Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 338

For this week’s prompt, write a stained poem. Write about a stain on a shirt, staining wood, or stained glass windows (ekphrastic opportunity?). Of course, these are visual versions of stains. I’m sure there are metaphors for stains as well, like the teenage angst found in a “stained soul.”

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Here’s my attempt at a Stained poem:

“the scandal stained his reputation”

but he grew more popular than ever
because his reputation was built on
his own ill repute & bad attitude

so a scandal only confirmed what was
expected & set everyone at ease
his dirty deeds would only continue

to reinforce his rather forceful stain

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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216 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 338

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    stain of dementia
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    for weeks i stayed away
    for i simply could not bear it,
    sins of the father and all that.

    a stain, forever burned within
    deep recesses of the hippocampus,
    a curved seahorse tail that still clings
    to the last remnants of memory
    this side of confusion.

    a song stuck repeating itself
    over and over in your head,
    encoded on a molecular level
    that only you can hear.
    you smile and try to share
    this digital magnet protein
    stored between neurons,
    but all i can focus on
    is how tired you look, and
    that the sheets stained yellow
    need changing again.

    if only
    this stain of dementia on steroids
    could work itself to the surface
    of your skin like a tattoo,
    leaving stories of your life
    to explore like cave drawings,
    for those of us
    left behind.

    © 2016 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. SarahLeaSales

    The Stain of Inhumanity

    Though her sheets had been as white as snow,
    they were stained with the scarlet sins
    of Dr. Krueger—
    with the sins of the donor fathers,
    who had never looked upon their Sleeping Beauty.

    Asleep, she proved her usefulness,
    for such was greater than her wakefulness—
    her unwillingness—
    to collaborate with the devil M.D.—
    to create a master set of keys
    that would unlock the world powers.

    Her empty vessel was filled
    with clumps of cells that would grow to form
    a single function—
    like little Romes, or rather, Dresdens—
    each unique,
    and carefully selected;
    each conception immaculate,
    even sterile.
    She was the garden from which his
    little flowers would grow—
    a bridge to the sun.

    Violations by dozens of men,
    all the way from Denmark,
    are imprinted on her memory,
    the results of each planting,
    another loss of autonomy.
    She has no voice but Sister Augustine’s,
    whose powers are limited on this earth.

    Her body is not her own,
    for it was bought with a price.
    Dr. Krueger was her savior,
    even as he is her imprisoner,
    having harvested her from the trash
    that was her family—
    the plot of an evil stepmother
    with a rotten apple.

    Stockholm Syndrome, they call it,
    for he preserves her life,
    even as he denies it to her.
    The news of the world beyond her windows
    filters in secondhand
    through this haze of semi-consciousness.
    She cannot make sense of it all.

    This incapacitated princess cannot love them all,
    any more than the princes of Scandinavia,
    can love their all.
    Through not one,
    but many like her,
    will spring up kingdoms and principalities—
    light in color,
    but dark in intent and purpose.

    “You will be a queen,” he says,
    her throne a hospital bed,
    her crown a tangled mass of hair
    the color of golden raisins,
    her glass slipper a yellow sock with a
    puffed smiley face on the bottom.

    A plastic bracelet has her name,
    but she has forgotten it now,
    for it’s been so long since she’s heard it.
    She is simply, Another Eve,
    and sometimes Mother Mary,
    who was overcome with a mysterious entity
    called the Holy Ghost;
    or was that Ghost,
    that vapor,
    simply a doctor with a needle
    that put the Virgin to sleep?

  3. De Jackson

    The One Where Her Antediluvian Phase Comes to an End

    It’s a lonely place, this skin. We have gathered ourselves in small puddles, quiet drops. We’ve got no place else to go, but the trenches of these city streets. I have reached the end of myself again, stunned the eyelids of these building bones with my longing. Songs, unsung. Streetlights stung by silence. You say we’ve got about a million miles to go, but I know objects through these windows are closer than they appear. Hear the pitter patter of these tiny liquid stars? Someday we’ll know them, deeper than fingerprint or pane, stain ourselves with their knowing.

    we are slow-spilled sky
    and skeleton trees, sighing.
    the wind has teeth.

  4. tunesmiff

    STAINS
    G. Smith (BMI)
    ———-///———-
    The grease is in the creases of my knuckles
    And I’m on my feet so long that my knees buckle,
    I’m a working man,
    Make my living with my hands;
    And they’re stained, Lord, they’re stained.
    They’re stained, Lord, they’re stained.

    Grew up dirt poor on a dirt road in east Texas;
    Had most of we needed, but no excess;
    We went barefoot into town,
    Kept our eyes down on the ground,
    And we felt stained, Lord , we felt stained;
    We felt stained, Lord, we were stained.

    And these stains
    Remain
    No matter what I try,
    From the pain
    I gain
    No answer why, why, why?
    Is it all in vain?
    Am I Able’s Cain?
    Stained, Lord, I feel stained,
    Stained, Lord, I feel stained

    There are things I can’t undo even if I could;
    But You took them all when they nailed You to the wood.
    You paid my price,
    With Your sacrifice;
    And cleansed my stains, Lord, cleansed my stains;
    You cleansed my stains, Lord, cleansed my stains.

    1. ppfautsch24

      Stained Sheets of love…
      Coupled with the play of our daily events.
      Rumpled and tangled sheets from our nightly play.
      Souls stained by the joys of learning to live and love each other’s stains.
      The coverings of a relationship; trust, respect, compassion, and passion, reflected like stained glass in our hearts and eyes.
      Past hurts and failed attempts left our hearts
      stained, but we are wrapping ourselves in stained sheets of love and forgiveness.
      By Pamelap

  5. seingraham

    JUST GO

    A port-wine stain, that’s it
    That’s what they call me
    It sounds exotic, like something
    lovely almost, doesn’t it?
    But not when it’s on a teen’s
    face, and all she hears every day
    is how ugly she is – how much
    she looks like some old Russian
    guy, how she should just
    go home and die, kill herself

    At first, they just yelled that
    in the halls, or outside
    the school, but lately
    they’ve been sending her text
    messages and yesterday
    somebody snuck a picture of her,
    a close-up and posted it online
    with a nasty caption – something
    about a bloody map carved on her,
    as if she had a choice.

    And again, telling her to just die.
    It makes me sad; I wish I could
    just dissolve myself, or make
    her believe in her beauty –
    But I’m afraid for her –
    Every day that goes by, she goes
    lower, feels more worthless
    It’s as if she can’t help but believe
    them; she goes home and thinks
    more about ways to die…

  6. writinglife16

    STAINS OF THE PAST

    The stroke left a stain
    on the caverns in my mind.
    Bloody ruins
    of my past glories
    taunted me with those
    times I couldn’t quite recall.

