

    The bird books say that in number
    They can be called
    An ‘earfull’ or a ‘museum.’

    This ear-full has been eating
    Last years blood-red, shriveled crabs
    Still clinging to the tree.

    The birds stay only
    About three days,
    Then the blossoms
    Fire out intense pink.


  129. Sal Treppiedi

    Day 20 – Rebirth

    I am the sound of birds
    scrapping their claws
    on chalkboards

    I am the sight of naked trees
    entwined during the harsh
    months of winter

    I am the touch of glass
    returning to coarse grains of sand
    by adding droplets of water

    I speak amethyst
    Rounding the edges of life
    Healing purple blood

    I am the taste of rebirth
    Swishing between your teeth
    Be careful not to spit.

    Copyright © 2009 by Sal Treppiedi – All rights reserved.


    SIDE NOTE: I am not normally one who believes in revision. I’ve read many interviewed poets says that poems work through them. They write themselves. Assuming poets work in this "mind-of-their-own" manner, why would a poem play games. I believe that they come through in the exact way they believe they should be.

    Having said that, this is one piece that required more thought than any in this challenge. There is meaning behind this piece. I’ll be happy to explain if it will help. Feel free to email me.

  130. Linda Benninghoff


    The petals of the dogwood
    Curl over my dog’s grave.
    The May air is everywhere–
    It is warm and easy to live.

    All winter I held myself in
    Like a twisted dying flower.
    Now in the spring I breathe
    As if I could breathe forever.

    I did not always want to live.
    Your cancer at age 50
    Stopped my pace,
    And I hid in the dark basement
    All winter thinking.

    Now roses surge
    And life is like a temptation.

  131. Jennifer Terry


    Blank stares back at me
    desiring for the world to see,
    Twists and turns
    war and love
    anything else one can think of.

    Imagination after imagination,
    Daydream after daydream,
    Nights without a word…
    but then, inspiration comes
    like a bolt of lightning-No
    like a contraction,
    as the pen starts flailing.

    Ideas and dreams,
    parent the birth
    of a new baby…
    a poem in the making.

  132. Beth Browne

    This was by far the hardest one for me so far, hence the late posting. Here’s my effort:

    Legal Name Change

    Forty-five years ago
    I was issued a birth certificate,
    a fancy-looking document
    with curlicues on the edges,
    “State of New York” on the top,
    along with my mother’s maiden name
    and my father’s occupation.

    This year I chose a new name,
    one all my very own,
    and when I changed it legally,
    a perfect straight line
    crossed out my name
    and some government employee
    typed my new name up above.

    It was the strangest feeling,
    one I had not expected,
    in choosing a new name
    to feel reborn.

  133. Beatriz Fernandez


    I refuse to continue:

    this is my small
    personal rebellion
    the cycle of life:
    the birth and rebirth
    that began with me
    ends with me
    that’s it.

    why not continue?
    why not give in?
    who cares if I
    continue or not?
    I don’t know
    I simply know
    that to continue
    is to admit no choice
    in the matter
    and to stop
    is to take a stand,
    and somehow
    it has become important
    right now
    to face down
    relentless time.

  134. Nanette DeLaittre


    A gentle breeze
    awakened me
    to His presence;
    pure, holy, good.
    His indescribable beauty
    unfolded in Words of comfort
    touching my weary heart.
    Existing in a world without purpose
    I turned to listen to His promises
    for a future filled with hope and love
    and believed by grace
    His sacrificial gift
    to live with Him
    for Him
    in Him

  135. Erin Wilcox


    The departed join us here [lighthouse]
    weigh station of breath
    [Guru] weigh your pains and lift them
    feel all you can bear.

    I lie on a mat
    let the pain tap out,
    drop by drop,
    wringing out soul like wet towel
    It does hurt [secretly]
    many desires [maya] addressed at once.

    I miss: where is my thrashing
    youth? [released]
    Can my way be so clear? [yes]
    How have I arrived
    here, at this precise moment? [fate]
    And why do I already seem to know
    the answers? [you have lived them]

    I am a meta-narrative, a shadow
    play. I am not a puppet
    though I have felt tugged
    in all directions.
    I steer this vessel.
    Youth taught me that.

    Life is a meditation, this classroom
    the mothership. So many lives to
    arrive here. So many lives remain.
    Why here, why now

  136. Claudia Marie Clemente

    *the constant*

    cell by cell,
    our bodies rebirth
    every seven years

    gray matter
    however, renews
    much more slowly,

    cushioning the last
    exception: organic

    indelibly written –
    housing memory, lasting
    as long as the I, in I.

    Now, I am considering
    my finger, lined
    by a butter knife,

    scarred longer
    than seven years, all
    while my mind busily erases

    dinner sunday afternoon,
    bergman’s dress in casablanca,
    and high school math;

    organic drives pushing
    information synapse
    by synapse until

    that moment
    no energy remains
    queued to spew.

    What stays constant
    in regeneration,
    and what alters while fixed,

    and vice versa:
    but just the way

    it is,
    a fact, empirical –
    just like this

    love for you


  137. Steve King

    Remembering Morality

    Stained glass light paints Sunday’s congregation
    a patchwork of greens, reds, and violet.
    The preacher, white robed, stands beyond the light
    illuminated by the glow of holy candles and spotlights.
    Heartily preaching against vices, some of them his own,
    he was his arms, points a forefinger, and conducts
    the symphony of colored bodies before him.
    So intensely does he call his message
    and focus on his musicians of soul
    that he does not see the podium step,
    pinwheels, and falls to the floor,
    rising to vantage point of his congregation.

  138. Bruce Whealton

    The first poem that I post here, for the PAD challenge is the second part of a two part series on the poet’s birth. The first one that I wrote, Birth of the Poet, was recently published in "the thin edge of staring" an online publication. I’ll post that one below the poem that I am submitting for today’s challenge – I post that prior poem, just for reference in reading this one.

    Birth of the Poet – part 2

    I think that just as a poem
    is born, so the poet.

    What would mark the birth
    of a poem?
    Is it the first spark of an idea,
    or does it begin
    in the writing
    of those first words?

    Like anything
    or any entity,
    the poem cannot
    stand on its own

    Perhaps it starts
    as prose-
    a few sketchy ideas…
    like the newborn,
    often that first form or shape
    bears little resemblance
    to it’s juvenile form
    much less its
    adult form.

    Sometimes I seem to want
    my poems to be born
    into perfection…
    that they will appear on paper,
    in their first written form,
    born into existence,
    by me,
    in their first form –
    they will appear as mature adults
    with no need for
    multiple drafts that appear
    in increasingly
    more mature

    Or somehow,
    I’d refine them
    in my mind
    or in the process
    of putting them to

    I thought that
    a great poet
    could do this always…
    Summon the Muse
    and out comes a masterpiece –
    in the first draft.
    Maybe the great poet would make a
    slight edit – a second draft
    but that’s all it ever took.

    Some of my poems
    I’ve loved like a parent,
    even if others have not.
    And I listen to them.

    Sometimes they call
    for my attention
    reminding me
    of how incomplete they
    are, how undeveloped…
    reminding me of
    thoughts I’ve had
    and memories with which
    they want to be a part.

    Just as a poem
    needs a parent
    so does the poet…
    otherwise the world
    is only despair.

    Birth of the Poet

    I wonder if one can be reborn
    as a poet,
    leaving one life behind
    and entering into a new life
    and a new identity…
    becoming a new person.
    Don’t they say that
    the our inspiration is from
    the spirit –
    whatever that might mean.

    For me
    this transformation
    was not one of leaving behind
    what the Bible might call
    a sinful life
    for one of a higher calling –
    no, my basic nature now,
    is the same as it was 10 years ago
    and 10 years before that.

    For me, the transformation
    was one of finding self discovery
    and then self expression.
    The shy boy I was
    for those first 24 or so years
    of my life
    did not even consider
    making himself known
    or expressing himself…
    he hid himself
    was unknown
    and didn’t think he had anything
    to say.

    Sometimes it seems
    that I’m still invisible.

  139. Warren Tong

    Reverend Donald

    I met a minister who understood
    what it meant go to sleep hungry,
    what it meant to wear the same clothes
    for a month straight.
    He understood how to use newspapers
    and cardboard boxes as blankets.
    He was a drug addict
    who was expected to die,
    but found meaning with God,
    on his deathbed.
    To him there are no bad days,
    just good days and better ones.

  140. Kathy Larson

    Day 20 – Rebirth Poem
    Second Chance

    Turning fifty
    Was rather nifty.

    For it came to me
    That I could be
    Free as a bird
    And totally absurd.
    My inner child
    Could just run wild,
    (If that’s what I wanted,
    Without feeling haunted.)
    It opened my mind
    And helped me to find
    The joy in just living
    For each moment, giving
    One hundred percent.
    And feeling content
    That when day was done
    I’d not walked, but I’d run,
    Like that girl I’d once been
    Whose spirit was keen
    To learn and to grow,
    Who didn’t know, no.
    Who leaped without looking
    With no fear of brooking
    Anger, dismay or annoyance.
    Who’d ask a boy, Dance?
    Because what was the use
    In standing ‘round loose,
    While the good music blaring
    Filled our young hearts with daring.

    That girl that I was,
    I’ve rediscovered, because,
    Simply — it’s nifty —
    I was reborn at fifty.

    Kathy Larson

  141. Paris Elizabeth Sea


    Stillborn stanza, cast aside
    Months ago, or years?

    skipping to the think tank
    drinking it dry
    tip up the lip
    guzzle it Ghazal lit

    I was having fun with you
    child voice, trail blazer in
    Oxford forest, saffron
    tongue tickle on whole beat
    bread, but

    file unopened since the last
    unnecessary upgrade
    clutter on the hard drive to
    self invention, personal brand
    positioning, net presence
    equal to gross exaggeration
    minus deductive reasoning

    you didn’t make the cut
    the top of Stress 2.1
    early poem gone serious
    you gone missing

    skipping to the think tank

    come and play again

    drinking it dry

    bendy straw words bend

    tip up the lip

    stick it to the tarnished tongue

    guzzle it Ghazal lit

    younger, freer song
    how I missed you!

  142. Leslie Levy

    Reliving Me

    I felt it slither out
    And heard it schplunk on the tub floor
    The biggest I’d ever seen, and it was
    Coming from me, showering,
    Getting clean.

    Globs all connected and gruesome
    And then, something else. . .
    Beginnings of a life
    Never to be, saying goodbye

    She’s bringing Mary Lynn Elizabeth
    Home today.
    Sixteen, just three years younger
    Than I was
    The first time.

    Mary Lynn’s daddy is so proud
    To see his features recreated
    On her tiny face, like my husband
    The first time,
    Before we were married.

    As I wonder about my lack of grief
    Over the empty feeling in my womb
    Left when the bundle of cells slipped
    Away from its life source,
    I remember the time

    I cried at the onset of blood
    Even though I’d been praying for it
    To come on schedule.
    That was after the fourth time had
    Made up my mind—so I’d thought.

    A twelve year anniversary approaches
    And I marvel at the miracle of lives
    That had become tangled into a mess of
    Empty “love you more’s” becoming
    A tangle of thorny memories

    That bloomed today,
    Enmeshment complete in our
    Four blessings, and I
    pray for my young tenants
    grafted into life together.

    Today there is only joy
    In watching them,
    Remembering that life,
    Squirming in my arms
    The first time,

    And the grief
    That should’ve come
    Never did,

  143. Vaughn Stelzenmuller


    [Men come, men go,
    Tho’ those fountains always flow]

    All that power architecture,
    and Il Duce to boot.

    Imperial Rome may have been reborn
    though only old Rome intoxicates.
    To even reach the modern projects
    one walked the Old Roman Bridge.
    May the ghost of Augustus eternally
    outlive the wannabes.

    When you fall in love with the old city,
    do tell her that she is so beautiful.

    A page from history, my children:
    “…jackboot vultures, seeing no real eagles,
    eye the accumulating carrion below
    then wheel and dive
    wheel and dive…”

  144. Poison

    Sitting by my bedroom window
    Under the clear night skies above
    See countless drifting rocks aglow
    That ignites our passions to flow

    Also saw flashes of radiant bright
    Flashing gems, wonderful love-light
    Mesmerizing fountains of life dear
    Looking for a mate without fear

    Luminous flickers to the naked eye
    But one filled with effervescent life
    Yet why do we dying rocks adore
    And much closer bonds of life ignore

    Wonder why we grab at the mysterious
    Why are our thoughts so impervious?
    We behold the beauty of a dead rock
    When life shines near, fresh love-stuck!

    We hold precious.. things from afar
    Be it the moon or another dying star
    Why not swayed by close surprises?
    Why forever live in a fools’ paradise?

  145. Judy Stewart

    Day 20 Rebirth poem

    Watching intently the caterpillar
    spinning its coccoon
    Watching intently as he comes out
    He lets his wings dry
    and he moves them about
    The next thing you know
    there is a beautiful butterfly
    ready to fly out!

    #2 poem Re birth

    Fall pumpkin
    you were put out
    to waste away.
    Now as spring time comes,
    you are showing
    signs of life again.
    Will you be
    a fall pumpkin again?

  146. Sheryl Kay Oder

    A Startling Truth

    He did not know what to expect
    that night he come to talk to
    Jesus. Nicodemus knew the
    miracles verified some godly
    mission. He wanted to know more.
    Could he and the Rabi share some

    spiritual insights? The last thing he
    expected was to become confused
    by Jesus’ words. Born again?
    What did that mean, and why was
    it necessary for entrance into
    the kingdom of God?

    He should have known Jesus was
    not speaking of a physical rebirth.
    After all, when Jesus said He was
    the door He did not mean He had
    hinges nor would we get a splinter
    if we accidentally rubbed against Him.

    Did the tax collector know he
    was born again as he hung
    his head in shame praying,
    “God have mercy on me, a sinner?”
    Did the self-righteous Pharisee
    beside him realize he was not?

    Zacchaeus did not know the term,
    but Jesus’ visit to his house amazed
    him. Hope came that day. He left his
    old master, money, to embrace Jesus’
    salvation with joy. Returning others’
    money was the natural result.

  147. Rita

    Dali’s Clocks

    Of great importance about the dates
    the Lingering is not time-bound.
    Rebirthing exponentially
    never originating
    these images
    from Time.

  148. Carrie Ann Eggert

    A Lizard’s Tail

    Disappearing down the trail
    tricky lizard sprouts a tail
    she lost the last one in a fight
    but then she scuttled out of sight
    she managed to miss being a bird buffet
    and has survived to live another fine day.

  149. Rebecca Simpson

    Dawn Breaks

    On the distant horizon
    A prism rends the morning sky
    Still Apollo is abroad,
    Divided by Latitude

    Hush pregnant breath
    Pause to inhale
    The light is breaking
    A sense of anticipation

    Lucky spider prides herself
    Her web boasting booty
    Diamond dew is dense
    On the velvet carpet below

    At the riverbank
    Reeds sway softly in the breeze
    And the water, statue grey,
    Ebbs its way to the sea

    All around life surrenders
    To the outstretched arms of day
    Then night, a fading whisper,
    Spreads her wings and flies away

  150. Stacy Wright

    Spring Cleaning

    Pull the furniture out
    And shake loose the dust
    That has been hiding, building up, taking over
    The dark interior for months.
    Sweep it clean.
    Fill a bucket with suds
    And warm, soothing water
    And grab some rags
    And scrub it down
    And make it gleam
    Like the warm bright sun
    And pick up the knick-knacks
    That are knocking around
    And I keep knocking my knees on–
    Make me walk freely.
    And put all the do-dads
    And odds and ends
    On the fresh green lawn
    With a big hand-scrawled sign
    And greet the arriving neighbors
    Who are all awakening in the spring.

  151. Margaret K. Gates

    Day 20 Rebirth

    A caterpillar gets reborn and flies from rose to rose.
    No more a slave to gravity, he sails where e’er he goes.
    The soul of one with sins forgiv’n flies free above the earth.
    No slave to sin, no fear of hell, ’cause Jesu gave rebirth.

  152. Emily A.

    The window opens onto the pane
    The pain of yester years
    The girl screams
    Silently in her mind
    In the distention
    In the distortion
    To another world
    One where she never belonged

    Oh, but she danced.
    She danced upon the shores
    Of her seclusion
    She wrapped herself in whispers
    That filled no void in her wanting soul
    The desire arose and rose again and again
    And again.

    It went so far that it hit.
    The killing stone.

    Where does she go?
    The shore is no more
    The shore is in the sea
    And the sea is no masterpiece for viewing pleasure
    Just the pool of God.
    Just the pool of God.

    She died too. She diminished into darkness
    The darkness or familiar loves- familiar lies
    And she drowned.
    She still drowns.

    A stroke of light the atmosphere did change
    The killing stone became a better voice
    And no one made her change but she did find
    That swimming through her life gave her a choice.

    She lacked no more than any body else
    She held a secret love that was not black
    She cut the stone while sharpening her knife
    And found she had a bite that others lack.

    She found the sun and found a better soul
    And danced again no matter the large risk
    She screamed for good intention and was free
    No golden sandy shackles on her wrist.

    No longer drowns.

    God will share his freedom.

  153. Nicole R Murphy

    Once again I climb out of the darkness, muttering and cursing and wondering what I must do to stay out of it, and I feel the sunlight on my face and question why I feel the need to escape it. Then I pull my shoulders back, smile at myself and go out to face the world again, confident until next time.

  154. Bill Bowling


    The dust of coal and dirt
    Covers all in sight; the
    Leftover damage from the
    Winter ice-storm lies in
    evidence, broken, mangled
    trees are everywhere in
    sight. The squalor of the
    Unfinished and the Unattended
    Further disturb the vision.

    This gray blanket over all
    Of this precious place is
    Being lifted. The Redbud
    Is finally in bloom. It fills
    All the bleak, sad corners
    Of the landscape for miles,
    And I’m driving home through
    Avenues of blazing, bursting pink.

  155. Michaela Watson

    Writer’s Block

    Once there was creativeness,
    But now the mind is a mess.
    Once there was imagination,
    But now I have only one station.
    My writing genius mind has gone blank.
    My boat of ingenuity sank.
    But then a spark lights in my mind!
    Another idea for me to define!
    Another idea has been reborn,
    Another lesson for me to learn.

  156. Issa


    one step
    at a time
    wobbly legs

    there we were
    my niece, barely a year old
    and i, a lady in her twenty’s
    both learning how to walk
    she, for the first time
    and i, for the second time around

    one… two… three…
    getting better and better
    four… five… six…
    the gait becoming more steady
    seven… eight… nine…
    the steps becoming more confident

    ten.. eleven… twelve…
    a few more steps
    and then we decided
    to sit down and rest
    she, on her stroller
    and i, on my wheelchair.

  157. Issa


    one step
    at a time
    wobbly legs

    there we were
    my niece, barely a year old
    and i, a lady in her twenty’s
    both learning how to walk
    she, for the first time
    and i, for the second time around

    one… two… three…
    getting better and better
    four… five… six…
    the gait becoming more steady
    seven… eight… nine…
    the steps becoming more confident

    ten.. eleven… twelve…
    a few more steps
    and then we decided
    to sit down and rest
    she, on her stroller
    and i, on my wheelchair.

  158. Erika Snow Robinson

    Cleaning My Sister’s House


    My sister lagged up the steep hall
    one crutch beholden to the other
    toes scraping stairs, delicately,
    where once-shagged beige carpet
    flattened to a dull, bruised-toenail green.

    The Starting Point? Icebox.
    Next to mildewed yogurt,
    shrunken macaroni leftovers
    huddled inside plastic blue boxes.
    Soy milk, unshaken for weeks,
    trembled as I discovered a Band-Aid®
    and one black shoelace
    (knotted, of course)
    in the frozen corners of the fridge.

    A sticky crust of grape jam covered glass shelves.
    The squeeze bottle had salivated all over cans of Coke®,
    a few protein drinks and anything else
    unfortunate enough to be in its spit path.

    I giggle maniacally as I trash with indifference:
    pickle and mayo jars past their “use by” date
    or fresh zucchini doomed to wither in a bag.

    Shouldn’t I be getting paid for this much tortured glee?
    Moldy tortillas and red potato salad from June
    plunge to the depths of scourge heaven,
    landing in the heavy-duty black can with a thud.
    I shoot free-throws with iceberg lettuce,
    plastic-wrapped and rotted, perfecting my goals.

    “What’s all the racket?” my sister calls from above.

    I begin to see shelf.


    Bedridden and playing with pain pills,
    my sister will be down in a few days,
    once again able to maneuver her home’s landmines:
    “the kids’ imagination center”
    (cluttered desk, broken chair)
    “an art haven”
    (crushed crayons, dried out markers and a wall)
    “science center”
    (scratched up telescope and a wire-hanging solar system)

    Stuffing X’s into O’s and boxes into cubbies,
    bookcases re-appear and resemble furniture.
    Piles of bills are re-organized into civilized chaos
    “pending” “past due” “to be paid later”

    Gamepieces are tossed into buckets,
    swept away in the furor of one crazed sister’s dedication to another.
    Barbies® without legs are dropped into trashbags,
    smothering among old diapers and petrified quesadillas.

    “What is that pink thing?” my sister accuses me,
    burning holes into plastic as I carelessly glide by,
    fists full of Hefty®.
    Her x-ray vision will not save her house
    from hygienic restoration.


    The house was in such complete disarray
    I felt compelled to record it.
    So, camera in hand, I glommed my way
    Over and under and around the proof.

    Then I went home to scrub the grime away,
    as if I were raped and didn’t report it.
    I scratched my skin red, and my fingernails grey
    and vowed in the future to remain aloof.

  159. ashlee taylor

    But Brilliantly

    The leaves
    Made Conversations
    Froze inside/outward
    Rocked On
    Enamored themselves
    Of the world once again
    — and began to fall.

  160. Lisa Sisler


    What if life had a way to rewind
    All the way back to the instant
    Your head is crowning
    And in this replay, this slo-mo moment
    You could say something, anything
    To your struggling,slippery self
    Caught in the fluids of new life.

    Would you whisper, more a prayer
    Passing over the lips and tongue,
    Just audible enough to absolve
    You your own official
    Hand in the outcome?

    Would you yell, horror-movie-like
    Instructions, as many as you can think of,
    On hopes that lessons already learned
    In lives past will be available
    To this baby self?

    Or would you hold your breath–
    Unable to speak or exhale,
    Frozen by the beauty and horror
    Of a life forcing its way
    Into a world that offers no plan
    Beyond trial and error,
    Truly believing, despite knowing
    Every scene of your life,
    One day you’ll start again

  161. Diane

    LOL, I have a typo in the comment before the correction. I guess I CAN believe it.

    Robert, when I did "New Life" I tried to copy the form of "Four Little Foxes" by Lew Sarett. Does the pattern he used have a name, or is it a modification of one of the patterns you have talked about? (I could send you his in an email if you can’t find it to refer to, I also realize you may be much too busy to check it out!) Thank you for all the great posts.

  162. Diane

    I can’t believed I missed THAT typo! Here it is again, almost the same:

    New Life

    Blow softly, wind, and bring the scent to me
    Of Heaven’s grace which has reached to make me see;
    By Jesus’ love I can embrace eternity–
    Blow softly.

    Run lightly, feet, for you have been set free
    Released from bitter bonds of guilt and misery.
    Invited now to enter endless mystery–
    Run lightly.

    Laugh gaily, friend, for now I love you more,
    Because the one whom I have met and now adore
    Enables me to love more than I could before–
    Laugh gaily.

    Shine brightly, soul, and let His light within
    Escape to those still chained, who have not entered in
    To grasp the life of joy He wants them to begin–
    Shine brightly.

  163. Diane

    New Life

    Blow softly, wind, and bring the scent to me
    Of Heaven’s grace which has reached to make me see;
    By Jesus’ love I can embrace eternity–
    Blow softly.

    Run lightly, feet, for you have been set free
    Released from bitter bonds of guilt and misery.
    Invited now to enter endless mystery–
    Run lightly.

    Laugh gaily, friend, for now I love you more,
    Because the one whom I have met and now adore
    Enables me to love more that I could before–
    Laugh gaily.

    Shine brightly, soul, and let His light within
    Escape to those still chained, who have not entered in
    To grasp the life of joy He wants them to begin–
    Shine brightly.

  164. Kimmy Van Kooten

    An Act of Congress

    Someone yelled, Oh My God!

    …and then I felt like I was swimming
    in a long tunnel
    with no light
    bouncing off the walls, searching for a reason…
    Propelled by some motivator
    I was feeling my way through
    . . . thinking, if only I could see in the dark!
    If only I could see!
    Now wait… what’s up ahead?
    It looks like someone’s home, and they left the light on!
    So, I’m beating and I’m beating…
    And when I couldn’t get an answers, I just forced my way in!
    "If only I could get a hand!"… now, I’m yelling!
    . . . saying things like, "I’d walk a mile for even a foot to have such opportunity!"
    And, this…this could be the moment of our life!
    . . . the one we don’t have to wait for, they just come!
    Well, I made it alright, Here I am!
    Exchanging DNA between cell mates!
    Who makes up the rules, anyway?
    Is this really going to be my final destination?
    From here on out, I guess, it just me and you!
    Together. Forever!
    That is, unless, someone stupid comes along and tries to ruin our life by ripping us apart
    in order to kill any and all possibilities of
    our new future together!
    No, baby, we’ll do our time!
    And when that sweet little lady. . .
    who screamed, "Oh my God!", way back when, sees us. . .
    She’ll be so happy its all over!
    I’ll be wailing, and you’ll probably pee on the doctor!

  165. Fenella Berry

    Rebirth theme.

