Magpie those diamonds
glint in dark eyes
silent, like strangers
stroking my thighs.

Smooth secret steel
sheds feathers like martyrs,
crazy black crispy
childhood lies.

Sharpening shivers,
Trickster wisps by,
prisoner of laughter,
mimics my cry.

Beneath the tree
upon my back
into the sky
I stare.

Your feathers shine
iridescent circles,
shadows that fan
the biting flames I hide.

Brenda Warren 2014


Notes:  I started this piece yesterday, and was not satisfied.  Three times, while walking the dogs, a magpie yelled at me.  The magpie worked its way into this piece.  The piece started with “you” rather than “I” but confusion between the narrator and magpie ensued.  Thus, the narrator is an “I.”

Visit The Sunday Whirl

Visit The Sunday Whirl



my name falls broken from your lips
hidden beneath sheets of speech
decoding my existence

is it me you hate?
or is it the reflection of yourself
you sense in my life
like unwritten poems
vital but stripped bare
where gnats
swim circles in goblets
and red wine sighs its ripples
down your throat

turning away you mutter about
irony, signs, and metaphors
while I tread wine
with the gnats
in your glass

Brenda Warren 2014



Visit The Sunday Whirl

Rockford’s Files

James Garner ate potatoes and apples.
He’s dead now.

Connections shatter and form,
as Rockford’s files
flutter through television’s memoried past.

Model tobacco scratches my back.
Oranges are not the only fruit.

The smell of potatoes frying
lights me on fire,
as apples delicious
drip juices suspicious
across Jim Rockford’s smile.

Brenda Warren 2014

Visit The Mag

Visit The Mag




Swarming through summer
words without sound
heel toe their way across
needle and stone,
log and bone,
rotating forests
and flushing creatures,
feathered and formidable
out of magic’s cauldron
onto passion’s page.


Fluttering throaty calls
lumber around deadfall
where shadows form a hum
that hangs fear between ears
storming insistence
spreading a buzz
while words without sound
heel toe retreat
striving to thrive in silence.

Brenda Warren 2014

Visit The Sunday Whirl

Visit The Sunday Whirl


six fortune seekers
drilled holes in eternity
so much chimney smoke

bottom of the well
the remnants of spent wishes
glint like winking coins

this unruly night
tosses limbs across windows
shifting dream’s deep pit

splits in consciousness
de ja vu like worry stones
polished sheets of sleep

dawn drinks mist’s sweetness
dissipating its wet cloak
cliffs begin to sing

flapping breast and wing
mourning dove whistles a beat
exhaling daybreak

grackles like habits
assemble in seed-strewn grass
breakfast at first light

puppy stretches breath
across porcelain mornings
padding through the dew

puppy teeth rip flesh
unintended injuries
little welts of love


Brenda Warren 2014


Berkeley P. Beagle



Visit The Sunday Whirl


Visions sizzle this dark night orange
stomping power
stomping pain
stomping heaving sobs of rain.

In this place where I’ve landed
language is muffled
and sleep jumps numbers like sheep.

Back up.

Where am I?
Single in repose.

Up -rightness averts its existence
with eyes that won’t say hello.

Nothing can fix anything 
that can’t learn
to let it be.

Brenda Warren 2014



Visit The Sunday Whirl

Whispered Wisdom

Tear off the mask,
your face is glorious!

Stuck a flutter
those eyes north of your smile
seek a need so deep
your faux face mates a dis-
connect squeaked clean in mirrors.

Beneath your vain visage,
pieced together with luminescent
pigeon feed,
a real person dwells.

Fearing laughter’s cracks
you survey your composure
reporting aging’s reproach.

(Some butterflies live less than a month.)

Treat yourself to natural hair color,
schedule a meeting
where your real face sees the world.

Before you crack,
let it be.


Brenda Warren 2014


Visit The Sunday Whirl

Visit The Sunday Whirl

Mourning Cloaks Rising


image by Martin Stranka


After gashing her soul through yesterday’s mirror
her blood spilled in fallow fields
nurturing tomorrow’s sacred grove
whose leaves swirled around her rising form.

Her body settled into the low spaces
placing her life on hold.

Thought dissipated
into a kaleidoscope of mourning cloaks
whose collective fluttering murmured
liniment across a darkened sky,
surprised into night by a flight of butterflies.

Brenda Warren 2014

Note: The Mourning Cloak is a butterfly; it is also Montana’s state insect.

Thank you to Tess at The Mag for the ekphrastic inspiration.


Mourning Cloak image from Wikipedia