  7. charmuse

    (Revision of a previous PAD poem, just to be honest here 🙂 )

    Unwritten

    In a flutter,
    flowing like a rivulet
    to run on the page.
    Forging through
    all the places
    where the word is not.
    Not a word, but a stain
    of heart ink remains.
    A mark of what she
    cannot say or contain.

    ~ Charise Hoge

  8. De Jackson

                              Marked

    Give her a different gospel,
    some matte hue to hide her,
    slight and small, un
                                  -stained.

    Give her a lukewarm puddle,
    a jaundiced muddle, a pristine
    place to fall, un
                            -tamed.

    .

  9. Walt Wojtanik

    MARKED FOR LIFE

    Numbers.
    A sad tattoo marking you.
    The horrific reminder of the insanity
    foisted upon your humanity.
    That they can be seen
    means you have survived
    and no matter how you strive
    for as long as you’re alive,
    you will recall all that has been
    perpetrated in the name of “purity”.
    It is a surety that some look upon you
    with disdain, like some pariah.
    Others have yet to learn
    all that you yearn to forget.
    Still others sadly remember.
    And you will never forget numbers,
    or the numbers of those annihilated.
    Your number remains as a stain,
    a badge of your survival,
    not dead on arrival. You are marked
    for life. And so it shall be.

  10. Amy

    Cassiopeia

    I fell into a fever
    skin soaked
    sleeplessly embracing
    tracing shapes
    in the inky dark

    Those brushstrokes
    they told such tales
    on me, of me
    smudged the stark outline
    of constellations

    mapped veins
    I wear the stains
    of something lost
    I once found
    beneath the stars

  11. RJ Clarken

    Out, Out Damned Spot…Not

    I spilled a glass of wine. The stain
    caused me to spill some words profane.
    The splotch took on a shape like Spain.
    “Oh, red, red wine, you are my bane.”

    I dabbed the spot. It was in vain
    because the blemish did remain
    no matter how I might complain.
    “Oh, red, red wine, you are my bane.”

    I dabbed some more. It would not wane.
    Instead, it spread. Could not contain,
    constrain or otherwise restrain
    that red, red wine. It was my bane.

    There’s no act of legerdemain
    or trick to stem the spread – nay, reign,
    of vicious Malbec hurricane.
    “Oh, red, red wine, you are my bane.”

    ###

  12. Sara McNulty

    Interpretation

    Bold inkblot,
    a black, spreading stain.
    What is this,
    they ask him.
    Looks like a squashed butterfly
    to me. Did I pass?
    This is not a test,
    everyone sees something else.
    They hold up
    another.
    Girl in pool of blood.
    Raised eyebrows.

  13. Amaria

    “teen angst”

    he grew tired of their harsh stares
    and painted his soul in stained glass
    but it did not end the nightmares
    he grew tired of their harsh stares
    judgmental looks he couldn’t bear
    he prayed the days would quickly pass
    he grew tired of their harsh stares
    and painted his soul in stained glass

    – Arcadia Maria

  14. Amaria

    “lipstick stain”

    she saw the lipstick stain and knew
    she had lost him to someone else
    and his words of love were not true
    she saw the lipstick stain and knew
    their love affair was all but through
    slowly her heart began to melt
    she saw the lipstick stain and knew
    she had lost him to someone else

    – Arcadia Maria

  15. Amaria

    “love stains”

    she was in love with the wrong man
    let caution fly into the wind
    the end results were never planned
    she was in love with the wrong man
    leaving engraved stains on her hands
    always reminded of her sin
    she was in love with the wrong man
    let caution fly into the wind

    – Arcadia Maria

  16. Beth Henary Watson

    Red Jeans

    I still think about those red jeans…
    Not the Girbauds from middle school,
    Coca-Cola, fire truck, stop sign
    Red jeans that glow from bankruptcy,
    Make you want to bring back an age
    That won’t come with all its color.

    No, I think about washed-red jeans,
    New T-shirt turns best jeans pale red,
    Final threads of another life
    Pinked useless, fresh stain on the past,
    An ordinary laundry load
    Signaling the time to move on.

  17. PowerUnit

    A pine table, two by two
    Patrons line for a square
    A coffee so fair
    The mid-morning light stained by snow, falling
    The wooden set holds my station
    Corner action refreshing the fighter
    With a tall cup of morning wakeup

  18. ReathaThomasOakley

    Wiki says

    a stain is a discoloration clearly
    distinguished from surface, material,
    or medium it is found upon, caused by
    chemical or physical interaction
    of two dissimilar materials.

    I disagree, those permanent
    stains, the ones that resist bleach
    and hours in the sun, that
    resist forgiveness and penance,
    are rarely clearly distinguishable.

  19. woodpeckerduo

    Treat Twice If Needed

    Our couch’s chocolate stain came out
    From nineteen ninety four
    New enzyme cleaners don’t see this
    As challenge any more
    In comfort now we sit with sundaes
    Any day we please
    And sling the syrup near the mouth
    Not caring ‘bout the breeze

  20. seamuscorleone

    Blood on Snow

    I awake alone and wearing the same quick clumsy clothes I have worn for days.
    My feet are the first to break through the crust of the snow and plunge ankle-deep,
    The cold-burning dawn shining blue in the smoke of my breath.

    The snow is a virgin defiled with each step; each step is as unrepeatable as time.
    Reaching the end of my driveway I can see I’ve destroyed the pristine beauty
    That first caused me to venture outside into the cold.

    The beauty calls to me and the loneliness pushes me on. The desire to commune
    With something like god is as strong as the desire to escape
    The crypt home is without you.

    Now my feet are cold, wet in the slippers I’ve ruined, and my feet slip on the hard
    Pack I’ve created with my wandering. I skin my bare knee and when I rise
    There is blood on the snow.

    If I were a hunter tracking a deer with my arrow in its flank this blood would give me
    Something to follow, but as my leg makes crimson what was once white it
    Signifies nothing but my own ineptitude.

    It reminds me of when we fucked on the hotel room floor, not realizing that it was
    Your time of the month until we’d soiled it. We’d laughed and bought a bottle of the
    Cheapest red wine we could find just to spill some and cover the stain.

    I wish we could do that now. Pour wine over our problems and hide them forever.
    But like snow our skin absorbs the red wine blood of our fights and nothing
    Will wash the blue-black bruises away.

  21. woodpeckerduo

    Red Sands

    For adultery she was framed
    Another rapist never blamed
    Adulteress! Harlot! they proclaimed
    A reputation forever stained.

    Mother’s anguish, father’s groans
    You bring dishonor, they intoned
    And in that country it’s still condoned
    Another innocent is beaten, stoned.

