Friday, September 30, 2022

Friday, September 30, 2022: Linda M. Crate's "Feminine, Not Fragile"

i was called a succubus


i enjoy sex,

but why do women 

have to be quiet about 

their wants and their desires?

no one has ever appreciated

my fire, my ambition, my feral wilds;

they want the pretty painted face

without the chore of having to know

me or having to respect me and my magic—

that is not something i will ever entertain,

because i am worth loving in every season

of me;

won't hide my horns or thorns or talons

simply because they scare you

because they're every bit as much a part of me

as the trees, the flowers, and the seas—

they want us feminine and fragile,

i am feminine but i won't break;

know my magic and my voice and i won't

surrender my power nor submit it

to any.

© 2022 Linda. M. Crate

Linda M. Crate's poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has ten published chapbooks, the latest being Hecate's Child (Alien Buddha Publishing, November 2021). 

A social media link:

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Tuesday, September 20, 2022: Fay L. Loomis' "Blue Bottle"

 On a hot, languorous day, near the end of summer and toward the beginning of third grade, I crept into the darkened hallway of our farmhouse, to lovingly handle the mysterious things in my mother’s grey metal trunk. Every now and again, the chest, bigger than a bale of hay, called to me. I responded to the siren with a secret visit—secret, because I was peering into my mother’s private life, long before we kids came along.

    I lingered over the fancy brass latch, which matched the hinges, grasped the handle, and carefully tilted the heavy lid against the wall. I was a goner.

    Lifting a blue velvet-covered book, filled with pages and pages of faces, I searched for mother’s young face, surrounded by a fancy collar. She never wore anything like that now. I picked up a small silver dustpan and a brush, decorated with swirly patterns. One time I had asked her what it was for. She said to brush crumbs off a table! That would never happen in our house. The nine of us rarely sat down to eat together. I never touched a packet of letters tucked into a corner. What I liked best was a small round bottle with raised letters on the side. The thick blue glass, darkest I had ever seen, forbade light to penetrate.

    After Mom died, my sister Jessie parceled out her meagre belongings. The blue bottle became mine.

    When my daughter was little, she would bring tiny “bowers” into the house. I would put the flowers in the bottle and place it on the windowsill above the sink. I had been warned, though I thought my luck was stronger than the wind. In the past, the silent breeze had blown the beautiful bottle into the sink but didn’t break it. I foolishly put it in the window again, filled with flowers carefully lifted from the grass by baby fingers. I was as broken as the glass, when it didn’t survive the second fall.

    Many years later, my nephew Eric suddenly died. As a small child, he had collected antiques with my mother, including old bottles. When I lamented to my sister Barbara the fate of our mother’s blue bottle, she surprised me by mailing one from her son’s collection.  Light passing through the square, pale turquoise container, gave it an eerie quality, as if it were levitating. Despite the beauty and my sister’s generosity, I did not see how this replacement could ever make up for the loss.

    Recently, as I ambled across the lawn, I was dazzled by petite purple flowers poking through blue-green shafts of grass. I gathered what my daughter used to call a “bluekay,” put it in the bottle, and set it on my kitchen window sill. 

    Transfixed by the light and beauty, I slipped back into the shadowy passageway that embraced my mother’s old trunk. In that fugitive moment, the two vessels merged into one. The bottle is no longer mine, I thought, it holds the joys and losses across time that belong to us all. 

© 2022 Fay Loomis

Fay L. Loomis was a nemophilist (haunter of the woods), until her hikes in upstate New York were abruptly ended by a stroke. With an additional nudge from the pandemic, she lives a particularly quiet life. A member of the Stone Ridge Library Writers and the Rat's Ass Review Workshop, her poems and prose have recently appeared in Al-Khemica Poetica, Medusa’s Kitchen, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, As It Ought to Be, Stick Figure Poetry, Mad Swirl, Breath and Shadow, Amethyst Review, Bindweed, True Chili, Blue Pepper, Sledgehammer Lit, Spillwords, and Rats Ass Review.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Saturday, September 17, 2022: Hattie Quinn's "Women's Work"


“I can get in and out,” she affirmed confidently as they stared at the dingy beach house from the hotel pool.

“No one gets out of there unchanged, Soph. You’re one of the lucky ones that haven’t been sullied by his type. Don’t do it.”

“He hurt our sister, Nate. He should have to pay.”

