Can someone please turn off the color in this room?

A Play in One Act

dog sofa


(Title question posed in dog’s voice from off-stage.
Dog enters room, jumps on couch)

Oh yeah…
Word is
I can’t see color.
I’m a dog.
A dog with a human.
A human with a blog.

She fashions herself literary
like that shiny bitten apple
flashing its light
enticing your collective serpent soul
(don’t tell me that apple wasn’t a plant
to root spending’s glorious growth).

You humans are messed up.
Give me a field filled with dog poo
and gopher holes any day.

And turn off your colors.
Distracters destroy
the living breathing world
right under your nose.

(Dog jumps off couch
and exits, nose to carpet,
no looking back.)

Brenda Warren 2014

Thank you to Tess at The Mag for the ekphrastic inspiration for this piece.




am learning to speak myself into being
make myself known
uncover the soul suckers
locked in padded corridors
sealed beneath my skin
serpents that course my life
with stories

stories of what everyone else thinks

am learning to speak myself into being
no compass
no guide
picking locks to release
dragons that conquer thinking

casting them out with words

am learning to speak myself into being
before padded corridors
become the norm

Brenda Warren 2014

Notes: The first (repeated) line is from Elizabeth Crawford Katch’s poem, Here, But For Me, There Be Dragons.  This piece came quickly (thank goodness…April grows long), and I chose not to add punctuation.  It is screaming revision at me, but time runs short.  Next month.  🙂  Although, I may make changes as I revisit it.

I observed the presentation of snakes and other amazing reptiles in a 7th grade science classroom today.  The man with the snakes mentioned a type of python called a soul sucker.  The phrase had to enter my piece today.  Soul sucker.

This is for Elizabeth’s Day 25 prompt.




April 23

The cotoneaster is alive with birds
encouraging its leaves to open like wings.
A rush of wind inspires their raucous exodus.

Craving spring’s sweet sap,
the bush releases a silent sigh
as buds burst green along its arcing branches.

Brenda Warren 2014





Let My Finnish Bones Sweat

finland 1968 george f mobley

Finland 1968 George F Mobley

Nothing matters but the rain
beating glory from balloons
driving our clothes heavy
in sheaths against our cemetery sides.

We came to heal,
we came to mourn,
all in all we came newborn
to the possibilities your deaths open.

Later, saunas will welt it out of us
until we’re left with all we’ve got
a collection of pebbles
and livestock bones
enough for some

strange for others.


Brenda Warren 2014


Thank you Tess, and The Mag, for ekphrastic inspiration.

Villanelle’s Ache

A hidden ache enunciates her sway
as broken bridges sink beneath her gaze.
She gathers words within a public bray,

some purloined bones to read another day.
She mends them into limbs amid the lace.
An open ache enunciates her sway,

it sings out sounds with all she does not say.
She strives to hide the phonemes she’s displaced.
Her stitches filter out the public bray

as mending meaning takes her ache away.
She waltzes secret stories under lace
like water whirling rhythm through her sway.

Embroidering the words her heart betrays,
she craves release from graphemes’ sharp embrace,
and hides again beneath the public bray.

Sometimes her needle stitches up the day,
arranging messy words she can’t displace.
A hidden ache enunciates her sway
and keeps her secrets from the public bray.

Brenda Warren 2014


Visit The Sunday Whirl


Porcelain Memories

Porcelain memories
wrapped in burlap,
trapped beneath a moonlit chant,
lie shoveled-over in limbo
and left for dead.

A deeply wet spring germinates
gaudy paper poppies
that briefly turn their translucent
wrists in the wind,
until seasons dry and snap
their heads, and then start
swearing their secrets in seeds.

Porcelain memories
packaged in poppies
bubble to the surface
of everything
they never claimed to be.


Brenda Warren 2014





Visit The Sunday Whirl

rattle me

shake me up like music
make me wanna drum
palm, heel, fingers, thumbs

rotating rhythms,
thrumming and taut,
stretched like a string
over all that is naught

drumming the dirt,
palming my thighs,
palpating tender
under cloudy skies

rattle me
roll me
make me pay a toll
give me back the life we lived
before you chose to blow

shake me up like music,
make me wanna drum
palm, heel, fingers, thumbs

Brenda Warren 2014

For Elizabeth’s Day 9.




The details are in diamonds
flowing from your eyes,
zip-stripped fumes from a life exhumed
to the depths of its apple seed soul.

Barriers peel back in pleats
and bleating lambs go to school.
Suspended serpents swing from trees
then hiss to secure your dis ease.

Burning through layers of living
powerful waterfalls force
glistening diamonds through your eyes
that slowly de-story your lies.

Brenda Warren 2014


Visit The Sunday Whirl.

Visit The Sunday Whirl.










And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.    ~ Anais Nin

What if the only thing nurtured is violence?
What blossoms then?

Dead ends with shotgun shells?
Petals pulsating pools of blood?
A tired earth that constantly quakes?
Flakes over cities that never see snow?

Where did all the flowers go?

Brenda Warren 2014


For Day 4, Elizabeth asked us to write a poem in a form we seldom use.  For me? Questions.  In its entirety.  I like it.  But I didn’t like it until the last line landed.  Sometimes that last line evades you for awhile.   The Anais Nin quote floated through a Facebook post and became fodder for this piece.