    Causal Continuum.

    Like a seed buried
    deep beneath, still.
    Dormant, apparently dead.
    Inanimate phoenix
    so was I.
    Inert, not existing.
    As the Earth completes
    its sun-chained revolution,
    rain kisses the crust-
    liquid life- giver
    percolates downward
    permeating, swelling
    external shell.
    Released from exhaustion
    the arousal, awakening.
    Kindling patterns
    from ancestral origins.
    Growing up through
    subsoil, thrusting skywards.
    Piercing terra firma, inhale
    for the first time.
    Inspire, feel alive.
    Wonder at burgeoning growth,
    proliferation unfolding,
    facing glorious finale.

  166. Sarah Pottenger

    Spring Craving

    Holidays come early every year.
    Halloween isn’t even over
    when Thanksgiving promotions start
    and Christmas trees lurk
    in the back of stores.
    As soon as Valentine’s Day ends,
    the Peeps and Chicks come out,
    their bright colors hinting
    at the changing of seasons.
    Spring has sprung,
    and all I want are jelly beans.

  167. Jean Taylor

    New Life

    Your old house is taking on new life.
    The rotting green windows
    have been repainted snow white;
    new blinds have been hung
    and a new chandelier.

    The kitchen which was out of date
    for thirty years has finally been replaced.
    The garden will be next.

    But in the stone urn, the tulips
    you planted in your last autumn,
    are blooming scarlet as the blood
    I washed from the floor
    after you were gone.

  168. TaunaLen

    now my toes just
    touch the water
    sitting ‘side
    a tranquil pool

    should I slip
    beneath the surface
    let the water
    drag me down

    do I trust myself
    swim beneath these
    blue green waves

    ‘til I kick in
    break the surface
    gasp for air

    or perchance
    I’ll find courage
    plumb the depths
    yet unexplored

    push myself
    beyond my limits
    learn a whole new
    way to breathe

  169. J. R. Simons


    I should have stayed on the farm
    I should have listened to my old man
    – Bernie Taupin, “Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road”

    I sprang to life in the summer of ’81.
    Only sixteen –
    Baptized in slick coital wetness
    By a priestess of the pompatous of love.

    She was 22 –
    Knew exactly what she wanted –
    What I needed.

    We shared a bong and a bottle of wine
    Over Shakespearian sonnets and Spenser’s “Faerie Queen”
    While Elton John sang “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

    We played gin rummy
    Naked – on the bed she slept in as a girl –
    Made love while Guido the cat
    Lounged carelessly at our feet.

    We rutted in the heat of August –
    Salty sweat with every kiss.

    Then late September –
    Debbie took a plane –
    West to grad school in L. A. –
    I returned to the farm.

    A couple of letters and a Christmas card later –
    The priestess of my new baptism
    Was gone – December’s chill touch.

    Then June – Debbie’s graduation wishes
    Echoed across the years –
    In a card mailed from somewhere – Overseas.

  170. Amelia Williams

    Moments of Re-birth

    I shed the Lavender Fairy’s gossamer wings.
    The bow of the Huntress I dropped in the wood.
    The call of the selkie faded
    and I learned
    I could sometimes crack
    the chrysalis of “should.”

    Smooth snake, bright butterfly, locust free of the shell,
    I have these re-birth moments when things are going well
    in the here and now, with my focus bent
    on the brief activity’s binding spell —
    a yoga pose, a mountain hike, a bubbling caramel.

    In enlightenment, I imagine,
    even moments of tension and strain
    like strings on an Aeolian lyre
    will hum to the wind’s refrain
    a quietude in noticing flowing through,
    each note another chance
    to renew the no-self
    in life’s song and dance.

    But when my caramel scorches,
    my car won’t start, or I learn that I’ve been
    I’m hard pressed to read that moment
    as a gift to the wise.

  171. Ian Phillips

    The rebirth of Soul

    By Ian Phillips

    My being started with the Blues
    Then my teen years rocked with the Roll
    When I met you the challenging Jazz years began.
    Where everything complicates
    And life sounded edgy.
    And now as my soul is once again reborn
    I realise all these parts are me
    And I can hear them all with each beat of the heart.

  172. Celia Shaneyfelt

    I think my first attempt to post didn’t work. Here it is again, edited and hopefully better.


    Close up sequence.

    The old mare,
    solitary figure,
    alone to die.
    She lowers herself
    gently to the earth,
    her mother.

    Macro shot sequence.

    Blow fly,
    bright green,
    feeds on open eye,
    lays eggs,
    flies off.
    Eggs hatch,
    maggots eat,
    leave corpse
    to burrow into
    mother earth.

    Telephoto sequence from up wind.

    Buzzards circle.
    One descends,
    is joined by his peers.

    Telephoto lens sequence.

    A thin cat perches
    atop torn body,
    tears small bites.

    Night photography sequence.

    A dog paws
    tattered brown skin,

    Macro sequence.

    Beetles scurry
    through grisly bones,

    Standard lens sequence.

    Rain washes,
    sun bleaches,
    Snow blankets,
    cleansing cycles.

    Macro sequence.

    Mother gives birth,
    tiny sprout erupts,
    grows lusty
    in enriched soil.

    Standard lens sequence

    Vines cover white arches,
    blossoms burst forth
    where once death reigned.

  173. Midge VanEtten


    The torture of pain has ceased
    her worried brow is now relaxed
    her countenance serene
    she does not breathe
    I hold her in my arms
    my mind fills with a white light
    all encompassing, infinite, pure
    she has not died
    she’s been reborn

    MIdge Van Etten

  174. Mary


    I don’t know exactly how many cells died today.
    It is a fact that they do. Somewhere there
    must be a synapse or system that
    keeps track of this sort of thing. Surely this
    is reincarnation on a grand scale.

  175. Virginia Shank

    Baptism in Lake Erie

    I loved the lake, grew up
    scouring its shores for shells,
    finding beach glass and bracken,
    wrappers and butts, once a needle,
    several condoms. I didn’t pocket
    many things I lifted from the sand.
    But we swam and floated, prayed
    for wind, for waves to ride our snow
    tubes now converted for water.

    Hard to believe we all believed
    baptism in Lake Erie could count
    with the scrim of acidic foam
    collecting against the piles
    and fish bones scuttling by
    our feet. Hard to see heaven
    burning through the brown green
    water thick with algae unanchored
    and caressing my ankles like sin.

  176. Karin L.


    00 00 0, the big bus,
    has run me down
    inside my facades
    where I face the hulking fact
    of failures
    jungle survivor huddled
    against night terrors
    I scribble ‘help me’ sticky notes
    in the shorthand of anguish
    more emoticons than emotion
    and paste them up on telephone poles
    but no one calls
    email them to strangers’ Yahoo sites
    junk mail erased by spam filters
    so no one replies

    o look
    sun pierces the pane
    outside the cyber world
    optimistic morning glories
    encircle window frames
    open their funnels
    suck in warmth

  177. TAHWeaver

    Born Again

    Winter’s white comforter
    Is slowly lifted away
    Uncovered grasses yawn
    Turn green in April showers
    Trees stretch achy limbs
    Budding as circulation returns
    Flowers quietly arrive
    Whisper their colorful presence
    Robins return to northern homes
    Voicing accompaniment
    To this symphony that is spring

  178. Kellie M Shanley

    Rebirth of the tiny brown bird

    A tiny brown bird, floating in water to deep,
    is cold and ready to sleep.
    Eyes closed tight, not a breath, not a sound,
    solace, in the dark stillness, it found.

    In those last moments, on the brink of death
    a girl spots the bird floating…it must be dead.
    She reaches in, the water to deep,
    cups her hands around the body asleep,
    gently lifts it from its watery grave,
    and tries rubbing, rubbing the cold away,
    then swaddles the diminishing life in a handful of fresh mown hay.

    Sadness she feels for the tiny finch, alone and cold,
    watching it collapse in the bedding of hay.
    Placing it in the palm of her hand, she feels
    its body twitch with eyes still closed,
    not a breath she sees… its death exposed.
    With warm hands, she holds it for just a while,
    and spots a cross of white feathers, on its tiny brown neck,
    She then lays it in the sun on the bedding of hay and
    waits and prays for the magic of the rubbing and the sun to give way.

    After a while the warmth of the sun and the gentle rubbing does bring,
    the tiny brown bird to open its eyes again.
    A few days later, her day is made
    for in the light brown dust, of her walking pathway
    the tiny brown bird, with feathers of the cross, is bathing away.
    Glad is she, she’d taken the time,
    when all life seemed gone, to lift it from its watery grave
    giving it a chance to live a new day.

    KMS © 2009

  179. Cathy Graham


    I stumble into the shower
    And fumble with the tap,
    Wishing it was in my power
    To go back and take a nap

    Monday mornings are hard to cope
    It really is the toughest day,
    I reach for the revitalizing soap
    And scrub my troubles away,

    “Rebirth” is what they call the soap
    I’ve never heard of such a silly name,
    When I bought it I was such a dope
    Impulse shopping was to blame,

    I wash my problems down the drain
    And watch them as they go,
    I feel myself letting go of the strain
    As I let the water flow,

    Yesterday’s hurts and yesterday’s woes
    Have all been washed away,
    I see them disappear beneath my toes
    And I’m ready to start my day.

  180. angela readman

    The Aerialists

    It was a hundred different pictures,
    my window: an ornithology plate,
    a pane of landscape, forests enchanting
    the sky around them in their change.
    Out of the blue, a balloonist travelled
    long-windedly across my frame;
    I felt no need to wave, only to ponder red
    visiting a horizon, momentarily crossing
    the path of the sun. A poppy, opening,
    and filled by the breeze, the billow
    of full skirts of its silk accepting a dance.
    The light shone behind, filtered,
    bright as a blue eye in tinted glasses,
    I saw it more clearly and it shone.
    The morning was a momentary rose then,
    insides spooled within borrowed petals,
    suddenly quivering against my fingertip.
    The balloonists moved along, a slow glide,
    up, to a different patch of sky, where
    that may travel was not my decision,
    but my eye went with them, looking up
    at the blue they’d left behind in the sky.

  181. Olga Zilberbourg


    The name comes from
    Salinger, obviously, but
    not exactly. She’s always
    missing a few letters.

    At first, she was a middle-
    aged medium, literally
    transporting another
    woman to the Buddhist
    monastery on the moon’s
    Humboldt Crater.

    Later, she was a middle-
    aged groupie of a swing
    revival band, loosely based
    on the Squirrel Nut Zippers.
    Her brother had been in
    the band, and she was

    Then, she emerged as a
    middle-aged travel
    writer, whose sister
    died recently–or
    did she? Learn the
    details in the recent
    issue of Faraway

    Please watch my
    blog for new

  182. Lisa Kwong

    Rebirth of Love

    Why should I believe
    this time it will end
    in kisses soaked with sincerity
    hugs that mean comfort and safety?
    All my life this heart
    has been broken in every way possible
    and put back together
    haphazard like puzzle pieces
    that never fit.
    Is it better to stay
    in a creative cave
    like St. Emily
    who married the page and pen,
    wrote letters to unknown
    would-be lovers
    with no hope of meeting them
    over dinner or in bed?
    Or should I risk it all,
    even it means my heart
    will break again or shred
    into lusty tears
    or dried up leaves
    in murky water?
    I fear the bleeding of my soul,
    the leeching of my mind
    obsessed over you.
    But I find myself falling,
    falling into this rebirth
    of love for something unknown,
    something that may end
    in a wedding dress
    or in a bucket of freezer burn.

  183. Tyger

    The Rebirth of Hatred

    I was forced to listen
    To Fox News today
    Hellfire and Brimstone
    Have nothing on those hatemongers
    They called Obama
    Everything short of Satan’s Child
    Warned of dire consequences
    Following his every word
    His every action
    His every breath
    How long before all that hatred
    Compels someone to violence?
    Will Secret Service be fast enough
    To stop a bullet?
    It seems Obama is competing
    For first place among
    The most hated American Presidents
    With two others, now famous:
    Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.

  184. Natasha Gruss


    A flip of the tarot
    revealed the death card.
    A glance at the book with
    fresh ink still smearing off the pages
    tells that death is not a foretelling
    of a physical manifestation
    of the body.
    It simply means the end of something,
    be it a sorry crush
    that there is no use for,
    or the end of a happy job,
    or a bad one for that matter.
    After Death appears Rebirth.
    Another flighty crush
    over soon as the last one,
    is to be reborn.

    by Natasha Gruss

  185. Stacey Rasfeld


    Every morning you
    wake up breathing
    you’re ahead of the game.
    In dreams you fly, just
    inhale and lean into a breath at the perfect angle
    and catch an updraft.
    Is this what geese await as they prepare for migration?
    and in the space between in and
    Just breathe
    and grasp a new beginning.

  186. Linda Napikoski

    Cuba, si

    Fifty years later,
    we will speak to you.
    It has been a long feud,
    putting Hatfields and McCoys to shame.
    Half a century wasted
    in bitter embargo.
    Families divided
    by a sparkling blue sea.

    Fifty years later,
    we will acknowledge
    your place on this planet.
    That you have done more good
    than we have done toward you.

    But will we acknowledge the
    lies we have told?
    That the propaganda tango
    takes two?
    Will we bring you back into our fold
    only to smother you?

    Will we bring down your literacy rate
    bring up your drug abuse rate
    bring up your cholesterol
    bring up bitter memories?

    We don’t deserve an island
    as beautiful and untouched
    as you are.

  187. Kathryn Shirley


    The instant I saw your face,
    I died.
    Like the river you can’t step twice in,
    your eyes changed me.

    The creature now inside my body,
    now behind my eyes,
    could be anything –
    alien, demon,
    mutant, vampire –
    I don’t really care.
    The taste of love is on my lips.

    Death is a small price to pay for
    super powers.

  188. Buffy McGarrigle


    Tabula Rosa
    The witching hour
    Most sleep
    Looking for
    Their dawn
    As a sign
    Of a new start
    Six hours have already past
    What would you do with six
    Clean hours

  189. Marsha Schuh

    2 Cor 4:7
    But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.


    An earthen pot lay hidden,
    thrust in a darkened corner,
    broken, old before its time,
    and shattered to useless dust,
    hopeless destiny unfulfilled.
    You glanced its way and paused,
    glimpsed the master’s hidden plan,
    discerned just what to do.
    You poured upon the vessel
    water live from the eternal spring
    and turned my useless dust
    to not mud but precious clay,
    ready once more to mold,
    fashioned by potter’s hand
    into a chosen vessel
    restored for the Master’s use.

  190. Robin Roberts


    There are litte yellow suns in a sea of green
    There’s only one thing this could mean
    Spring has come calling once again
    With her warm sun and growing rain.
    Some call them weeds,
    I call them treasures
    They’re one of nature’s beautiful pleasures
    A free gift to us after all the snow
    Some are in a hurry to see them go.
    They bring out the mowers and chop them down
    But they make me smile instead of frown
    They’re bright little reminders that all is new
    When the cold winter winds are through.
    So go ahead if you must
    Grind them into the dust
    But I will enjoy them while I can
    Painted by Mother Nature’s own hand.

  191. Kathy Booker

    [I am reposting this poem because I found a typo in it ... sorry]


    I listen to the arguments
    read the commentaries –
    the world is split
    between brick and mortar
    and cyberspace

    does it matter –
    printed pages
    recorded audio disk
    downloaded file

    Isn’t a book a book
    no matter how you read it?

    touch the book
    feel its binding
    smell the ink on the pages
    connect with its weight and size
    watch the story unfold
    listen to the characters in your mind

    touch the compact disk
    toss aside its case
    no smell
    no connection after you put it in the CD player
    listen to the story unfold
    and hope that you like the way the reader reads to you

    touch the e-reader
    feel nothing but the e-reader
    no smell
    no connection to anything other than the e-reader
    but you still watch the story unfold
    and listen to the characters in your mind

    some say that e-books
    will be death of publishing
    while others claim
    it will be a rebirth for authors

    six of one
    half dozen of the other –
    or should that be
    3.33 of one
    one third of the others

    cover price
    delivery method
    hard cover
    mass market
    e-book …

    none of it matters
    a reader has time to read

    what we really need
    is a rebirth of leisure time

  192. Carol Berger


    Every night, I die to the world.
    My sleep mask helps darken the room
    by shutting out any stray beams of light
    from street lamps and headlights at night,
    or from the rising sun which streams in the
    window opposite the bed in the morning,

    My ear plugs help cover the sounds of
    cars and trucks going by on the highway
    below my window, the phone ringing in
    another room, the upstairs neighbor’s
    flushing toilet or the sound of her dog’s
    toenails clicking on the floor above my head.

    But that is only the first line of defense
    against noise in the night.
    A small machine next to my bed
    makes the sound of the ocean
    breaking on the shore, and the floor fan
    drowns out even the tsunami sirens.

    Sleep is sacred and not to be disturbed,
    even at the risk of drowning in a tsunami
    or waking up to a house fire.
    Should these calamities befall me in the night,
    I will deal with then – the odds are slim –
    and so I sleep the sleep of a dead man.

    Come morning, whether it be 6 a.m. or noon,
    is when the miracle occurs every day.
    Where, with the help of copious quantities
    of chocolate milk and a long hot shower,
    I resurrect myself for the day,
    longing all the while to go back to bed.

  193. Sascha Aurora Akhtar


    Perhaps there is a tongue in your head

    In vicarious pleasure
    presume dead

    I am always
    the exemplary
    the case-study

    & the slant is

    grateful because

    & when you die

    they don’t
    they just journey
    & the pattern of hair
    is corroded

    weapons lay in wait
    on the floor.

    © Copyright 2009 SAKHTAR

  194. Babs Loyd

    Day 20/rebirth

    Seeds for Butterflies

    She took one of the mysterious, dark seeds and tossed it into the snow.
    From the envelope with “Hollyhock” scribbled in pencil on the front,
    she chose another to toss a little distance from the first. Eventually,
    she cast all in the chosen area where they would get lots of sun.

    An old garden book recommended this technique she called “Snow Tossing.”
    Not positive that the dime sized seeds would like the cold,
    she hoped when the snow melted later it would lay the seeds atop the soil
    in order for them to sprout in the spring, a re-birth of beauty.

    It is always an act of faith to plant seeds and wait
    for the first appearance of sprouts several weeks later.
    She liked the fact that Hollyhock seeds are huge and easy to handle
    and once they reach their full, awesome height they are
    magnificent in their breathtaking colors.

    Waiting for their showy appearance, lined up like the Rockettes,
    she planned to leave them standing even after their leaves were riddled
    by bugs’ bites, because caterpillars are attracted to them.
    Once they spun their cocoons, then emerged, it would be like
    getting a second crop of color while the butterflies dried their wings
    and flew above the scraggly stalks toward the sky in the warmth of the sun.

  195. Laura Kayne


    Pigeons coo an alarm
    While sunshine bathes the bedroom
    And blue sky peers through slanted blinds.
    You blink awake
    Conscious of another day,
    Take a breath
    And let the morning wash over you,
    Before turning to me with a kiss and a smile,
    Ready for a new day.

  196. Brian A. Hartford

    A Change Of Heart : 1990

    At two-score and three my life had just begun,
    college life, frivolity, and beatitude abound.
    I aspired to greatness and to sterilize the world,
    in Dallas my dreams died- a change of heart.

    Numbness of my loss, became the darkness of my soul.
    graduation, marriage, and career dulled the dream.
    I aspired to family, advancement, and security.
    duty, honor, and Vietnam swallowed me- a change of heart.

    With less than Honor I paid the price of duty and war.
    a child was born , it gave me strength to survive.
    A dead soul and screaming demons hunted my mind,
    blurred , cold, dead eyes from what they had witnessed.

    A decade and four I wandered in parallel worlds.
    provider, father, career is where I roamed.
    The dark-side of guilt, unrest, non-commitment the other,
    I left my best friend to seek another- a change of heart.

    For all the wrong reasons I sought identity with change,
    vanished was my dignity, my pride, and my judgement.
    My lover turned to the bottle, unwilling to help-I withdrew.
    cowardly I turned to a death knell of debauchery-a change of heart.

    From the song of my youth, young love and friendship rose,
    I found my friend and love of old, tattered lives-patched.
    Such serene happiness, loving each other and nurturing too,
    life had new meaning and their was joy – a change of heart.

    I took on my friend as my wife- a third time I would try.
    the past disappeared and I left it behind, life was good.
    Plans and schemes were made and dreamed, we had time.
    travel, sharing sunsets, and loving- a change of heart.

    The symptoms were slight and the diagnosis was swift,
    we faced her cancer with anger, fear, and disbelief.
    The doctors’ solemn faces, we were desperate to hope,
    my friend and partner died -my heart finally broke- a broken heart.

    The miracle of God’s healing and surgeon’s skilled hands,
    my broken heart was replaced and a new life began.
    Such a miracle is life and too precious to waste,
    God cares, loves, and there is no fear-a change of heart.


  197. Sactokaren

    To Love Again

    You are the man of my present, my future, my dreams.
    I’ve gotten quite lucky or so it seems.
    I thought I was through with love and romance
    But you convinced me to give it another chance.
    I’m getting the love I give in return.
    I was unhappy before, but now it’s my turn.
    You’ve ruined me for all other men.
    On my rating scale you’re more than a ten.

  198. Lynn Barber


    Cells divide and make some more,
    Not quite like the ones before.
    And this happens constantly.
    It’s as odd as it can be
    To think that none of me’s the same
    As when my parents named my name.
    I’m someone else; I’ve been reborn:
    Every second is a brand new morn.

  199. Gina Larkin


    Three months ago I watched
    you be born,
    today we are here
    at the same hospital.
    I can not hold you,
    the stitches, you know,
    but I do.
    You stare at me
    with the puzzled frown
    of the new born;
    I stare at you
    through the new eyes
    of the reborn.

  200. Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Odd my post disappeared – perhaps to be reborn elsewhere?
    Here it is again…………


    My father was an artist
    told me that the female
    form was perfect
    each toe a delight
    every fold of skin
    silken, sacred
    breasts on chests
    or resting on
    thighs, all lovely
    all wondrous
    I went with him
    to the studio
    some Saturdays
    as students sat
    and squinted at
    the naked
    models painting
    their versions
    of lovely flesh
    while sneaking
    sidewise peeks
    at the woman
    across the way
    walking past her window
    in her underwear
    There was no
    said he
    in nudity
    there was there no
    lechery in art
    nor artists
    Only form
    and flesh lovely
    sanctified flesh
    and the eye
    of the artist
    Connected in mutual
    I believed him
    his girl child
    growing confident
    waiting for that
    child’s body to
    grow lovely respectable
    artistic flesh
    I believed him
    his girl child
    sitting in his studio
    at home inhaling
    paint and turpentine
    like nectar
    sparkling in my
    I believed him
    his girl child
    I believed him
    Until I came upon him
    leering at a Playboy model
    magazine in his lap
    hand on his own thigh
    his eyes filled with
    an smirk unlovely
    and disconnected
    from any article
    or cartoon
    no matter what he said
    There staring into
    those now unknown eyes
    innocence tore
    as rendered flesh
    in labor’s agony

  201. Christine Fletcher

    Water or Reading Hemingway’s “A Farewell To Arms”

    Be it a baptismal tool
    For a character’s re-birth
    Or a barrier between
    The comfortable every-day
    And the unconscious,
    Its salvific qualities
    Are most evident
    In their absence.

  202. Bozena Intrator

    a no ending story

    for children of all ages

    a lake was afraid that
    on some very hot day
    it will dry out
    it will die
    the lake didn’t know
    that death is only a beginning
    of something new
    a very long hot summer came
    and the lake disappeared
    changed into a damp
    and was able
    to fly around on the wings of a wind
    to look down on earth
    and wanted to be the damp for ever
    was afraid of dying
    didn’t know that death is only a beginning
    of something new
    the wind pulled the damp up
    and formed a cloud out of it
    the cloud flew around the earth
    was happy to be a cloud
    to be alive
    and started to be afraid of dying
    wanted to live as a cloud for ever
    at that moment
    it flew into a very cold air
    and it changed into millions of snow stars
    the snow stars were flying down on Earth
    felling so happy to be able to fly
    make pirouettes in the air
    and whishing
    that this fall never ends
    they started to be afraid to die
    at that moment they reached a glass roof
    it was warmer than the air
    and they melted
    became a water layer on the glass
    slowly dripping down
    being happy to drip down the glass roof
    and whishing that it never changes
    but it was an evening
    and it started to get cold again
    so the water turned into icicles
    they were hanging from the roof
    and were feeling great about themselves
    and about life
    they didn’t want to change a bit
    in their life
    they started to be afraid of dying
    in this moment the sun came out again
    melted the icicles
    and the water drops
    fell down into a small lake

    Bozena Intrator

  203. C. A. Rose

    Gardening Lessons

    The first year in our house,
    we planted a real yard.
    We bought ‘most every plant
    we saw at Wal-Mart and Lowe’s.

    We dug, fertilized and mulched.
    Smiling broadly we believed spring
    would be so beautiful with all our
    choices. We patted our backs.

    Then drought slowed us down.
    We didn’t much like watering.
    Our whole back hedge died off
    with the crepe myrtle and dogwood.

    We’d saved receipts so they paid
    us back on the guaranteed ones.
    It wasn’t much solace for killing
    off nature. We blamed lack of rain.

    The drought even got our hearty
    Althea bush – two years running.
    Or she didn’t much like
    the hard packed red clay.

    The lawn mower ran over
    her remains. We’d given up
    planting new until the rains
    would catch up the water table.

    We thank God for any moisture.
    Althea, aka Rose of Sharon,
    is peeking out of the gravel
    and drinking the run off.