  22. taylor graham

    ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS

    That lady would put sugar in the soup.
    I say “lady” cause sugar sure don’t belong
    in a good cook-down of bones and roots
    dark as the dirt it come from.
    She wouldn’t stain her fingers
    for ladies put on rings ‘n frills ‘n fringes,
    paint their faces pretending
    they’re way above the roots ‘n bones.
    They’re pedigree of names on paper.
    I don’t keep my recipes on paper,
    they’re part of me bones ‘n roots ‘n gristle.
    That good earthy taste – slow
    growin’ under sun and rain – it’s a glory
    to the soul. That lady don’t know
    the soup she sips is what she come from
    ‘n where she’s goin’.

  23. Jane Shlensky

    Reimagined

    Imagine if each lie we tell
    became a dark stain on our face,
    the little falsehoods, truth askew,
    like freckles scattered every place,
    the nasty mean hate-hearted ones
    like knife wounds jagged scarring down,
    the ones we tell because we fear
    like rosacea, nose to crown.

    Imagine intentional wrongs
    like tattoos inked across each jaw
    and down around our throats, each stain
    choking us, ragged as a saw.
    How hideous we are, grotesque;
    misdeeds triumphant, we are fiends.
    Would love of beauty change our ways
    or redefine what beauty means?

  24. De Jackson

    this poem is a smallish smudge

    that just won’t budge, or swim, or take a
    decent bath. it’s stained in both strained

    peas and song, the quiet longing of a scrib
    -bled cloud. it leaks out loud, of ink and

    salt and ‘not my fault’ and burgundy whine.
    it’s running out of time, and tide, and all

    other detergents. (it’s on spin cycle, having
    soiled itself in earth, and rain and scattered

    stars.) it’s fingerpainted jars of clay, and glass
    and moonspill gasp and weathered bark. its

    spark is slightly dulled, mulled in spiced sigh
    -der, spider web strings and violin sway. per

    -haps a simple smear campaign will flutter
    -free it, fling it to an indigo stained glass sea, a

    violent sky. ask it why it’s so tiny, too briny,
    blotched and botched and bothered by such

    angry hues. it just might show you its scars,
    its sorrow-scribbled center; its heart a bruise.

    1. woodpeckerduo

      oh wow! extremely well-done images… internal rhyming, with joy added… your trademark hyphenation… oh no, this ain’t no bruise… it’s a beautiful stain… -ed glass

  25. taylor graham

    SCIENCE LAB

    He was the one who passed through
    semesters of universities with radiant, cryptic-
    cool eyes, finding crooked paths under walls
    of clinging ivy from library to lab,
    byways smoked with pyrotechnic sparks,
    brainstorms, glories and mistakes; pathways
    diverging into the galore of possibility.
    Nobody knew which path he took.
    I imagine him now in some mountain-close,
    self-contained as a homesteader bound
    in his strict universe, his moment.
    I listen to the news. Reports of detonations
    muffled down-canyon from the higher
    peaks, the ones I never tried to climb. Some-
    body blasting a road through granite.
    Somebody stained with alchemical trans-
    formations. Somebody blasting.

  26. candy

    Word Weary

    this poem is a little
    stained
    strained and
    stretched
    across the page
    it’s been reworked
    reformed
    reimagined
    rolled up
    ironed out
    let out – taken in
    unravelled
    stitched to
    gether
    crinkled in my pocket
    erased and re-
    scribbled
    in crayon
    this poem is
    just
    worn-
    out

  27. Stuart Peacock

    Scars and Stains

    Some stick with stubbornness
    And shall always remain,
    Any hope of cleanliness
    From a filthy sin, sadly in vain.

    These are the stains that mark
    All of those messy mistakes.
    Now standing out, sheer and stark
    Cracking through skin, till it breaks.

  28. De Jackson

    Sleepwalking through Slivers

    Caught
    in his claws, she can’t get

    (Out,)

    free, can’t see the light
    beyond the bars. Out

    (damn’d spot, I say!)

    of her mind, she counts

                      (one; two:)

    her blessings, few, her
    sorrows full. He has tainted
    her with kisses, shattered stain
    -glass words,
    smudge of fist. Her wrists
    are bruised, but today she’s
    fully cleansed her heart.

    (Yet, here’s a

                                spot.)

    .

  29. Walt Wojtanik

    VANISHING

    You’ve left a stain on me,
    a blot upon my heart.
    My fabric is ruined by
    the cause of you.
    I sit in silent stillness,
    once blessed by your beauty.
    Now, my tortured duty
    calls me to extricate
    the hue of you from me.
    I can see you faintly,
    a painted reminder
    that I find at every thought.
    I promised to forget-you-not,
    But for now, out damn spot!

      1. De Jackson

        Lady, I swear by all flowers

        I promise to forget-you-not,
        remember you smudges.
        Upon my heart there is a blot;
        I promise to forget-you-not.
        No matter how I scrub this spot,
        the bruised core never budges.
        I promise to forget-you-not,
        remember you in smudges.

        1. Walt Wojtanik

          BRAIN STAIN

          I remember you in smudges,
          memories that come and go.
          All the pain and sad begrudges,
          I remember you in smudges.
          Thoughts sparked by tender nudges
          which cause my heart to glow,
          yet through misty mem’ry trudges
          memories that come and go.

          1. De Jackson

            Brain, Strained

            Memories, they come and go
            (my gray matter’s a curmudgeon).
            My “rewind” takes quite a blow,
            as memories, they come and go.
            Was I there? I just don’t know.
            My mind’s forever fib-and-fudgin’.
            Memories, they come and go.
            My gray matter’s a curmudgeon.

          2. Walt Wojtanik

            MEMORY FADES

            My gray matter’s a curmudgeon.
            Forgotten phrases gone dour,
            and it takes hours to start budgin’,
            my gray matter’s a curmudgeon.
            And so please don’t start judgin’,
            my poetic wile is sour,
            indelible marks like sludge,
            forgotten phrases gone sour.

          3. De Jackson

            It Fades in Shades

            Forgotten phrases gone sour,
            this poem’s a little stale.
            Gettin’ more blotchy by the hour
            (forgotten phrases gone sour),
            it’s running out of pen-power
            (yep, it’s looking quite pale.)
            Forgotten phrases gone sour,
            this poem’s a little stale.

          4. Walt Wojtanik

            NIFTY SHADES OF GREY

            This poem is a little stale.
            It has no heart, no flavor.
            It’s akin to eating kale,
            this poem is a little stale.
            A hearty poem would prevail,
            and offer much to savor.
            This poem is a little stale.
            It has no heart, no flavor.

          5. De Jackson

            Fifty Shades of Sky

            It has no heart, no flavor,
            but this sky is stained in blue.
            There’s indigo to savor,
            though it has no heart, no flavor.
            Drink cobalt deep, and you’ll be braver;
            this sapphire will see you through.
            It has no heart, no flavor,
            but this sky is stained in blue.

          6. Walt Wojtanik

            SKY SO BLUE

            The sky is stained in blue,
            with nary a cloud to be seen.
            Just the thing for a love so true,
            the sky is stained in blue.
            A most amazing hue,
            the bluest hue there’s ever been.
            This sky is stained in blue,
            with nary a cloud to be seen.

