Not love, but this

Most often it is not love, but this:
A long spring in a strange place
Watching a distant figure from a window.

Most often it is not love, but this:
A spiral where the spine would be
Promises that smell like August rain
The shadows of trees on calm water.

Copyright Kay Winter



(The flirtatious soft pillow whispers)
The cacophony of fuzzy beeps bicker.
(The blankets embrace you provocatively)
The cold air flicks your ear disapprovingly.
(Flannel tickles your legs in the dark, taunting)
Sunlight spies from the window, judging.
(Gravity seduces, parenthetical, unwavering)
The beep resurrects, outspoken, reproachful.


(10 succulent minutes)

Sit up.


-Copywright Gerran Firkus

Like the Child I Was

When I was a child

Life was different

Worries were different

I roamed the neighborhood with freedom


Had little control of my life

As an adult

I still roam my neighborhood with freedom

My neighborhood is much larger

But I still have little control of my life


There is some illusion of control

But the big things

Seem to happen

No matter what

Tornados hit

Loved ones die

Floods come

Fires happen

People steal your money

You have no control of those things

But one thing

One thing I can control

Is my happiness

I can choose

How to perceive the World

My World

I can hate

Feel despair

Feel alone



Find anger


I can choose

To find happiness

To find love

To find compassion

To be at peace

To be like the child I was

And enjoy this life

Enjoy being alive

No matter what


Copyright Don MacLeod


You there.

Me here.


Look up.

Eye to eye.

Let the muscles turn as they may.

Facial recognition


Beyond that

What is?


Me here.

You over there.



How are you?

And don’t say fine.

I know you lie.


I’m here.

I exist.


It’s the Midwest.


The proper response is: “Fine.”


But what is fine?

It’s so nondescript.


I only know fine as a derogatory

She’s fine.

Her body is fine.

You are fiiiine.

Fine wine

Fine hair

She is fine

Fine. Object.


I’m fine.

Well maybe.

Just my body though.

I am fiiiiiine.

My glass of wine.

My hair.

I am fine.

Fine. Object.


But if you ask

I’m just too busy to…


(See, that’s already a lie

Busy is a myth

There is plenty of time

Busy is as worthless as fine

A cop out to avoid connection)


But if you ask

I don’t have the trust

That you will listen

Not judge


And want to hear something




than ”fine”.

The Runt

A small black nose
Pokes out of the cage
Sniffs the stale air
One small paw touches the cold cement
The second paw, smaller
Fuzz amuck
Small white dangling loner hairs
Timid claws

The child human and her mother
View the tiny paws trembling
And instantly ascertain
Tis the runt of the litter

In the wild
Runts retain a grim outlook
Less courageous

Seen as dispensable to the group in event of an emergency
Cast away
Last in the milk line.

This puppy
The last
The slowest
The most afraid

What if – this puppy saw
The endless blue sky
Conquered the quiver
Pushed forward
One tiny disadvantaged paw
At a time

What if the runts ran things
A runt at the capitol
A runt in charge of business
Runts could be revered
Not sacrificed
Not abandoned

Runts too small to bully
A world more harmonious
Small paws in front
Large paws use their brute physical strength
As part of the ubiquitous
Endless sky

A sky clean
A sky to cause marvel
At a gaze
A sky that makes being at ease.


-Copywright Gerran Firkus



I. Via Casino

Sitting beneath the palms
eyes closed on a Sunday
legs stretched into sun
from my cotton skirt
like I wore the summer we met.

The languages walk past
The stone seat is cool
against my back.

I remember the warmth
of your shoulders
in the evening
your gentle fingers
saying Catarina, Catarina.

II. Avalon

Yesterday morning
I passed through the Old Town
without meaning to
on my way to the fish market.

I stopped below the building
where we had been together.

The plaster is crumbling
in the salt air, like us.

I dared to look at the shaded balcony
that hung out over the harbor,
saw again our drowsing at noon
the sun shimmering on the sea
behind us.

Oh, Pedro, Pedro,
let us throw our bones back
into the sea.

@Copyright Kay Winter


How far have you come since you landed with a splat on the delivery room floor?

Your mom took one look and confirmed her earlier decision.

She had a bag packed and almost knocked over the nurse on her way out.

You started screaming and haven’t stopped since.