    Aw, spring has sprung
    and so has our Althea bush.
    Maybe our brown thumbs
    are turning. Green is reborn.

  204. Megan

    baby geese, spring in the suburbs

    on the side of route 50
    each year the silly geese congregate
    they flutter wings thinking they are nifty
    on the side of route 50
    the shoppers are angry
    they may fume and berate
    on the side of route 50
    each year the silly geese congregate

  205. janflora

    I attempted the villanelle which is a new form for me… My bday was the day of the "rebirth" prompt, which I thought was both ironic and significant…so:


    I was born on this April day
    which brings pain for so many
    and others mark in their own way.

    There are no words that truly say
    how it can feel for any
    person born on this April day.

    I think of people left to pray
    for the souls lost in Germany
    and others marked the same way.

    Think of children who could not play
    in Waco, Colorado and many
    other places marked in other ways.

    Every Spring, I enter the gray,
    reflect and then live again. See—
    I was born on an April day
    that others mark in their own way.

  206. Diane Truswell

    Reborn Knees

    After the first surgery
    I was hopeful, expecting
    great improvement, major
    change to my life. But
    it wasn’t so. I struggled
    endured more pain
    than I had imagined
    and could feel myself
    withdrawing from life
    one layer of saran wrap
    at a time, still viewing
    the world but not
    participating as I wanted.

    Certain honest and intelligent
    people encouraged me
    to go ahead with the second
    surgery, but I was reluctant,
    fearing the same result as
    the first, perhaps worse.
    Finally I made the decision
    to go ahead, though I
    was terrified of the outcome.
    The first day after surgery
    amazed me, I was so much
    better, everything was easier
    I was impressed myself
    with what I was able to do.

    The most exciting part
    was the lifting of the layers
    of saran wrap, one at a time
    but quickly, offering more
    and more freedom and
    allowing me to feel once
    again like my real self.
    I’ve gone from dead to a
    newborn, crawling to walking
    even though sometimes still
    like a toddler, but I progress
    and I’m living life once again.

  207. Kelly Searsmith


    They have a way of coming up
    where they are unwanted. In a flowerbed,
    the middle of the grass, too close
    to the house. No one wants roots
    tearing up their foundation.

    My father said his family tree
    was all but dead. He’d cut off every
    branch but one, and now that too is
    gone, chipped and composted,
    nothing left but a stump. We try
    not to miss it. Like Blake’s Poison
    Tree, the fruit was as bitter as
    it was dangerous, and didn’t keep.

    But they have a way of coming up, trees,
    where they are unwanted. Me, and you,
    our son. If we are a new branch, we
    are also roots and trunk and a sky green
    with leaves. New oak to old elm, but
    good for comforting with shade
    and climbing to the sun.

  208. Olive L. Sullivan

    I’m not happy with this sonnet, but here it is…

    Wandering Bone

    Train whistle blows outside my back door —
    I’m a woman with a wandering bone —
    I raise my head; I long for more —
    never met no man could keep me at home.

    When it’s time to leave, I’m packed and ready,
    got my things in a bag under the bed.
    Never met a man whose love was steady,
    made me feel more worth than an unmade bed.

    Some dark days I curse that wandering bone,
    wonder how long I’ll follow behind it.
    Some days I find myself longing for home,
    but I’ve got no idea how I’ll find it.

    I’ve spent half my life just running away.
    Will you be the one who can teach me to stay?

  209. Liam Mullen

    The Soaring Spirit

    When the spirit soars,
    It transcends life itself,
    It soars like a bird into the heavens,
    Imbued with iridescent colour,
    Stronger than a rainbow blend,
    Or an earthly cocktail,
    Blues and reds, yellows and blacks,
    A colourless gust,
    Taken like the wind,
    As powerful as a tsunami,
    Unbending in the face of adversity,
    Blinding in its intensity,
    Unstoppable in its destiny,
    Indescribable hues,
    And patterned shadows,
    Mark the flight path of the soaring spirit.

    It travels in time,
    In its timeless entity,
    Upward and outward,
    Unseen by human eye,
    A speed unknown to mankind,
    A speck against the heavens,
    An iridescent arc of light,
    On a path of glorified truth,
    No trailing hint of smoke,
    Or manmade polluted boost,
    Just an unstoppable force,
    Against the pull of the sun, the moon, the stars,
    A dangerous descent,
    A stairway to bliss,
    And snow-covered heights,
    And peaceful doves sing about the soaring spirit.

  210. Violet N

    Cost of Rebirth

    Consider the egg
    how it hides life
    within a calcium cocoon
    protects and nourishes
    the chick within
    until too large
    restless and strong
    pecks free
    destroys its home
    egg now mere shell
    of former self
    becomes nest detritus
    discarded and forgotten

    Consider the egg
    how it sustains life
    surrenders to boil, scramble
    fry, poach
    stir, whip, mix
    while we gain strength
    from eating deviled
    fried, baked in cake
    or drunk in nog
    egg disappears into
    our very DNA
    of course we throw
    the shells away

  211. Rose Anna Hines


    At 3am, I feel the call
    I know its voice,
    Although I haven’t heard it for awhile.
    I try to ignore it,
    use my clever ways to over ride it.
    I say, it will pass just go back to sleep.
    But the pressure continues to build
    The call is louder.
    I must answer at least pay homage to the sanctuary.

    I go to the Porcelain hall.
    The wave of heat passes through me.
    And like a dog knowing it is going to the vet
    I tug at my leash.
    Why does this god keep such irregular hours.

    But the porcelain warms
    as the nausea begins to flow
    human lava, the first sacrifice
    comes just from my the stomach.

    The ritual over,
    I crawl back in bed.
    But soon the waves of heat start again
    and I know the alter is waiting for another gift.
    Now the lava belches out from
    molten intestines screaming
    chants at the Porcelain Altar.

    But this sacrament isn’t over yet
    For now as I lay exhausted on the altar
    I plead with God to let it end.
    Waves of heat flow through me
    My body shakes, spasms and
    one last time heaves forth
    from my bowels so deep it can only be
    a piece of my soul on the altar.

    I have seen from this cold uncompromising place
    visions of life no sermon or parable could touch
    I have made my promises and bonds
    knowing I have seen a peace of the truth.

  212. Michael T. Young


    On this late April day, all the dormant powers
    break into their first green disclosures,
    digging out from under rocks, surging up
    from circuits of soil and sap, dirt, darkness
    and the deep cold water tables, holding out
    the first seasonal revelations: hyacinth and tulip,
    magnolia and dogwood. Around the fountains
    and park benches they rewrite the long history
    from the first day until now, but always as unfolding
    with an accent of sweet aromas that remind me
    memory is another flowering of imagination,
    seductive as any beauty that can’t be trusted
    and why I can’t seem to throw away a chestnut
    snatched from the floor of late October colors
    and since then, palmed in my pocket,
    its smooth woodiness under my thumb,
    its hard promise like an elegant refusal,
    the friction against my finger, an integrity
    that yields to nothing but its own terms.

  213. Alison Linnitt


    When it comes
    It makes perfect sense;
    That it sound be this
    Tangled way.

    I think of you,
    Unborn soul, a shadow
    Growing toward light.

    I have thought of you
    While fishing
    The Black Warrior.
    Thought how cool and silky
    It would be
    To be hooked, to be reeled
    Through the current,
    The water rushing past
    My gills.
    How horrible and exciting
    The slamming
    Of oxygen into a brain.

    My grandfather was a hard man
    Who ran with the spirits
    That fed him.
    He heard the chanting,
    The Gaelic fathers
    Calling him home.
    Mississippi was a maze.
    My grandmother burrowing
    Him in the bean fields,
    His heart leaning toward

    I am him. I work
    In bars and long
    For the flow of language,
    For incantations.

    But now you are here.
    A prisoner chained to my
    Darkness, my body of water.
    I imagine
    Your small hands treading,
    The membranes brushing
    Like seaweed against
    Your cheek.

    Mad swimmer.
    Mad swimmer
    Your reward is a buoyancy
    About to be delivered.
    A burden about to be borne.

  214. Jill V Woodward

    April 20, 2009
    Prompt: Rebirth

    She played with nearly perfect technique-
    impeccable posture
    metronomic precision
    And yet the audiences
    though awed
    remained unmoved.

    Life intervened.
    Dreams of achieving status
    were put on the shelf
    of unfulfilled desires.

    While her kids were young
    she gave lessons
    teaching children to play with precision
    and propriety. And then
    She was asked to teach Joshua.

    with braces on his legs
    and sloppy speech.
    an unruly mass of red curls
    on his head.

    “Luhv moo-zick,” he told her
    And she sighed as clumsy fingers
    missed the keys.

    She stayed with it only for the sake of her friendship
    with Joshua’s mother.

    One day Joshua came for his lesson.
    “Bin prac-sing a lot,” he told her,
    then took his left hand and with the right,
    carefully placed each finger on the proper key.
    Then painstakingly placed his right thumb
    on the “F” above middle C, and got
    all of his fingers set to play.

    He looked to his teacher for approval.
    She nodded, preparing herself,
    and he began to play
    “Exercise for Two Hands”
    but this time, his fingers stayed in the right places
    his body moved with the music-
    His face shone with pure delight.

    His teacher watched- and listened-
    hearing the music for the very first time
    cheeks wet with tears.

    Sometime later
    She returned to her dream
    Rigid posture replaced by a disciplined freedom.
    This time,
    the awed audience wept.

  215. Jin

    "After The Rain"

    Doesn’t the grass always seem
    greener after the rain?
    When the storm ceases
    and the sun parts
    the charcoal clouds,
    doesn’t the light shine
    on the Earth?
    A baptism of the land
    born again anew,
    doesn’t the always seem
    greener after the rain?

  216. sally evans


    How do we know the sun will rise
    tomorrow? asked the philosopher David Hume,
    but this was not a question about the sun,
    it was a question about knowledge.

    We know it will rise, he said, because it always has,
    we assume or adduce from its happening yesterday
    and the day before and for thousands of years.
    It is nothing to do with rebirth, this assumed regeneration.

    The sun has set and risen again
    for another two hundred years since Hume’s observation.
    Knowledge is still an acceptance of routine,
    the magic behind science still works,

    but we know it as joyful,
    we know it as colourful as we awaken
    to light on the buildings and trees, pavement and islands,
    the fragmentation and refragmentation of life.

    We call it rebirth because we love it and hope for it,
    we were wiser than the wisest philosophers,
    who look for the science behind magic.
    Rebirth is the magic behind life.

  217. David Cheezem

    The Actress

    She is on her back, knees up,
    feet on the floor, the house lights up,
    behind a black steel grid ceiling,
    and she is pretending to melt.

    Start at brow. Feel the brow soften
    like snow-thaw, a puddle forming
    below, glistening above, now the eyes,
    yes. Don’t forget to breath. The jaw…

    Her habits puddled on the floor, she
    rolls onto her knees, her feet,

    tail to the sky, head to the floor,
    she rises slowly, vertebrae by vertebrae,
    from the tail-bone to the neck.

    Because she does this, day after day, year
    after year, she will release the muscle
    memory that makes her who she is,
    the way her throat pinched in on itself,

    when she squeaked “I’m a little busy now,”
    or her fingers clenched, then stretched
    to keep from clenching at her sister’s
    wedding. All she was is gone now.

    She is ready to answer the cell like you,
    on the third “We will we will rock you.”
    She is ready to roll her eyes and growl, low
    and smoky: “You focking have a lotta’ nerve

    you know that? A focking lotta’ nerve.”

  218. Charlene Navoa Lee


    Boxes filled with portraits,
    glossy colored prints.
    Stored, stacked-
    waiting for a photo album
    to live in.
    We gathered these,
    a long forgotten project.
    Black & white photos of you,
    your past and future.
    Happy moments captured,
    smiles that last forever.
    I will relive those precious times
    in a new collection-
    where lifetime of memories
    will linger,
    stories for all generations.
    I will work on this
    as promised,
    as you wished.
    Brand new pages
    of unwritten images,
    This will be a reference-
    for your future

  219. Li Yun Alvarado


    At eighteen, I attacked my navel.
    Pinched and clasped it tight,
    a visible sign, to stamp out
    the past and his love,

    Just before twenty-six, I branded my back.
    One final flourish as a venticincoañera,
    permanent reminder of a my Libran life: balance
    between each shoulder blade, the sun setting.

    Before twenty-eight, I wanted to free the weight
    of identity carried around the curves of my neck
    like intricately decorated shields held up in battle.
    I asked for inches and watched my curled defenses

  220. Annie


    While I’ve watched the dead lawn
    frost in reverse; from white to brown to
    green, I’ve watched my children grow
    out of their pantlegs and into the next size
    up. I am waiting for payday to buy the seeds
    for the garden we’ve already planted.
    On my daughter’s list are tomatoes
    and sunflowers and pumpkins
    while my son weighs in with carrots and
    yellow beans, and leeks for that soup that he loves.
    She says she will weed the plants every day
    and he says he will water them. Then I will nap
    in the hammock, I say, while you two garden all summer,
    until it’s time for us to pick, and can, and freeze.
    In our minds the harvest baskets are full to bursting,
    like the pond at the end of the driveway, already
    roiling with frogs’ eggs.

  221. Pearl Ketover Prilik


    My father was an artist
    told me that the female
    form was perfect
    each toe a delight
    every fold of skin
    silken, sacred
    breasts on chests
    or resting on
    thighs, all lovely
    all wondrous
    I went with him
    to the studio
    some Saturdays
    as students sat
    and squinted at
    the naked
    models painting
    their versions
    of lovely flesh
    while sneaking
    sidewise peeks
    at the woman
    across the way
    walking past her window
    in her underwear
    There was no
    said he
    in nudity
    there was there no
    lechery in art
    nor artists
    Only form
    and flesh lovely
    sanctified flesh
    and the eye
    of the artist
    Connected in mutual
    I believed him
    his girl child
    growing confident
    waiting for that
    child’s body to
    grow lovely respectable
    artistic flesh
    I believed him
    his girl child
    sitting in his studio
    at home inhaling
    paint and turpentine
    like nectar
    sparkling in my
    I believed him
    his girl child
    I believed him
    Until I came upon him
    leering at a Playboy model
    magazine in his lap
    hand on his own thigh
    his eyes filled with
    an smirk unlovely
    and disconnected
    from any article
    or cartoon
    no matter what he said
    There staring into
    those now unknown eyes
    innocence tore
    as rendered flesh
    in labor’s agony

  222. Kathy Kehrli

    Life Support

    Chronic lymphatic leukemia;
    Too old for breast cancer treatment;
    A coma following a stroke;
    Hepatic carcinoma;
    Amputation then myocardial infarction.
    Aunt Alice;
    Great Aunt Lizzy;
    My beloved Nana;
    Pookey, my lifetime dog;
    Mitch, a longtime friend.
    All within the span of a year—
    And not one of them survived.
    Yet by the time
    Each one’d been laid to rest,
    ’Twas me who needed

  223. yoly

    The Renaissance Man

    The procession of time
    moved gradually with low beam lights.
    As if He could not interpret restless faith,
    I whispered to God in Spanish and English.
    It’s all I had- two prayers like burning feet,
    heading where they needed to be.

    2 hours and 26 minutes passed, and here he was.

    We all stood up from the hospital-gray chairs.
    His lambent voice flickered in my ears
    like light on water.
    Your husband’s bypass went according to plan.
    He’s doing fine. He’s in recovery.
    Mami wrapped her arms around the cardiologist
    and spoke flapdoodle on his neck.

  224. Christina Bass

    “Cancer Rebirth”

    There are many types of rebirth it’s true
    Some are religious while others grew
    From an infant to toddler to youth to teen
    Sometimes it all remains to be seen.

    I never thought I’d be reborn again
    As I loved my life and tried not to sin.
    I’d never lost HIM so that wasn’t the case
    But something changed a disease I had to face.

    Like Tim McGraw says, “live like you were dying”
    Take each day with new adventures even flying.
    Cancer can be scary and more than once you have to heed
    Twice I’ve battled and won so now I take the lead.

    Cancer rebirth is somewhat a transition
    A new look at life and all its position.
    Take each day one at a time
    Smell the roses and all that rhyme.

    Sometimes things happen to change our perspective
    A new lease on life something like a detective.
    That rare glimpse comes with a risk of life
    To be determined to succeed and be a good wife.

    On rare occasions we’re given the chance
    To beat the odds and have the last dance.

  225. Kimberly T. Thompson

    “Born Again”

    Your love through Christ Revived, Restored me
    My soul through faith Renewed, Reborn free

  226. Renee Ammendolia

    Just a quick note — I forgot to change the third stanza from the bottom to read:

    Winter returns
    the Autumn
    as if it
    never were.

    Thanks. R.

  227. Renee Ammendolia


    In Spring
    the Winter
    as if it
    never were.

    It makes way
    for budding
    of green
    and the soil
    drinks its

    In Summer
    the Spring
    as if it
    never were.

    Yet its work
    is everywhere
    and thriving
    under the
    hot kiss
    of the

    In Autumn
    the Summer
    as if it
    never were.

    the landscape
    a brilliant
    tempered by
    cooling air.

    Winter returns
    and Autumn
    as if it
    never were.

    coat the earth
    in a blanket
    of white
    that lets

    the howling wind
    a lullabye
    for all that waits
    to be reborn.

  228. Linda Robertson

    April PAD Challenge
    Linda Robertson
    © April 20, 2009


    I had no idea that my life would change so drastically, that my heart would be so erratically every time I saw her, or heard about her, or smelled her aroma.

    When I touched her skin for the very first time, mine tingled as if I had touched a live wire, electric and pulsing, yet I couldn’t let go; I couldn’t stop caressing her.

    I didn’t know my heart would explode when she entered my world or that my feelings would change so significantly.

    Amazed and bewildered at the same time, this beautiful being came into my life and astonished me with her beauty, her vitality, her truth, her purity.

    This wonderful creature made me reborn, changing my soul, my heart, my self.

    She changed my spirit, my essence, my existence.

    I find it hard to recall my life before her. I am, I was, and I continue, but now, it is for her…all for her…this wondrous, captivating, living being that now shares my world with kindness and compassion, with laughter and mirth.

    This child is my granddaughter, and she renewed me.

  229. Karen Decker

    When the Gloves Come Off…

    The cold winter air is not kind to my hands
    So they stay huddled in mittens
    And in front of fireplaces

    But when the days grow longer
    Those long fingers seem to stretch and reach

    One spring season for the shoulders of a laboring mom
    As I stare in her eyes and encourage her to breathe

    Another spring season my hands speak
    As I learn how to sign

    This spring these hands grasp the pen and page
    And I write

  230. lynn rose

    She carries the world on her shoulders.
    She crys at the drop of a hat. She fears what could happen and forgets about living. She wants to please people and forgets about pleasing herself.
    She threw all the weight off her shoulders and feels free at last.
    She feels the warmth of the sun and sees the beauty of the world.
    She feels like she can live again and a smile covers her face.

  231. Gregory Gusse

    By Gregory Gusse

    John Harrelson
    The bluesman
    died April sixth two thousand and six
    and resurrected the next day.
    Does he now share my birthday?
    Has he a new Sun sign?
    Is he more like me,
    or is he the same old guy,
    just neo-re-natal?

    Death is the prerequisite
    for rebirth.
    Some of us take it better
    than others.
    But, after awhile
    we all forget that exquisite moment
    and relive,
    our past life.

  232. Laura K. Deal

    Resurrection Ficus

    It appeared orphaned,
    abandoned in the alley,
    a dessicated root ball
    and six leaves.
    I gave it a pot,
    extra soil, water.
    Love. Encouragement.
    Seventeen years later
    it greens my house
    with its gratitude of leaves.

  233. Renee Goularte


    When I return
    I plan to be water,
    to be level, to flow
    wherever there is
    open space, settle
    into the cracks in rocks,
    flow easily into dark caves.

  234. Rebekah

    "The Fairy Godmother of Trash"

    What was once an old pair of jeans
    is now a decorated purse.
    What was once a coffee can
    is now a cylindrical jewelry box.
    What was once a newspaper
    is now part of the art on the wall.
    What was once a favorite, stained shirt
    is now woven into a patchwork quilt.
    What was once a used Altoids tin
    is now a decoupaged portable candle.
    She looks at trash and sees the treasure,
    the treasure waiting for its rebirth
    into the proverbial, beautiful swan.

  235. Sara Furch


    Time told me I was ready, so I listened
    Curled up into a sheath
    Put all trust in him

    Silky strands fastened me still
    Skin constricted, swaddled me tight
    Try as I might, I could scarcely wiggle
    The sun that once guided eclipsed into night
    Burbling, churning, no free will
    Stewing in my own fluid pool

    Tick-tick-tick, a piercing beak
    Lashing, yearning, spearing tongue
    Probing fiercely, lapping what’s leaking
    Of my blood and serum, I couldn’t so much as squeak
    Pain stung, my body quivered as I hung, weak
    Then just like that, the attacker did retreat

    Time told me I was ready, so I listened
    Tried to spread out new wings
    Shell blowing away in the wind

    One side flapped, the other fell off
    I was supposed to soar, but instead I staggered
    The moon the spotlight on my new dress: torn, mottled cloth
    I was supposed to dance, sipping fine nectar, but bats descended
    Now in the jaws of another I finally rise: time-forsaken moth

    Time told me I was ready, so I listened
    But he did not care for me at all
    The bat has tossed me back to swall


    (This looks better as a "centered" poem.)

  236. Laura Hoopes

    Comin Back

    Ol spring she be sneakin around the corner
    One day soon she pop out them flowers
    Here there and all around you’ll see
    All blank and brown now but red, yellow, blue
    They just hidin inside they green wrappers
    Look dead now, but just you wait a month
    You gonna be surprised—yeah.

  237. Melissa Johnson

    After the Divorce

    Lips are for more
    than pursing

    Arms are for more
    than folding

    Legs are for more
    than crossing

    Bed is for more
    than reading,

  238. Kimberly H.

    Born Again

    He was born again because he needed to change
    Unfortunately he changed too late
    The day of his death had already been assigned
    The list of witnesses had been made
    The last meal was waiting to be sent
    Yet the man who deserved the punishment was gone
    He had left behind a man filled with sorrow
    A man who understood what he did wrong
    And desperately wanted to take it back.

  239. Erinne Magee

    Rebirth prompt

    A trickle of dew
    down the window
    looking on as
    the dishes refuse
    to do themselves.

    A lonely Chickadee
    sings its signature song
    but today it has
    a different meaning:
    She wants morning chow.

    A distant poplar
    moves to the beat
    of a tropical palm,
    wondering about its
    newborn swagger.

    A pile of mud
    coats the galoshes,
    confirming the
    month-long rumors.
    Spring has spoken.

  240. Melanie Crow


    I think there must be some new animal
    Deep in the ocean, waiting to be born,
    Waiting to open its eyes.
    What are we given
    To celebrate? The new day:
    Dusk, and old women
    At the bakery talking of their sons
    Trying to make it
    Without a center.
    These mothers want so much more
    For their sons: look,
    You can see the deep weight of
    Love in the way these women talk
    Of their sons, going into their own lives
    Without them, how they would dive down
    Anywhere their sons are flailing, how they would
    Deliver them whole, back into the world.

  241. Christopher Stephen Soden

    Afternoon nap : London, 1986

    Mother and Joyce wanted to spend more
    time at Harrod’s and I wanted another
    opportunity to savor steak and kidney pie.
    I had my poster from the retrospective
    at the Tate and basked in my chance
    to take a taxi by myself, pretend I was
    on my own in this town of jaded wisdom.
    Glistening essence of urbane yet avuncular
    comfort. I did not know enough at 28
    to seek out the queer haunts but excursions
    I took into Little Venice with its murky,
    too silent canals and Chinatown and the Baths
    with gentle fellows who didn’t mind if you
    needed to look were bliss in their way.
    Just like sharing lamb curry and yoghurt
    with mint with mama and her best friend
    at The Red Fort or listening to Shanni Wallis
    belt a Brooklyn ballad in 42nd Street
    at the West End. But that afternoon
    spilling with white, chilly sunlight
    I could do anything and wish anything
    and rely on anything. Dreams became hopes
    and hopes expectations and expectations
    inevitable future. I basked in thick gravy of
    meat pie with onion and mushroom
    and tagged a street vendor on my way back
    to the International. Carefully I unrolled
    A Bigger Splash, the Hockney watershed
    painting from his California period, replacing
    the print hanging over my desk, using pushpins.
    Housekeeping arrived with the requested vase
    and I tossed the wet newspaper wrapping. After
    getting them a drink, I removed my clothes
    cheerfully crawling between layers of crisp linen,
    singing myself down a swaying azure channel
    to the sea, awaking to find my tulips had broken
    open, ivory and purple like robes of a Sun King,
    and capered naked in the breathless frontier
    of my new domain, laughing.

  242. Karen Masteller

    Rally Caps

    In the game of baseball,
    When the chips are down,
    It’s time to wear the rally caps.
    Just turn cap crown around.

    If luck is flowing your way,
    The team will be renewed.
    The bats will crack; the homers fly.
    Opponents will be swiftly schooled.

    If life played like a ballgame,
    And you were feeling blue
    You’d don your rally cap and then
    You’d shout out whoop-de-do!

    Sometimes in our relationships
    We’re stuck in a nasty squeeze play.
    Putting on the rally cap
    Could encourage friendly headway.

    One final pitch I’ll fire at you–
    If your soul is losing ground,
    Take up the rally cap of prayer
    It will help your spirit rebound.