          7. De Jackson

            Blue Blotch

            With nary a cloud to be seen,
            we paint her with generous brush.
            Turquoise ceiling with violet streams,
            and nary a cloud to be seen.
            She’s saturated in aquamarine
            (hope we didn’t use too much.)
            With nary a cloud to be seen,
            we paint her with generous brush.

          8. Walt Wojtanik

            THE ART OF LOVE

            Paint love with a generous brush,
            with caring and compassion.
            The Art of Love is such a rush,
            paint love with a generous brush.
            A pristine canvas, rich and plush,
            beauty in its expression.
            Paint love with a generous brush,
            with caring and compassion.

          9. De Jackson

            Love pours out like an ink blot

            With caring and compassion,
            we stain our hearts in song.
            Each beat in trebled ration,
            with caring and compassion.
            For joy’s always in fashion,
            and right here’s where we belong.
            With caring and compassion,
            we stain our hearts in song.

          10. Walt Wojtanik

            RORSCHACH HEARTS

            We stain our hearts in song.
            Melodies that haunt remain.
            They repeat in our heads so long,
            we stain our hearts in song.
            Love marked hearts can’t be wrong,
            we are grateful for its strain!
            We stain our hearts in song.
            Melodies that haunt remain.

          11. De Jackson

            Heart Condition

            Melodies that haunt remain,
            even after colors fade.
            Some beats won’t be contained;
            melodies that haunt remain.
            On my heart, you spilled your name,
            and a cement foundation was laid.
            Melodies that haunt remain,
            even after colors fade.

          12. Walt Wojtanik

            BLEACHED

            Even after colors fade,
            I see your mark show through.
            no bleach removes the mark you’ve made
            even after colors fade.
            For you are of a different shade
            yet come clearly into view.
            Even after colors fade,
            I see your mark show through.

          13. De Jackson

            Clorox Heart

            I see your mark show through,
            even when I scrub and scrub.
            No strong cleanser will do;
            I see your mark show through.
            This pain’s a lasting hue.
            (Yes, therein lies the rub.)
            I see your mark show through,
            even when I scrub and scrub.

          14. Walt Wojtanik

            STRONGER THAN DIRT

            even when I scrub and scrub,
            i can’t remove you from my soul.
            it puts you in a special club.

            even when I scrub and scrub,
            no matter how I rub and rub.

            you’re in my heart. you have control,
            even when I scrub and scrub,
            i can’t remove you from my soul.

          15. De Jackson

            Strong Enough

            I can’t remove you from my soul,
            (and trust me, I have tried.)
            A clean slate is the final goal,
            but I can’t remove you from my soul.
            “Over you,” I said, with great control.
            (The absolute truth? I lied.)
            I can’t remove you from my soul,
            (oh, trust me, I have tried.)

          16. Walt Wojtanik

            ENOUGH IS NEVER TOO MUCH

            Oh, you can trust me, I have tried.
            I’ve given my all and then some.
            And It doesn’t matter about my pride
            you can trust me, I have tried.
            Your mark on me is deep inside,
            and just we know where it’s from.
            Oh, you can trust me, I have tried.
            I’ve given my all and then some.

          17. De Jackson

            Never Enough

            I’ve given my all and then some.
            (Just a small smudge to you, i know.)
            My heart’s been stolen for ransom –
            I’ve given my all and then some.
            There are days I wished I’d been some
            -where else, not within your glow.
            But I’ve given my all and then some.
            (Just a small smudge to you, I know.)

          18. Walt Wojtanik

            OUT OF MY GLOW

            Just a small smudge to me? I know
            to you it doesn’t seem as such,
            but I would never let you go.
            Just a small smudge to me? I know
            I don’t always let your light show
            although you need to shine so much!
            Just a small smudge to me? Oh no!
            To you it doesn’t seem as such.

          19. De Jackson

            Glowing Forth

            To you it doesn’t seem as such,
            but that old moon has had her say.
            Never has she spilled so much
            (though to you it doesn’t seem as such.)
            Is it only me who feels so much,
            as she waxes and she wanes?
            To you it doesn’t seem as such,
            but that old moon has had her say.

          20. Walt Wojtanik

            LUNAR GLOW

            That old moon has had her say,
            in a language all her own.
            Whispering at the end of day,
            that old moon has had her say.
            She rules until the sun’s first ray,
            then retires with one long moan.
            That old moon has had her say,
            in a language all her own.

          21. De Jackson

            Beautiful, Walt. By far my favorite, so far.

            Luna Flows

            In a language all her own,
            Luna inks across the sky.
            She’s been lost and she’s been known
            for a language all her own.
            Been half crazy, crescent-thrown.
            We stand low, and wonder why.
            In a language all her own,
            Luna inks across the sky.

          22. Walt Wojtanik

            IN THE FLOW OF NIGHT

            Luna inks across the sky
            to slink between the sun and stars.
            And lovers watch amidst their sighs,
            Luna inks across the sky.
            After that last sunbeam dies,
            the moon seen from afar,
            Luna inks across the sky
            to slink between the sun and stars.

          23. De Jackson

            Night Spill

            To slink between the sun and stars,
            you must hold sky in careful hands.
            (It leaks somewhere right around Mars.)
            To slink between the sun and stars,
            you’ve got to travel near and far,
            and treat the planets like foreign lands.
            To slink between the sun and stars,
            you must hold sky in careful hands.

          24. Walt Wojtanik

            REACH FOR THE SKY

            You must hold sky in careful hands
            it may slip through your fingers.
            For it’s filled with your dreams and plans,
            you must hold sky in careful hands.
            But holding it has one demand,
            embrace it, so it lingers.
            You must hold sky in careful hands
            it may slip through your fingers.

          25. De Jackson

            Just out of Reach

            It may slip through your fingers,
            but its shape will linger still.
            There is no blue that’s bigger
            (though it may slip through your fingers)
            than this giant cobalt jigger
            of a drink that never spills.
            It may slip through your fingers,
            but its shape will linger still.

          26. Walt Wojtanik

            SHAPING UP

            The sky’s shape will linger still.
            It will conform to the universe,
            which will surely fit the bill.
            The sky’s shape will linger still.
            Even the night will get its fill,
            only by darkness is it cursed.
            The sky’s shape will linger still.
            It will conform to the universe,

          27. De Jackson

            Upcycled

            It will conform to the universe,
            this love that stains our souls.
            It’s tried and true, and rather terse,
            and it will conform to the universe.
            But we’ve got to get a grip here, first,
            some semblance of control.
            It will conform to the universe,
            this love that stains our souls.

