Sunday, April 5, 2020

Wisteria, Weeds, and Roses

Photography by Anatasiya Dobrovolskaya click HERE for Website

They bloom in the order of seasons
Wisteria, Weeds, and Roses
Drawing all the small things
Bees, Lizards, and Sparrows
Spread the fields with fire and fruit

Wisteria are bees' vintage
 weaving  the woods' communion

Weeds are quick, thorough--
Mythic and common song

Rose leans close, 
stroking the house, blocking the gate

If the question is Should you run?
A better one is
To where?

Sharing with Poets and Storytellers United and thanks to The Sunday Muse for the photo inspiration (above). As a side note, just as I'm becoming overwhelmed with the bad-but-nebulous-everything-is-wrong, Arthur steps in to remind me that there are those close at hand (puppies with nervous stomachs, for instance) who need my focus. It doesn't help, necessarily...but after cleaning up the floor and making sure he's okay (seriously, does anyone know how to settle border collie stomachs?), I'm at least confident that specific areas are sanitized. And that one minor emergency has passed. (Do foxes have nervous stomachs? They kind of levitate like collies.) I know we're all waiting for the world to return. 

Additional side note:  We don't have sheep. We have a tiny backyard in suburban the closest we come are squirrels, stray cats, and the occasional large moth. The chihuahuas next door. (Arthur would love to start his own chihuahua circus. If I ever write a children's book...)

Hope this finds everyone well and sorted and safe. 

-- Chrissa

Saturday, April 4, 2020

All the Tears Run Downhill

We've spent nights in the nests of the birds
Palms to the rough weave, searching for softness,
Feeling for feathers.
We've climbed down from mountains, oaks
With the cold dawn stretching our shadows
Back into night.
Now, alone, we walk the grasses to edges;
Come in the moonlight to the water, any water
Pull feather to bone.
We will drink the sorrow of the kingdom
Like wine, like blood, through pinion straws,
Through joy's uplift.

We will lighten their dreams.
We will sip away their anchors.
We will sigh them upward.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Empty Covers

Yesterday, I chewed the covers for the novel
For my imaginary novel like crackers
While watching the moths splash against the siding
I can almost see through the worn paper, coverless,
Pages foxed soft, denned on the shelf

I won't write it at the coffee shop that has closed,
Ideas flashing clear as the windows, dark as unlaid ink.

When I started to watch for the new edges
Curling against the emptiness where the future
Always fails, its jetpacks and fins sharp in the dark,
They weren't words anymore. They were seeds,
Maybe...dustcloths, boxes.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Spray Paint and Yolene

It's not easy to keep the spacing: walls aren't 12 x 12
And I don't have stencils the way we did in high school,
Letters big enough to see from the back of the stands
Before they burst.
There were stencils for those square sheets, all the ways
To remember that Corpus vacation, the band concert
And my own college graduation, partying with Delia.
The kids have those.
It doesn't matter if these letters are straight, if there
Are...what are they? Sticks? Tags? Fat letters,
Nicknames. I just want to say, I've bought the paint;
I am Still Yolene.

So there was a big, somewhat bitter, stir-crazy discussion at home about references and the fact I'd picked the name "Yavinia"...and, yes, it's just stream of consciousness and no, not everyone was addicted to tempera paint at various points in their childhood, or scrapbooking (a standard page is 12 x 12) and I settled on Yolene because that's probably her name anyway and it probably looks better on the wall and I was watching videos of brittle stars and people walking through their neighborhoods and dead malls while composing this because that's how I get through the day (and reading outside and playing a version of tennis ball soccer with our border collie that usually involves someone getting their toes sliced because Arthur doesn't really like to let the ball go unless he believes you're really going to walk away) *deep breath* and this should have been the poem because this is what stream-of-consciousness actually is, thank you very much; but it's not. 

This is the additional material that you should've (and probably have) definitely skipped. 

Hope you're doing well, that your writer brain is not coated in gauze and panic, and that we can all just pretend the preceding never happened

-- Chrissa

Saturday, March 21, 2020


Maybe the bill knows that the only way to keep going is to rise
Past the flame in as many pieces as there are memories

Let's just be honest...I can't read three lines in the books I was thinking I'd finally finish, lately. I keep my phone charged and read article after article...but no books. I watch movies and find myself saddened by all the ways people, once upon a time, could trust being together. Going to eat.  Finishing a semester. Going to a mall. We haven't left the house in days and with the contradictory, shifting information and I feel like I'm sailing past the wreckage of the year, waiting for one of the flaming chunks to finally set our boat on fire. And so...I'm taking this blog on hiatus. 

Thank you for your comments over the past years and I wish each and every one of you continued health and inspiration.

-- Chrissa

Monday, March 16, 2020

One Thing

Merlin's snores...mostly he sleeps at the foot of the bed
Or on the tile,
Somewhere his vvrrrumble makes an ambient texture
The way dust glitters a sunbeam
Or a distant lawnmower eases the emptiness.
This afternoon we're sharing a beanbag
The same one I shared a year ago with his sister
Who passed away last summer.
I am grateful for every sound he makes,
His insistent existence.

This is very off-the-cuff, but I'm sharing it to go with the Name One Thing That Makes You Grateful prompt shared by our Houston Poet Laureate, who suggested a prompt (at right) as she announced that she, too, might have COVID-19.  Sharing here because I'd rather concentrate, for now, on gratitude. And puppies. 

-- Chrissa

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Apple in a Catsuit

She licks the licorice from her brush
An old powder brush, her grandmother's,
Sticky now, and spiky, sugar talons
Mimicking spilled oil.
Every apple starts out good--her words--
But we make them evil as we can.
Apple in a catsuit
Won't be a hero, every one a supervillain
Tempting everyone poisonous.
Every book and every philosophy
Begin here.
Night skies--lick---dirt---lick--deep water.
She produces the inevitable knife.
I think she's going to offer me a slice;
I twist my hands and forearms tight.
Could be a new fad, instead of caramel.
If you're going to joke about dark timelines
Might as well have your apples match.
But she never does.
Tells me I've already eaten it
Already written it
Already choked.

We watch the apple for a little while
And go back to our phones.

Supervillain apples...might add that to the ridiculous adventure story that I'm using to distract myself right now. Also researching snails because I need to differentiate mine from any other giant dangerous snails that might exist in other fantasy universes. Because the world needs more giant snails. Bwa ha ha ha ha!

Hope this finds you well. Can't tell everyone how thankful I am for The Sunday Muse and Poets and Storytellers United as we hunker down for the next few weeks. Thank you. 

-- Chrissa