  243. Amanda Kelley


    Renewed by rain.
    Bright, how right
    this breeze
    in the house,
    through each room.
    Beckoning times
    revealed by the
    returning birds.
    Beauty is back,
    taken in by
    their breath.
    Hope is belief
    in right reborn
    each hour.

  244. Shireen Jeejeebhoy


    Stately ribbon of onyx ice
    Cascades down to the

    Of dreams and strife and such a nice
    Life with mari on the
    Stately ribbon of onyx ice.

    Rending the air, screams sard and bice,
    so angry at the

    Demanded on this night of vice,
    Shriek, fly, along the
    Stately ribbon of onyx ice.

    Then o’er the remains Armistice
    Rises and lights the

    Up to see wisdom and brave choice
    Face the light created on the
    Stately ribbon of onyx ice

  245. Ellen McGrath Smith

    happy baby pose
    ananda balasana

    1. descending to love

    to have been found and fed full held round coddled lulled

    to have played in milky light to have rolled from side to side

    a soul gondola hands on the arches of one’s fat forgetful feet

    to have known these languid motions

    as the only speech worth meaning to have never stood upright

    never questioned one’s own gauzy selfish vision appetite or shadow

    on the wall — never to have flinched at those two amazing birds

    smearing light-streaks behind them

    descending to love you wherever they land —

    2. cannabis

    surely the building shook with our delight

    while inside our delight we were wrapped inside

    waves warming into our cove coral teeth

    of topaz silk sleeves —Who is breathing?
    one movement: days ripple one word, fuzzy key

    to a universe static with wonder
    the thunder

    outside is a bribe changing hands a car starts &

    heaven’s gates cry out for oil I see on your hairline
    each drop

    a reason a world turns around.

  246. Beth Melles

    Starting Over

    How many times can you be
    born again and mend your ways before
    it ceases to be real, and becomes
    another deal you make to break
    just weeks later?

  247. Shirley T.

    Rock People

    We take them from riverbed crypts,
    the old rocks, dead rocks, forgotten
    prey of grit and rushing water.
    We exhume ones of interest,
    take them back for rockautopsy,
    not to discover cause of death,
    but find each resurrection face.
    Laughing children, grumpy old men,
    flirtatious ladies might emerge;
    perhaps an animal or two.
    We chip a bit, and buff and shine;
    create life with painted earth tones,
    highlight, accent with grey and black.
    The dead rocks breathe with form and life,
    bookends, paperweights and doorstops.
    Some are conversation pieces,
    we also taught them how to speak.

  248. Daunette Lemard-Reid

    Daddy’s Girl

    He once asked
    if we could
    start over,
    he and I,
    and I wondered if that were
    even possible.

    How could I,
    grown, with my own family,
    start over
    from childhood;
    Ignoring the years we’ve lost?
    How would we begin?

    But then he
    Held me in his arms,
    And I
    One can never get too old
    To be daddy’s girl.

    In his arms
    My walls came crashing
    Down, freeing
    The gentle
    Side of me, allowing my
    Soul to love again.


  249. Cynthia Randolph

    To be reborn,
    you only have to die.
    It happened slowly.
    Heart racing,
    trying to escape these
    feeble breasts,
    its cadence pushing
    everything else aside.
    Skin burning,
    all other sensations lost,
    agonizing its way
    into ash.
    Each breath
    leaving me a void,
    then forgetting
    to inhale.
    I woke anew,
    no cradling arms,
    fearful, squalling
    as any other babe,
    unsure of what I was,
    of what to do,
    of what I would become.

  250. ann malaspina

    "On Turning 80"

    She ate crabcakes for lunch.
    She watched "Babette’s Feast."
    She talked with her 2-year-old grandson.
    She told about how her grandmother
    died at 86 after eating birthday cake.
    "She said she wasn’t feeling well,
    and lay down in the spare room."
    She blew out candles.
    She ate Harry & David chocolate cheese cake.
    She put on an owl pin from her 18-year-old grandson
    and unwrapped a purse from her husband.
    She arranged a bouquet of Hawaiian orchids.
    She kissed her daughter.
    She kissed her husband.
    She washed the supper dishes.
    She read the last chapter of "The Grapes of Wrath."
    She ate a mango.
    She really did all those things
    the day she turned 80.

  251. Brandi Guthrie


    A constant cycle
    Between living and dying
    Remembering, forgetting
    Until something reminds me
    Yes, this is you
    Here you are
    A book, a poem, a smell
    A favorite color, eyeshadow
    Something that whispers my own language
    Only I understand
    Slowly misplaced
    I forget what they mean
    Forget who I am
    Take up other things
    Fishing, camping
    Dirt beneath the fingernails
    Not ink
    Watching westerns and the Andy Griffith Show
    Food that is fried, buttered, greasy
    Instant coffee
    Until I am bloated, lost, and jittery
    Blindly reaching out
    For something
    To remind me of myself again

  252. G. Smith

    PHOENIX (A Shadorma)
    (c) 2009 – G. Smith
    Oh, rebirth
    From flames, from embers
    From ashes,
    To new life,
    To new fire burning brightly
    For new tomorrows.

  253. Sean Kilkelly

    Life’s Second Half

    With a loud crash,
    life had reached its schism,
    there would be no turning
    back now, my life was cut in half,
    like the Old and the New Testament,
    the old was quite clear, yet the story
    of the new was still being told,
    who I would now become,
    had just started to unfold.

  254. Kitchell Resimi


    She opens morning windows.
    She wraps dishes in newsprint.
    She hums herself to tears.

    Her place has fallen.
    Her frowned face has died.
    A smile breaks the silence.

    The silence is a dusty cloud.
    Moving right along.

    by Kitchell Resimi, 2009

  255. Linda Hudson

    Mother’s Hope

    Is this the day?
    Will she rise?
    Get to school on time
    Go to class
    Raise her hand
    Join the chatter in the

    Or will it be
    Like the weeks of
    Spent in bed
    Crushed by
    The depths
    Of tears too powerful
    to dam.

  256. Charles Frederic


    Poetry is rebirth.

    When I visit that field
    with Jellaludin Rumi
    I am reborn.

    When I smell the lilacs
    in the dooryard with Walt Whitman
    I am reborn

    When I watch Carl Sandburg’s junkman
    carry the clock away
    I am reborn

    And with every reading
    by every Reader
    They are reborn, too.

  257. Cari Resnick

    Born Again

    Forming a deep relationship
    With the one whom I have never met.
    But yet still I believe that He gave His life for me,
    So I could be born again.

    Made in God’s image,
    Our sins swept away by the Father who loves us so much.

    Even though I have never met Him, I still believe,
    That He gave His life for me,
    So I could be born again.

  258. Belinda Furby

    Thy Kingdom Come

    Can you imagine?
    When your eyes will really see,
    When your ears will clearly hear,
    When your tongue will truly taste?

    Now it’s through a glass darkly –
    Seeing glimmers of potential,
    Hearing whispers of rejoicing,
    Taking sips of redemption.

    Can you imagine?
    What wonders to behold,
    What praises to be sung,
    What joys to be tasted?

    See the lion with the lamb?
    Hear the people praising?
    Eat the wedding feast –

  259. Marcia Gaye

    O, Bell!

    Sleeping? Resting? Dead! Dead as death could be –
    No vim, no vigor, no vitality,
    Left unprotected, bare; It is element-ary
    Oxidation cruel, overcameth thee,
    Converting, committing crusting. Thou wast undone ‘til rusty.

    I took thee in and washed thee well
    Removing scourges that on thee befell
    Scouring, polishing, shining – O, Bell!
    Now musicians and poets thine story tell.

    Redemption, rebirth, recycle, redeaux;
    Thine charm, thine grace, thine beauty imbue.
    And thus, O Bell, thine ring is true;
    True purpose revealed; Thou art born anew!

  260. Andrea Boltwood

    Day Trip

    I follow the Cave Swallow
    past Ponderosa Pines
    around Prickly Poppies
    and enter the giant mouth.

    A limestone mountain
    cages the long-gone fossil reef.
    It covers hollow rooms of gypsum
    and once dripping calcspar.

    “Stalactites hang on tight;
    stalagmites stand with all their might,”
    recited by sightseers, its echo
    disturbs the ecosystem.

    My trekking legs are unsteady
    as the air turns thin and cold.
    I pass families who should have
    left their tagalongs behind.

    Ignoring tomorrow’s shin splints,
    I rush out to the wildflowers,
    Orange Butterfly Weed,
    tall Torrey Yuccas.

    It is dusk. I see the outflight
    of free-tailed bats and their pups
    as they resurrect
    the fossilized cavern.

  261. Wayne Mizerak

    Day 20


    I held my new born —
    first my daughter and then, a few years later,
    my son. They each were so small
    as they nestled on my chest.

    My heart would beat,
    as I felt them breathe —
    warm, peaceful, and

    Though their birth brought burdens,
    only parents can know,
    they also brought joy
    and transformation.

    I was brought back to my roots —
    to what was simple and good.
    I was reminded of what
    was of value and worth.

  262. PriscillaAnne Tennant Herrington


    After the wildfire
    green shoots emerge through blackness
    Wildlife reenters

    ©Priscilla Anne Tennant Herrington

  263. Doug Pugh


    we are too new, too frail
    in concept to remember
    that first dawn, the warmth gone
    flooded in amniotic deluge
    the steady thrum of Mommas beat
    muffled reassurances about a bright
    new world mingled between groans
    of back ache and laboured walk
    torn aside as you spill into a riot
    noise, light and you’re drowning
    in the dry gasp of air and antiseptic

    but slowly you totter
    finding each minute, each hour
    a new exploration, a new birth
    of understanding grasped in chubby
    hands, where it’s novelty lingers
    for a while

    but you find the rebirths, the knowledge
    blossoms faster, tumbling past
    grazed knees, broken hearts fading
    until growth and strength wilt and moments
    slip through your fingers, falling
    where the next generation follow
    gurgling in glee at their find
    while you watch, scared perhaps
    of being left behind, discarded

    until frail, worn, cynical you find
    that it doesn’t matter, it is the way
    of all things, life, the universe and all that

    and with that final rebirth
    you find you can smile

    born at last

    ©DP April 09

  264. Priti Aisola

    ‘Time to embroider a new connection’
    Designs taken apart (motifless? motiveless?) … woven thoughts unraveled:
    I unraveled the embroidered design on the photo album cover – the one I had made.
    Some obstinate stitches remained. Some orange red and pink clung to the fabric.
    I cut the denuded fabric into strips like book marks with unmade edges.

    Separating the uneven bits of unraveled skeins into the two colors I had used, I offered the orange red to the setting sun (how can a minuscule ball of flame add to its innate glory – my folly!)
    I gave the flushed pink to the pale pink rose in my garden (it was content to be the way it was;
    it neither accepted nor spurned my offering).
    I gave …in the hope that this offering would blanch or drain of color the several jagged book marks. I could now discard them like piteous unwanted things.
    Yet one remained (the one which still carried faint traces of orange red and pink) to mark a page in my memory book.
    It remained in my pattern book … an untiring reminder of a giving and a rejecting, of an act of making that was my unmaking, at least for a brief bit.

    Your reason for not taking and my reason for giving an embroidered album cover … collided … sadly.

    In an embroidered design the colors would have claimed your regard … in passing.
    As a small untidy heap of broken bits, the colors are glamorless – a waste … divested of any claim and all appeal.

    What shall we give and receive to mark a different moment? I do not know. Do you?

    Months later I re-find
    the embroidery threads
    pushed way back into
    the dark recesses
    of a cupboard.

    I pull them out
    so many of them,
    breathtaking colours
    chosen with care.
    Discarded till now!

    I stroke their softness,
    take in their beauty,
    choose purple,
    different shades:
    dark, striking,
    medium, modest,
    light, shy.

    I open my embroidery book
    to the page that flaunts
    glycine or wisteria
    in dark and soft purples,
    slipping into a soft pink.

    An elegant pendulous dream
    with leaves poised like dancers
    for an enchanting performance.

    I will embroider
    this purple dream,
    its message – amitié.
    Time to repair the rips.
    Time to let go
    of piercing hurts
    and all that,
    that separates me from you.

    Time to embroider
    a new connection.

  265. Mariel Dumas


    Drawing a line against me and the world
    A plane to Russia caused me to focus
    I cast myself in iron holding on to phantom things
    Sculpted to secure myself in place
    Now metamorphosed into some fluid being
    Pausing on corners, listening to leaves
    Not rebirth perhaps, but the trees get it

  266. Kathy Booker


    I listen to the arguments
    read the commentaries –
    the world is split
    between brick and mortar
    and cyberspace

    does it matter –
    printed pages
    recorded audio disk
    downloaded file

    Is a book is a book
    no matter how you read it?

    touch the book
    feel its binding
    smell the ink on the pages
    connect with its weight and size
    watch the story unfold
    listen to the characters in your mind

    touch the compact disk
    toss aside its case
    no smell
    no connection after you put it in the CD player
    listen to the story unfold
    and hope that you like the way the reader reads to you

    touch the e-reader
    feel nothing but the e-reader
    no smell
    no connection to anything other than the e-reader
    but you still watch the story unfold
    and listen to the characters in your mind

    some say that e-books
    will be death of publishing
    while others claim
    it will be a rebirth for authors

    six of one
    half dozen of the other –
    or should that be
    3.33 of one
    one third of the others

    cover price
    delivery method
    hard cover
    mass market
    e-book …

    none of it matters
    a reader has time to read

    what we really need
    is a rebirth of leisure time

  267. Barb

    Diana R. Wilson — thank you so much! ~Barb

    Richard-Merlin (Obi-Wan) Atwater — that’s quite impressive an undertaking. Good luck!

    Barb (Princess Leia), bloggo chicago

  268. Linda Brown


    It’s been six month that she’s been sober
    ‘though the first two she called herself a “dry drunk”,
    her thinking, doing, being
    all about the craving.

    She never wants to revisit that dark,
    hurting place. She’s been there one
    too many times. Bourbon was her drink of choice
    but if she lacked for that she’d reach

    For anything she could – cheap wine or mouthwash.
    Before they forced her into treatment
    her son found every drop she’d hidden,
    (cunning, baffling alcohol)

    And poured it down the sink.
    She dreams about sobriety,
    but so far failure’s been the stuff
    of which her dreams were made.

    Each relapse made her who she is.
    She cries “no more”, and tries again to be
    the daughter, wife and mother.
    It feels like learning how to walk again.

    She has been to hell and back:
    it’s time for something different.
    This time she thrives upon AA,
    and lives one minute at a time

    day by day by day.

    Linda Brown

  269. Tara Hooper

    A New Day

    The sun peeps out from behind the clouds
    sharing its love with the world below. Pulling
    the covers back you thank God for allowing
    you to see another day. So hard to believe
    that just hours ago you thought that you were
    at the end of your rope. So hard to believe
    that just hours ago you were so filled with
    optimism and hope. So hard to believe that
    just hours ago you had an awesome evening
    of passion. So hard to believe that just hours
    ago you nursed a loved one to sleep. Now
    that the morning is here you know that all of
    your apprehensions and fears have disappeared.
    This new day brings about an opportunity for
    resolution of problems from the night before.
    This new day brings about an opportunity to
    live and make better a great day of yesterday.
    This new day brings about an opportunity to
    pray and go out and beat the blues.
    This new day brings about an opportunity to
    become a better you.

  270. Teresa Sundmark

    Another Day

    Three or four nights a week
    We end the day with a fight
    because you made us late to work again,
    you didn’t finish your list,
    you blew off your schoolwork.
    We’re worried about your future
    We tell you
    When will you grow up
    We implore
    you say
    And you’re so sincere
    That we believe you
    And give you another chance.

  271. Heather Taylor

    Possible Futures

    I dreamed of you: a pea under my pillow,
    shoots curling round stubby fingers,
    summer lake cottages with star blankets.

    Breath whispers from bluebell carpets,
    moss curls to pigtails, shoelaces hang
    on overhead wires like brand new bows.

    Tiny kicks ripple water, lap at sleep
    edges the memory of unsung moments
    your face yet unmade.

  272. Maria Schulz

    Here We Go Again

    Some days, when the chores and tasks
    mount up, and I am so busy that
    I fear I will never think again,
    You creep across my consciousness
    And I have to stop and breathe.
    I can feel you,
    Standing close,
    Smelling of Old Spice and chalk,
    Change jangling in your pockets,
    Eyeglasses slipping down your nose,
    Sporting that ear-to-ear smile.
    You whisper, "look at the cardinals."
    "There is work to do."
    "Don’t miss the signs."
    I remember what it was to live in the moment…
    What it was to love you.
    I have tried to forget but you won’t let me.
    There is still work to do, and books to write.
    You are reborn.

  273. Miriam Hall

    Rejection Letter

    The story went into the publisher
    made of grit and heart. A girl who steals
    watches, told from the third person.
    A Stitch in Time, a joking rhyme
    with merit, though, and good plot.

    Back two weeks later in my inbox.
    "I have an 8-year-old and they don’t
    think like this," one editor said. "Maybe,"
    another reported, "if she works on the fact
    that the girl is said to be stealing but herself
    doesn’t feel that way about what she is doing."

    My defenses rile up bile from my belly.
    I want to shake my jelly fists at them,
    "Don’t you see, this is my baby! A tiny newborn
    longing to live." At the end, one editor says,
    "Please re-write with comments. We’d love
    to see this again," and my ego takes a moment
    off, my fist relaxes into fingers
    as I pick up the pen and write again.

  274. David Fraser

    The Burro

    Everyday I see the burro grazing on the grass
    beside his companions, horses blankets across their backs.
    He is without sorrow, has withstood the snow,
    hoofed the frozen ground for clumps of grass,
    bent his ears back in incessant wind, rubbed
    his fat belly against rotting stumps, calmed
    the horses before each storm, and now
    with the return of robins, and a strong
    flow in the stream, he munches happy
    on the new born grass.

  275. RTChrisman

    Greatly Overrated

    Rebirth occurs each moment that we exist.
    Nothing special about it,
    Although people exist who would disagree.
    Let them have their spiritual rebirths
    For all the good it does most of them.
    For being born-again, they soon lose themselves
    And remain as dead as before the cleansing.
    Rebirth occurs each moment that we exist.
    It is greatly overrated.

  276. Toni Gilbert


    Things never thought to lose,
    lost. Left out in the rain,
    taken into the forest, abandoned.
    Not so long ago, words didn’t come.
    Only muddied prose, stuttered poems,
    and songs chopped short.
    Relax, lower your standards,
    and just play. Nothing is truly lost,
    she whispered, have faith in that.
    Born-again writer—
    songs sigh, prose murmur
    poems rustle finally from my pen
    as deliverance skitters through
    the ailing parts of me.

  277. Monica Martin

    Winter has released his hold,
    heading back to sleep. The sun
    has come out, flowers are pulling
    themselves out of the mud. Trees
    are shaking off snow and sprouting
    green leaves and pink blossoms.
    It is the rebirth of Spring.

  278. Adrian Gray

    Young and crazy
    wild and care free
    cruisin in tha car
    showin off for that girl
    he speeds up
    he didnt see the tree

    Rushed to the hospital
    Hooked up to so many machines

    That girl he showed off for
    is now his wife
    she puts on her dress
    off for church with the
    baby in backseat
    they take it slow

  279. Carolyn


    Today I will pick myself up
    and start from where
    I left off yesterday
    leaving yesterday behind
    and all it’s sadness.

    I will pull myself up
    and remember that those
    who have passed before me
    are not far away from me
    probably closer than
    they’ve ever been.

    I will bear in mind
    that people are human
    and human doesn’t always
    mean nice and beautiful and truthful
    and that I don’t have
    to give them any
    more meaning than that.

    I will push outside myself
    step up to the plate of
    my passions and commitments
    make choices and plans
    only I can make
    and if I grow weary
    I will not leave it hanging
    but set it aside to
    start tomorrow.

    Today I will pick myself up
    and start from where
    I left all my yesterdays.

    Today is that day!

  280. Christine Kephart

    New Again

    The 18-month old sat on my lap,
    excitedly looked out the window
    at the bir flying by,
    at the grsshhh,
    identified the ping color of her shirt,
    the boo of mine,
    and laughed delightedly in having
    done something so new.

  281. Judy

    Day 20: Rebirth

    To find myself
    at long last free
    to be,
    to do,
    even to
    is joy beyond
    anything I have known.
    I thought my youthful dreams
    were dead and
    accepted that as part
    of getting older.
    I told myself
    that they were foolish
    and therefore had not come
    to fruition.
    Yet in the silence of
    my empty nest and
    retired state, they have
    been reborn, and
    so have I.

  282. Beth K


    It happened when a switch was flipped
    in me with no warning, no intent,
    but I heard the change as an audible click.

    Like the direction of my blinds was switched,
    the surface changed, with what it meant;
    It happened when a switch was flipped.

    Later I asked who flipped the switch,
    a light cool breeze, a word, a scent?
    I heard the change as an audible click.

    When my spirit was broken and stripped,
    From my cannonball roll, I came unbent;
    It happened when a switch was flipped.

    One word, one smirk, one snide quip
    From the flipper of all switches sent;
    I heard the change as an audible click.

    The Great Clockmaker came back and picked
    out the wrench that His handiwork had rent.
    It happened when a switch was flipped,
    but I heard the change as an audible click.

  283. Angela Roquet


    She’s waning tonight
    Leaving behind less and less light
    And though she does it so often
    It’s hardly a plight
    But I still find it sullen
    A little death each dark night.

    She’s waxing tonight
    Growing so slowly, but soon full and bright
    It’s a wild sort of love
    A lunar affair with the light
    And after so many moons
    I still treasure the night.

  284. Tom Stevens

    dying man

    dying man
    heart on fire
    waking up
    momentary fear
    still alive?
    taking inventory
    not knowing death
    not yet
    sweet breathing
    soft music
    that beautiful face
    her smile
    fills his heart
    and once again
    he knows
    he is

  285. JC Walker

    The journey of the Sun
    Is the journey of Myth
    And the journey of our Soul
    By what name do we describe our own path

    How small the beings who
    Must bring the eternal to their own level
    How sad their own rebirth is
    Trapped in the walls of another’s myth

    Is it for us to bend and follow
    Or fight our own way
    Through the night
    To be reborn at dawn

  286. Carol Bachofner

    sorry to all for the double post of In the Gulley…. head fuzzy this morning. Big shout outs to all who have been faithfully writing and posting. What a truly eclectic group we are! I look forward to every morning for the prompt and to see what everyone is writing. Special shout out to Jenny D!

  287. Charmion Burns

    Life Changes

    Each new pesona a new birth
    New paths to follow
    New dreams to fultill
    New goals to accomplish.
    In all this newness lies
    the core existing as it always
    has in every thought and action
    spirit never changing finding
    new expression in
    unexpected ways

  288. Carol Bachofner

    In the Gulley

    It starts as plain water,
    coursing through the channel it dug in the yard,
    meeting the gulley in a gush and whoosh,
    falling down on itself without hurt,
    running for the edges like a wild child.
    Somewhere it picked up seeds, a cone left behind
    and rested through winter. It’s a marriage
    of natures, the yin and yang of seasons. Sun comes
    after the melt, warms everything, nudges
    the cone open to send down roots, fibrils
    that begin to take hold, a sprig of green pushing
    the earth apart. Days and days and days.
    On a walk, looking for mayflowers, I find this:
    a sapling pine, nursed and nurtured, steady on its feet.

  289. Carol Bachofner

    In the Gulley

    It starts as plain water,
    coursing through the channel it dug in the yard,
    meeting the gulley in a gush and whoosh,
    falling down on itself without hurt,
    running for the edges like a wild child.
    Somewhere it picked up seeds, a cone left behind
    and rested through winter. It’s a marriage
    of natures, the yin and yang of seasons. Sun comes
    after the melt, warms everything, nudges
    the cone open to send down roots, fibrils
    that begin to take hold, a sprig of green pushing
    the earth apart. Days and days and days.
    On a walk, looking for mayflowers, I find this:
    a sapling pine, nursed and nurtured, steady on its feet.

  290. Stephanie Darrow

    Sold the house

    Forty years later,
    endless swatches of paint,
    came and went.

    Back to the city,
    where this all started
    Leaving behind the beach.

    Swam in it everyday,
    to bath and for fun,
    while mother just waited.

    It may have been the stress
    or the water that just stopped
    running one day, same day

    the lights went out upstairs.
    One last picture by east wing wall,
    and then a return.

  291. PSC in CT


    You can never be certain
    when Winter has donned
    her white lace dress
    for the final time

    But you wait expectantly,
    savoring the process as
    fertile earth ripens, warms,
    increasing, maturing

    First, perhaps, you might hear
    yellow whispers of witch hazel,
    followed by confirmations of
    forsythia and colorful, scented crocus.

    One warm evening, you’ll
    perceive the promise in the
    heartbeat hum of peepers
    chirping their nocturne.

    Suddenly, star magnolias burst into
    bloom, purple periwinkles pop out
    amid glossy green leaves, and you know.
    Spring is reborn.

  292. Eaton Bennett

    Winter wraps colorless
    hands around days turning
    them dull and gray

    wind rain and snow beat
    against frigid nights
    while nature shivers

    the elements play out
    against one another in
    tiresome repetition

    while thoughts of sun filled
    days flutter impatiently

    winter reluctantly draws
    back its shroud as spring
    unrolls its velvet cloak

    reviving and renewing
    all in its wake


  293. Robin M.


    Jesus, he was joking!
    Aren’t you supposed
    to have a sense of humor?
    I mean, you were one
    of the senior partners,
    creator of Earth, Inc. and Cosmos Unlimited.
    You had to be laughing that week, no?
    Mosquitoes, right—good one!
    So Nicodemus was just ahead of his time.
    If Youtube or Comedy Central were online,
    he would have had a million hits.