          28. Walt Wojtanik

            OUR PASSION MARKS US

            this love that stains our souls,
            a stigma branded deeply within
            burning like hotly molten coals.
            this love that stains our souls
            is stoked as we accept of our roles
            and we express feverishly our sin.
            this love that stains our souls,
            a stigma branded deeply within

          29. De Jackson

            Marked Up

            A stigma branded deep within,
            her heart was out of time.
            No memory of where she’d been,
            a stigma branded deep within.
            Stained in forgiveness now, it’s pinned:
            His price tag says “you’re Mine.”
            A stigma branded deep within,
            her heart was out of time.

          30. Walt Wojtanik

            NO TIME FOR LOVE

            Her heart was out of time.
            Her everlasting love, expired.
            As lovers, it was a crime
            her heart was out of time.
            She loved his words; his sad rhyme,
            but her soul was uninspired.
            Her heart was out of time.
            Her everlasting love, expired.

          31. De Jackson

            When Time Ran Out

            Her ‘everlasting’ love expired,
            and he was left with nothing but the sting
            of something snuffed out, once fire –
            her ‘everlasting’ love expired.
            No warranty or refund, now he’s mired
            in the everlasting pain that loss can bring.
            Her ‘everlasting’ love expired,
            and he was left with nothing but the sting.

          32. Walt Wojtanik

            LOST LOVE’S LABOURS

            He was left with nothing but the sting,
            she was gone and he would grieve,
            and for all the pain those thoughts would bring,
            he was left with nothing but the sting.
            But, to this one hope he did cling:
            they’d be together again, he did believe.
            He was left with nothing but the sting,
            she was gone and he would grieve,

          33. De Jackson

            Lost in Love

            She was gone and he would grieve,
            plant gerberas in the spring.
            After four years it’s still hard to believe,
            but she was gone and he would grieve.
            He buries his heart with each new seed;
            it grows, again a living thing.
            She was gone and he would grieve,
            plant gerberas in the spring.

          34. Walt Wojtanik

            GATHER YE ROSEBUDS

            Plant gerberas in the spring,
            they were her favorite bloom.
            Surround yourself with beautiful things
            and plant gerberas in the spring.
            Gather ye rosebuds as birds sing,
            and she will dissipate your gloom.
            Plant gerberas in the spring,
            they were her favorite bloom.

          35. De Jackson

            Bloomin’ Birthday

            They were her favorite bloom,
            so she sent some for his big day.
            Creative bloom(ings) will unfold soon
            (they were her favorite bloom).
            Their creative juices zooooom,
            as with triolets they play.
            They were her favorite bloom,
            so she sent some for his big day.

            (Happy Happy Birthday to one of my favorite creative souls.)

          36. Walt Wojtanik

            THANKFUL FOR GIFTS

            She sent something for his big day,
            a day to live in infamy!
            But, she had sent them anyway,
            she sent something for his big day.
            He hadn’t a whole lot to say,
            most thankful for this “gift”, you see!
            She sent something for his big day,
            a day to live in infamy!

          37. De Jackson

            Gifted

            A day to live in infamy!
            (60 comes but once a lifetime.)
            He’s a legend in his time, you see.
            A day to live in infamy!
            Poetic chops and flare has he.
            (Plus, he’s honest, cool and kind.)
            A day to live in infamy!
            (60 comes but once a lifetime.)

          38. Walt Wojtanik

            MINUTE MAN

            60 comes but once a lifetime,
            or in a minute if you’re a second.
            Enough to write a minute rhyme,
            (60 comes but once a lifetime.)
            But to give up on life is a crime
            if you’re scared of a number, I reckon!
            60 comes but once a lifetime,
            or in a minute if you’re a second.

          39. De Jackson

            Minute Problem

            In a minute, if you’re a second,
            there are 59 more of you.
            Hard to distinguish yourself, I reckon,
            in a minute, if you’re a second.
            When others come to brag, or beckon,
            it can really ‘tick’ you off – it’s true.
            In a minute, if you’re a second,
            there are 59 more of you.

          40. Walt Wojtanik

            SO, YOU WANT TO BE A POET?

            There are 59 more of you
            who are itching to be poets.
            You can do this thing that we do,
            there are 59 more of you.
            So, to your own voice be true,
            you’ll poem before you know it!
            There are 59 more of you
            who are itching to be poets.

          41. De Jackson

            You Wanna Do What?

            Who are itching to be poets?
            We: the brave, the strong, the true.
            We’re the pen souls, don’t you know it,
            who are itching to be poets.
            We’ve got gumption, and we’ll grow it,
            even though dollars are few.
            Who are itching to be poets?
            We: the brave, the strong, the true.

          42. Walt Wojtanik

            OF SERVICE AND DUTY

            We: the brave, the strong, the true
            serve with distinction and honor.
            All in the cause of the red, white and blue,
            we: the brave, the strong, the true.
            Armed with the charge of protecting you,
            even if it makes us goners.
            We: the brave, the strong, the true
            serve with distinction and honor!

          43. De Jackson

            Duty Calls

            Serve with distinction and honor,
            whatever life calls you to do.
            Don’t settle, or squibble, or squander –
            serve with distinction and honor.
            There’s much in this good life to ponder
            when you’re satisfied just being YOU.
            Serve with distinction and honor,
            whatever life calls you to do.

          44. Walt Wojtanik

            THE CALL OF DUTY

            Whatever life calls you to do,
            it then becomes your life’s calling.
            You will do the things required of you,
            whatever life calls you to do.
            You’ll devote your energy anew,
            and follow through without failing.
            Whatever life calls you to do,
            it then becomes your life’s calling.

          45. De Jackson

            Call of the Wild

            It then becomes your life’s calling,
            this desire to dance, poem, create.
            When words from your pen are falling,
            it then becomes your life’s calling.
            There’s no use in stopping or stalling
            when you’ve got these word pictures to paint.
            It then becomes your life’s calling,
            this desire to dance, poem, create.

          46. Walt Wojtanik

            DANCE, POEM, CREATE, PRAY

            This desire to dance, poem, create –
            It is a part of who we are.
            A chance to lift, to elevate,
            this desire to dance, poem, create.
            It is this expression we celebrate,
            It’s our chance to raise the bar!
            This desire to dance, poem, create –
            It is a part of who we are.

          47. De Jackson

            Dances with Words

            It’s just part of who we are,
            this need for shedding phrase.
            Neither mark, nor stain, nor star,
            it’s just part of who we are.
            Though it might not take us far
            (at its best, it pays in praise),
            it’s just part of who we are,
            this need for shedding phrase.

          48. Walt Wojtanik

            POETS HAVE CERTAIN “URGES”

            this need for shedding phrase
            is a phase we’ve come to rely upon.
            It seems to be the latest craze.
            this need for shredding phrase.
            when words mesmerize and eyes glaze
            over and the urge to rhyme has won,
            this need for shedding phrase
            is a phase we’ve come to rely upon.

