Poetry Post-A-Thon: The Fireweed Dies

Originally published in the now defunct journal 13 Chairs

The Fireweed Dies

a slow death in the dwindling Alaskan sun

surrounded by its closest family of weeds.

As the daylight shortens

and the August rain comes

the fireweed, once admired for its magenta beauty,

its petals that set the roadside aglow,

fades, growing white with age.

 

Its fragile cotton  sways in the wind

until the rains come and its days are labored

as life draws to a close.

In its last breath, the final puff leaves its lips

and takes flight with a gust of wind,

before falling to the earth and decay,

leaving its skeletal stalks to survive

the fall solstice only to be buried in the winter snow.

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Poetry Post-A-Thon: The Fragments You Carry

Originally published in the now defunct 13 Chairs journal.

The Fragments You Carry

One box always carried

is a cardboard Ziploc container.

It could be the quart size,

the gallon size,

or even the sandwich size.

The contents,

the plastic sealable bags,

are not the important things.

 

With each military ordered move—

seven in fifteen years between

five states and one foreign country—

it is among the last boxes

removed from the house or apartment

that was your base,

where you celebrated Christmas,

away from your family,

for two or three years.

 

The bags are mostly gone.

They were used to secure the toiletries,

the mint toothpaste,

the lavender scented deodorant,

the red and green toothbrushes,

and the overpriced pumpkin spice body lotion

you wouldn’t dare throw away,

even if it is only one-third full,

 

in the suitcase that sits by itself

by the door with the cleaning supplies and oils

the movers would not take,

the glass cleaner you used yesterday,

the full bottle of rubbing alcohol,

and the half used olive oil

you will need to discard

in the overfilled trash can at the curb,

after you close the door one final time.

 

The cardboard box remains to pick up

the rest of your things:

the permanent markers,

the bottle of Tylenol,

the loose change,

the card from a friend wishing you a safe journey,

the receipt from your favorite pho restaurant

and the cheap vodka you had last night.

 

The final physical fragments of your former home

that will be emptied and thrown away

first at your next destination.

Throwback Thursday: Crabapples

This one also was featured in 13Chairs‘ first issue.  Check out their spring issue free and see this poem and more.

Crabapples

You resisted Eve’s temptation

for far too long, passing

by the crabapple tree each day

with the stroller filled with the overtired,

but never passed out, fussy toddler.

 

The fruit hangs low,

red with a bit of yellow,

that by the day is eclipsed

by the growing red.

 

Each day you long for a bite

Because you think

it will remind you of Sky Queen,

the blue bike with the cloud seat

and the white straw basket

with three plastic daisies

of pink, blue and purple.
In the Midwest of your memory,

the crabapple tree reclines like a “y”

in your babysitter’s backyard.

In the summer, you rode

Sky Queen through the grass and crushed apples,

making your own sour applesauce on the ground.

 

For hours you gazed at the “y” and

from its branches, took the green apples and

threw them at the neighbor’s kid.

From its leaves, you sought shelter

from the July heat before you took bites

from the dirty apples

until your babysitter’s old finger shook

and sentenced you inside.

 

In Alaska, as the clouds spill low around the mountains,

the September morning frosts over the tree,

yet the fruit still stands,

inviting you to take it in like an old friend

who shows up at your doorstep unexpected.

So, you invite it in without looking,

and just as the child once did,

your now mature hands reach

over the stranger’s fence to pluck the reddest fruit.

 

Taking a bite, you are looking at the “y” again

and Sky Queen is your ride,

but now the fruit is bitter,

not tart like you once remembered.

You hear the buzzing

and see the yellow jackets

as they sting your feet

and suddenly, you notice the present world,

and you toss the bitter apple into the street drain,

and bid the uninvited guest to go away.

 

 

Throwback Thursday: A Fireweed Dies

This poem was published in 13Chairs first issue.  Check out this poem and more at 13chairs.  Free eBook issue.

 

The Fireweed Dies

a slow death in the dwindling Alaskan sun

surrounded by its closest family of weeds.

As the daylight shortens

and the August rain comes

the fireweed, once admired for its magenta beauty,

its petals that set the roadside aglow,

fades, growing white with age.