    “You hear the one about the hairy old Jew,
    tried to climb back into his mother’s womb?”
    “What did I do wrong the first time?”
    Mama’s asking when all there’s this flash
    of flaming sword, and all these Cherubim show up.
    “What am I, paradise lost?” she squawks.
    They look at her sheepish: “boss’s orders.”
    One shows a badge: “metaphor enforcement squad.”
    The other’s got one that says, “rebirth loop prevention team.”
    (It seems they had trouble agreeing on a name.)
    The badges made Mama feel better, though she still worried:
    “those swords are sharp: you could poke an eye out.”

  294. Penny Henderson

    De Jackson–loved the "humble bumble", and the rest of the poem too, for that matter. AND if we’re lucky, Robert will continue the "Wednesday prompt" and we won’t have to go cold turkey

    Taylor–I could SEE it!

    Nancy Posey–really good one

  295. Jean Lutz

    I Will Heal Your Land

    America, My people
    Humble yourselves before Me only
    Pray and seek Me as your God
    Turn away from wickedness
    In Heaven I will hear
    And be merciful and heal your land
    America – be reborn

    Based on 2 Chronicles 7:14

  296. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    From the No-Space

    wasn’t, then was.
    I was that awareness
    tiny, surrounded
    by vast darkness.

    began and grew
    gradually larger
    gradually brighter,
    slow dawning.

    travelled closer.
    No, it was I
    who travelled,
    gliding inevitably.

    was a cell,
    an entry into body
    into womb,
    into the almost-
    forgotten flesh cocoon.

    came much later,
    first in fragments
    and isolated flashes,
    then fully. So many times!

    took shape,
    separated itself
    into multiple parts,
    flew forward and backward.

    I am here
    suspended in being
    again and anew
    while the world rolls over.

  297. SusanB

    #20 REBIRTH

    walking the straight and narrow
    parroting the “party line”
    saying only what might be acceptable
    when we hear a different beat

    with pain, struggle and determination
    Worth every bit of it

    is merely a walk to the grave
    Sometimes shorter, sometimes longer
    All heading toward the dust
    Every living creature on earth
    No exceptions

  298. Marie Elena

    Walt,I’m sure Ms. Wollstonecraft Shelley is rolling in her grave — with laughter!

    And on a serious note, I fully agree with Carole’s comment to you, as well as the words she chose.

    Madeline, your talent shines in "Stellar!" Wow!

    Jennie Fraine, your "Going with the Flow" is amazing. My very best wishes to you.

  299. Terri Lasher

    “Embrace a New Day”

    Awake you sleepyhead
    Kick off those covers
    Away with yesterdays cares,
    Jump out of bed

    Lay aside future agenda
    Tomorrow holds
    Enough troubles of its own
    Embrace Today
    Prospectus of miracles
    This is the day the LORD hath made
    Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

  300. Madeline Strong Diehl

    Stellar Rebirth

    i. Binary stars

    It seems as though you have been circling me
    But I guess one of us had to go first.
    I have appreciated all the gas and dust particles
    you have sent my way
    so that I could live a richer life
    than if I had just kept to myself,
    alone and discrete
    in the universe.

    You have been very patient with me.
    I know my orbit has been very eccentric,
    and I have caused you to age prematurely.
    Remember that time, in the year 1337,
    that I almost exceeded the Chandrasekhar limit
    and caused us both to turn into supernovas?
    But maybe that would have been a nice way
    to go. At least then, we would have gone out
    together. I will miss you so. I don’t know how
    I will get along without you.

    We have survived many external perturbations
    together; we have coasted on the wings
    stellar wind.

    I am sorry that my larger size is causing your
    gravitational collapse. It was not my choice,
    all that Roche Lobe overflow in the
    accretion disc. We passed that first
    Lagrangian point, and then, I outshone you.
    In fact, you became invisible to everyone
    but me. I began to feed off you, growing
    larger and larger, while you shrank. For this,
    I am not proud. For you were always
    so much better than me. This was the
    great eclipsing ternary Algol paradox
    I had to live with all my life; you would have
    done so much more with your light
    than I did.

    ii. runaway contraction

    It’s hard to stand by and watch as you collapse.
    You give off one final burst of light,
    then turn inward with senility,
    looking only towards
    the past. You have become lost now
    to me; dark matter, though I will always
    remain here, circling the place
    you once were. The memory of you has weight
    and will hold me to you forever.

    iii. pillars of creation

    I wish you could be here to see how the shocked matter
    from your death has entered the LH 95
    stellar nursery in the Large Magellanic Cloud,
    and is now forming Bok globules.
    You would be so proud.
    They look just like you!
    It is a great comfort to me now as I mourn
    your passing; all these starlets beginning to glow
    with infrared light.

    c 2009 by Madeline Strong Diehl

    Well, you told us to write a "stellar rebirth poem"!

  301. Jennie Fraine


    I didn’t know whether to write about
    the rebirth of my town as a Literary
    Hotbed, or of my own transformation in
    the aftermath of cancerous intervention.

    With regard to the first, I am the author.
    Likewise with the second. That’s the whole story.

    One other thing: I am eaten up
    by passion, and not being eaten
    by parasitic invader. Through my veins
    life runs both ways, currents red and luscious.

  302. Laurel Szymkowiak

    It Is Said

    It is said when one can see
    the difference between
    white thread and black
    or when the Deadhead
    on his motorbike in the dark
    slaps the newspaper into its tube
    or when the fountain plashes ink
    and the sun, still hidden, etches
    leaf edges with silver, we again
    are brought into this world
    and granted a new beginning.

  303. Juliene Munts

    Spring and The Voices in Our Heads

    Spring: we
    are surrounded by
    red. Tulips,
    helmets, long
    wool coats,
    bicycles, shoes,
    wire baskets
    and purses to
    match, strollers,
    sweaters, cell
    phones. What
    happened to
    winter black?

    We are justified
    talking to
    ourselves, as
    we watch children
    play in sand, ride
    our bikes, walk
    to the library, as
    we used to do.
    We have cell
    phones, now.
    Who cares
    if anyone
    talks back?

  304. Eryll Oellermann

    no pain

    he disappeared inside himself
    and waited for time to pass
    no pain if he hides deep enough
    living in the grey is unacceptable
    society objects to the disconnection
    they subject him to the mind menders
    who prod and question and insist
    they ply him with happy pills
    medication to encourage rebirth

    Copyright © 2009 by Eryll Oellermann

  305. carmen racovitza

    hey, you

    they chalked me on the pavement
    they bowed and wondered
    oh, god, how
    they stretched the chalk noise limit to the max
    without noticing there was
    chalk flour all around

    the contour was moving imperceptibly
    draped in white very sad independent

  306. Barbara Ehrentreu


    The earth lays brown
    covered with ice and snow
    until the sun’s rays melts them
    awakens the sleeping seeds
    dormant within the rich
    humus to begin the process
    a milligram at a time until
    the delicate embryo
    sprouts a tender green
    stem and pushes hard
    Imagine how strong the
    effort to spring forward
    free in the sunlight!

    The new green shoot
    cracks through struggling
    toward the light.Rushing
    from the womb
    of Mother Earth to feel the
    touch of first sunlight
    upon the newborn leaves.

  307. Kateri Woody

    A shower of glass and blood
    and hell fire reeking of decaying
    souls and human meat bubble in
    a pit that emanates the despair
    of the lost, the desire for renewed life,
    a feat to prolong suffering
    indefinitely provoking greedy habits
    the Batman scowls at the very idea
    of Lazarus pits, his face mangled in disgust
    as he stumbles upon one of his own mentor’s
    rejuvenating pits. The temptation calls to him,
    spits his name with every rolling bubble
    of a promise bearing his parents’ names
    and still yet he denies the reincarnation
    pool, the Lazarus that once was should
    never be again.

  308. Padgett Posey

    Shout out to Deb Stone, Kata Kollath, and Robert Chazz Chute–poems that spoke to me today.

    Andrea Margaret Elizabeth Porter’s "Why I Can Never Marry Doctor Who"–BRILLIANT!!! (I’ll superficially call it the anti-cougar poem, but it goes much deeper than that. Loved this.)


    Happy Writing!

  309. tikuli


    Rising from the cold ashes of winter
    Like a phoenix,
    New saplings are born
    New hopes, new beginnings
    Rejuvenated by the sun’s light
    Swaying with the gentle breeze
    Butterflies, birds, insects,
    Dance to the song of rebirth
    Colorful blossoms fill the air
    With sweet aroma
    The shades of gray melt
    Bringing in cheer and joy
    Rising from the ashes of love
    New dreams arise
    Shutting out the gloomy winter
    Of the heart and giving way
    To a brand new spring

  310. Denise Noddin

    An attempt at a villanelle.

    My Rebirth

    I was born again after forty years.
    I had lived the life they expected.
    Time ill spent mourned with silent tears.

    Mother, wife and friend saw my peers.
    The real me was hidden, protected.
    I was born again after forty years.

    I cry out to be free, but no one hears.
    By now the charade is perfected.
    Time ill spent mourned with silent tears.

    Mid life and new direction nears.
    I was fearful I would be rejected.
    I was born again after forty years.

    I had to emerge and set aside fears.
    Finally, coming out, I’m respected.
    Time ill spent mourned with silent tears.

    I’ve found inner peace and my heart cheers.
    Who I am, who I love are connected.
    I was born again after forty years.
    Time ill spent mourned with silent tears.

  311. Padgett Posey

    “A Grandmother Eats Her Infant Granddaughter’s Umbilical Cord Stub”

    Eyes closed, head back,
    opens mouth wide.
    Stump on tongue,
    flesh on flesh,
    pressed against her palate.
    Lips sealed, savoring. Saliva
    rolls away the stone.
    Swallowing twice to smooth
    the passage. Look!
    The cave is empty.

  312. Lisa Mrazik


    It was 20 degrees when we landed in Anchorage,
    Balmy out for January. Darkness shrouded everything,
    Until the sun consented to be birthed, so slowly,
    By the mountain high above, and five hours of light began.

  313. banana_the_poet

    I thought I had commented here to give a shout to Walt – but I can’t see it – maybe I posted it on the wrong thread?

    So here it is again –

    Walt your poem for today’s prompt was so lovely it had me in tears – but in a good way.

  314. Carol Ward


    Life half over
    filled with confusion
    no sense of direction
    but no going back.

    Life turning over
    struggle for order
    sense of renewal
    pushing ahead.

    Life starting over
    slow stepping forward
    sensing the future
    spread out like a gift.

  315. Carole Egler

    As this rough day comes to an end I found comfort in reading the beautiful poems written from so close to your hearts.
    I must say Walt, your beloved was lucky in your love – Oh that we all should live in such a loving glow! My deepest condolences and prayers. C.
    Hannah – he might be good – but You are Gooder!
    De Jackson – I loved your ‘ blank page’ and your other offerings; I’ve begun to stop when I see your name.
    Marie,I hope you are well! I, too, take comfort in that rolled stone.
    I believe the coming together of this group represents serendipity . . Somehow there is a beautiful presence on these pages. Thank you all!

  316. Laura Hohlwein


    i will fail here
    and I will fail now
    i cannot rise from the ash.
    i have ash in my mouth.
    ash dust in my bed.
    i touch my face and paint
    myself in ash.
    there is no flame from which to rise.

    tomorrow, maybe, the sun will set me afire
    and ablaze
    i will look down



  317. Rachel Olivier



    All I wanted was a best friend.
    Someone to listen to me,
    be with me,
    love me —
    no matter what.
    That’s what they told me I would have.
    Then they dunked me and called me
    born again.

    They didn’t tell me
    once reborn
    it never ends.
    Once reborn
    you constantly die
    again and again and again.

  318. Raymond Alberts

    My Rebirth

    Loneliness engulfed me as I entered in my home
    Love and happiness all gone, I felt so all alone
    Clothes lay scattered all about where her body used to be
    Pictures, memories flowing tears was all that greeted me
    Our bedroom door gaped open nothing left inside
    Except more similar memories of my one time bride
    Why and what has happened? Where has our love gone?
    Why go on living with these tears from dusk until dawn
    The phone jarred my hurting mind bringing me to earth
    I just stood there wondering do I answer it at first
    A soft voice from the other side, spoke unto my heart
    Your not alone, do not give up you have a brand new start
    The voice on the other end seemed to sense this too
    The words she spoke gave me the urge to try to make it through
    Not sure how it happened but now, I have a friend
    A partner and a lover giving me hope that never ends

  319. Othello Gooden Jr,

    Othello Gooden Jr.

    She wants to see the day
    When she can love once more
    Running from a past
    That doesn’t die fast

    The problem is within
    That’s how it’s been
    She can’t seem to win
    While edging closer to the deep end

    Everyday she fights again and again
    One day she will be free
    When the day she can finally breathe
    To be who she wants to be

  320. Jodie Bass


    Klein and Cartier kept vigil
    Liberally greased with eau de toilet
    Their coiffure was the very latest and best
    That Phillipe could offer for twice the price
    All the arrested development
    Of their primal screaming debuts
    Captured on camera phones
    And immediately posted to YouTube
    The therapist called it a success
    And sent them a bill from the Bahamas

  321. P.A. Beyer

    City planning

    They built a condo near the wharf
    where the Pioneer Mill did stand
    Gutted it
    to the studs
    and built it back by machine
    and man
    They kicked the homeless folks out
    and shoed the rats away
    They put up boutiques
    and bistros
    A Brazilian steak joint – Viva Filet
    They tore up streets
    to the cobblestone
    and rehabbed the Old Clock Tower
    They tore down the Mission,
    the Waterworks
    and installed streetlights
    run by solar power
    They filled planter boxes with tulips
    but that was just a start
    They built new schools
    and built new parks
    and commissioned public art
    They were motivated by their mission
    to grow a city green
    And nine out of ten folks would do it again
    Restart the urban dream
    But I can’t help but wonder
    if we really learned a thing
    because it all collapses in the end
    Whether we be Pharaohs, Lords or Kings

    – P.A. Beyer

  322. Audell Shelburne

    New Beginnings

    “We die and rise the same…”
    –John Donne, The Canonization

    The night before the fall,
    they had no way to know
    coming winter would freeze
    the vines, wither the fruit.
    In their joy they had no
    idea their sin would prompt
    birthdays and funerals,
    holidays and weddings,
    any excuse to turn
    water to wine, toast fresh starts.

  323. ina Roy-Faderman


    Consider yourself :
    One pound of (Siberian)
    Freeze-dried mammoth,
    Reconstituted PRN* with pachyderm of the modern age
    Finessed, fandangoed, into an
    Elephant egg,
    Everyone hoping for
    The best.
    So here you are:
    Not just reborn
    But the Rebirth of the Mammoth Nation
    Sniffing the air trunkulous, to
    To see what’s to eat,
    Since even the plants smell warm
    Feel the makeshift skating rink
    Bewildering underfoot.
    Determine which entrechat
    Can be performed with those
    Squirming gangling skin-things
    Who have laid claim to your creation.
    Dance with us
    Until such time
    as you feel ready to make splinters of your display.
    Remind us:
    that only god can make a tree
    and only a mammoth can make
    A mammoth.

    *pro re nata; used to indicate medication should be taken "as needed."

  324. Alan Deeth

    Fruit of the Earth

    Like apples strewn across
    Garden turf we lay
    Forgotten, hoping vainly
    That the farmer will stoop to
    Pick the fruit from the dirt.

  325. Jacquelin Tomaschko

    Born Again

    Isn’t it funny
    life’s twist of the tail?
    I had all the money
    yet still craved the fairytale!
    Something was still amiss
    I felt it in my gut
    Searching for answers
    although my eyes were shut.
    I really had everything,
    love, health and good looks
    We played music travelling the world over,
    where ever life took.
    And then my life changed forever
    on the day I was diagnosed
    They would have to operate
    it was Cancer I was told.
    I didn’t turn to God
    How could I, I thought?
    After twenty odd years say
    “Here I am, can you sort?”
    But my family and friends
    they urged me to pray
    I told them instead
    to pray I find Faith again that day.
    I took it all in
    Not a tear did I spill
    I knew this was my Karma
    This was God’s will.
    So I lay on the trolley
    watching the clock
    Heart punching madly
    with the moment of shock
    I have never felt
    so truly alone
    Thoughts crashed through my awareness
    like shards of bone
    For in the end
    It’s true what they say
    One is born alone
    And goes the same way
    And just when I thought
    I couldn’t stand any more
    I heard the devil chuckling
    he was lurking by the door.
    It was a moment of truth
    That woke me consequently
    Because I remembered how much
    Jesus had suffered for me
    And knowing he would only do
    What was best for me
    I offered my self up
    And surrendered willingly
    How can I explain
    What happened then now?
    The tender touch of God’s hand
    Upon my cheek and brow?
    His compassion and mercy
    The total feeling of Bliss
    He carried me in His arms
    As I succumbed to His wish.
    And yes! Now I am born again
    In His love I am dressed
    For I have been touched
    and I have definitely been Blessed.

  326. Kel L.R.

    wild child she was,
    a regular firestarter.
    her phoenix wings were
    meant for flying.
    her dreams of soaring
    high above it all
    with nothing but her
    friends by her side.

    held captive by her
    owners they kept her
    locked in a cage,
    robbing her of every
    from the blue of the sky,
    to the warmth of the sun.

    sold to the highest bidder
    she prayed would set her free.
    but this hunter’s plan
    was to strip her of her
    own feathers exhausting her
    creativity for his monetary gain.

    but she never lost hope
    and imagined herself
    a sword and shield to fight for.
    they were what saved her
    from the clutches of the hunter,
    and once again she became the…

    wild child she was,
    a regular firestarter.
    her phoenix wings were
    meant for flying.
    her dreams of soaring
    high above it all
    with nothing but her
    friends by her side.

  327. Robin D.

    Rebirth of a Bead

    They begin as a single bead sitting in a pallet
    Not knowing what there destiny may be
    Then woven together one by one
    Creating a wearable form of art for me
    The beads started out as single
    Each different in color and shapes
    Round, tubular, triangle and square
    Green, rose, yellow and grape
    They seem to come together all by themselves
    And I’m filled with joy and delight
    When these single beads are blended and woven
    Into jewelry that is fun, fresh and bright

  328. Boyce Miller

    Waxwing Lazarus

    This is not the one I thought
    Would be back,
    With a twist to the wing
    That made it hard to fly straight,
    Making its way with
    An arc through the sky,
    Still getting there, still arriving,
    But sweeping in
    Like some great noble gesture of acceptance
    That this would be good enough.

    What the cat did once
    Made all the difference,
    Made the path meander back
    To where the expected fled
    And logged a new flight plan.

  329. Robin Waring

    December 21

    Everybody cheers
    the first day of summer
    but to my twisted mind
    it’s really a bummer
    ‘cuz all of you think
    it’s the best day of the year
    and you shout from the rooftops
    Hooray! Summer’s here!

    but for me it’s a sad sign
    that summer is ending
    for the solstice of June
    is the message portending
    that our jolly ol’ sun
    must stop in his track
    pause for a moment
    and then turn his back
    on the forward momentum
    that carried him here
    to June 21st
    and the time of the year

    when heaven’s celestial gate
    puts a stop
    to the lengthening days
    and forces our clock
    to start subtracting
    from each summer’s day
    a minute or two
    as the sun makes his way

    back down through the seasons
    we’re falling you see
    towards that blackest of nights
    that makes me happy
    when in deepest December
    ol’ sol has a date
    with the polar opposite
    celestial gate

    and shrugging off winter
    he turns with a smile
    and starts creeping slowly
    mile after mile
    back up through the heavens
    towards the promise of spring
    and that, my dear friends,
    is a wonderful thing

  330. Brian Spears

    Born Again

    I think that’s why I never hated you
    the night you said her name, confirmed what I
    had long suspected, that our shared lives
    were ending, that our experiment
    had yielded its conclusions: you and I
    were not compatible, that our equation
    would never find balance, that no amount
    of catalyst would make me into
    the woman you needed, that no reagent
    could transform you into the woman
    I needed. We were insoluble
    together, no matter how we stirred
    or how much heat was added from outside.

    I hated my church once I found the lies–
    not for the lies themselves, but for the fool
    I’d made myself for all these years,
    telling teachers that God made the earth
    in seven days, that there was proof, that they
    were being fooled by Satan. Who was I?
    Blind child. I hated them, not for the lies
    so much as for the lack of questioning,
    for the pat answer "pray for stronger faith."

    Fifteen years ago I started up
    a new life, and drove it off the lot–
    it promptly lost one third its retail value.
    It lacks the extras that my old one had:
    unquestioned faith, extended family,
    everlasting life in paradise;
    this one gets good mileage, and it’s been
    reliable, if a little less cozy.
    And man, it takes the corners like a champ.

  331. Dann Norton


    Eyes opened
    Mind cleared, the Soul
    Words unspoken, meant. Slate
    Second chance
    A new start, the Same
    You, but different.

  332. Mario


    A city smoldering
    After an unconscionable attack
    People dying
    Buildings collapsing.

    Was this the end?
    Workers pulling dead bodies out of the rubble
    The fear that this was only the first strike
    Clouds of ash covering whole city blocks.

    A country mourned
    And sought justice.

    The people’s character was resilient
    And a monument erected reflects that sad day
    The area still being rebuilt
    The city, though, back to normal.

    Don’t give in to fear
    Don’t let them win.

  333. LaToya Nelson

    Rebirth on the New Jersey Turnpike

    On a bitter November day
    near highway mile marker 112 S
    they used forceps to deliver my 19-year-old
    body, covered in the thick sticky red
    still pumping through veins
    in my face, newly sculpted by broken glass
    Placed in my mother’s waiting arms
    I spit out pieces of teeth & look up at her
    my eyes blink to adjust to flashing red
    & blue ambulance lights & speak my first words:
    Who am I?

  334. Constance Brewer

    Renaissance of Repetition

    I swim steadily out, away from land,
    world reduced to a measure of stroke
    and breath. The ocean had a rhythm
    of its own, a lateral current that runs
    counter to the ebb and gush of blood
    pounding in my ears. Rushing water
    threatens to rip my body from one
    location to another. I am an object
    caught between flow and following
    the path of least resistance. I know
    know better than to look backwards
    and judge the distance to the beach.
    The sea recognizes when I will let
    go of all these worldly attachments
    and allow the roiling surf to thrust
    me up, out of the waves, a hesitant
    Venus dashed down upon waiting
    shells, doomed to forever be caught
    between raw longing for the deep
    mysteries, and the security of shore.

  335. Diane Hobaugh

    Lilies Reborn

    Earthen pot upside down
    dirt caked bundles twisted round.
    Right-side the pot and fill it with dirt
    wipe the cobwebs with the tail of my shirt.
    Give it a drink and wait for the sun.
    Nature knows best to get the job done.
    Green shoots reaching upward to blue sky.
    Curving and stretching as weeks go by.
    Surviving through seasons weathered and torn,
    year after year lilies reborn.

  336. Richard-Merlin Atwater

    Walt, I got a good laugh out of Devious Regenerate,
    quite the lines, at first i thought it was about Arnold Schwatznagger, but he’s Austrian (reincarnated Californian) , not Bavarian. I’ve been busy all day WRITING an dtrying to read others poems in between times–18 hours on the go with nothing but poetry. Guess it pays to be RETIRED!(Obi-wan) Atwater

  337. Daniel Ari


    for M.

    The moon is following us.
    The scream of orgasm is following us.
    The madness of orgasm is following us:
    madness of tears,
    her demands,
    our meaningless boundaries,
    our wishes to grant wishes,
    limitless wishes, limitless tears,
    limitless longing, limitless following.

    Distraction, destruction,
    desperation makes all things

    Love like a finish line.
    Love like Aesop’s Fables.
    We’ve died for desire,
    died for wishes come true,
    died for fulfilling;
    and we’re born again
    into some distraction.
    And all that is,
    is possible.

    I scream,
    you scream:
    it pauses the sameness,
    limits the destruction
    so that we can face the desperate awe
    of limitless wanting–
    and of limits.

    Cradle and all,
    the moon is following.
    You follow us,
    and we do not lead
    so much as fall.


  338. A~Lotus


    Rise from the ashes, my little
    early bird. Your divine feathers, so
    beautiful, they bring healing words to my fingertips once
    I sing and walk into the labyrinth of tree trunks,
    ready to transform my crumbling world in-
    to something complete and steady, ever growing with goodness.
    How I wish when peace comes to those who stop
    fighting for it and instead seek for it within themselves.

  339. Drew Dillhunt

    Ars Poetica

    We reify ourselves with verbs
    with secondary clauses
    with colons, semi-colons, dashes, ampersands, and full stops
    with dental floss and ophthalmic ointments
    with guitar strings and multi-effects pedals
    with wireless communication, with text messaging
    with decoder rings, with Elvis impersonators
    with Sharpies, with mopeds, with rain slickers
    with ornamental cherry trees –

    a moving target
    issues from the ashes of “I.”

  340. Theresa Williams

    should be easy to write
    but not today
    when I am undone
    by the simplest thing:
    It’s raining, the
    car won’t start,
    and I’ve someplace
    important to go.

    My husband
    tells me each disaster
    is simply the price
    for breathing.

    It’s April,
    the same month
    my mother died.
    It was ten years ago.
    When they told me
    I noticed the
    trees were just
    getting their leaves.
    I remember thinking,
    She would have liked this.