          49. De Jackson

            Urgings, Purgings

            It’s a phase we’ve come to rely upon,
            a carpe diem of sorts.
            That tried and true tirade: Write On
            is a phrase we’ve come to rely upon
            when hope is tired and muse has gone
            off to bed, or to clean its shorts.
            It’s a phrase we’ve come to rely upon,
            a carpe diem of sorts.

          50. Walt Wojtanik

            SURGINGS, ENCOURAGINGS

            It’s a carpe diem of sorts,
            a chance to soar with the eagles.
            Running with words as your cohorts,
            a carpe diem of sorts.
            Seize the day or seize your shorts,
            or howl at the moon like beagles,
            It’s a carpe diem of sorts,
            a chance to soar with the eagles

          51. De Jackson

            Fly Away Home

            It’s a chance to soar with the eagles
            (or swim with the fishes.)
            When writing rather regal,
            it’s a chance to soar with the eagles.
            Then words get faint and feeble,
            and the ocean steals your wishes.
            It’s a chance to soar with the eagles,
            or swim with the fishes.

          52. Walt Wojtanik

            BRASI’S DEEP SLEEP

            You should swim with the fishes,
            but never should you fall asleep.
            no matter how the lake swishes,
            you should swim with the fishes.
            Forget what Luca Brasi’s wish is,
            that kind of sleep is too deep.
            You should swim with the fishes,
            but never should you fall asleep.

          53. De Jackson

            In Deep

            Never should you fall asleep
            without the smudge of my lips on your brow.
            A shepherd’s job is counting sheep,
            but never should you fall asleep
            before I’ve at least grazed your cheek.
            (Tomorrow’s coming, but we’re here now.)
            Never should you fall asleep
            without the smudge of my lips on your brow.

          54. Walt Wojtanik

            SWEET SLEEP

            Without the smudge of my lips on your brow,
            all your dreams will be less than sweet.
            You may drift to a night of peace, but how
            without the smudge of my lips on your brow?
            So let me me hold you close for now,
            and offer soft kisses that repeat.
            Without the smudge of my lips on your brow,
            all your dreams will be less than sweet.

          55. De Jackson

            < this

            All your dreams will be this dark sky.
            If your heart won’t = itself complete,
            all your dreams will be <sweet.
            But here's a + : there's no defeat
            in the logarithm of your eyes.
            All your dreams will be this dark sky.

          56. De Jackson

            Whooops. Silly me. Tried to use symbols. Here it is, in words:

            Less Than This

            All your dreams will be less than sweet,
            and greater than this dark sky.
            If your heart won’t = itself complete,
            all your dreams will be <sweet.
            But here's a + : there's no defeat
            in the logarithm of your eyes.
            All your dreams will be less than sweet,
            and greater than this dark sky.

          57. Walt Wojtanik

            INCREDIBLE LIGHTNESS OF SPIRIT

            …And greater than this dark sky
            Is the lightness of your spirit.
            I see its brilliance in your eyes,
            it is greater than this dark sky.
            Like a curious child you ask me why
            and I tell you the truth as I hear it,
            One thing greater than this dark sky,
            is the lightness of your spirit.

          58. De Jackson

            Captured Shine

            Is the lightness of your spirit
            something I can capture in a bottle?
            I just want to remain near it,
            this lightness of your spirit.
            Want the whole wide world to hear it –
            it’s like fireflies shone full throttle.
            Is the lightness of your spirit
            something I can capture in a bottle?

          59. Walt Wojtanik

            A JUG OF WINE AND THOU

            Something I can capture in a bottle,
            but surely, I could use something bigger.
            Even if you loved me just a little,
            It’s something I can capture in a bottle.
            So, should I have to finally settle
            For shot glass full or a jigger,
            Your love I can capture in a bottle,
            but surely, I could use something bigger.

          60. De Jackson

            Whining and Dining

            Surely, I could use something bigger
            than this tiny box of chocolates you’ve given.
            Last night I cried myself a whole river,
            ’cause surely I could use something bigger.
            Darlin’ don’t you love me? Just a sliver?
            How ’bout a half pound, tied in satin ribbon?
            Surely, I could use something bigger
            than this tiny box of chocolates you’ve given.

          61. Walt Wojtanik

            RHYME, FORREST, RHYME

            This tiny box of chocolates that I’ve given,
            it holds the secret of life.
            Like Momma said while she was living’
            with this tiny box of chocolates that I’ve given
            you’ll never know what you’re getting’.
            Long after I made Jenny my wife,
            this tiny box of chocolates that I’ve given,
            it holds the secret of life.

          62. De Jackson

            The Forest, for the Trees

            It holds the secret of life,
            this dark and leafy place.
            Full of fallings, failings, strife,
            it holds the secret of life.
            When sorrow cuts you like a knife,
            allow my heart to be home base.
            It holds the secrets of life,
            this dark and leafy place.

          63. Walt Wojtanik

            HIDDEN HIDEAWAY

            this dark and leafy place,
            a place where seduction meets bliss.
            where in the shadows I still see your face
            in this dark and leafy place.
            a memory no time can erase,
            fueled by the passion of your kiss.
            this dark and leafy place,
            a place where seduction meets bliss.

          64. De Jackson

            Married, with a Tryst

            A place where seduction meets bliss:
            at the corner of you and me.
            There’s no finer plot twist than this:
            the place where seduction meets bliss.
            Won’t you lean in, for a kiss?
            (The kids are sleeping, finally.)
            A place where seduction meets bliss:
            at the corner of you and me.

          65. Walt Wojtanik

            PROCEED WITH CAUTION

            At the corner of you and me,
            they have posted a “traffic” sign.
            Neon yellow, so clear to see
            at the corner of you and me.
            “GO SLOW” it says, a heartened plea,
            and that suits us both just fine!
            For at the corner of you and me,
            they have posted a caution sign.

          66. De Jackson

            Caution Tape

            They have posted a caution sign
            right outside my heart.
            A simple drape would have done just fine,
            but they have posted a caution sign
            and a new mix tape of songs designed
            to break you and me apart.
            They have posted a caution sign
            right outside my heart.

          67. Walt Wojtanik

            WITHIN, WITHOUT

            Right outside my heart,
            there in a small clearing
            there stands a man with a push cart
            right outside my heart,
            selling love potions by the quart.
            His accent is endearing.
            Right outside my heart
            there in a small clearing.

          68. De Jackson

            Clear Eyes. Full Heart. Can’t Lose.

            There in a small clearing
            from the fog you left behind,
            I can breathe again, I’m swearing.
            There is a small clearing
            All this confusion I’ve been bearing
            is about to leave my mind,
            here in this small clearing
            from the fog you left behind.

          69. Walter J Wojtanik

            MUDDLED IN MISTY MEMORY

            From the fog you left behind
            I’ll never clear you from my head.
            You have been my everlasting find,
            from the fog you left behind.
            Two heart so true, yet unrefined
            from now until we’re long dead.
            From the fog you left behind
            I’ll never clear you from my head.

