Caw! Caw! Caw!

Like a crow without wings,
I fall toward syllables
exploring the dark
searching for light
recording caws climbing up from cracks in my soul.

Brenda Warren 2016

The first line of this poem is adapted from a line in Linda Hogan’s poem “Skin.” Her line is “like crows without wings.” For our final poem of April, Elizabeth suggested that we write a piece to anchor our work this month.

A big thank you to Elizabeth, whose suggestions have driven and inspired a large number of my poems this month. She created the badge below to honor our achievement… 30 poems in 30 days! Caw! Caw! Caw!



Remembering Helena

I remember throwing my first punch into Robbie Johnson’s third grade nose.
Blood and tears.
He started it.

I remember marching around the block.
Scott led the way in one of mom’s shag wigs,
a yellow polka dot bikini, and high heels.
We used sticks for scepters.

I remember when Davey Jones broke up with my Barbie after she cut her hair.
She knew things would never be the same and spent the rest of her days hiding in the garage.

I remember Trixie Belden books under the covers
with flashlights becoming a cross round my neck
to finger while reading Salem’s Lot.

I remember Hash jeans with a crescent moon on one back pocket,
and bells so big they could ring.

I remember Cheryl M, mean girl. Snake.

I remember loving Kirk until his fists hit my face
while his friends did bong hits in the other room
ignoring my pleas.

That’s what I get for punching Robbie Johnson.

Brenda Warren 2016

Notes: The prompt at NaPoWriMo today suggested we write a based on things we remember. An excerpt from a memoir piece, “I Remember,” by Joe Brainard was provided there as an example. I liked the excerpt and tried to follow suit.

Broken Water

He puttered away.

Her tide of tears like broken water fell,
salting the zinnias
while he stood behind her
talking to air.

Backpedaling through the corners of his muttering mouth,
he changed his story,
sputtering through earlier accusations
of trespassing,
of scaring the neighbor,
of police call threats.

She began to unravel.
Letting him know she’d look into it.
Letting him know she’d talk to the village police herself.
Letting him know she’d verify his bullshit story with the neighbor.
Her shoulders heaved.

Upstairs, her husband slept
as she defended his character
to this tottering fool who stopped by
to spread his own form of bitter
ill will.

His red golf cart puttered toward her
already tensing form.

She relished releasing earth’s scent
when she bedded her zinnias, dreaming
of their blooms.

Brenda Warren 2016

Notes: The NaPoWriMo prompt asks that we tell a story backwards, and Elizabeth provided a word list that got me started on this piece. A bit more prosy than poetic, each stanza of this piece represents a moment in time, not each line, as the NaPo prompt suggested.

This story happened to me two days ago, when I was planting some flowers at the base of a large boulder in our front yard. I was feeling extremely homesick for Montana, and know that gardening will deepen my connection with our place here in Ohio. My homesickness was abating when this little old man stopped to brighten my day. We have been here for almost a year, and we have a new neighbor across the field. The little old man backpedaled enough that I know his story is filled with holes. He absolutely did not want us to verify anything with anybody. The last thing I said to him was “Why do we have a target on our backs with you?” He started sputtering. I turned my back with my floodwaters flowing and continued to plant. He left. Such a lovely morning.


She feels like a fragment of who she used to be.

Salty and still,
swollen on the wreckage of her own pathetic life,
she dreams in sirens
wailing against day’s angst.

Nothing ever changes
except what stays the same.

Nail gun in hand,
she hangs another empty shelf,
then proffers her palm
for impaling.

She hopes that pain dissuades the anguish
wailing will not cease.

Brenda Warren 2016


Six for Wednesday / The Sunday Whirl


Wild Purple Violets

The quarter-sized leaves
of these wild purple violets pulse green
beneath morning’s tangle of death.

Battered brown oak leaves veil
mangled fur and flesh.

A hint of cottontail peeks
above back legs, oddly stretched out
like when they propelled its living hop,
shining up against the green,
before last night’s violence
made this baby bunny scream.

Brenda Warren 2016

Notes: The annihilated bunny was near the bird feeder this morning. It’s April, so it became a poem. Poor little critter. If it screamed, I didn’t hear it, but this was certainly a proper occasion.


He Laughs

Scars that you can’t see
get their ache all up in me
reverberating memory
of he who claims to be
a prophet.

His tools of madness
climb my sin.
Up and in.
Unholy visions
smoke and wine
hills too steep for
light to shine.

Everything we don’t do now
we’re going to do later,
he laughs.

I hide fire
close beneath my naked

Scars that you can’t see
get their ache all up in me
reverberating memory
of he who claims to be
a prophet.


Brenda Warren 2016


Visit The Sunday Whirl


Spring Etheree, Make it a Double

across branches
embellishing trees.
In Pandora’s gardens
blossoms revel in release,
flouncing layer after layer
of petal pushing vivacity.
Birds gather fallen foliage for nests.
Squirrels give chase, bouncing across branches.
And rain? Maybe love is in the rain.
Incessant showers in April
encourage roots to feed Earth’s
aphrodisiac blooms.
Compelling trees to
green their branches,
hiding spots
for spring’s

Brenda Warren 2016


Can you see the bee?                                            ~  BWarren 2016

This poem is a double etheree written for the NaPoWriMo prompt for today, and for Elizabeth’s prompt. It’s Earth Day. Love your mother.

An etheree consists of 10 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables. A double etheree consists of 20 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 syllables.





Notes: I downloaded a magnetic poetry app that allows me to create my own words and use my own pics. It’s one way I can coax my absent muse into playing along. Other than my name, I only used words included in the app. I did change tenses.