Open, Clear.

I keep thinking I’ll reach this spacious place.

Simple, like pancakes.

But no.
Butter drips through blue-berry stacks that
kill the drowsy plains of afternoon with dreams that shatter sheep, baa – baa – baa-ing over faltering fences.

I keep thinking it will get easy -er.
Seek and ye shall find they say.
Knock and the door shall be open.

Nothing clears into a blur of grace
like blueberry pancakes
whoring their way to something else.
Forks ignored.

We are all afraid of each other.

Maybe we should be.

I shiver like a root in the rain

Repentance cannot work alone.
To carry this clarity disparages despair.
Hope is where expectations appear.
Righteousness replaces sin.

If we consider incompleteness a verb
this hasn’t even started yet,
so how will it ever end?

Brenda Warren 2020



For today’s piece, I dove into the Anne Carson Bot on Twitter. The italicized line and “shiver like a root in the rain” are quotes from the Bot’s twitter feed.

out my window

I am Gladys Kravitz
watching a dead girl rise.
Her pungent eyes cast a stench of black syllables
she spits at the street.
Her glances taste like the rotten apples
Lilith rued in the Garden of Eden.
I am not Gladys Kravitz
but I can’t stop looking out my window.
Slithering succotash.
The dead girl stops to vomit then smiles as
she spins a whistle round her finger.
A broken digit of Paradise.
A field of flowers, serpents, and flame.
To the corner she leaps in one bound
like a black tarp in wind.
She’ll soon be meeting Adam,
that heavenly dealer.
Stifle your needles with your head!
Carpe diem.
The needle needles Adam to exorcise her demons.
Together. Apart. We watch the dead girl rise.

Brenda Warren 2020


Written following the Napo Day 5 prompt

pillow wet with night

Rooted under eyelids
lost images of pursuit
fled through bedded gardens
where smiling sycophants fawned a preacher
who locked the gate behind me.
Deadly and benign.

Waiting for a sign
he chuckled
and looked toward his god.
Undignified and holy.
He slammed me down.

My face became a radish.
Its roots sought water through the dirt.

Brenda Warren 2020



my scrawl

Open the fold where my scrawl falls
beneath its shadowed caul
uncontrolled and unopposed.
It covets chaos
stirring currents through my sternum.

It wants to feel your heat.

Brenda Warren 2020



Jesus on 4th Avenue North

Every Friday Jesus walks down 4th Avenue North
carrying plastic bags from IGA.
Sometimes wind spirals his wispy white beard
round the tall staff that measures his stride.

The folds of his long wool coat
move in waves,
like he’s walking on water.
Once in a while, his eyes dance with the sky
and he shouts out,
spilling clouds of syllables
scribbled from his mind.

Brenda Warren 2020


From towering gables to lofty pines
congregated murders capture our collapse,
cawing a cacophony.

Black lustered feathers blink blue
between barren deciduous branches.

They watch us.

And they wait.

Brenda Warren 2020


Fourteen Lines

you misinterpret your existence
sitting amongst your disowned treasures
like the eye of the storm
you never cry without knowing why
you don’t know it’s hard to live
you stop breathing to
keep yourself alive
in this liquid window
that can’t hold anything in
you forget
who you never will be
you misinterpret your existence


This poem came from Fourteen Sad Lines. When I felt blocked, I went to that poem, and reworked it by trying to come up with an opposing piece line by line.


Our love is a nest of twigs
intricately woven
where secrets whisper
in dark spaces and

we giggle

we find each other
in coins on the side of the road