          70. De Jackson

            My Name is Mud

            I’ll never clear you from my head,
            that’s one thing that’s for sure.
            My lost heart is full of dread –
            I’ll never clear you from my head.
            Might as well go back to bed.
            I’m deeply broken, but still yours.
            I’ll never clear you from my head,
            that’s one thing that’s for sure.

          71. Walter J Wojtanik

            THE BEAUTY OF MUD

            That’s one thing that’s for sure,
            your beauty hides in every pore,
            and my desire for you is pure,
            that’s one thing that’s for sure.
            It’s a malady I never hope to cure,
            I carry you deep within my core.
            That’s one thing that’s for sure,
            your beauty hides in every pore.

          72. De Jackson

            Below the Surface

            Your beauty hides in every pore
            (but true beauty is more than skin deep).
            You’re fair of face, the stuff of lore –
            your beauty hides in every pore.
            But inside you’re hiding something more,
            a secret I can’t keep.
            Your beauty hides in every pore,
            but true beauty is more than skin deep.

          73. Walter J Wojtanik

            INTO THE DEPTHS OF SOUL

            True beauty is more than skin deep.
            it reaches past your heart to you soul.
            It is there inside you that you keep
            true beauty. It is more than skin deep.
            Your actions that serve others will leap
            off the page and will become your goal.
            True beauty is more than skin deep.
            it reaches past your heart to you soul.

          74. De Jackson

            Insane Stain (in the Membrane)

            It reaches past your heart to your soul,
            this smoldering of silent stain.
            It takes over, gains all control;
            it reaches past your heart to your soul.
            Your heart becomes a lump of coal –
            all to lose, nothing to gain.
            It reaches past your heart to your soul,
            this smoldering of silent stain.

          75. Walter J Wojtanik

            FROM EMBER’S GLOW

            This smoldering of silent stain
            leaves a mark from our fervent fire.
            It always returns again and again,
            this smoldering of silent stain.
            It burns away our private pain,
            joins us in impassioned desire.
            This smoldering of silent stain
            leaves a mark from our fervent fire

          76. De Jackson

            Spark

            It leaves a mark from our fervent fire,
            this last ember of you and me.
            It’s all that’s left of our desire,
            but it leaves a mark from our fervent fire,
            a glow to flow through muck and mire,
            a place to shine for all to see.
            It leaves a mark from our fervent fire,
            this last ember of you and me.

          77. Walter J Wojtanik

            DYING PYRES OF LOVE

            this last ember of you and me
            smolders with a haunting glow
            showing how things used to be,
            this last ember of you and me.
            we can’t deny the fire that we
            fueled in hopes that it would grow,
            this last ember of you and me
            smolders with a haunting glow.

          78. De Jackson

            Last Sky

            It smolders with a haunting glow,
            this one last sky that’s ours.
            Full of longing, loss and hope,
            it smolders with a haunting glow.
            We’re down here holding breaths, below
            a mask of shattered stars.
            It smolders with a haunting glow,
            this one last sky that’s ours.

          79. Walter J Wojtanik

            A LIFE OF NIGHTS

            This one last sky that’s ours,
            It belongs to our lifetime of nights.
            Guiding us through the early hours,
            this one last sky that’s ours.
            It is of this love that devours,
            as endless as the stars in our sights.
            This one last sky that’s ours,
            It belongs to our lifetime of nights.

          80. De Jackson

            Nightfall

            It belongs to our lifetime of nights,
            this wishing star that shines.
            It’s sparkled long and taken flight;
            it belongs to our lifetime of nights.
            Some will claim it, put up a fight –
            but this spark, here, is mine.
            It belongs to our lifetime of nights,
            this wishing star that shines.

          81. Walter J Wojtanik

            FORGIVENESS SHINES

            This wishing star that shines
            hopes you find it in you to forgive.
            For he holds you in his heart and mind.

            This wishing star that shines
            is the second star he pines
            for. For as long as he will live,

            this wishing “star” that shines
            hopes you find it in you to forgive.

          82. De Jackson

            Forgive-nest

            Hope you find it in you to forgive
            these small forgettings of my addled mind.
            I’ll build a small straw house where we can live,
            if you can find it in you to forgive
            the tiny somethings I’ve made nothing riv
            -ers, streams of conscious so unkind.
            Sure hope you find it in you to forgive
            these small forgetting of my addled mind.

          83. Walter J Wojtanik

            WHEN HE FORGETS

            These small forgettings of my addled mind,
            do not taint me as a lesser soul.
            In this dementia I’ve come to find
            these small forgettings of my addled mind.
            So, if you see me, please be kind
            I no longer feel that I’m in control.
            These small forgettings of my addled mind,
            do not taint me as a lesser soul.

          84. De Jackson

            Forget-Me-Nots

            Do not taint me as a lesser soul,
            or dismiss me to the sky.
            I’ll gladly take a lesser role,
            but do not taint me as a lesser soul.
            When I’m with you, I’ve lost all control
            (and all decorum. Wonder why?)
            Do not taint me as a lesser soul,
            or dismiss me to the sky.

          85. Walter J Wojtanik

            TRUST LOVE

            Do not dismiss me to the sky
            nor commit me to the dirt too soon.
            Shed no tears; do not cry,
            do not dismiss me to the sky.
            Just trust in love and don’t ask why
            and our hearts will be in tune.
            Do not dismiss me to the sky
            nor commit me to the dirt too soon.

          86. De Jackson

            I’m Feeling Better. I Think I’ll Go For a Walk.

            Don’t commit me to the dirt too soon,
            as you “Bring out your dead!”
            I really am feeling much more in tune –
            don’t commit me to the dirt too soon.
            Perhaps come back in May, or June.
            For now, watch me spring out of bed.
            Don’t commit me to the dirt too soon,
            as you “Bring out your dead!”

          87. Walter J Wojtanik

            …AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

            “Bring out your dead!” he cried
            as his cart trudged through the muck.
            He assumed the man had died,
            “Bring out your dead!” he cried.
            That he was not yet dead was beside
            the point. Frankly, he didn’t give a buck.
            “Bring out your dead!” he cried
            as his cart trudged through the muck.

          88. De Jackson

            Bring Out Your Dread

            As his cart trudged through the muck,
            he collected bones, and teeth, and song.
            Most had been done on their luck,
            and as his cart thronged though the muck,
            he’d take what he could, a nip and tuck.
            {Most voices didn’t carry long.}
            As his cart trudged through the muck,
            he collected bones and teeth, and song.

          89. Walter J Wojtanik

            GATHER YE WHAT YE WILL

            He collected bones and teeth, and songs
            a strange array for a hobbyist!
            The songs were sweet, the bones were long,
            he collected bones and teeth, and songs.
            To say that he preyed on the dumb isn’t wrong,
            for he went to D.C. as a lobbyist!
            He collected bones and teeth, and songs
            a strange array for a hobbyist!

