We am

The tongues of angels clatter against
ten thousand stolen beginnings
fluttering syllables like wings gone
wild, until letters float like
feathers through
my dreams. Reminding sleep you
nestle next to me.

We end our day in silent
reverie, like spoons of primal
clay merged in a single am, filled
with shards of marmalade and jam.

Brenda Warren 2015


The prompt:

Love poems are a staple of the poetry scene. It’s pretty hard to be a poet and not write a few – or a dozen – or maybe six books’ worth. But because so many love poems have been written, there are lots of clichés. Fill your poems with robins and hearts and flowers, and you’ll sound more like a greeting card than a bard. So today, I challenge you to write a “loveless” love poem. Don’t use the word love! And avoid the flowers and rainbows.

I also used words from a previous Sunday Whirl.


Crazy Angel

Chair with the Wings of a Vulture ~ Salvador Dali

Chair with the Wings of a Vulture ~ Salvador Dali


Orbs in rows
shine hallelujahs
as the crazy angel
spreads vulture wings
above strait jacket spoons
that nail her to the wall.

Her restricted thoughts radiate
like spokes in a tireless wheel,
a beautiful nimbus flowing
beneath the cross of Jesus.

A nautilus shell
spins circles beneath stories,
and the crazy angel wonders
why she never bleeds.

Brenda Warren 2014

Thank you to Salvador Dali, Tess Kincaid, and The Mag for ekphrastic inspiration.

The Angel in the Box

The angel in the box lies in wait.

Sound’s empty waves obscure the face of her moon,
as turbulence flutters through her feathers
in a space simple and compact
like Earth’s confined clay.

She imagines the snatches of humanity
who imprisoned her, immobile and apart,
locked inside this simple angel trap.

Oh, how she longs for music,
like a junkie with a fix,
a mix of minor-stringed No Crows, some harp,
and a little folk in her range to help cover time.

The angel prays that the blundering pair who trapped her here
will lift the lid before her wings lose their luster
and there is no need for her balm.

Brenda Warren 2013

Visit The Sunday Whirl

Visit The Sunday Whirl

Judging the Martyr

Pre-treated in her subjective dimension
where good deeds ring like bell towers,
the stains on her spirit
mark avenues of change
used to remind us
of the price she pays
from her own pocket
to lift the rest of the world up
from its misery of circumstance.

Fishing for praise,
she says it takes time to answer
all of the pleas for magic that poverty
propels from hungry mouths.

(It’s almost like she’s an angel.)

she says,
it’s not a big deal;
she doesn’t mind doing it.

Brenda Warren 2013


Visit the Sunday Whirl

Note: I didn’t use intrigue.

Whirl Twofer

buried and unbalanced

wings to carry me
wings to dry
wetness from my baby’s eyes
let me soothe him
dust his soul
bless him, bruised him
keep him whole

he deserves a first in life
screamed into a slap
a gasping instant
under all

a snare,
a breath,
an angel’s call

blue baby
dead baby
ride on wings
of dreams and prayers,
murmurings of might have beens,
buried and unbalanced

Brenda Warren 2013

The drumming thrum of wings drove him mad so

His snare pulled her wings asunder
and he stared in her glistening eyes.
He knew he was blessed by the blue faerie’s
gaze, through the way she unbalanced his mind.

He snapped his hands cupped
and shut her in,
whispering silk
through his thumbs.

Faeries always succumb
to whispering silk
through thumbs.

they always succumb.

Beat a drum.

they always succumb.

Brenda Warren 2013

Note:  Not all poems are autobiographical.  The first poem uses all of the wordle words; the second uses some of them.  Both came quickly. They read well aloud.

Visit The Sunday Whirl.


Words are just passing air

Falling through the looking glass,
your new life flashes backward.

Make it last.

Uncertain where tomorrow goes,
look to yesterday—
where petals open angels,
soldiers become toys,
and gown clad women
dangle like ornaments
anchored high
in the trees
by their hair.
Your mother smiles on a star.
Endings come from beginnings.

Make it last.

Black swans dance upon
the beaches of tomorrow
and every girl’s lips look puckered.

Brenda Warren 2012

Process Notes. I watched the video, “Thirty Three” by Smashing Pumpkins several times, then recorded a list of images(side-by-side…video/word document), as I watched the video. From those images, this piece arose. Make it last is italicized as it comes from the song. The title of my piece is a paraphrasing of the first line of the song—
Speak to me in a language I can hear.

A Trifecta Writing Challenge prompted this piece. Please check them out to read other entries.

gauzy angel

He wraps a gauze cocoon round her toes
calves, knees, thighs, hips, belly, and breasts—
covering her upper lip, silencing her brittle tongue.

Next, a layer of ground parrot feathers
shed in captivity on the floor of the
the bird room in their pet-drenched home.

After feathers, bear hair—black moss
pulled from Montana’s tall knowing pines
round and wound with gauze
covering her rough trunk.

A few austere barnacles,
scraping her memory’s walls,
burnish a flinty blur.

She’s grateful for the softness of gauze
cocooning her chalky skin
with feathers and bear hair,
ameliorating her spirit,
arousing the ever-present potential of wings.

Brenda Warren 2012

Visit The Sunday Whirl.

raining angels

Your secret touch eases
the clatter in my mind,
feeding crocuses
down to the flowering sound
of stillness—
where your hands open windows
that color the marrow of our grief
as rain swings in with its massive hips,
misting our faces
in tracks of tears
like drops down glass.

Perhaps your touch awakens angels
who swim through open windows,
riding in on the rain.

Brenda Warren 2012

Visit The Sunday Whirl.

Falling Angel

You plaster your dreads with the skin of serpents
enmeshing a Medusa, compelling society
to look the other way. A seditious struggle
pierces flesh with iron and ink,
rendering the sacred lost
beneath its pledge.
A stigma.
A falling away.

Wingless limbs falter while
sporadic sparks of truth
flint off your soul’s tufted feathers
and fall like tread from your feet
through this nether world
appled in sin’s black veil.

Process Notes:
“Dreads” are dreadlocks. When I was in Ohio we dreaded my daughter Julie’s hair. People treated her differently. One woman actually pulled her children closer to her in a protective effort as we passed. It was disconcerting. Now I think Jules is an amazing young woman, not a falling angel, but obviously this poem contains a bit of her dreadlocked experience.

Visit The Sunday Whirl for more poems constructed around the wordle words below. I used all of the words except hinder. I had it in there as “hindering the sacred lost” – rendering made more sense.