“Razi, tell her not to do this,” Nate pleaded.

“Is my virginity worth nothing, Nate? Am I just supposed to live with the fact that this creepy old man put his fingers in me? Like a good girl? Is that it? What’s next? You gonna start pimpin’ me?”

His stern look softened. “That is not what I mean at all. I found him for you, didn’t I? I support making him pay for his offense. I’ll roll his ancient ass and take the money box myself right now.”

“You can’t—,” both his sisters screamed at once. Children playing in the pool looked over to see why they had screamed, but seeing them sit quietly, they went back to their game of Marco Polo.

Sophie, ever the voice of reason in the trio, warned her twin, “Nathan Popall, you are eighteen years and three days old and have a previous arrest. You cannot be picked up for anything ever again or you are going to the P-farm, and we’ll be all on our own.”

“And don’t think I don’t appreciate you being all noble and shit, brother, but let us sisters handle this. It’s women’s work,” Razi said.

“She’s our baby sister,” he said, head slung low.

“I won’t let him touch me. Please, I grew up on this beach… on these streets. You think I don’t know how to dodge one handsy old man? I have been doing it my whole life.” 

He looked her up and down, assessing the young teen in the too small bikini, seeing the woman she would soon become. “He got to Raz, and she is the stronger and more experienced of you two.”

“She was high and drunk. I’m going in sober.”

“I don’t know,” he protested, but they all knew it was too late. Sophie did as she wanted, as always.


That Friday, Sophie put on her sister’s blue spandex minidress with the low vee, covered it with a dirty towel, and studied her reflection in the cracked compact as she plastered on her war paint. That was how she thought of it as she applied the blue eyeshadow and baby pink lipstick. She had declared war on the creepy old man who lived by the pier. All the beach kids knew about him and gave him a wide berth, but sometimes the free-range girls got a little too close or a homeless teen with no one to turn to become his prey. Never anyone he had to fear or who could go to the police. Never a shop worker or professional. Always us beach kids.

They had only had each other since their mom hooked up with a skinhead. Can’t have biracial kids around the trailer park giving lie to her God-given supremacy, so out they went eighteen months ago. The three survived because they had each other and that was how it would always be, whether they were squatting in the abandoned Spanish-style hotel on the beach or sleeping under the pier. 

She would make him pay, for her sister. For the others. On went the bright red blush, as she imagined her ancestors painting their faces getting ready for battle, and she prayed: “Help me remain calm and strong in the face of all that comes towards me.”

Her sister tipped her head upside down and sprayed her hair with “the Net,” leaned her back up, and sculpted her bangs. She then removed the towel and fluffed up her breasts with the back of her hands, in a vain attempt to give her cleavage. That was useless. None of the women in her family had been endowed in that way, though hard to say on her father’s side, since they had never known him.

“You ready, Soph?” 

She liked that about her sister. It wasn’t you sure about this but are you ready. “Yeah, I’m ready. Let’s show that son of a bitch that you don’t mess with our family.”


She must have walked two miles up and down “the Strip” in her sister’s heels with nothing but a bunch of harassment from Squids who had to be warned off with threats of reporting them at the base gate. She was young and hot and looked ready for trouble, which she was, but not with the gallant men of the United States Navy… not tonight at least. A few of them were quite sweet. Another time, perhaps. One of them may be a way out in the future. Off the streets and into a normal life. But not now.

The sun had long since set. She was tired and her feet hurt. All the usual spots the kids said he frequented were dead ends. It was time to head back to the Casa

Disappointed as she was, she did not pay attention to her surroundings like she had been taught, and it in turn made her the perfect prey. She was caught completely unaware when the door to the apartment that faced right up against the sidewalk opened after she passed. Hands on her shoulders pulled her down and in before she thought to say a word. She landed with a little “oof” on a shabby burnt orange flowered sofa as she heard the bolt click and the jingle of the chain as it slid into place.

“Hello, young lady,” he said sweetly, “you out looking for fun tonight? You sure do look it,” he said with a predator’s gaze on her young flesh.

It was him. Was I already near the pier? Does he have a second apartment? They will never find me, if so. Think, think, what do I do? Breathe. Stall. Escape. You got this.

Finding her center, she looked him straight in the eyes, tilted her head slightly, and replied, “Maybe. You think you have something fun to offer me, mister?”

