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.


Elephant Ink

You force your needle in my skin imbuing stories told.
Ink leaves behind dark lines of shape a pachyderm to share.
The humming sounds of shooting pain exude Ganesha’s birth.
From steel to flesh an elephant, reflecting Hindu mirth.

Please tell me of your circus tents, unjustified behind
the wonder in your children’s eyes—the bullhooks, chains, and lies.
Prevaricate the jewels you sell in lines that wait for rides.
Embellished cloth protects their eyes, your children’s, from their hides.

The subjugation of their kind, to kill for ivory tusks,
to entertain opposing thumbs, and keep our species dumb.
May circus chains and zoo refrains bring nothing but disgust.

Brenda Warren 2015

Prompt from the NaPo site:
And now, for our optional prompt! Today I challenge you to write a fourteener. Fourteeners can be have any number of lines, but each line should have fourteen syllables. Traditionally, each line consisted of seven iambic feet (i.e., an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, times seven), but non-iambic fourteeners also exist. The fourteener was popular in 16th and 17th century England, where it was particular common in ballads, but it also is the form in which “Casey at the Bat” is written. The form is versatile enough to encompass any subject matter, but as the example of “Casey at the Bat” shows us, it is particularly useful in narrative poetry, due to the long line and the step-like sense of progression created by the iambs.

FYI: I tried to stick to the traditional parameter of seven iambic feet in this piece. Go me!



Twinkle, twinkle little jar
filled with memories and scars
let me throw you to the stars—
primordial shining bards.

Saturated galaxy milk
spin your orbit white,
translucent strands of who we are
thread their way through night.

Blood moon round and red
illuminating sacred,
stars sing while we shed skin
beneath their camera, naked.

Release my sheep from counting,
interrupting bliss.
This interim is hounding me
I want Ohio’s kiss.

Brenda Warren 2015

The prompt was stars.

Leaving Montana

It is not stroking kayaks across Holland’s morning mirror
winter’s lifeblood trailing streams along my arms.
It is not dipping paddles through a gleaming glassy surface,
fishes floundering in a space that disappears.

It is not breaking branches along glacial mountain passes
heightening a sense of something near.
It is not snowmelt mounting, forcing channels through rock canyons
weeping diamonds in a forest of steep fears.

It is not a red winged blackbird admonishing existence
as I wander on the walkway near its nest.
It is not the thrumming wings of pelicans, against an ancient sky
over Buffalo Creek in deep July.

This is dripping salt from my eyes.

Brenda Warren
April 2015


If I make it through a month of writing it will be my sixth year participating in National Poetry Month’s poem a day during April, or NaPoWriMo. Here is the prompt for today:

Today’s prompt is a poem of negation – yes (or maybe, no), I challenge you to write a poem that involves describing something in terms of what it is not, or not like. For example, if you chose a whale as the topic of your poem, you might have lines like “It does not settle down in trees at night, cooing/Nor will it fit in your hand.” Happy writing!

As it is, poems have a mind of their own. While this one speaks of what it’s not, it’s also what it is. Makes sense to me.

I reserve the right to edit these pieces as moments pass. Nothing is every really finished.