  341. Kathy Doherty


    Fresh paper, fresh pen, crisp clean journal,
    awaiting only some thoughts from you –
    hoping for ones that are new.
    Stay away from the same swirling, suffocating
    vortex of thoughts and rhyme and pattern and
    effort that has plagued you all these weeks and months
    and years, rutting into your subconscious as if the flat tire has
    left only the remains of the actual wheel of vehicle.
    Move from this place, this time, this room and go –
    find a place where the sunlight shines on a different wall
    showing a more unique instance, where the air is
    charged with change and possibilities; the sounds
    all join to make your soul hum in unison to the muse
    who, awakened and refreshed – comes to you.

  342. lizz huerta

    note to quitters

    one birth is enough
    for one lifetime,
    anvil head breaking
    through, shoulders
    wedged, feet pushing
    off the ribcage, mouth
    full of mama, I do
    not need to be born
    again to feel clean, I
    plan to go out as
    dirty as I came in.

  343. Susan Peters

    What If

    …there is an afterlife in fact,
    where every start we ever made is finished,
    where everyone we ever loved… loves back?

    Beginnings lose their joy if ends are known;
    the spirit, restless, shatters and returns
    to earth once more, in flesh and blood and bone.

    Adrift, we wander, hoping still to meet
    our other jagged pieces, hidden now
    that in the afterlife made us complete.

  344. Richard-Merlin Atwater

    A New Renaissance © Richard-Merlin Atwater April 20, 2009

    From the French we obtain the word Renaissance,
    The literal meaning “Rebirth”
    A time of renewal, upheaval, transition
    The classical age of intellectualism and worth.
    Cultural manifestations, enhanced by increased knowledge,
    “The Renaissance man of universal genius in style”,
    DaVinci, Michaelangelo, Raphael, and the like,
    Humanist emphasis on individual’s who go the extra mile,
    In sculpture, and painting, in scholars and poets,
    The courtier of gentlemen class so true
    To the ideals of sensual vitality of “know its”
    Who in nature hold a more realistic view.
    The flowering of an era, of complete civilizations,
    From Dark Ages of pain and of loss,
    Into the modernity of time for the craftsmen,
    Literary romance, complete Reformation
    When libraries, universities and academies grew,
    Religion transforming, a day of Enlightenment,
    Economic expansion, political stability,
    Patrons of the arts, with music enhanced,
    Brilliant accomplishments in great architecture,
    New view of the world it would seem,
    Concomitant cultural manifestations,
    From Shakespeare, Cervantes, Sir Thomas More,
    Erasmus, Alberti, Brunelleschi, Bramante, and Durer,
    Boccaccio, Machiavelli, and codification by Castiglione,
    And a thousand times more, all across the European lands,
    Monumentality and dignity to the human figure,
    A more realistic depiction of time and of space,
    Systemic perspective, unified color schemes,
    And portraiture art then flourished in bloom,
    Unequaled harmony, with heroic proportions,
    Of noble ideals for the High Renaissance,
    Picturesque forms of classical motifs,
    Woodcut engravings, artistic chateau’s,
    The Louvre, Fountainbleau, and the Moor’s Alhambra,
    Classically established Palladian design,
    Revolutionary plans for domes and cathedrals,
    The rebirth of classical style was subscribed,
    All to the glory of The Renaissance.

    Then off to America, “cradle of truth”,
    Development then took sway,
    Towards freedom, and balance and self preservation,
    And engineering’s delight—all the way up to the moon,
    Fast forward with me into the progress of the ages,
    Then finally sink into the night,
    Of disco and rap, hip hop on a trap,
    Of tattoos, and war, and drugs galore,
    Pornography, prostitution, economic collapse,
    Scams, tax burdens, and murderous gangs,
    Cross border aliens, abortion, and marriage on the rocks,
    Of same sex marriage, without horse and carriage,
    From Sinatra’s tune long ago:
    “Love and marriage, Love and marriage,
    Go together like a horse and carriage,
    This was told by mother:
    You can’t have one without the other!”
    But now of this tune, everyone mocks.
    There’s prisons, and terror, and child molestation,
    And cheating and lying, and stock market crash,
    Conservative, liberal scheming debates,
    Embezzlement schemes, and hatred at last,
    Enough to employ all of Satan’s own hosts,
    Perhaps all the changes we gladly accept,
    As long as we call them “Rebirth”.
    But I was born in a different time,
    More simple called the “Happy days”.
    When love would abound midst family and friends,
    And Christians were taught of JESUS’ ways.
    Perhaps it’s time for a New Renaissance,
    A Revolution again, yet I presume to have it at last
    Requires a Second Coming! A Second Coming—
    Of the rightful heir to the Earth in purity,
    Let’s call this “Rebirth” – The Great Millennium,
    And hope for PEACE at last!

  345. Walt Wojtanik

    Sara, You are too kind. She celebrated life daily and would not allow me to stop writing, even today. She reveled in it and encouraged it. She always told me to "write my ass off". And with the laugh she had, the humor is a fitting tribute. She remains my "passion in poetry". Thank you.

  346. Sharon Chaffee


    Am I awakened by a familiar touch,
    or is it all in my dreams?
    Feeling moist and sensual,
    wanting more of what I feel.
    It can’t be, no one is with me.
    I’m dreaming again of what
    can not be. Back in deep sleep
    I am awakened again, a familiar touch.
    Giving in to awakening, I open my eyes.
    His fatigues, lying over the chair.
    I turn onto my side to see him lying in our bed,
    next to me. All of me rejoices.
    I am awakened by a familiar touch.

  347. Jenny Doughty


    At first there is a death, the icy clutch
    of clay that leaches life and turns to numb:
    a pain no hypodermic spike can touch,
    then move of sight to blind, of tongue to dumb.

    That life is evanescent as a bird
    that flies in through a window from the black
    and through our lighted hall of deeds and words
    we know, but never how to call it back.

    No resurrection now but in the heart
    of those we love. Let sorrow run its course
    as cranes fly south for winter, take its part
    in migratory flights of grief: remorse

    for every tenderness denied,
    regret for chances that were never taken,
    and slashing through all knots that are still tied
    the knife-pain of a final separation.

    But then the seasons change and green shoots spring
    through winter wastes, the days grow long again
    till overhead we hear the beat of wings
    and see, with necks outstretched, returning cranes.

  348. Mrs. V

    Baptism in the River of Dreams

    Scintillating drops of faith
    glisten on her forehead.
    Rested and no hint of worldly strain,
    she glides over to my bed.
    Reaching out she beckons
    not to give in to the weight.
    Rise above, your sin has been forsaken,
    In your death you will arise to a new fate
    Rise above child, she repeats as she takes my hand.
    I give in to the pull of her ethereal fingers, I plunge
    between the midnight static like water in humus land.
    Dark matter is my filter and in it I expunge
    the filth of my human existence, until so submersed
    I gasp with the pain of new lungs in explosive awakening.
    As she turned her back to me I began to thirst
    for this essence, no longer a mystery, but miracle on wing!
    Proof that It is real and forevermore though this may allude
    I can call on you; I can rely on you, and follow in servitude.

  349. Paul Scot August

    Rocket 88

    Saturday morning, and he backs the blue
    1958 Oldsmobile out of the garage, sets
    the parking brake, walks back into the house.
    He passes thru the empty kitchen, the dining
    and living rooms with their bare walls and no
    furniture. He gets a bucket from the basement
    and returns to the driveway, turns on the garden
    hose, gets out the sponge and soap. He is proud
    of this car, three years older than he is, and in
    better shape. He sponges down the long fins, rubs
    the chrome like a jeweler polishing a diamond
    wedding band. Once it is cleaned and waxed,
    the interior vacuumed, even though it doesn’t
    need it, he steps back and admires his work.
    Two years ago he liberated the car from a vacant
    lot behind a crack house, salvaged it from
    the eventual strip and crush of the junkyard.
    Now its streamlined panels catch and release
    the sunlight. Its V-8 Rocket engine announces
    its presence. And an hour later, he leans against
    the “SOLD” sign in his front lawn and watches
    as the car disappears around the corner, and for
    a brief moment he feels as if something was saved.

    Paul Scot August

  350. Stephanie Miller

    Requiem for a Phoenix

    She has no rest
    No deep, down bed
    In cold earth
    No solid marker or slick marble tomb
    No wake or time where friends recall her short life fondly

    Before anyone can mark the place
    Or compose her mass
    Or commemorate her flight
    She has risen again
    From the gray ruins of her life
    Reborn from the wreckage

    If she felt pain
    While she burned down to ash
    Or if there is a moment of death before she rises anew
    No one knows it or asks her
    When the life rises again in her

    I’d like to take her ashes and paint
    An icy lake
    That she could soar above
    On newborn scarlet wings
    And remember all the lives she had
    And all the lives to come

  351. Virginia Snowden

    The Rebirth of Jenny

    I have found myself after so very long of looking
    I lost my voice, my smile, my drive, and my all
    Some years ago I was running so free then the walls started closing all around me
    The skies grew dark and I lost my way, so I from everything including myself
    Now I am back brand new and refreshed, so many are at awe with my beauty, but I have seen the best.
    Jenny has returned and she is back with a vengeance, her rebirth is her awakening and she plans to rock the earth

  352. Buddah Moskowitz

    She Changed Everything

    He used to pride himself
    on how much of the world
    he had stuffed in his head,
    but he’s different now.

    Instead of collecting things
    around him
    he just wants to dive deeper
    into his blessings.

    He walked away from
    the life he knew
    and stepped into her life
    a life filled with new life
    and children and animals
    and rare moments of

    He still makes time for
    his piano and pens
    but the vain dreams of his youth
    he rarely revisits.

    She was unlike anything
    ever in his life before
    and she still is.

    She showed him a quieter
    calmer path and
    even baptized him
    into the body of Christ.

    When he finally took
    a good long look at her
    and saw only radiant beauty
    he realized
    his search was over.

    She changed everything
    and it gladdened his heart
    to know
    he could never go back.

  353. J.A. Jensen

    Turning a Page

    In the beginning
    There was nothing
    But white

    Then came one small step
    A small word with pep
    Not trite

    Several steps more
    Still more called for
    Took flight

    White spaces now filled
    Muses now thrilled
    Words right

    Page two

  354. Jukota

    April 20, 2009 poetry prompt: rebirth


    The judge’s gavel
    comes down hard
    on the bench.
    The sound of it
    reverberates through me –
    a March wind.
    Words ring in my ear.
    “This divorce is final.”
    I glance at the man
    who I’ve been with
    for over 18 years.
    His head is down,
    fingers shuffle papers,
    broken branches
    of our storm.
    The last Nor’ Easter.
    A stranger.
    I drive home,
    grip the steering wheel
    tight as new leaves.
    I lean hard
    against the car door,
    it breaks open.
    My head is down
    but the first thing I see –
    My tulips have sprung.

    ~~ Julie Eger

  355. Marcia Neu


    Hoping, as I always will
    having stored up evidence
    all pointing to the contrary
    you find your way back in
    pay your respects and regrets
    convince me, if for a moment,
    that all the darkness I have known
    has fled, the light has come on,
    you are ready, as never before,
    to embrace life, in and of itself
    and leave the shadows cowering
    on your way into tomorrow’s promise

  356. Rachel L

    I can’t think

    I can’t think
    of a greater rebirth
    than the day
    I forget
    about you.
    When moments go by without longing.
    When seconds go by without sighing.
    When I’m free of unwanted wanting.
    When breathing goes by without bleeding.
    I can’t think
    of a greater rebirth
    than the day
    I forget
    about you.

  357. Hannah Bowles

    By: Hannah Bowles

    He stumbles in and starts his ranting
    about "why have you been writing all day?"
    The beer smell is strong and you know
    you’re not wrong for wanting him to just
    go away. He has put a serious damper on
    any encounter of a brush with creativity.
    He’s yelling and spit is flying and you
    really don’t feel like crying, you just
    want him to leave you alone. "Your a
    computer junkie and no one cares for
    your words they just want to steal your
    writing!” I look it up in my book to prove
    his faulty thoughts on copy rights in hope
    that he will stop these one-sided fights.
    Alcohol gives birth to one who would hurt
    and provoke just for the sake of raising
    his voice. You just ignore till he finally
    stops, on the couch he plops and he is snoring.
    These are the lines of a poetic voice that
    will shine and a rebirth of words will soothe me.

    Sorry guys, but I had to write this. I guess I could’ve kept it to myself. The thing is he really is a good guy.

  358. katie hoskinson

    Something that walks first on four, than two, than three

    I am the teddy bear you put away
    When your friends laughed and your
    Mother said it was time. First under
    Your bed, then a box, then the attic.
    Months after I was ostracized I know
    You felt lonely in the big too empty bed,
    Missing my simple soft, matted brown fur
    Pressed tightly to your chest.

    You have brought me back now, to sit
    On a shelf. Some token of nostalgia.
    Your big bed is too full, but still empty,
    With a new brown hair that is not
    Simple nor soft. I see you with my
    Unblinking button eye and
    Know your secret desires.

    One day you will come back to me.
    When you are old and senile. You will press
    My now musty simple soft hair to your chest
    And imagine the dumb complacent child
    you never had. And I will smile, and my unblinking
    eye will twinkle as yours dims.

  359. Melissa Rossetti

    A fine life thus far
    One that is very familiar
    A comfortable fit like a favorite sweater
    Then a change begins to murmur in my ear
    Rustling, restless, stirrings upon the air.
    A door left open by fate or design
    One that’d been locked for decades of time.
    The man that came through whispered Love and I heard
    And the universe tilted and upended my World
    The confidence buried in myself under fears
    Was nurtured, supported, and brought me to tears.
    One simple man started a chain of change that
    Allowed me to blossom, put my thoughts to the page
    The support that’s been given to take the plunge, then a leap
    Has made all the difference in a life I thought was complete.
    I had settled for less than I knew I could be and I found someone who said he loves me just for me
    With love and belief and the courage of two I will start a new life as a writer and a wife.

  360. christina


    In the burning cathedral
    of the strip mall parking lot
    a butterfly makes an entrance.
    Her tiny black feet dance
    on the soft mesh stage
    with nervous tension.
    She shakes and
    flutters her wings
    like a gypsy’s skirt
    to the tune of
    slammed doors
    and starting engines.
    As soon as her wings
    are no longer wet
    she turns her heels on
    that one room apartment
    she used to call home
    and flies above
    the sculpted azaleas,
    above the plastic mannequins
    in front the discount clothing store,
    and right over the bright red roof
    of the all-you-can-eat buffet.

  361. Martina Robinson

    Eighth Coming

    the coming of my 8th spring spent
    in this New England public housing complex.

    The season in New England
    only lasts 10 days
    or so it seems
    winter’s bluster quickly replaced
    by summer’s dog days
    before new flowers finally bloom

  362. Cory Q

    To The Strawberry Blonde in the Green Canoe

    Great wheels turning in and over-head…
    Sitting stumps, fire ring, ghostly embers wrought.
    Little waves that will flood the lover’s bed.
    Great wheels turning in and over-head,
    Station wagons sagging home once the summer fled
    Small and hopeful flame imagination caught.
    Great wheels turning in and over-head
    Sitting stumps, fire ring, ghostly embers wrought.

  363. Pamela Villars

    "The Day Before Yom Hashoah"

    We have mourned our losses –
    tiers of stacked cord, bins of piled
    clothes, worn and bloody soles.

    We have recovered portions of history –
    dairies, photos, Torah, art
    remain without the souls that carried them.

    We have refreshed our spirits.
    We have renewed our families.
    We have born new hope.

    But we cannot replace who did not survive.

  364. Gerry

    April 20 – Rebirth

    A week ago, only dry, drab leaves.
    Yesterday the shiny red nodules poked through.
    Today a few verdant leaves appeared.
    Rebirth of spring rhubarb.

    Reddish green sheaths with tiny green buds
    shoot upward through dark brown soil.
    Rebirth of the tulip bed.

    Soft and curly emerald leaves gradually unfold
    amid leftover dried sticks and stems,
    forecasting summer’s purple bells.
    Rebirth of the columbine.

    A meaningless life, aimless existence
    filled with guilt and doubts
    transformed by the waters of Baptism.
    Rebirth – a new life in Christ.

  365. John Pupo

    “Passing Glances”

    She sits slender in the chair,
    as two assistants gently
    remove all traces of lipstick,
    eyeliner and rouge. Today
    she was Geena, a prostitute
    from Galveston, Texas.

    Tomorrow she’s Mary from
    Jamestown, New York.
    A divorcee with a violent
    past, taking her ex-husband
    to court on charges of
    rape and brutality.

    Two weeks from now, Jill.
    A college student filled
    with hope and fear. She’ll
    drop the razor from her hand,
    as tears mix with sanguine
    anguish and despair.

    Moments flash, time only
    subtly passing – days become
    months diminishing into
    decades, then centuries,
    all passing before a
    reflective glance in
    the bathroom mirror.

  366. Paul Pikutis

    Revolving Door

    The universe has collapsed on itself a total of 3 times.
    Every time,
    men and women with ideals, dreams,
    and the powers to make them reality
    try to stop the inevitable.

    For a moment, failure, but
    while in the teeth of defeat,
    hope comes fighting back to win the day.

    But there are loses…

    Never for long, though.
    Heroes return;
    that’s the rule.

    My personal count is 3:
    one collapse as mentioned before,
    one meteor storm,and
    one building fire.

    Legacy will not be denied.

  367. Kay Johnson

    “The one about the daffodils…”

    Yellow peeks from the island,
    taunting the molten cement
    as orange suits in shackles tend to them.
    Lamborghinis whiz by, burst into flames;
    Still, daffodils grow with rain.

  368. Sally Jadlow



    From infancy to ten
    into girlhood.

    Ten to twenty
    girl becomes wife.

    Twenty to thirty
    wife to mother of two.

    Thirty to forty
    mother duties double.

    Forty to fifty,
    mother becomes grandmother.

    Fifty to sixty
    grandmother births writing.

    Sixty to seventy
    writer becomes great-grandmother.

    Only God knows what he will fill
    in an eighth decade and beyond.

  369. Laura

    40 was staring me in the face
    Excitement surprised me
    Dread was expected
    Why didn’t it come
    Why excitement?

    The picture,
    A story,
    Music rushing over me
    Taking time I’d never allowed for

    It wasn’t just a change
    It was a rebirth
    Not of just my mind
    My soul,
    My heart,

    Stories flow
    They rush
    They explode from my fingers.

    Where did this come from
    Where is it going
    I don’t care
    I just don’t want it to stop

  370. Cheryl Lynn Moyer

    Letting Go

    In your name I leave
    the refrigerator half empty.
    Fresh air blows through windows
    resorting partially written
    pieces of my days.

    Swimming in clear water
    can be difficult, so I must
    lay in the rain, soaking up
    what remains of
    unspoken truths.

  371. Hannah Bowles

    DE Jackson- loved "she hears a humble bumble bee hum her honey lullaby," soo.. much.

    Marie- You are too sweet! Thank you. Your last one flowed beautifully.

    Barbara Nieves- "Droughts End" was wonderful, I was thinking about just this idea, you really did a great job with it.

    Maryann Younger- Very visual piece loved your description of the pussy willows "at each kindling’s end."

    You all are writing excellent poetry out there, my list could go on and on.

  372. Vonnie Thompson


    Warm stretching in the afternoon sunlight,
    it’s not so much the sleeping
    but the quiet alone,
    the not quite asleep dreaming
    that resurrects me,
    soft, blurred, passing images in my mind,
    not the work of nighttime dreaming,
    but a gentle drift, a floating, a baby soft kiss
    of peace.

  373. Vera Herbert

    The Falcon and the Falconer, or, Jeff Ingram Re-Falling in Love after a Bout of Dissociative Fugue

    It’s a flutter in his limbic system,
    somewhere deep, something soft,
    like the feel of her fingertip tracing
    shapes into his palm. He can’t
    remember her name, her eyes,
    that pronounced upper lip, but
    something untouchable in his brain
    gives him the tingling sensation that
    he loves her, even though
    to him, they just met.

    It’s a flutter in his limbic system,
    a chemical firing in his circuit
    of emotion, some neurons from
    before the fugue still pulling triggers.

    It’s a flutter in his limbic system,
    but the doctors will let them
    both believe that it’s his heart,
    answering her searching call.

  374. Starky Morillo

    of warbling water

    dive in, fully clothed
    wash your normalness away
    follow a fancy
    snorkel in your ideas
    school fish limit your vistas

    —starky morillo

  375. Brian Slusher

    Dog Knows

    Sometimes after midnight, fog fits
    a streetlight like an archangel’s halo
    and a border collie can pull
    a sleepless man into a better
    world, where the guttered
    leaves don’t seem like a pile
    of collapsed cards and the wires
    overhead aren’t greased tightropes
    and the Future’s firing squads
    are reassigned to kitchen duty,
    peeling potatoes while they whistle
    a melody they learned in 3rd grade:
    B, I, N-G-O. And the dog’s ears
    arch in the gray silence, hearing that
    hopeful tune or maybe just
    the man at the end of the line
    singing Home, home and they both
    go cheerful and sure in some
    right direction.

  376. Susan LeFort

    rebirth – spring
    Solid earth, hard crust
    Frost breaking hold
    Laid dormant through winter’s dark night
    In slumber’s wait
    Ready to behold the dawn once more
    Promise of new life
    Spring eternal

  377. Arrvada


    I believe that live will begin again
    At least I need to believe that
    There is still so much to do
    To see, to learn
    I know my soul is not
    Please God allow
    The rebirth of my soul
    Already in this life
    I have been born again
    My life has ended and begun
    Many times in thirty years
    I passed from one life into the next at
    Again at twenty two
    At twenty eight I began again
    And on this path, this life
    I am content
    I want to finish out this one
    And when I die
    Be born, yet again
    Please God allow
    The rebirth of my soul

  378. Marissa Bell Toffoli

    Past Lives

    People always claim golden ideas,
    to have been Cleopatra or King Arthur.
    Well, perhaps. We can only trust

    our intuition. I want to know
    how population growth factors in.
    Will we ever run out

    of past personas? Are some souls
    on their first run through?
    How does the whole system work?

    I don’t care about being famous.
    Nameless not a bother either.
    What I would ask is how did I die?

    What languages did I speak?
    As if it might explain away
    my fear of dying in a car accident

    or surgery, or while giving birth.
    Wouldn’t it be convenient
    to point to a tree of your own lives

    and say that root there is where
    I learned to be afraid of flying.
    Or this branch, here, why I became

    a nurse instead of a painter.
    What if it turns out I was someone
    unsavory? Would I spend the rest of this

    bough waiting, expecting
    punishment for what
    I’d been a part of before?

    -Marissa Bell Toffoli

  379. Nikki Markle

    BY: Nikki Markle

    I am Eve, tempted by the fruit,
    In the paradise of Eden.
    I am Bathsheba on the rooftop,
    Origin of David’s sin.
    I am Cleopatra, the seductress,
    A breathing deity.
    I am the Lady Godiva,
    Exposed for all to see.
    I am the warrior, Joan of Arc,
    With visions of the saints.
    I am the beauty Mona Lisa,
    Immortalized in paint.
    I am Queen Elizabeth,
    Whose power spanned the seas.
    All the women who went before,
    Are now reborn in me.

    Silly typo…try this again! :-)

  380. D Mwamunga

    After Death

    There I was standing in the middle of the freeway
    Cars driving right through me
    This was all too crazy
    Glancing around I saw others like me
    Just staring unbelievably

    The snow falling wasn’t cold to my skin
    Nor was the whistling wind
    Was this skin I was in?
    I had no arms, just wings that shielded me
    Surely this could only be a dream
    Or was it some sort of angel taking over me

  381. Lin Neiswender

    Nesting Time

    They come to the same nest every year
    as winter is leaving and spring
    taps her toes outside in the warming air,
    the male so brilliant in his red plumage,
    the female in her modest garb, both of them
    repairing the nest, relining it, filling it
    with new life, tiny eggs nurtured and sat
    till the shells crack and the chicks peck their way out
    into the world, their cardinal parents bringing back
    feasts of worms and insects to gaping maws
    calling for more, ever more, and they do so,
    patient and caring, day by day
    year after year.

    Don’t they get tired
    and want to say,
    "I’ve had enough, no more"
    but that is not their way.
    One day they won’t return,
    but a former chick will find his way
    once more home.


    “Made Flesh Again”

    Her visit made everyone run
    Fetch her special seat, water glass
    A special plate, later scoured
    Separate, after her after-work snack

    We kids ran in a tumult to see if
    Her teeth were different in numbers
    Than the last time, slurpy betel
    Juice soaked, scary monster red

    Mother made chitchat, served her
    Coconut candies in summer
    Black sesame ones in winter
    With jaggery or handmade bread

    Aunts poured her water slowly
    Careful not to spill, not to mop
    Once she cleaned the outhouse
    A relic from an unknown rural life

    Once she cut the shrubs, weeded, threw
    The dead skunk in a ditch and cleaned
    Up, we kids asked her to pick a name that
    She’d like to be in her dreams so she
    Could be allowed to play with us
    Make us clay dolls of earthly shapes

    Her dark forehead gleamed, no sindoor
    Her sari-end bunched at her sagging breasts
    Don’t know how to call that luminous one by her name,
    She said, but I’d like to be made flesh, touchable, human, again.

  383. Mary McCann, The Bone Mama

    Rebirth at the Glass House

    It was all air and muscle when Phil kicked off the set
    The Glass House was so small I could put my palms on the ceiling
    Dance until my grease and the grease in the air were the same
    Drums and brass, no P.A. and the house just shook
    Then it hooked. I had to hold on to the popcorn in the ceiling
    Just to keep my clothes from slipping off

    Finally I was in the middle of New Orleans brass in all it’s raw glory
    My hips unhinged and moving like a mercury ball
    Rolling and totally liquid at room temperature

  384. Janean

    Then and now

    Then…I weighed 450 lbs.
    Now…I hit 280.