“I knew you were looking for a good time tonight, dressed as you were. Did the sailors not offer you enough money, honey?”

He had been watching her, at least a little while, and that piece of knowledge had her heart racing.

“I’m no working girl. I just don’t like Squids. They talk a good game, but half of them drink so much they can’t get it up when the time comes.”

He sat on the other end of the couch from her and turned to face her. “Maybe a man of more experience might be more to your taste.” He threw one wrinkled, sun-stained arm up casually across the back of the sofa, as if she didn’t know he was trying to maneuver himself within striking distance. His fancy watch ticking down the seconds until he struck echoed in her ears.

“Maybe… uh, what do I call you?”

“Call me Daddy.”

Oh, it’s like that is it? Okay then.

“Well, Daddy, I need to use the potty and freshen up.” She pointed with her chin to the stocked bar against the wall between the door and the window A/C unit. “Do you think you could fix us a couple of drinks while I go tend to that?”

“Oh, she’s a naughty girl. Maybe just one drink, but then I may have to spank you.” He swatted at her butt and missed as she danced aside and headed to the hall that must lead to the bathroom, swaying his target with all the art she could muster, until she turned into the hall out of sight.

Money box, money box, where would he have put the box of bills he threw at girls after he violated them? She looked back around the corner and saw he had moved to the bar, back turned to the hall, and begun making their drinks. His silver hair shone in the light like a halo. She was infuriated at his using the nice old man routine on all those poor kids. Motivated to end his ability to victimize wayward girls, like her sister. 


Two weeks earlier, Raz had been at a raging party thrown by one of the local surfers, smoking and drinking and snorting whatever came her way, when the police showed up. Well, one cop came in and he was there for the party, but homeless truants tend to avoid them. He didn’t even have the decency to lock away his firearm. He just came strutting in and bellied up to the quarters table like anyone else. They all seemed to know him. He was young, maybe they all knew each other from high school. There was definitely some high-five-bro jock culture camaraderie going on between them.

She knew at the point that she had no choice but to gather her things and go before he saw her. She grabbed a little random stash from the sideboard and snuck out the back. Hopefully, Officer Robbie didn’t notice. It wasn’t far to the Casa Del Mar hotel where she and a lot of the homeless kids crashed. She’d walk down the beach to draw less attention and would be home before she knew it. But that was not how it went.

She couldn’t walk in her shoes on the sand and kept stumbling. She finally climbed one of the shorter lifeguard chairs, picking up a splinter in her hand for her efforts, and sat to rest and let her head clear.

Next thing she knew she was waking up slung over someone’s shoulder, barefoot, and head hanging downward.

“Put me down.”

She felt the hand rub her back and butt. “I gotcha, little darlin’,” he drawled, “let’s get you home before someone finds you here and has other ideas for you.”

“I live near the Casa, with my family. I am already almost home.”

“Not putting her down, “It’s okay little girl, I can get you home. What’s the house number?”

But she didn’t answer as she had no number and consciousness slipped from her again. He didn’t drive her home, but rather took her down into the shadows under the pier for a good time. When she woke again and asked him what had happened, he had pulled a small decorative box from his pocket, brushed the sand from it, and thrown a couple twenties at her, returning it to his pocket and patting it. 

“Nothing worth more than this. I’m looking for a good time not a corpse. Maybe next time we can try for more,” and he left her there under the pier, skirt up, panties askew, to make her way home on her own. 

She stumbled home carrying her shoes and clutch, climbed the palm tree to the broken second floor window, and collapsed into her sister’s arms in tears and fell asleep. When she felt the pain the next morning when she got up to pee, it confirmed he had tried to get her ready for more before he had given up.


Not having found anything in the undecorated bedroom Sophie quickly rushed to the bathroom, where she touched up her face, and flushed the toilet paper blotted with lipstick. She checked herself in the mirror and knew that this might not go the way they had planned. She returned the tube and palmed a small paper packet from her sister’s clutch, straightened her dress and returned to the living room.

“Whatcha got for me, Daddy?” she asked as she reappeared. He smiled his shiny white smile, looked her up and down, assessing.

“Quite a bit, baby girl, but let’s start with a Cape Codder. I thought you might prefer something fruity.”

