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.


Our Plastic Soul

A continually conjured death storm
churns through ocean gyres,
where albatross gather trinkets of death
then carry them back to their family nest.
Human neglect slides down necks.
Bottle caps, lighters, tubing, and knobs.
Fishing twine: human dreck.

Stomachs impacted with plastic trash
albatross struggle and moan.
Disregard sighs as bird spirits die beneath
consumption’s immortal disguise.

Ashes to ashes and plastic to bone
back bending vertebrae of the unknown
filaments flutter as feathers unfurl
through garbage that haunts
and ever uncurls
reflecting our plastic soul.


Brenda Warren 2014

Visit The Sunday Whirl

Visit The Sunday Whirl

Three Crows

There’s a bird that nests inside you
Sleeping underneath your skin.
~ Adam Duritz

A scarce rain slapped the side of the hospital in sheets.
He sat, rooted in a chair near a window.

His spirit eroded as he imagined
cells from his loins scraped from his
girlfriend’s womb like vegetation detached at its roots.
His first child killed, like one sorry weed.

Afterward, she had no strength for talking.
Three crows perched on her Jeep’s
roll bar and she shooed them
away, as the last of his
mercy wove a path into oncoming darkness
then shattered glass against her heart.

Those three crows came up each time
his fist revisited her face.

“You shooed off


our family


sure as you shooed off


them crows.”

She took it until her own soul shattered,

then left him, trying to piece together
the jagged shards of everything she once was.

Brenda Warren 2013

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.

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.

Aurora Borealis

Sparks of stardust etch stories
across gossamer bones of sky.
Glistening slits of templed tales
click like sticks unfold
tangling into serpents
threads of light
intertwining ancient ideas
casting them to writhe for us
upon the skies of now.


Several words in my poem are from this week’s wordle at The Sunday Whirl.  Visit the whirl to read more poems that integrate the same words.

we all go sometime

smoke and mirrors don’t change anything
slanted reflections always portray partial truths
cutting flesh a raven screams
and I want to go into hiding
somewhere with no windows
where my carriage spreads beneath trees
nourishing roots
and is not preserved in
satin-lined extravagance
under cemetery granite
where lights fade slowly
for the sleeping dead

bury me deep
beneath a cold night sky
while friends drum the Earth
that forms my body into place

with the children build a cairn
of smooth Montana river stones
and with each balanced rock
place a memory
a little me
a little you
a little we
a little them
laugh and talk about me
like I’m not even there

spill a little whiskey for my soul

In good health, I wrote this piece and have tweaked at it for a few days to post at One Shot Wednesday.  Thank you for reading at undercaws.