August will come, and you will go.

for Thyra Louise

I force craving through my throat’s long passage
and place it in the vault of my chest
where nimble, it twirls
like wind dancing channels through prairie grass seas
echoing all we used to be.

Soon, each yearning will rise through my limbs
forcing me outside,
forcing me to swirl trains of thought
into the same stars you see.

We can meet to paint the night
somewhere over Indiana, or Michigan
dissipating my desire to hear you laugh
or touch your skin,
rapturing among constellations.

Fierce, you will glance back at me through Luna’s full face
hinting at the secrets her shadowed halls hold.

Brenda Warren 2013


Visit The Sunday Whirl


for Thyra Louise

Silence sings improbable songs.
Dancing through yesterday’s news
it imprints thunder between my ears.

A bomb propels BBs and nails.
as traumatic amputations,
other places’ normal nightmares,
navigate American soil.

The thunder intensifies
and my heart rate quickens
when I think of you in DC
signing patriotic songs on the steps
of the Lincoln Memorial.

A mantra for your safe return
covers the battlefields, theaters,
museums, and government facilities
that fill your itinerary between feasts
at high profile restaurants.

Be safe.
Have fun.
Come home.

All the while my hands flutter in the air
letting you know I love you,
and love means giving you wings.

Brenda Warren 2013


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.

endless thread

Spirit is
in waiting,
striving toward the other side of
that coming moment.
You eat air that does not yet exist,
a backward vomit of sorts,
stirring up the acids stress magically infuses
into knots that eat your stomach
right before you meet him to tell him

Spirit tramples his face.
You pull your eyes
away from his grief
to regenerate resolve,
then move in
then move out
of a hollow yearning hug.

Refusing to look back,
you walk into your spirit’s remains,
as the frayed knotted mesh
that connected you together
irrevocably changing
everything tomorrow holds,
leaving a red thread
between you—

a tenuous but endless connection.

Brenda Warren 2012

NaPoWriMo 19
Process notes:
My daughter broke up with her boyfriend this evening. I knew it was happening, and wrote this to work through it myself. LoL She handled it with maturity. Her grace and poise in difficult situations astound me.

This was intended to be a response to the We Write Poems prompt to “define what spirit means.”  My endless thread took its own route.

“An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.”  – Chinese Proverb

listening underwater

Our voices disappear, behind
turned heads, within
darkened rooms, under
running water, and among
the hum of crowds, until
your world becomes
a scratchy out of tune radio station
where you fill in the blanks
and pretend to sing along
smiling a nod.

At We Write Poems this week, a prompt of mine set the stage. Poets watched documentaries and wrote a poem from their viewing. Visit We Write Poems for a closer look at the prompt and other takes on it.

Process Notes:
My daughter TL is deaf. On Netflix TL and I watched the movie, See What I’m Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary. Wow. TL performs with a group called EOS, Expressions of Silence. A group of hard of hearing and deaf children with a brilliant reputation, they perform songs in sign language at many venues throughout the school year. TL’s performances bring people to tears, she becomes the music, the words…she gives them life. My daughter is a star! 🙂

The movie follows four deaf adults through pieces of their lives as both deaf people, and as deaf entertainers. For us, it was a highly engaging movie. One of the four adults is TL Forsberg, a rock star from Toronto. She has beautiful speech, like my TL. Their beautiful speech and engaging personalities cause many people to think that they hear far more than they do. This piece came from the descriptions both TLs provide about communication.

I like the piece, but it makes me feel sad. “Our voices” and “your world” sets up tension. I almost pulled the “our” out of the piece, but there really are “two worlds” so I left it in the poem. How about all of those prepositions at the end of lines? To me, it makes the list prominent.

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.