an apple

with poisonous seeds
it carries temptation

a serpent

a slither to hiss
through low hanging branches
writhes round vines
arouses your soul

an apple hangs low

so some stories go

beat a drum

Brenda Warren 2014



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.





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.









The Soul’s Arsonist

Prevaricating bushes lie low,
singeing an edge round his soul.
Apples hold secrets like forests hold trees
deep in the husk of their seeds.

Tracks in the cracks
of his memory’s files—
a mess too complex
to unravel.

Serpents still tempt him
and steal his intention,
splitting his answers
down forks in his tongue.
They snake through branches in bushes
as he douses the branches in gas.

He thinks about playing with matches
and laughs, losing his pale to the glow—
to the flickering trail of lies that writhes
at the edge of his deep apple soul.

Damming its freedom to flow,
oh yeah,
he damns its freedom to flow.

Brenda Warren 2013

Visit The Sunday Whirl

Visit The Sunday Whirl

Note:  The word “class” from the wordle, did not make an appearance in my piece this week.

Slithering Cycles

Python’s sheathing comes undone
leaving a rustling explosion of crust
dancing in the breeze beneath Willow’s
arching limbs.

Into its future, Python shimmers,
charmed by its own mending.

The snake’s waking hunger
side winds stories of fevered piercings
feared by all Small Things.

Teeth to tunnel,
unbearable and paralyzing.
Anguish feeds the serpent
as brittle boned rodents implode under pressure
sending their secrets seething into the belly of the beast.

Chipmunk Wizards chant about renewal and growth
while lining the den’s opening with Python’s shed skin.

Brenda Warren 2012

Visit The Sunday Whirl.

What is the basic primal metaphor?

Is it the spiraling nautilus,
empty with yearning,
beneath my solar plexus?

Is it the fertile serpent
that hisses up from my belly’s shell,
releasing its coiled umbilicus,
tempting and rattling my humanity?

Is it fishing with grandpa
out on the lapping waters of Lake Vermilion,
early, before the stars fade, and the edges
of the sky are barely beginning to blue?

Madam in Eden I’m Adam.
Offering up apples and palindromes.
Opening Pandora’s box.
Wallowing in temptation.
Quivering in its wake.
Slithering sustenance.
I sigh,
then curl inside that spiraling nautilus,
allowing its opalescent walls
to generate my breath
and soothe my solar plexus
while grandpa pulls a long worm
from the apple and threads it on my hook
then sends it bobbing through the waters
of my mostly settled soul.

Brenda Warren 2012

Process Notes:
A big thank you to fellow poet Marianne who provided this link to Watermark: a poet’s notebook yesterday, from which I took the title prompt. The sentence, “Madam in Eden, I’m Adam,” reads the same backwards as frontwards. It is the first palindrome I learned, and it seems to fit. My grandpa’s arrival in this piece brings me great joy. It is day 16 of NaPoWriMo. It astounds me that my river still flows.

Your work and ideas feed my own. Thank you.

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.

woman you

Journeys shift imperceptibly,
dispensing time-released changes
noticed as they build into
an empty nest around me.

Journeys shift drastically,
creating chasms of before and after.
The serpent on your belly
uncoils longing and release.

You wax into a woman,
open and unafraid.
Come sit beside me.
Tell me of a time when you were young.

This is a poem in 55 words, written for my daughter TL as she grows up too quickly. Thank you to G-Man for the inspiration to write a poem in 55 words. Check out other 55 word pieces of flash fiction and poetry at Mr. Knowitall’s Friday Flash 55.

remember to weed

Potential rattles against a holy
fortress stagnant in its sameness.

A substrata of fear
jangles nay saying
voices in your head,
blurring visions of tomorrows,
while potential’s rattle
snakes and shakes
until its sprouts pierce
the illusionary surface of existence
splintering color throughout your world
enticing voices to quietly vanish
into the gloaming of everything that came before.


This piece came from a wordle at The Sunday Whirl.  This week’s wordle was built from three Wallace Stevens poems.

ectopic chimera

pulling me out through my womb
coldness piles itself around
my stony womanhood
scarring life’s channels
closing them off

killing the kernel before it explodes
a warm fertile serpent slowly uncoils
and slides itself from my shivering belly
into the foreign future of tomorrow
a disappearing chimera

This is my piece for Margo Roby’s Tuesday Tryouts. The prompt was to explore something we lost.