          90. De Jackson

            Gone to Collections

            A strange array for a hobbyist,
            these clowns, and gowns and upside-down
            jars – they’re the things he’s got on his list,
            a strange array for a hobbyist.
            The IRS says he owes hand over fist,
            for he’s got the most lucrative stuff around.
            A strange array for a hobbyist,
            all clowns and gowns and upside-down.

          91. Walter J Wojtanik

            #OSCARTOOGOLD

            All clowns in gowns and upside-down
            monkeys in funeral clothes,
            on the red carpet they can be found,
            all clowns in gowns and upside-down
            monkeys. Political clap-trap is the sound
            with the “elite” looking down their nose
            at clowns in gowns and upside-down
            monkeys in funeral clothes,

          92. De Jackson

            Why Are You All Still Hanging Around?

            Monkeys in funeral clothes
            just ape the things they hear.
            They’re otherwise indisposed,
            these monkeys in funeral clothes.
            And with that, our case is closed.
            Guess we’ll see you all next year!
            Monkeys in funeral clothes
            just ape the things they hear.

          93. Walter J Wojtanik

            MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DOO

            Only ape the things you hear,
            but never ape the village mime!
            The things he “says’ are rather queer,
            only ape the things you hear.
            His vulgar gestures, the way he’ll leer,
            do not make for a pleasant time!
            Only ape the things you hear,
            but never ape the village mime!

          94. De Jackson

            Hands Down

            Never ape the village mime!
            He’s hardly saying a word.
            He’ll never say it all in time!
            No, never ape the village mime!
            Choose someone who can speak and sign,
            without the facepaint, and the birds.
            Never ape the village mime!
            He’s hardly saying a word.

          95. Walter J Wojtanik

            RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP

            These days he’s hardly saying a word,
            he’s gone silent, and still, and deep.
            Not a thought or word gets heard,
            these days he’s hardly saying a word,
            But the sounds he’s making are absurd,
            I wish he would just go to sleep.
            These days he’s hardly saying a word,
            he’s gone silent, and still, and deep.

            **Apology at Prompt 341, De.

          96. De Jackson

            When the 3-Dimentional World Seeps In

            He’s gone silent, and still, and deep,
            and she’s missed him, but she’s been quiet, too.
            She’s got chaos and crazy to keep,
            (both gone silent, and still, and deep);
            things to nurture, and things to weep.
            How she’s longing for some lake-ache blue.
            He’s gone silent, and still, and deep,
            and she’s missed him, but she’s been quiet, too.

          97. Walter J Wojtanik

            REQUITED AND REUNITED

            She’s missed him, but she’s been quiet, too.
            His words left to languish in her heart.
            He has also longed for her presence, true,
            she’s missed him, but she’s been quiet, too.
            What’s needed is a bench for two
            to dangle toes in the placid lake, a start!
            She’s missed him, but she’s been quiet, too.
            His words left to languish in her heart.

          98. De Jackson

            Dear Joan

            His words left to languish in her heart,
            she crumples the well-worn letter.
            It’s a stilted, broken start,
            with his words left to languish in her heart,
            but since she and that paper did part…
            she’s already feeling a little bit better.
            His words left to languish in her heart,
            she crumples the well-worn letter.

          99. Walter J Wojtanik

            UNFORGETTABLE

            She crumples the well-worn letter,
            his words were emblazoned on her soul.
            She had become love’s debtor,
            she crumples the well-worn letter.
            Her love was free, her heart unfettered,
            and she was fully in control.
            She crumples the well-worn letter,
            his words were emblazoned on her soul.

          100. De Jackson

            BurningWords

            His words were emblazoned on her soul:
            hello, I love you, goodbye.
            She stabs her heart with word-shaped holes,
            his words emblazoned on her soul.
            She knows it’s over, come to a close,
            even though he never told her why.
            His words were emblazoned on her soul:
            hello, I love you, goodbye.

          101. Walter J Wojtanik

            SWEET SORROW

            Hello, I love you! Goodbye?
            There is such sweet sorrow in our parting.
            You need to leave, but you won’t say why.
            Hello? I love you! Goodbye.
            Then dry your eyes, do not cry,
            It seems like we were just starting.
            Hello, I love you! Goodbye?
            There is such sweet sorrow in our parting.

  30. Connie Peters

    Bitterness

    The broken friendship left an empty place.
    She tried to show delight on her sad face.
    Decades of shared adventures fell like rain
    And magnified into a dreadful pain.
    She’s old and gray and angry with the past.
    The bitter valley somehow seemed to last.
    The layers of despair piled up like snow.
    The stain of resentment will always show.
    She wandered from the life that had been kissed
    with knowledge of connections she had missed.

  31. Anthony94

    The Promise of Pratt & Lambert Half-Pints

    I first used stain on sanded wood
    slats pried from the orange crates
    we carried home dangling from
    our handle bars, banging fenders.

    Pried open the tiny cans with a
    paint opener and stirred carefully,
    inhaling the rich odors of transformation.
    found the right one inch brush.

    Walnut was the favorite, its dark
    lines ripe with promise and easy
    to cover the Elmer’s glue that
    anchored each wooden clothespin

    onto the thin wood boards. I
    predrilled holes in each end for
    screws into the walls of mudrooms
    and kept several made up to give

    to cousins, neighbors. Long after
    I was back to sanding, my fingers
    still held the rich brown dribbled
    from the brush, proved I was an artist.

  32. Sarah Metzler

    Driving Into the Fickle Moon

    Driving into
    The stain
    Of dark indigo
    There was nowhere else
    To look
    But at her
    Her body aglow with the light
    Of a mother’s love
    Shining on me
    Like a flashlight
    From a curious traveler
    With a halo
    She would later
    Set aside

    Above the trees
    She teased
    Her silhouette
    Behind a silken screen
    She wrapped herself
    In an azure
    Feather boa
    Then gone she was
    Swallowed
    Like a perfect
    Necco wafer
    Stuck in the throat
    Of a weathered sky
    The sky
    A map
    Without a compass
    Folding this way
    Then that way

    Across the road
    She reappeared
    In a cloud
    Of powder puff pink
    Maybe I will not get to work
    Today
    Maybe this morning
    Is the whole story
    Maybe there is nothing else
    To say
    My hands are glowing
    With a fuchsia light

  33. Walt Wojtanik

    FRAGILE MOSAIC

    Hued and tinted shards
    hard edges honed and dulled,
    culled from colorful bottles,
    or blown artistry, shattered
    and hammered to smithereens.
    Pressed silica as art medium,
    the tedium of re-assemblage
    plays roughly on finger tips
    and the eyes. It’s no surprise
    the rainbow is refracted.
    Otherwise, a plain window
    would just be a pane!

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