Against your angry words
like a worm she writhes,
astonished at the rising of her hard rock secret
set in memory’s amber.

Beneath life’s chirping rays
darkness covers her me place,
where angst rots fecund
and quiet fosters balance.

Rock lifted,
secret exposed.
What’s easy vanishes.
Like a worm she writhes.

She speaks in scattered syllables,
denying any deal
denying any lie.

Stop. Here.

Put back the rock.

Brenda Warren 2015

Note on the title* A leaverite is a rock that you should put back. You should leave ‘er right where you found her. A leaverite. My dad told me about leaverites to discourage childhood’s bulging pebble pockets. My pockets continue to bulge.

Whirl 214

Visit The Sunday Whirl




His teeth reel her in to reveal secrets in the shallows of her tongue.
Tracking his soft-lipped mouth, her fingers sigh;
her mask collapses.

(a woodpecker taps, a blackbird cries)

Radiant and emerging, they feed each other rivers and bones.

Brenda Warren 2015

Visit The Sunday Whirl

Visit The Sunday Whirl


Built upon the wreckage of myself
I am a madwoman
Bleeding secrets like a mouthless doll
Words are blind howls
Mouthed beneath a werewolf moon

Surrender to the tingling burn of scorpion stings
I am a madwoman
Incessantly spinning spells like a branded witch
Ear to the ball
Mouth on fire
Hunted and alone
Words are werewolf howls
Left beneath an empty moon
Sacred and afraid

Built upon the wreckage of myself
I am a madwoman

Annihilating ire
I rise

Brenda Warren 2015

Visit The Sunday Whirl

Visit The Sunday Whirl

Notes: The first line came from ‘Incendiary’ by Chris Cleave. In it, the narrator writes “I am a woman built on the wreckage of myself.” pg 80 – I spent the last two days steeped in that book, witnessing the narrator descend into madness. This is my reading response.

Echoing Hope

Ancient grains of hope, stories survive
within the hollow bones of crows.

Legends splinter, escaping through cracks
as caws collapse against night.

Did you hear that?

Old crows caw history’s quilt, stitching stars to clay
somewhere between marrow and loft
where hearts crawl open
echoing grains of hope.

Brenda Warren 2015


Visit The Sunday Whirl

Riddle Poem

flickering roots potatoes
with eyes fixed to stories
murderous tales told
in color and light
tales that break for product placement

we sit for hours
to cultivate the vegetables
we become

Brenda Warren 2015

The prompt was to write a poem that is a riddle.


My Backyard

Out back
where the garden bench
a wild tangle of roses
spices the air.

Brenda Warren 2015

Day 12, and I’m running out of poetic steam. This picture is from last summer. I’ll miss my Montana roses, but the bench is coming along for the ride.


After a Day of Packing

Packing our belongings,
going through our stuff,
you think we’d overcome the need
to never have enough.

I won’t say we’re hoarders
but as boxes pile high,
we’re both inclined to take a torch
and bid our stuff goodbye.

Brenda Warren 2015

Writing Advice

Write about coffee.
Write about dogs.
Write about murmuring starlings.

Write about money.
Write about love,
just be sure to kill your darlings.

Brenda Warren 2015

If you’ve read Stephen King’s book, On Writing, you understand the importance of killing your darlings.

False Little Smile

Her false little smile disturbs me
it hides her truth from view.
She forgives all the people around her
for transgressions they did not do.

The world inside her head defines
her counterfeit presentation,
leaving the rest of us hoping she seeks
a mental examination.

Brenda Warren 2015