    Then…I was judgmental and pious.
    Now…I know I am the worst of the worst.

    Then…I acted like it was all about me.
    Now…Who is me?

    Then…my babies were a hassle.
    Now…they are my treasure.

    Then…I thought nothing bad could happen.
    Now…My children are all I have left.

    Then…I was unemployed, stay at home soccer mom.
    Now…I am Mom, full time student, EMT, apprentice midwife, CERT Volunteer, Fiance’, Daughter, Lover, friend, comforter, shoulder, writer, neighbor, father, dishwasher, maid, handyman, cheerleader and oppressed five year old.

  385. Kendall A. Bell


    When you walk into the kitchen that isn’t yours,
    you find her wearing your shirt and not much else,
    holding a large mug of coffee,
    which she hands to you as she leans in
    and takes your mouth in hers.
    The mug is hot, so you rest it
    on the cold, hard granite counter
    where it makes a soft clunking noise.
    Your hands slip slowly around her waist.
    So few mornings have started this way
    in so many years that you’ve forgotten
    the taste of lust at sunrise.
    The soft feel of her pale leg moving against yours
    makes you forget about the years spent
    trying to make a passionless marriage work.
    There is now: you and her draped on each other
    her long, brown hair tickling your shoulder.
    The feeling in your gut that you know
    steers your both right and wrong sometimes.
    There is nothing wrong about this rebirth.

  386. Sharon Ann

    Oh Glorious Day

    As the morning sky opens up to the first rays of sun
    the world takes on a new glow and luster.
    The birds awaken from their sleep and
    begin to announce the coming day.

    The coffee begins to brew and brings
    the smell of something warm and strong.
    Other beings in the house begin to stir
    moving to their busy schedules and plans.

    Soon the smell of breakfast arrives
    with scents of bacon frying and toast in the toaster.
    The kitchen warms from all the cooking heat
    so that all can feel the comfort there.

    We have entered into another day.
    Reborn with all our hopes anew.
    Bless us all with goodness and good cheer.
    Leave us thankful as we go on our way.

  387. Kathleen Claire


    After a long drought
    clouds would not be denied
    rain fell hard
    chopped up dirt and dust
    settled to mud
    tiny streams of water cut
    the soil
    drained to a lower spot
    settled in puddles and pools
    sun made its way out
    vapor rose
    air cleared
    land renewed

    After years of withholding feelings
    bitter tears would not be denied
    sobs fell hard
    mixed with coughs
    nose blown again and again
    large streams of water rolled from eyes
    and wouldn’t stop
    hands made wet
    from the torrent
    clothes soaked
    crying slowed
    eyes dabbed with tissue
    snuffled nose
    deep breath drawn
    air cleared
    heart renewed

  388. J. McNamara

    Seventh Inning stretch

    The surprising seventh inning stretch,
    Take Me Out To The Ballgame is sung
    momentum’s swayed for the home team
    cheers from the crowd; the eighth has begun.

  389. Nikki Markle

    BY: Nikki Markle

    I am Eve, tempted by the fruit,
    In the paradise of Eden.
    I am Bathsheba on the rooftop,
    Origin of David’s sin.
    I am Cleopatra, the seductress,
    A breathing deity.
    I am the Lady Godiva,
    Exposed for all to see.
    I am the warrior, Joan of Arc,
    With visions of the saints.
    I am the beauty Mona Lisa,
    Immortalized in paint.
    I am Queen Elizabeth,
    Who’s power spanned the seas.
    All the women who went before,
    Are now reborn in me.

  390. Elisa Alaniz

    Rebirth of our Marriage

    W rong in every way our first marriage existed
    E asy it wasn’t every time we resisted
    R age crept into us after we tied the knot
    E ndless thoughts as we daily fought
    M arriage the first time we couldn’t survive
    A year apart altered our separate lives
    R einvented all we had been doing wrong
    R ealized our love was so strong
    I nspite of what everyone said
    E nlaced we found ourselves in bed
    D eath can only part us since we re-wed.

  391. Sara McNulty

    Rebirth (a Rondel)

    Three thousand miles from New York City
    My spirit has been renewed
    I gaze upon a singing finch of golden hue
    Even my husband again is witty.

    Downtown Portland, mini-New York, not as gritty
    Although I was solicited by a homeless dude
    Three Thousand miles from New York City
    My spirit has been renewed.

    That Dad is gone makes my heart fill with pity
    How he would appreciate all that can be viewed
    Plus the fact that as of yet, no one has been rude
    Having friends as neighbors, with luck I am imbued
    Three thousand miles from New York City.

  392. Jodie Placek

    Born Again

    Standing at the edge of my past
    Haunting memories threatening
    To push me over the edge into oblivion
    Where there is no love, no hope, no faith

    I close my eyes and try to
    Shake away the thoughts inside my head
    I let out a scream to drown out the sadness
    I feel the ground giving way under my feet
    And I wonder if this is the end

    I open my eyes and you appear before me
    Like an angel
    You reach out and pull me in
    And in your arms I am born again

  393. Melli

    This is the best I can give after driving 507 miles in the rain… sorry! :P


    Baptised by rain
    in Maryland in the name of the Father
    in Pennsylvania in the name of the Son
    in Ohio… in the name of the Holy Spirit
    Holy Toledo!
    I’m there!

  394. Ernest M. Whiteman III

    PROMPT: Rebirth

    They like to tell you that
    Love springs eternal
    But that is a lie
    Because life goes on regardless
    Of the loves you have

    I have reached the nadir
    Of the search, the journey
    Of finding that one true
    Thing worth living and
    Dying for

    Through it all I find
    That along the way I
    Have lost the one thing
    That defines me as a
    Human being

    What more is there to life
    When what you seek does
    Not want to be found
    Does not want to be
    In your life, at all

    Looking back I see
    That the only thing
    That was kept me going
    Was the idea of my name
    My purpose, my identity
    In the world
    I was given a name at birth
    But it never reflected me
    An Arapaho name is who I am, so
    I searched for my name and
    Found that it was taken, and
    I heard that it was something
    Else, but doubted the source
    So, with all I lost
    And stand to lose
    I chose my own name
    That reflects me best

    I choose no name
    I am Nameless

    And like that, I
    Rise out of the ashes
    My armor and black coat
    Stripped and lie
    In pieces at your feet, but

    How can I face rebirth
    Without you, your love
    In my life?

    How can I write about
    That which I can never have
    Because of the path I chose
    Is a path towards a life
    Without you?
    Because there can be
    No new life without
    You in it

    So I go on alone
    Born anew
    But not borne new
    Silhouetted against
    The dying light of day
    I am reborn
    But reborn to suffer same
    Reborn Nameless
    And my trials go on
    Even without you

    Ernest M. Whiteman III

  395. Victoria Hendricks

    Never The Same

    Friends who loved us as a couple,
    friends who mourned his death,
    gasped when I announced
    plans to marry, to marry you.
    It will never be the same
    each warned, different styles
    same message. Lonely, hopeful
    newly in love, I did not listen.

    It was not the same. You were
    not his shadow, You liked
    more hot sauce, detested scent
    of jasmine, arrived on the dot,
    hated my habit of rearranging stacks.
    I fought your uniqueness, molded
    you hard into his image. You resisted.
    I panicked. It was not the same.

    Daughters grew up.Grandchildren
    came. Yours. Ours. You took
    us all to the zoo, the beach, the
    wilderness, put up the tent, brought
    new stories, new songs, held me nights,
    worked beside me days. Love has your
    name now. He is sweet memory.
    Doesn’t need to be the same.

  396. Kimberly Brock


    I dreamed he was normal.
    The magic of modern medicine.
    A science experiment gone right.
    No longer living the life
    Of a “retard”
    As the neighborhood kids
    Would cruelly tease.
    He went to school and
    Graduated top of his class.
    Now rich and famous
    For his discoveries,
    He showed them all.
    But, I missed the real him,
    The developmentally disabled him.
    The one who laughed his laugh.
    The one who got on my nerves.
    He was no longer my brother.
    He was now somebody else, reborn.
    Not quite sure I really
    Liked this dream
    As much as I thought
    I would.

  397. Ryan C. Christiansen

    Not like the others, wearing jeans and a shirt
    that looked somehow foreign against his darker skin,
    the man arrives to work.
    The urgency in the voices of the men on the radio
    and in the eyes of the mother next door
    have brought him here to the Fargodome.
    There is no reason for you to leave, his brother said,
    your apartment is on the third floor;
    surely, the flood will not reach you.
    But even in his new place, his refuge,
    far away from the home that he fled
    he could feel the call to act.
    He had the freedom now to join the fight.
    Wordlessly, because he had none,
    he picked up the shovel to scoop up the sand
    and fill the bags.
    No one had to tell him – or anyone –
    for they knew what to do.
    He shoveled the sand; they held the bags.
    Surely, the flood had reached him.

  398. Ofira Sephiroth


    My soul seeks unity
    with temptations’ yoke.
    Throw stones as the maker
    awakens – dust
    greets tears, masking
    hidden pleasures.
    Cloak falls on shoulders,
    heavy-loaded hearts
    bleed – my lips taste
    the unholy chalice
    as I drink from resurrected
    flesh. I awaken
    a unified soul.

  399. Julieann S Powell


    Is this thing called rebirth important?
    So many want to know
    God provided us a way, He’s not a tyrant

    Is rebirth some kind of figment?
    From very long ago
    Is this thing called rebirth important?

    First there was the firmament
    God formed man from the dirt in the meadow
    God provided us a way, He’s not a tyrant

    Eve and Adam were deceived by the serpent
    They thought it wouldn’t show
    Is this thing called rebirth important?

    Sin entered in, God sewed them a garment
    The way of truth is straight and narrow
    God provided us a way, He’s not a tyrant

    God’s love for us is not dormant
    He does not strike the deathblow
    Is this thing called rebirth important?
    God provided us a way, He’s not a tyrant

  400. Sarah Joyce Bryant


    Trees dripping silver,
    between life and death.

    Beautiful and
    as my dead grandmother’s face.

    Skin peeled,
    light from dark.

    Bloodless pools,
    black below.

    Silence whispering
    of colorless silhouettes.

    Sharpened daggers
    the sky, spilling

    shattered diamonds
    my feet.

    I turn towards

  401. Lanette Cadle

    A Little Traveling Music, Please

    Dust to dust, add water, jump back. The filmstrip
    shows the miracle of the sweet potato
    with baritone voiceover. As the screen changes
    with the bell, we sit, dangling bare legs in anklets
    and saddle shoes to our own rhythms, counting
    the lines on the clock until recess. On the windowsill,
    seven jars: one rotted avocado seed, two rhizomes
    with root tangles floating in sludge, a carnation
    in red water turning striped, philodendron cuttings
    gone wild, tangling to the floor, and one tadpole
    hoofing his new legs towards frogdom.

  402. Darla Rehorst

    What? Oh.
    Here we go again…
    More eyes…well, that’s new.
    Antennae…huh, that’s new too.
    Look at that, I’m fuzzy…black and yellow…
    Hmm…I know this, it’s on the tip of my–
    Oh hey, that’s fuzzy too.
    Wait, wait, it’ll come to me…
    Wings—ooh, those are fun, I like wings.
    This has definite possibilities.
    But there’s one more thing, just let me scratch my
    Hey, there’s a stinger back there.
    Oh this is so awesome. I know just where I’m going.
    I may come back as an earthworm next time,
    but it’s so gonna be worth it.

    ( a few minutes later)

    What? Oh.
    Here we go again…
    Eyes…oh, shit.

  403. Alfred J Bruey


    The snow falls
    I shovel it away
    The snow falls
    I shovel it away
    The piles beside the driveway
    grow higher and then the sun
    removes those piles
    The snow falls
    I shovel it away
    The snow falls
    I shovel it away
    Those constant rebirths
    are giving me a sore back
    and making me
    yearn for Florida.

  404. Marcos A. Cabrera

    Every day is a rebirth

    I am born every day…
    When I see in the horizon the sunrise
    I feel that I am getting a new life.
    With every morning I am born again
    full of new hopes without fear and pain.
    The maze may be wide
    but to get a new start I will find the way.

    The world is a ride
    in a wild wheel that goes up and goes down.
    I like to face the hard truth like a clown
    whatever may happen facing with a smile.
    I find a rebirth in any new site
    and in every town
    I find a nest to my new paradise.

  405. Del Cain


    From the quiet darkness
    from the cold of alone
    from the grey landscape
    that passes without remark
    from the forgotten, repeated
    acts of living that leave no mark,
    I am called by an intense
    spot of light that stings
    my waiting arm.
    Color spreads like spilled juice,
    warm gathers me like mother’s quilt.
    You touched me.

  406. Marie Elena

    Joe, I’m glad you made yourself known to me, because it prompted me (ha1 prompt!) to check out your poem. Nice! I like the sentiment as well as the form. Thanks again for the compliment, and have a good night.

  407. Barbara Moore

    The cleansing

    Yesterday we washed windows
    removing grime over time
    hiding clarity of view

    Last night, gazing through clear panes
    listening to Bob Dylan
    rhapsodizing “Born In Time”

    Lost in panoramic view
    gazing through time-addled eyes
    from eleventh floor windows

    Baptized disciple of night
    i wondered to you out loud
    “Has this been here all the time?”

  408. EKSwitaj


    out of coffee & bones
    thrown to ivy
    I pulled out down through rhizomes

    infant leaves appear
    to be dissected by
    my classifying eyes

    yes, I can eat them
    or I will
    and so I let them live

    never witness miracle
    of their slender stems
    bursting from rooted seeds

    how can I say when life begins?

  409. Marie Elena

    G L Brookover – Beautiful!
    Cheryl B Lemine made me smile.
    Frank Mand – creative, frustrating, funny!
    Trudi Jarvis – I thought of writing a similar one about Lake Erie. Mine went by the wayside for lack of time and inspiration. Yours turned out great!
    Banana, you cracked me up!
    Go Victoria Lee Collings!
    Hannah, I’m glad your work has been brought to my attention. You are amazing.
    Beautiful, Diane Rowland.
    Connie Peters, Excellent job. I recognized your style and faith before I finished the piece.
    PM27, grim but somehow lovely reminder.
    Jeanetta Chrystie, so lovely and inspiring! I’d love to hear the music, but I feel I nearly can.
    Double bravo, Chev Shire!

    Hello, Joe! Thanks so much for your kind compliment! I’ll check out what you’ve written…

    Daniel, your writing and your generous compliments always make my day. Thank you so much for all you share.

    Mr. R.M Atwater, Sir, you amaze and delight me! You knew exactly what I was waiting for, and you did not disappoint! And thank you so very much for your generous kudos to all of us. I think, like

    Daniel, that it is incredibly difficult to start “naming names.” I always realize that I am leaving out people who are so deserving of a mention —far, far more than I am. Your efforts are admired!!

    Walt – Eternity, love’s humble abode indeed! You know how much YOUR work is admired, my friend. I’m thankful that you are doing well. Sleep well, and have pleasant dreams of your Auburn Beauty, as she looks down on you from above.

  410. Judy Kneprath

    By Judy Kneprath

    ‘twas a glorious garden last year
    I reveled in its bounty
    Filled my soul from its beauty
    And stored away plenty
    Luscious produce from this
    Patch of good earth

    Five foot high sunflowers
    Stood tall and proud surveying the plot
    Bursting forth in huge blossoms
    Heavy with seed, bent forward
    Swaying in the breeze
    Pretty maids all in a row

    Fall came, frost was close
    I clipped the blossoms
    Dried them in the shed
    Hundreds of seeds!
    Thousands of seeds!
    Shared them with my kin
    My friends, my neighbors

    Winter’s just done
    And spring winds blow
    Garden sits dormant
    Dark and ugly to the uncaring eye

    But I rub my hands with glee
    Anticipation bursts in me like a blossom
    Can hardly wait to push these quiet seeds
    Deep in the ground to wait for water and sun
    Time will pass and sunflowers will
    Grow and rise and bloom once again
    All over this area in the gardens of my friends
    In a profusion of delight
    As rebirth of joy occurs
    In the gardens of my backyard and
    The gardens of my life

  411. Sharon Mooney

    Be Born Again

    Be born again! my spirit cries.
    I rake dead leaves, around me lies
    a graveyard of last summer’s stems. New
    periwinkles, shades of blue,
    awake beneath the morning skies.

    The April wind swirls round and sighs;
    it joins me in my song. Arise
    my buttercups, my tulips too
    …..be born again!

    My peppermint, perennial, vies
    for space around my sage, so wise.
    Small crocus corms, baptized with dew
    stir in earth’s womb, seek to break through,
    cry out to me; my heart replies
    …..be born again!

  412. DJ Vorreyer

    Spring Fever Incubation

    You hurl curses, epithets
    to shatter your shell, start
    the tiny hole. Day by day,
    you widen it, slam doors
    to extend the crack, sulk
    and simmer in your yolk
    of comfort and then kick
    against your crumbling
    confinement, screech your
    guitar at heavy decibels
    until your splintered shield
    shimmies and splits. You
    will soon be reborn, slick
    with grins and promises.
    All we need to do is wait
    for summer to come
    and turn up the heat.

  413. Vicki Dinnel


    The golden ray of first light
    Slices the deep purple mist,
    A dagger thrust against
    The breast of bitter dark.

    So long awaited its song
    Of warmth, spreading its wings
    Across the jagged hills
    Long frozen in anticipation.

    What joy it brings, dissolving
    The sorrows of the long night.
    So bright, it filters into corners
    Damp with the mildew of ignorance.

    The earth responds, unfolding
    Its brackish throat to drink
    The healing potion of the
    Fresh golden rays of rebirth.

  414. Helen Peterson

    Matt 19: 7-9

    Glancing up at my mother helping with the paperwork
    Furiously nailing down the words
    upstairs in this courthouse
    Cold as an empty tomb I think
    it helps to have a God
    Willing to make exceptions to His own rules

  415. Akua Lezli Hope


    She won’t remember but we, older siblings do
    how she blew all our minds with past life stories
    that she told Daddy while we were in school

    Daddy worked nights, was her day care and knew
    how to brush hair, cajole and entertain his babies
    She won’t remember but we, older siblings do

    Certain old French songs made her cry, others made her coo
    some reminded of misfortunes, others recalled great deeds
    This she told Daddy while we were in school

    There was no way she could know such things so it had to be true
    She still saw and would regale us with past glories
    She won’t remember but we, older siblings do

    She said the Big Bang was how the universe grew
    Someone named Donna, some street life tragedy
    that she told Daddy while we were in school

    Her baby self would dance an ancient hootchie-coo
    an adult and piercing wisdom when she was only three
    She won’t remember but we, older siblings do
    what she told Daddy while we were in school

  416. Beth Rodgers

    A New Beginning

    It’s interesting
    How so much can happen
    In so little time.
    Learning a new skill
    Entertaining a new notion
    Instilling yourself
    With a love
    For whatever so happens
    To catch your fancy.
    Find ways to imagine
    The unimaginable
    Attain the
    Make sense of the
    Conceive the
    Create a new beginning
    For yourself.

  417. Kathryn Varuzza


    My new life
    Begins today
    I am free
    Of old lovers
    Who no longer
    Cherish me
    I am free
    Of old expectations
    And demands
    I am
    To grab hold
    Of life
    Make it

  418. Earl Parsons

    Something from the archives:

    Just One More Verse

    As I sit here in church, my world starts to tilt.
    The sermon convicts me, and I’m flooded with guilt.
    If I can just make it a few minutes more,
    I can smile at everyone and dash out the back door.
    And get away from this house of praise and convictions
    And get on with my life, my way, with no restrictions.

    But the preacher’s not stopping, he’s looking at me.
    His words are like needles, and his eyes seem to be
    Looking into my heart, so blackened with sin
    Every point that he’s making hurts me deep within
    Oh, great, the invitation. Another service is done.
    It’s time to get out of here and have me some fun.

    "Just As I Am." Not again! It’s so slow and so long.
    Why couldn’t the song leader pick a faster song?
    Just a couple of verses and I will be free.
    Someone just went forward, that should’ve been me.
    But I’m holding out, I’m not going to cave.
    If I give up my freedom, I’d just be another slave.

    And I’ll bow down to no one, I must live life my way.
    I believe God exists and I’ll give in some day.
    After I’ve done my thing, whatever it may be
    Once I’ve done what I’ve done and I’m happy with me.
    Then I’ll give God the rest of my days on this earth
    And I’ll give Him my best, for whatever it’s worth.

    But for now I must hang on for a minute or two
    As the preacher says "One more verse, just for you."
    Oh, please, don’t anyone move for the aisle.
    Then I looked down and saw the preacher smile
    As a family of five stepped out smiling and proud
    The knock on my heart became ten times as loud.

    I looked down at the floor, then up to the ceiling.
    I couldn’t describe exactly what I was feeling.
    My forehead was sweating and my hands were like ice
    Then the preacher said "Jesus already paid the price."
    He said "Now’s the time," and he looked straight at me.
    I gripped the pew harder and thought "This can’t be."

    My guilt and His convictions were too much to bear.
    And I realized my life should be in God’s care
    So I took a deep breath and stepped into the aisle
    And the preacher greeted me with a hug and a smile
    Then he led me in prayer and God saved me by grace.
    And I finally felt like I belonged in this place.

    Now I’m a new creature, the old me is dead.
    I look forward to the sermons that I used to dread.
    I’ve given up my old lifestyle and I’m seeking God’s will
    And I’m living for Jesus, my Lord and Savior, until
    His second coming, or until the day that I die
    Then I can spend eternity in Heaven on high.

  419. Nicole Carr


    Each day is a new one
    each morning I open my eyes
    to face something new
    each morning
    is like being reborn
    each day gives us another chance
    another choice
    Each day is brand new
    so that we can start anew.

  420. Earl Parsons

    Another long day on the road. I’ll get to my post later, but for now I’d like to post a poem of remembrance:

    Columbine Remembered

    I remember it well
    Ten short years ago
    The day Columbine
    Ran red with innocent blood
    All because Harris and Klebold
    Angered and belittled
    Unchecked by their parents
    Controlled by Satan
    Armed to the hilt
    Took their frustrations
    Into their own hands
    Gunned down 13
    Injured 23 more
    Then in their insanity
    Turned the guns on themselves

    Too late
    Satan won that day
    As he as won many others

    But in the end
    To Beelzebub’s dismay
    God was brought to the forefront
    Just as He always is
    In times of despair

    It’s just too bad we
    Don’t keep Him there

    Remember Columbine
    Remember the innocent

  421. Juliann Wetz


    Where green and gold and purple beads tumble
    down streets that murky waters flooded,
    a flower peeks through the cracks in the cement
    and a city is reborn.

    Past voodoo and marsh grass,
    Cajun and Creole,
    The cemetery tour stretches out into the lower ninth
    and the world is brought to the banks
    of the wall that a barge broke through,
    pouring themselves, their wallets,
    and their compassion into the ravages
    still left after all these years.

    The Big Easy.
    Another crewe established.
    Renovation doled out in small incremental bites;
    there’s a market for destruction.
    Rebirth has already aged four years.

  422. Michael A. Wells

    Rejuvenating Quackery

    The pain ranged from dull in the upper middle back
    to a pressured pinpoint pushing on my right shoulder
    as if one were folding over the corner of a page.
    It began in early adolescence when so many things
    about the body are changing. It was always accepted
    as general fact of life. A grin and bare it sort of thing.
    There were doctor visits, medication, these all came
    as the condition aggravated from time to time.
    Occasionally physical therapy was justified and
    while welcomed, it was always good
    for short term relief. Short term always seemed the best
    one could expect.

    Mom was an RN who began her career late in the 50’s.
    It was common then to view Chiropractic with the skepticism
    one might confer on a traveling doctor peddling snake oils.
    One’s mother can have a significant amount of influence
    upon your thinking, and this was no exception.

    This year our insurance offered Chiropractic coverage
    and I suppose I was at that point where I would look for
    the doctor peddling whatever was in that bottle and so
    I gave a Chiropractor a chance to work her magic on me.

    If one wants to think of Chiropractic as quackery,
    then I can say I’ve found a rebirth in the nimble fingers
    and pressures applied to the various points along my spine.
    In very short order I’ve been able to spread my visits out
    with minimal discomfort between times.

    I can enjoy a ball game on backless bleachers with my daughter
    or sit for hours as my job requires without the discomfort
    or painful twitching that would often occurred by mid-day.

    Had I only known years ago how rejuvenating this could be
    I would not have had to grin and bare it.

  423. Melissa Carl


    April soaks the stones.
    The wind is made
    of disappearance,
    and the stones won’t call
    their stillness grief,
    even though it is.
    I could bind myself
    to this weep
    of the world,
    this everywhere
    of gray,
    this continual
    But no. The clouds,
    the mud, don’t matter—
    just the purple crocus,
    and the yellow.

  424. David Yockel Jr.


    Spring comes in like a Cesarean section. Forcibly cut from winter’s womb, it bleeds slowly into the atmosphere, lacing the sky with pinks and purples. The sounds of street plows quickly turn to giggling children outside playing tag. The incessant search for a new and forever reborn It fills every season, indifferent to the names we have given them.

  425. S Whitaker esteph20@hotmail.com

    Rebirth poem PAD 20

    Upon waking in the mud flats

    Oh to be unwashed
    as a beast in the hot
    sun, the mud caking
    on your flesh, like
    scabs you want to pick.

    Oh to be the dirty new,
    a skin whose only mar
    is burns and ashes
    from the old fire,
    the old body, the dead.

