There’s a man in that animal’s face –

or perhaps

it’s a devil of some kind,

given the horns.

Or maybe a creature from another world.

Or a fictional character –

perhaps it’s Beauty’s beast who is lost

and needs to return home.

Or maybe,

there really is a man in there,

trapped in that animal,

all burly and rough and gorgeous and graceful.

So much power

and not enough legs to slow things down.

But somehow,

he does stop himself,

both the animal and the man,

and glides like a Thoroughbred who just won the Triple Crown.

That blue shimmer makes him seem

like a super hero –

strong and dashing and ready to save damsels.

But if those azul eyes could talk,

they would probably ask for water instead.

He must be thirsty by now.

INFJ Rules

I want to be outside and also inside,
not close
but not completely cut off –
not crowded
but still a little contact.

I want silence –
need it, crave it, bask in it.
but not too much.
I don’t always want to hear
my own thoughts.
Sometimes I need a break
from the world,
sometimes I need a break
from myself.

Some communication is okay,
if you’re on my list.
I’m sure the list is a little unfair,
but it’s not my fault –
it’s just how my brain works.

I want you to reach out even if I don’t.
And I want conversation –
The kind that turns on the light
in my mind and makes me smile
even when I am alone.

Lastly (kind of) – I need it to be okay if I act
like a ghost sometimes.
I hope it’s okay.
It’s just one of my personality quirks.
It’s really not you – it’s me.


I almost feel euphoric
in my solace, my quiet retreat –
closing the doors
to the outside and letting it all pass by
as I sit in the melody of silence
and let my mind run amuck.
I’m over all of the forced conversations
and keeping the shark
afloat because if I don’t keep things going
then the whole thing might sink.
I don’t care anymore
because it’s not how I work anyway.
I want to just pull back
and stay quiet and let the wheat stalk
glean itself.
Took a long time to realize that
I’m not lonely. Who knew?
The void isn’t there if I don’t make it be there.
I’m not lost or broken
or desperate for a warm body.
I’m like a cat and I’m okay with that.
My tabby is pretty cool
when he’s not leaving love scars
on my forearms.
I’m finally content with my own company.
Took long enough.


Full steam ahead –

without flinching or thinking,

without looking up to see the damage

I might do.

I got red in my eyes

and a scent in my nostrils that burns

like sulphur.

Remember that story

in the Bible

about the cities that God judged?

Fire and brimstone.

I wonder if they smelled it coming?

Wonder if I smell like that –

judgement, damnation, a reckoning of sorts.

I’m all in a rage and can’t shake it –

gargantuan beast who tramples the ground

and doesn’t care.

Maybe I don’t want to stop,

or shake loose the crimson in my skin.

Maybe I want to be done turning

the other cheek

and let someone else carry the scar for once.

painting by Eric Tippeconnic


Where were you during the storm?

When the wind shook the sky

and bullied the trees, and that old windmill,

just bare bones,

took the brunt without a word.

And then the darkness bellowed and taunted the light

like a petulant tyrant.

And the rain battered our skin as though

we were made of paper.

Did you see the clouds puff up,

all arrogant and full of fake machismo?

But the sun smirked and pushed the squall aside

like it was nothing and I felt okay again.


photo courtesy of Tiffany Simmons


Those wildflowers along the highway,

mixes of yellow and light pink,

and the Indian blankets I fell in love with

as a child.

I know most of them are weeds

pretending to be flowers,

but I try not to think about that too much.

I’m sure there’s a lesson

in there somewhere about a wolf in sheep’s clothing,

but sometimes I don’t think the weeds

are like that.

Maybe they’re trying to be deceitful;

maybe they just want

to be accepted,

to be looked at and smiled at

and not thought of as only a weed.

They can’t help it –

it’s what they are, and they have a job to do,

but it doesn’t mean they still

can’t have a little moment of happy

before they play the role of executioner.

Irish Beach

Imagine what’s over that hill –

so green that it looks like grass out of a fairy tale.

Only Snow White or Cinderella

or that Frozen princess could live in a place like that.

I can see miles of sand and the mixed blues

of sea water just beyond

the swaying grass.

Suddenly I’m thinking

of every movie

I’ve ever seen that involves a beach scene.

Is that where Harry Potter

landed when Doby died and every person

watching that scene cried

at least a little.

Free Doby sacrificed his life so gallantly,

while still wearing that sad little tunic.

But he was free when he died,

and he was on a beach. Maybe even that beach.

The sky is almost like the water – mixed shades of dark and light blue,

with thick white clouds.

As the waves crash against the sand,

I imagine clouds in the water too.

I bet I could be free there, just like Doby.

But I would be better dressed.


I wish I could follow the sand,

moving down the beach

like snow in an avalanche,

moving at 100mph.

Or seems that way anyway,

as the wind slaps

my hair back in my face

while I watch the sand.

I wish I could follow,

just go with the wind

and not care where I’m going

and not care that I’ve left.

But instead,




so the sand

doesn’t get in my eyes,

leaving tracks

that look

like I actually went




I originally wrote this for one of my grad poetry classes, almost exactly three years ago. How time flies – regardless of what you’re doing. 


I’m a displaced person for the second time in five months. And not just from one house, but two. My own trail of tears as I carried boxes from his place. His place – never really ours. He will miss my hugs, he says. Wants to still be friends. Sure – perfectly natural. We decided to avoid the eventual mess of marriage by being buddies. Totally normal. But maybe this is what I get for thinking that one life was greener and fairer than the other. The whole” 80/20 Rule” – although I still can’t decide if I left the 80 for the 20 or vice versa. Or maybe there never was an 80.

“The Displaced Person.”

I remember the story from class, but I doubt Flannery had break-ups in mind when she wrote it. Although there was a kind of break-up that happened. Mostly it was just sadness and death in the end. I didn’t die, and I’m barely sad now. I just want a place to put my books and then not move them again for a while. And I want my movies back.


Eight years and I still can’t remember

the exact day that it happened.

Sometimes I think that makes me a bad person,

a bad mother,

that I can’t remember the day I lost you.

But I remember the season,

and the month – that’s something, right?

And I still mourn you,

like you were ever actually here,

and I actually held you.

I mourn you twice a year actually –

your early departure and your scheduled ETA.

I think it’s better

that I don’t remember

because I can still pretend that I had you

with me longer than I really did.

But I know that day is quickly approaching –

beware the ides of March,

or somewhere around there.

Or maybe it was sooner?

But how much does it matter since you’re not here?

Regardless of the day,

I still lost you and I am still waiting for eternity

to see you again.

At least I named you –

I’m not a completely terrible mother, right?

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