Something Sacred Fills Our Sway

For Len

Your touch ripples me liquid
Swelling tides within
As whispers of miracles
Drop like pins
Summoning angels
Dancing a trance

Water moves through our low spots
Surging sighs
That ebb our flow
Until shores reemerge
Spent with foam
And soft sweet sleep
Evens our tide

Brenda Warren 2017


Visit The Sunday Whirl


Sex Poem

Brief me erotic with endless grace.
Feed my roots.
Fill me until empty threads itself gone.

We speak of starlings
dancing murmurations
moving through us
rare and rendered sacred.

Beneath Pandora’s shadowed sky
we claim witness.
Brief me erotic
plant your secrets ‘tween my thighs.

Brenda Warren 2016


Visit The Sunday Whirl

Morning’s Mirror

Morning sighs its arrival
breathing sleep aside.
Denying her charms
you slumber,
holy in repose.

Silent, I watch
as the dog curls into your side
nuzzling the last of night
beside you.

Shifting my weight, I rise,
turning to your form’s reflection,
barely perceptible in dawn’s
tenuous light.

I stand here watching
until color chimes its way
through the blinds,
urging your departure,
while I imprint morning’s mirror
in my mind.

Brenda Warren 2015


Today’s prompt asks for an aubade, a form that explores lovers’ morning farewells.

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.



There’s a crack in everything
that’s how the light gets in
– Leonard Cohen

Soil me.

Let your magic hair tickle secrets from my thighs,
as you sing our ragged future through my soul.
There’s no turning back (you fine furry fuck).

You are my man. My sorcerer.
Majestic, you move through the crack in my everything.
That’s how your light gets in.
That’s how you help me breathe.

Your fingers move through the spaces of my bones
as you shoulder loose the gloaming of another well-lived day.

You are it for me, my LaLa.
If only you were home tonight,
connecting constellations
for the monkey on my back,
balancing a lotus act
along its crooked track.

Brenda Warren 2014


Written for Elizabeth’s Day 2 prompt.


Bird Woman Falls is Weeping


Bird Woman Falls ~ Glacier National Park ~ June 28, 2013 ~ Photo by Brenda Warren

Bird Woman Falls is Weeping

As light bends shadowed lanes across glacial faces,
my insignificance tumbles thoughts of self
through the hollow bones of birds
that hop in puddles through highway tunnels.

Unstable walls of ice edge stretches of the road,
forcing fallen streams of winter across our drive.

Beyond the vast and wild expanse,
Bird Woman Falls weeps showers of diamonds
over stone cliffs into a small steep meadow,
a glittering emerald island,
greened by melting glaciers
that carve a hanging valley
to feed Bird Woman’s flow.

The highway pivots mountains left and right,
a dizzying dazzling retreat for cars Going to the Sun
to bear witness to Bird Woman’s weeping
on this road that bridges canyons to heaven.

Brenda Warren 2013


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Keeping Ahead of Jimmie

for Thyra Louise

Most parents of deaf kids applaud conversation.
Your parents, grandparents, and family friends
paid for your silence with quarters in cars.
Soon, we collected bills,
and fanned them in front of your eyes.
After a specified amount of time,
we would rain dollars down on you
paying for quiet on long distance road trips,
where your incessant observations never ended.

Every now and then,
you’d ask us to slow down,
so your invisible friend Jimmie
could keep up with the car.


No wonder we left our family.
We both needed Len,
who told me once with jewels in his eyes,
“Everything children say is fascinating.”
He laughed, then added,
“How can anyone not listen?”

Years of your imagination were lost
in silent cars,
running down roads I don’t remember,
trying hard to keep ahead of Jimmie.

Brenda Warren 2013


The prompt for this piece came from the Trifecta Challenge. Click on the tricycle to visit their site, and read some more pieces that used the word “rain” in a rather odd fashion. I will also share this at open link night at dVerse Poets Pub. Thanks for being there.

This is my third piece for April. Thyra likes it. I am grateful for her life, her wisdom, and her kindness.  Len is the light in my eyes; he inspires me to listen harder.

Lake Vermilion Vacation

for Len

Missing link
No honeymoon
No one-on-one
Sans kid, sans time

Marrow to marrow
Bow to stern
Under stars, under moon

You navigate me
I navigate you
Loons pitch calls across the bay
Ululating in the wake of our sway

Sink me tender
Make me swoon
Administer triage
Swathe life’s wounds

Missing link connected
We climb on deck
Railed toward home
Anchored in each other’s port

Brenda Warren 2012

Visit The Sunday Whirl.

Visiting Heaven

When I arrive in Virginia, I sing
to the graves of my ancestors
resting in the grasses of Northside Park.
Over hedges, children race in gunnysacks
and sail in swings. The monkeys are gone,
but their castle remains. Its stone moat
protects us from the poo monkey ghosts fling,
screeching their protests sideways through time.

Later, when I stand on 8th Avenue
facing Grandma’s house,
my spirit jumps from my flesh
and spreads itself into the creaks and corners
of that old house whose arms
embrace the early days of me.
Steam pours heat into Virginia’s houses,
filling up wood pores in floors and walls
with its deep wet scent, wafting wisps of
ancient we.

Spirit filled with steam,
I turn toward Wake ‘em Up Bay.

Forsaken through years of dis-connect,
my aging body weeps as it enters the flow
of Lake Vermilion, rejoicing its reunion
with the waters of its womb. A desire to
float into eternity toys with my senses.

I picture heaven as a sauna in the sky
on the shores of an ethereal Vermilion
shimmering early days of me.

In heaven, Grandpa tosses cups
of the lake, dipped from a barrel,
and we watch water
dance its sizzle
on the pearly stove’s rocks.

Everybody’s here.

Len laughs and his eyes mimic the glimmer
in Grandpa’s eyes, two peas in a pod,
hyucking it up in the sauna.

Dave Arnott asks if we’re sure it isn’t hell;
it’s so damn hot in here.

Grandpa chuckles and throws
more water on the rocks.

The waters of Vermillion lap my back
and pull me back to the present moment,
rocking on the surface of my youth,
imagining heaven as a sauna
where everyone I love
jokes while Grandpa throws water on the rocks.

It holds my childhood’s blood,
this water,
this receptacle of story and time.

I pull myself out onto the ladder of the boat
and up into the rest of my life.

Vermilion drips down my skin ‘til it dries.


Brenda Warren 2012

Process Notes:
I wrote this piece for a Trifecta challenge. We were prompted to write 333-3333 words on any theme, in any style. Not counting its title, this piece is precisely 333 words long.

A week from today, I will be on a houseboat on Lake Vermilion with my husband, Len. We will have the boat for four nights. It’s been over 30 years since I’ve been swimming in Lake Vermilion. We’ll visit Virginia before we head to the lake. I have not been there for 17 years. This poem is my imagining of my upcoming trip with my husband. Lucky we!

We are going to a folk music festival close to the Mississippi River following our week on the water. Life is good. Yup.

Notes on heaven: David Arnott is a good friend who has passed already. Len is still living, but I can’t imagine that it would really be heaven if he were not there with me.