 

Its fragile cotton  sways in the wind

until the rains come and its days are labored

as life draws to a close.

In its last breath, the final puff leaves its lips

and takes flight with a gust of wind,

before falling to the earth and decay,

leaving its skeletal stalks to survive

the fall solstice only to be buried in the winter snow.

Throwback Thursday: The Fragments You Carry

This poem was published in 13chairs’ first issue. Enjoy!

 

The Fragments You Carry

One box always carried

is a cardboard Ziploc container.

It could be the quart size,

the gallon size,

or even the sandwich size.

The contents,

the plastic sealable bags,

are not the important things.

 

With each military ordered move—

seven in fifteen years between

five states and one foreign country—

it is among the last boxes

removed from the house or apartment

that was your base,

where you celebrated Christmas,

away from your family,

for two or three years.

 

The bags are mostly gone.

They were used to secure the toiletries,

the mint toothpaste,

the lavender scented deodorant,

the red and green toothbrushes,

and the overpriced pumpkin spice body lotion

you wouldn’t dare throw away,

even if it is only one-third full,

 

in the suitcase that sits by itself

by the door with the cleaning supplies and oils

the movers would not take,

the glass cleaner you used yesterday,

the full bottle of rubbing alcohol,

and the half used olive oil

you will need to discard

in the overfilled trash can at the curb,

after you close the door one final time.

 

The cardboard box remains to pick up

the rest of your things:

the permanent markers,

the bottle of Tylenol,

the loose change,

the card from a friend wishing you a safe journey,

the receipt from your favorite pho restaurant

and the cheap vodka you had last night.

 

The final physical fragments of your former home

that will be emptied and thrown away

first at your next destination.

 

 

Publishing opportunity: 13Chairs Literary Journal

Copied from Alaska Women Speak’s Facebook page:

**While this publication is located in Anchorage, Alaska, they are not a regional journal, and they are accepting writers from everywhere for publication. **

13 Chairs Literary Journal, a new literary journal publishing short stories and poetry from new and emerging authors, seeks submissions and volunteers. They are currently composing their flagship issue, straight out of JBER, AK. To learn more, and to submit, email info@13chairs.com or visit 13chairs.com.

Happy 2016 – A look back; A look forward

Happy New Year, Everyone!

First of all, I want to thank you so much for being a part of my blog and supporting my work.  I am humbled to have my blog supporters.  Your support encourages me. It means a lot to me.  Thank you so much!

I also want to extend a great big thanks to all the editors and journals that I have worked with over the past year (and into 2016, as well!).   I have had 23 acceptances this year.  17 of which were published in 2015; 6 will be published in 2016.

If you have a moment, please check out these great editors and their journals.

Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your year.  I hope to share more writing with everyone in 2016!
Creative Nonfiction:
“The Important Things” – Alaska Women Speak – Winter 2015 issue

Fiction:
How to Eat a Bagel – 50-word Stories – Sept 15, 2015

Poetry:
“Femininity” – Cirque – Summer 2015
“Sitting in the Bathroom” – Yellow Chair Review – July 2015
“A Happy Poem” – Eunoia Review – August 2015
“Willow Rebuilds” “Spectators” “Fire Angels” – Alaska Women Speak– Fall 2015
“Dark Clouds Descend Low” – Three Line Poetry – Issue 33 – Sept 2015
“Da!” – Peeking Cat Poetry – 8th issue – Oct 2015
“Three times my baby’s stroller passes by” – Eunoia Review – Oct 2015
“Babushka’s Samovar”, “If I May Speak”, and “High Tea and Fancy Things” – Alaska Women Speak – Winter 2015 Issue
“Joanna’s Child” – Cirque – Winter Solstice issue 2015.
“Away with the Bitterness!” – Peeking Cat Poetry – 9th Issue – Dec 2015
“Away with the Bitterness!” – Alaska Shorts (49 Writers blog) – December 22, 2015
“The Reflex”, “The Drop Off”, and “Crossed Eyes” – Eskimo Pie – Feb 2016
“The Fragments You Carry”, “The Fireweed Dies”, and “Crabapples” – 13 Chairs – Spring 2016