    But it is a myth
    that the new forgets
    the old. Like some
    Aunt gone soft
    in the egg, the old

    blinks back
    like an eye, like a sun;
    the dead and gone you
    moving away from the new you
    becoming a distant

    scour of radio static, a satellite
    orbiting a new star.
    And what of the old stones
    that were your body quick?
    They are pebbles under heel.

  426. Kim King

    to Wes Ward, Incredible imagery in your "At The Local Library" poem. I like the way you think. Perfect metaphor for all of us discovering or rediscovering poetry as our "rebirth".

  427. Joan Huffman

    Zen Cocoon

    Work-weary, prone and laid bare,
    I submit to her ministrations.
    She kneads out knots and neglect,
    anoints my aching joints with aromatic oils.

    I turn like a spitted duck;
    she bastes me with plum butters,
    swathes me in herb-soaked linens,
    lowers me into a heated nest.

    Then I am alone in the dim light
    save for notes of koto and shakuhachi,
    bouquet of coconut and sandalwood,
    drifting like a leaf in a tea cup…

    I awaken to her silken stroke,
    ascend from the womb.
    She unwraps, rinses, polishes.
    I am detoxified, reincarnated.

    Joan Huffman © 04/20/2009

  428. W. K. Messinger

    Galactic Rebirth

    Our galaxy is going through rebirth
    Its been foretold for centuries
    There are those who don’t believe it
    But the signs are there for each to read

    Global warming isn’t just global
    It’s every planet, moon and sun
    Energy doesn’t have to be owned
    It can belong to everyone

    Old systems built for elite only
    While enslaving the common man
    Are being torn down to be rebirthed
    More aligned with a higher plan

    Endless warring for position
    Rebirthed into desire to share
    Respect for every individual
    Becomes a mantra everywhere

    No more sitting on the sidelines
    Everyone must participate
    In raising their own vibration
    Rebirthing we all celebrate

  429. Melissa "Missy" McEwen

    Aaugh, sorry for the repost; I had missing commas

    The Rebirth of Jim in June

    It is always the month of June that gets James
    thinking about that summer in ’62 when he was
    17 and far from home, working in the fields
    picking tobacco and picking up girls. He remembers
    Betty especially— "She had an easy way about her.
    I didn’t have to be funny or try to be cool with
    Betty." He talks about her easy like Sarah’s
    not in the room, like he’s still young, unmarried
    and in North Carolina laboring under the
    hot sun thinking about how, later, Betty would
    come; and how she’d sneak out to meet him. "I couldn’t wait
    to be done with work," he recalls, says again, "Betty
    had an easy way about her." He puts emphasis
    on "easy" and Sarah always knows what he means; his
    daughters learn later what he means and it’s more
    than retelling, it’s re-living. Sarah said, "Betty probably
    ain’t even thinking about you," when one June, James said,
    "One of these days, I’mma go and look her up." And with
    every year that passes, it seems, the more he wants
    it back— the life he had when he was known as
    Jim and talking’s the thing that brings Jim back,
    so James goes on and on.

  430. Maureen Miller

    Comatose, he lay so peaceful. Lamenting family members
    surrounding him, unseen. His steady heartbeat,
    recorded on the monitor attached, the sole indication he
    was alive. In hushed tones doctors suggested full recovery
    was doubtful, even if he
    Their basis, the MRIs. Cold pictures showing a
    swelling brain. Synapses disconnected. Casualties of a war
    between his twenty-four year old body and parasitic
    Consensus was to let him decide. Tell him all–
    the good, the bad–and let him choose.
    At the end of discourse, a tear rolled gently
    from his eye. A sign, we believed, that he aspired to
    So we prayed and she stayed,
    his mother. Reminiscent of the first months of
    his life, she bathed him, sang to him, spoke
    encouraging words, massaged legs and arms and
    never gave up
    Three months later he awoke. Grasped fingers
    placed within his hand. With tubes removed, he spoke.
    Smiled. Laughed. And we cried in

  431. Jane Eamon

    Rebirth – By Jane Eamon 2009

    I started out playing music
    Writing little songs
    With pretty rhymes and
    Nice melodies
    Capable of my being
    At 19

    I had visions of stardom
    And fame
    Recognition for being a girl
    Who played guitar
    And wrote songs

    But I wasn’t any good
    And they told me so
    So I went to sleep

    For 28 years
    I lay dormant
    The very heart and soul
    Of me
    Drugged by the Novocain
    Of my own choosing
    I didn’t sing
    I didn’t write
    I didn’t play

    I was an accountant

    But that all changed
    The day heaven and earth
    Moved to wake me up
    The day my world was shaken
    By someone saying
    You’re pretty good
    You should be doing this

    I jumped
    I shut my eyes
    I trusted
    And I was reborn
    To my real self

    And like a newborn
    I learned to walk

  432. Carol A. Stephen


    Behold Venus at dawn,
    rising from the sea
    all sinuous line and form

    a woman fully-grown
    and yet new-born.

    Zephyrus, wind-god
    breathes soft,

    to stir her golden hair,
    her cheeks blush pink

    hands crossed to hide
    her maidenhair.

    Venus, at dusk
    wakes from her reverie
    to swift footfalls,

    as earth trembles,
    her wedding party now assembles.

    Earth’s inner fires Vulcan brings,
    as god-consort and lord of fire,

    their union forged on trembling altars
    of unrestrained desire

    where passions burning
    hotter than the sun

    see worlds erupt,
    with molten lava run.

    Behold Venus,
    rising in the sky
    all sinuous line and form

    a planet fully-grown
    and yet

    Carol A. Stephen
    PAD Challenge poem
    April 20, 2009

  433. Bridget Gage-Dixon

    Restoring the Ruins

    Beside the Atlantic, the salty air gnaws
    at the concrete corpse of Fort Hancock.
    Behind clasped wrought iron gates
    small fissures in this fortress expand
    and stone begins the slow return to sand.

    Through the wrought iron gates,
    I see hydrangea vines climb cold cement,
    and beneath the gentle press of April sun,
    burst into bloom.

  434. Raul Sanchez


    Aren’t the miseries enough?
    personally, I do not want to be reborn
    for me this has been E-N-O-U-G-H!
    I’ve had it I do not want to be reborn

    One can renew, recharge, reload, retouch
    but reborn in this world again and again?
    I don’t think so; one has to be out of touch
    to come back and do it all over, again

    Of all the living forms the highest
    is the human being
    why come back amongst the lowest
    there is no guarantee anyone will be – a human being

    I learned in my forming years
    this life should be used to raise above
    all that exists will bring misery and tears
    there are ways to link-up to reach the final abode

    I was not born famous or beautiful
    nor rich, or in a family of kings
    I am glad I have a bountiful
    friends, a good house among other things

    If I were to loose it all today
    it really would not matter
    it is not a foray
    it is only material chatter

    So, let me say it again and again
    to be reborn is not my cup of tea
    I rather learn to refrain
    from that which will make me plea

    To stay in this material world
    hang around like a monkey on the vine
    not knowing from liberation, ahimsa, a single world
    I rather cleanse my heart my mind disentwine

    And be free from birth, rebirth and all that jazz
    I’m out of here!

    RS 4-20-09

  435. LBC

    To Swing Again

    Along the side of the road
    Was the swing set,
    Complete with a slide.
    It was green
    and yellow,
    And the wind
    Blew the swing
    Back and forth,
    An invisible child
    Enjoying the feeling of flying
    Free. The sign said,
    Because one could never put a price
    On something so dear,
    Yet no longer needed.
    Because one could never put a price
    On the smiles of the children
    Who took pleasure in the swing,
    But were now too old to play.
    Because someone
    Will take the swing set
    To a new backyard
    And the thrill of the swing
    Will live again
    In the laughter of children
    Who fly free.


  436. LindaSW

    My four stanza haiku…

    Sole (Sun)

    frigid in its frost
    impervious, the earth’s scab
    resists assured change

    gleams, feeble muted,
    stroke the forgiving surface
    to summon rebirth

    puny shoots of hope
    valorous, thrust and strive through
    frozen clay, ash, rock

    unfurled, leaves emerge
    tenuous, exultant in
    brilliant joyous dance

    Peace, Linda

  437. Sandra Evans

    After A Few Months Blue

    The birds are my alarm again
    and even a faint graying
    the birds are my alarm again
    five minutes before the alarm.

    The dog has to be called in again
    no longer shaking her feet and
    running for the heat vent again
    she has to be distracted from smelling.

    The crocus and daffodils resurface
    the green almond of tulip
    the crocus found under the shovel
    orange laying over the purple cup of crocus.

    The birds sound my alarm again
    call the dog in from sniffing again
    the crocus resurface and the green
    almond of tulip.

  438. Christiane Brossi


    I am Xipe Totec
    In Aztec mythology
    My name means
    “Our lord the flayed one”
    I am the god of life-death-rebirth
    The east
    Goldsmiths, silversmiths
    And the seasons

    I flayed myself to give food to humanity
    The way maize seeds lose their outer layer before germination
    And of snakes shedding their skin
    Without my skin I am a golden god
    Brave Aztecs worshipped me
    As the god that invented war

    My temple is called Yopico within the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan

    My emergence from my rotting
    Flayed skin after twenty days symbolizes rebirth
    And the renewal of the seasons
    The casting off of the old
    And the growth of new vegetation
    I lay concealed underneath the superficial veneer of death
    Ready to burst forth like a germinating seed
    Prepared to cycle
    Set to bring hope again

    I am also the god of disease
    Bringing my revenge upon the ones
    Who defy my ruling cycles
    I afflict mortals with rashes
    Abscesses and skin and eye infections

    An especially courageous war captive
    Is given to me as sacrifice
    He is my gladiator
    Tied to a large circular stone
    Forced to fight against a fully armed Aztec warrior
    His shed blood upon the fertile earth
    Reinforces my power
    The god of life-death-rebirth
    I am Xipe Totec

  439. Michelle McEwen

    (for my mother)

    It only happens when I’m in the kitchen—
    your creeping inside of me, pressing
    whole into me, filling up head to toe. All
    of you. Bursting with you— especially
    when I’m bending down to the lower cabinets
    in search of the grits pan. Too, when
    I have to reach beneath the sink to turn on
    the hot water— your movement! There again
    when I’m standing in front of the open
    refrigerator door, slicing cheese. I eat it
    right off the knife— you! you! you!

  440. Karen H. Phillips

    No bloody afterbirth
    no violent thrust of my body
    out of another.
    Only the quiet acknowledgement
    that now, at peace with man
    and God,
    I am not my own.
    I am His child
    born of His Son’s blood.
    New life
    new purpose
    new me
    the same,
    but oh
    not the same.

  441. Wes Ward

    At a Local Library

    It was with a splinter of curiosity
    that I found the poetry books
    in the nonfiction aisle. I was reborn.
    And when I asked about the arrangement,
    the subject of truth ever seen or told,
    a man behind the counter, with glasses
    bridged at his nose, handed me an apple
    from his lunch bag and quietly replied,
    “This is an apple. The skin is a deep red.
    Inside, the flesh is white, softer than day,
    harder than night.” Then he turned back
    to his book, pushed his glasses higher,
    and uttered an aside as if reading
    from the page: “Keep it,” he said.
    “The apple. And, please,
    no more questions.”

  442. Rose Marie Streeter

    April 20th, 2009 (prompt-rebirth)

    Of Spring

    Sweet wonder of renewal
    ascending much alive
    embraces with a calmness
    releases gentle sigh

    trees no longer naked
    thawed from winter storms
    feathered friends ‘n squirrels
    nestled close in arms

    spring ‘n all its glory
    plays hopscotch in reprieve
    can almost hear her giggle
    as winter falls asleep

    she tiptoes into vision
    sparkle in green eyes
    cradles us with splendor
    like Mother’s lullaby

    butterflies aflutter
    skeeters taunt ‘n tease
    gentle kiss of sunshine
    placed upon your cheek

    capture all the beauty
    crayola undertones
    allow mood find its balance
    rejuvenate your soul

    serenity, revival
    crocus, daffodils
    stop, look and listen
    let troubled thoughts
    be stilled

    sweet wonder of renewal
    pregnant, giving birth
    with each dawn she wakens
    her bright smile blankets earth

    (c) RMS

  443. Janice Sheridan

    The Adventure of Ralphie Reed

    One day, long after
    he pledged
    Long after
    several casualties.
    After gallant nights of flight,
    and flirts, and rattling flesh.
    Long after all that,
    Ralphie Reed broke his fast,
    charmed a beauty,
    offered a ring,
    and learned
    to blush.

  444. Joannie Stangeland

    After Death

    Because he could not be reborn, I was
    forced into this new world, gasping
    for air, grasping for solace.

    I was born to grief in the small house
    with small children and three cats.
    The solstice came. The light changed.

    Later, Spring. I can’t tell you
    about those tiny miracles
    of waking each day, of breathing–

    only about my daughter’s first steps,
    my loneliness in the kitchen,
    a raw pain inside my new skin,

    fear and blessings in the daily mail,
    only that friends came and stayed,
    that I kept my car on the road.

    The light changed again, stretched
    long into summer, and somehow
    we managed to survive it.

  445. Lyn Sedwick

    April 20 Poem Renaissance/Rebirth

    The Osprey Nest

    Every year, it’s built there–atop
    The lights between courts 5 and 6
    At Azalea Lane Tennis Center,
    And you can bet the players don’t enjoy
    The fish guts and poop raining down
    On their game, nor the raucous encounters
    Between mom, dad and chick or chicks,
    But this year the parents built the nest
    In February, and in March seemed to sit
    On an egg, or eggs and then…nothing.
    No babies, no noise, no parents
    Tag-teaming, no nothing, and I was sad
    To consider what might have happened.
    But this week I saw a head bob
    Up in the nest, and I wondered whether
    It was a parent or a chick, maybe
    A second clutch if the first died,
    And I saw the currently noncustodial
    Parent on a tree to the side of the courts–
    Right where he/she should be, at the
    Ready, to take turns spelling the other,
    And I rejoiced to see that yet again
    Life seems to be going on.

    Lyn Sedwick

  446. Elizabeth Claman

    This is sort of a villanelle:

    Love’s Rebirth

    When you’re conditioned to believe you’ve failed,
    it’s hard to even think that you have worth.
    No matter what you seek to do, it fails.

    Time and again you try to no avail.
    It feels as though you must be flawed from birth
    when you’re conditioned to believe you’ve failed.

    At times, you fall into a rage, and rail
    at the old lies that make you feel like dirt
    and cause your every effort to fall short.

    And then a friend asks what it is that ails
    you as you fret that nowhere on God’s earth––
    when you’re conditioned to believe you’ve failed––

    is there a soul to soothe your great despair.
    She says, "There’s hope if love can touch your heart
    and prove that what you seek to do won’t fail.

    Such love can liberate you from this self-wrought jail."
    She helps you see your only hope is love’s rebirth,
    because you were conditioned to believe you’d failed,
    and what you want more than all else is to break free.

  447. Laura Ciorlieri


    A new me was born. One of anger and one of hatred.
    One of revenge.
    Waiting to get back everyone who had done me wrong.

    (Not about me, just being dark):-)

  448. Bear

    True Colors

    Purple didn’t really feel violated
    until some skinny black jeans
    and a tight yellow tee
    pinned him to the wall
    branding him,
    the dressing room mirror
    mocking him,
    “You may come from Blackhawk
    but you look like a teenager.”

    Purple opened the door
    the store was empty and quiet
    except for the girl organizing shoelaces
    and Rock The Casbah.

    The clothing racks telescoped
    into endless woods.
    If he was going to make it to the register
    with any money left
    it was going to require a fight.

    A belt imprinted with stars and hearts
    started to strangled him
    as he wrestled to save his wallet
    and get back who he was
    like the wolf wrestling with words
    to get himself closer to Red.

    The belt managed to fasten itself to his waist
    as Purple clawed to the register
    stride weighed down by ruby sneakers.
    He dumped his theater cleaning money;
    gold payment into the boatman’s hands
    and crossed the river of Mainland Skate Shop
    to the parking lot.

    He could picture his mother in the future
    when she arrived to pick him up,
    surprise on her face,
    “My what ugly clothes you have.”

    The better to piss you off with.

  449. Stephanie Thomas


    Joe Swimma strolled along the beach
    Entertained not a thought in his head
    When he looked over at the ocean and
    Felt a challenge coming on.

    He ogled the waves with a hunger
    in his belly; caused an overwhelming
    urge to do something, to meet that challenge.
    Joe Swima rose to the occasion and met the waves
    head first. He swam and swam and swam until he
    went under, water filling his nose but he could not
    find his way up. While under he saw his life pass before
    him from beginning to end and fought desperately to come
    back to the surface.

    Finally it all settled. He realized life is most important, he
    must live it to the fullest, especially when he leaves it and returns full force.

  450. Walt Wojtanik

    De, Glad you enjoyed it. It felt good to find my funny bone tonight. I made myself chuckle as well. We are quite a talented lot, aren’t we? Loving your contributions as well.

  451. Judy Roney


    An oft told story
    one of rebirth, re-creation,
    a new start on life
    not by choice, brought about
    by a life crisis so drastic
    that we can no longer
    lay claim to the self
    we once were.That person
    is wiped out, erased, vanquished
    from the earth we inhabit now.
    We are re-born without
    instructions, no road maps,
    no way to figure out which
    way to turn, which way to go.
    We start and stop many times
    until we figure out some way
    to be whole, a way that we
    can accept, and claim for ourselves.

    We always hope. Hope is the building
    block that we begin with and then it’s our
    choice whether we keep building even
    if it’s one incremental block at a time.
    Hopefully this creation that did
    not come gently from birth
    will be something joyful and life
    sustaining. Sometimes it’s not;
    we all have those examples to
    keep us building, keep us from stalling,
    those are the best examples.
    We never know how the ones
    that persevere make a good life for
    themselves but those that give up live in
    a limbo that scares us enough to keep
    us plugging away another day.
    Those of us who choose life with joy,
    life with substance, life with hope
    keep building until we are reborn.

  452. Liz

    Moth Wings (Written in response to Gregory Grenon’s painting, "Moth Girl."

    Over the din of soaps on television
    you play arpeggios in B minor flat,
    hiding behind you two ragged moth wings.

    You tap out A Few of My Favorite Things
    Granny screams, "stop that horrible racket.
    I can’t hear what’s happening on television."

    Somewhere Over the Rainbow, you sing.
    Granny shouts, "Ed’s on. Shut up. Be quiet."
    You stop, but shake dust from the holes in your wings.

    On the bench, you sit silent. Your young legs swing.
    "Cat got your tongue again?" Granny spits out,
    bored with her game show on television.

    You pound out Solace – your favorite Scott Joplin.
    Granny sneers, "your friend plays better than that."
    You glide over the keys and pulse your small wings.

    You know some of your notes are wrong
    but you climb up Ave Maria’s crest,
    and above the din of news on television,
    you flutter away on your tattered moth wings.

  453. Taylor Graham


    Gaps in the walls, part of the ceiling gone –
    the attic a roost for bats and owl – spiral staircase
    ending in precipice – this grand house
    where you spent so many summers, its walls
    enfolding old secrets. How the cousins would listen
    for the long-stilled jingle of harness-bells, ghost-
    music of ancient balls, ladies in hoop skirts;
    the wisdom-spirit of a Chinese cook.
    Who could chart a roadmap to renewal?
    Impossible to refurbish the history of your past
    and speak the mystery of the place. Yet,
    every night in your dreams, the house rebuilds
    itself brick by brick by memory.

  454. Nedrajean


    Just a wrought iron Singer frame
    Cabinet warped, old sewing machine.
    Marble top – boomerang shaped,
    Frame in shambles.
    What to make?

    Give new life to what is old
    A useful table will unfold,
    Reborn from junk, TV stand appears
    To grace the living room for years.

  455. Maryann Younger

    All winter long I watch
    The pussy willow’s stem
    It’s stark spindly branches
    Protect the hidden gems
    Of life, so grey and soft
    At each thin kindling’s end
    Patient through the winter’s
    Snow, cold they must transcend.
    Now the sun is warming soil
    And rain blankets the earth
    These tiny pockets swell
    Four times their normal girth
    ‘Till one fine day a burst
    Of energy springs out!
    White fingers of soft petals
    From those dull buds do sprout.
    Sway gently in the breeze
    A law they do decree
    Of God’s eternal promise
    Of life; for you and me.

  456. Morgan Underwood


    In Summer

    When old
    Mr McAvoy
    finishes watering the garden

    He sits on
    the porch
    treats himself
    to a bowl of
    ice cream

    when the
    cold smooth sweet
    blooms on his tongue

    He is
    ten years old
    once again.

    (c) m.u. PAD day 20

  457. Cresta McGowan

    April 20, 2009

    Crawling through the wreckage,
    emerging anew. Pushing back obstacles
    and jumping hurdles that seem endless.
    Overcoming the challenges and calls
    each time they shout for help, every radio a buzz…
    Hoping there’s enough time
    to save a life that can begin again
    before the call comes in
    and we start it all over.

  458. Freyda Tartak


    All your life you live as you
    Then one day somebody new
    Comes to live and share your home
    Gives a feeling of being reborn
    An exit wound turns your soul
    On its ear as though alone
    With each passing day you find
    A new identity behind
    The words and actions of your youth
    Have led you to this place on Earth

  459. Walt Wojtanik

    Marie, If you feel a warm front blowing in from Buffalo way, it’s just the glow of this smile after reading GOLDEN DAYS. I can’t get enough of your Point Of View. And your poeticizing ain’t so bad either! I’m doing OK. Thanks for the thoughts.

  460. paul grimsley


    curled into the bulb of an idea
    held tight into the compact of earth
    all those fallen leaves turned over above
    we dream the spring and watch it turn
    through colours to the go
    time for us to climb from reveries
    into the unfurling truth of brightness
    drinking the light, feeding the world
    the instructions are written inside
    and we wear our poetry flowing
    drawing in the insect dancers
    pulling free the watercolours
    crystallising the metaphor
    becoming ourselves again and other

  461. Marcia McLees Bogaert

    Relationship Reborn

    It was the day
    I accepted my confidence
    as reality
    that our relationship changed

    for I became strong in self
    and we became partners,
    not just lovers

    it mattered no longer that
    I leaned
    or he leaned,
    that I bested
    or he

    for with strength
    came reality

    all give
    all take
    all want
    all need

    all plant their feet on a
    relationship balance board
    to wobble back and forth

    but strength in self
    allows us to stay on

  462. Terri Quick

    Day 20 ~ The Rebirth of Me~

    As I look in the mirror, Who do I see?
    Is that really an image of me?

    Who is that stranger looking back from the mirror?
    If that’s suppose to be me, I sure look much older.

    I see the lines on her face,
    It looks like her youth has been erased.

    Is it to late to learn to take life as it comes.
    For we all have to deal with the outcome.

    Back in her younger days,
    She was so full of life and nothing could get in her way.

    Her dreams were put on hold,
    But as time has gone by they’re beginning to unfold.

    She’s never let them die.
    She is now willing to give it a try.

    Is that really me who I see there looking back at me?
    It really doesn’t look like someone I want to be.

    I want happiness and peace to fulfill my life,
    In order to do that I need to rid all this strife.

    I need to learn to get rid of the past.
    So happiness and peace I can have at last.

    I need to learn that no one but me can make me happy,
    So from this day forward, this lesson will be learned by me.
    I will soon again be Happy and carefree.

  463. Barbara Nieves

    Drought’s End

    Lonely Earth yearns for notice by the beloved Sky,
    Anxiously abides and waits, long arid weeks pass by.
    The dried brown stalks rasp scratchily
    on the windswept plain,
    The cracked ground of parched Earth
    dreams of wetness, come again.
    Dormant lay the seeds of wildflowers, fragrant and sweet,
    Seedlings struggle to sprout in spite of brutal heat.
    A heartless dome above of cloudless plumbago blue,
    Dry Earth desires the Sky to resume their pas de deux.
    Stingily it begins, welcome as a warm embrace,
    Earth sighs with relief, raindrops falling everyplace.
    Rain rinses off old sorrows, plants rejoice with wet dew,
    The Earth and Sky hold hands again, life begins anew.
    -Barbara Nieves

  464. Faye E. Arcand

    Prompt: rebirth
    Day 20
    April 20, 2009

    Weekday Mornings
    by Faye E. Arcand

    The alarm clock; diligent and
    insistent in it’s authority. Curses
    whispered about the late night that
    shouldn’t have been. The long, slow labour begins.
    Pulling oneself from the warm, toasty bed
    to face the new day. Coffee first; then
    microwavable pancakes with butter flavoured
    syrup and chocolate milk to placate the masses.
    Deep breathing helps as lunches get made and put
    into back packs. Finally, onto the bus and off,
    and we see that the day has started.

  465. Walt Wojtanik

    Devious Regenerate
    (A previous Degenerate)

    I’ll never be a self-made man,
    successful beyond a doubt,
    I’ll only be the me I am
    an overzealous lout,
    The good professor Frankenstein
    had found it in his station,
    to put in motion his grand plan
    for my regeneration.
    They say I have my father’s eyes,
    I’ve got my mother’s nose.
    My chin is fresh from Uncle John
    along with seven toes.
    My left hand is from Cousin Beau,
    my right from Jimmy Hoffa,
    the good doc went and sewed me up
    and laid me on the sofa.
    He had a hard time finding me
    a brain that still would work,
    so he inserted sawdust in my head
    and now I’m just a jerk.
    My complexion is a slimy green,
    my hair a greasy black,
    my fingernails all need a trim,
    as does my hairy back.
    The neck