She threw down her clutch and rushed over taking both drinks in her hands. She swayed her hips hypnotically as she carried them to the table. Women’s hips. She bent over to adjust her shoe strap, making her ass look its finest, and slipped the powder from the packet into the brown liquid. She picked it up, swirled it, pretended to prepare to toss it back, when his hand came in over the rim of the glass to stop her. 

“That is my 20-year-old Scotch. It would be wasted on you, sweet girl.” He said as he took it from her and sipped it. He braced himself slightly at the first taste, but returned for a healthy second gulp, before he set the glass down and handed her her own clear, pink drink.

She laughed as she tried to project innocence. “Your drink is older than I am.”

“Is it now? How refreshing,” he said as he tipped her glass up as she sipped at it.

She looked around the mostly barren room, set down her glass, and asked, “Do you live here, Daddy?”

“No baby girl, it is a place I use when I need a night away from my family.”

She took note of the leather briefcase on the kitchen counter and turned back to him and smiled, “It didn’t look like you did. You are too fancy for a place like this.” She held up her glass to toast him and wondered how long it would take for him to pass out.

He smiled mischievously as he watched her drink, and she was suddenly stricken with the question of who was drugging who.

He put his hand on her thigh and started to slide upward, but she rose, and setting her glass down, stepped around the table and began to dance seductively as she reached for the neck of her dress. 

“Relax, Daddy. Let me entertain you.”

She danced slowly, the only sounds his shallow breathing and her beating heart, unfastened the neck, and revealed her bikini top. He smiled at the surprise but seemed to be disconcerted.

“Is something wrong, Daddy?” she asked, her own voice becoming husky, and her speech slowed.

His face flushed, his eyes rolled back in his head, and he slumped forward barely breathing.

Sophie stumbled to the door praying to God that they would be there. She undid the chain with some difficulty and released the bolt. The door swung open and her brother swept her up in his arms before she collapsed. 

“Drugged me… drugged him.”

Razi made quick work of the apartment, gathered into her backpack the drugs not utilized and an unopened bottle for later. She wiped clean the glasses, doorknobs, and the toilet handle. Nate set his sister down in an armchair by the kitchen and gathered her hair in a quick bun to prevent loss of strays. He half-carried, half-dragged the man who had hurt his sisters to the back bedroom, stripped him, and set him up on the bed, cock in hand, his breathe barely discernible. He pulled a plastic bag over head with the man’s hands and tightened the man’s belt around his neck.

His sister came in with a look of horror on her face. “He takes souvenirs, Nate,” she said as she thrust a paper towel wrapped stack of instant photos at him, “I found these in his money box.” Nate grabbed them and her before she could lunge at the sleeping predator.

“He won’t hurt anyone again, Raz. Stick to the plan. No evidence of our visit.”

She nodded and used the paper towel to place each photo artfully before the man on the mattress, as if he had been jerking to the memory of what he had done to these children. They each recognized a few from the fires on the beach or the casa itself.

He used the man’s hands to pull the belt tighter and locked it in position. He gathered up his sleeping sister, Razi followed behind and wiped down the chair. Though they starved, they took only half the cash and one photo from the treasure box. They left behind only the empty quarter-paper of heroin and the rocks glass of half-consumed whiskey on the nightstand.


“Beaches-Area Slumlord Overdoses, Implicated in Child Abuse,” Sophie read aloud from the newspaper at the fire on the beach two days later. The beach kids all cheered and danced as they each took a swig from the top shelf vodka they had saved for this moment. Razi took one last look at the photo of her near miss with this man, threw it in the fire, grabbed the bottle and took a long swig. No one else may care about them, the used and abused and tossed away children, but they would always protect each other.

As she looked up Razi noticed Officer Robbie on the other side of the fire. “Let’s go see what he knows,” she said to her sister, as the two casually sauntered around the fire.

“A woman’s work is never done,” said Sophie with a laugh, no longer so young and innocent that she didn’t realize the grosser implications of that mantra.


© 2022 Hattie Quinn

Hattie Quinn was born in Jacksonville, Florida (1973).  She has lived in five distinct regions of the United States in the last thirty years, settled down with her true love, Satyr, in Fort Worth, Texas, in a menagerie known as the Wildwood. She's a Thelemite, a cat lady, a writer, a Benjamin Franklin aficionado, a student, a mentor, an amateur chef, and a mother. She strives for continual improvement and likes things to be “Just-So.”

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Tuesday, September 13, 2022: Giorgia Pavlidou's poem "pleasure"

 “I lost you out of ignorant attachment to my body. Then I wasted my time searching high and low. Finally, I found you within, O Shiva, and we united in bliss.” -Lalla, 14th Century, Kashmir

ancient atomic wombs

birth burning human rats 

giant cockroach-midwives 

deliver collapsing fetal cellars

underground placentas crackle & crumble 

smell the blood veins of asphalt pumping out the tar of the future

(my neurotransmitters have fruitlessly 

courted the letter θ)


to the hades of my fulfilled desires

here there’s no right of way              here there’s only instant pleasure

(a pyramid of genitals smiles at you)

lalla, you have counted my breaths   

it’s the blue-throated one 

who stares at me    (deadpanned) 


am headbanging in the hell of (my) embodiment  

© 2022 Giorgia Pavlidou

Giorgia Pavlidou is a writer and painter intermittently living in Greece and the US. Her work recently appeared or is forthcoming in Caesura, Maintenant Dada Journal, Puerto del Sol, Clockwise Cat, Ocotillo Review, Strukterriss Magazine, and Entropy.  Additionally, Trainwreck Press ( launched her chapbook inside the black hornet’s mind-tunnel in 2021, and Anvil Tongue Books just released her full length book of poems and paintings,  Haunted by the Living - Fed by the Dead.

Friday, September 9, 2022

Friday, September 9, 2022: Emma Lee's "No One Can Lift Her"

 No One Can Lift Her

(Refugee Camp, Kutupalong, Bangladesh)

She is on the brink of tears

but no one has seen her cry.

She's guessed to be five years old.

Her ulna was smashed

by a bullet aimed at her father.

Doctors wait for her 

to climb onto her bed.

She refuses help.

The bullet that smashed

her ulna, killed her father.

She sleeps fitfully 

awkwardly with her back 

against the bamboo screen. 

Luckily the bullet

lodged in her father's body.

Her ulna has been fused,

tendons transplanted.

Full use will recover.

She wriggled out 

from underneath her father's body.

Elephants used to freely roam

where now is makeshift plastic 

sheeting and bamboo cane shelters.

When no one watches, she slides

onto the floor and sits to sleep.

Here in camp she might get some

schooling that was denied 

in the place she was born.

She's never asked

where her father is.

© 2022 Emma Lee

Emma Lee’s publications include The Significance of a Dress (Arachne, 2020), and Ghosts in the Desert (IDP, 2015). She co-edited Over Land, Over Sea, (Five Leaves, 2015),and was reviews editor for The Blue Nib, reviews for magazines and blogs at

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Tuesday, September 6, 2022: Lorraine Caputo's "Monday Morn A-Opening

                                                                 © 2022  marie c lecrivain

This trolley shakes over uneven pavement, 

twisting through the road’s bends & traffic. 


& within this space, mute calls o stops, of radio, 

floats the melancholic song 


of an old man stooped over 

the strains of his guitar. 


Outside the window of this jostling trolley 

migrants walk, carrying bare wares 


in hopes of the day’s meal, the night’s lodging. 

& on the platforms, other would-be passengers wait. 


A man cleans a glass door 

on this Monday morning opening up.

© 2022  Lorraine Caputo

Lorraine Caputo is a documentary poet, translator and travel writer. Her works appear in over 300 journals on six continents; and 20 collections of poetry – including On Galápagos Shores (dancing girl press, 2019) and Caribbean Interludes (Origami Poems Project, 2022). She also authors travel narratives, articles and guidebooks. Her writing has been honored by the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada (2011) and nominated for the Best of the Net. Caputo has done literary readings from Alaska to Patagonia. She journeys through Latin America, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth. Follow her travels at: or 

Friday, September 2, 2022

Friday, September 2, 2022: "Following Basho: a Month of Writing Haiku and Tanka"

  Every year, with the exception of the first two years of the pandemic, since 2016, I’ve taken part in Write Like Your Alive, (first founded by Zoetic Press), a month-long generative writing workshop. I look forward to this time of year, as it gives me the opportunity to work on a project, or to generate enough pieces to polish and submit over the rest of the year. 

      This year, when WLYA was rebooted for the few dozen of us who took part previously, I thought about how much time I wanted to devote to this, and what I wanted to write. One year, I wrote a series of scifi poems (still waiting for that book to be published). Another year, I chose to write a series of prose poems with the single word prompt “why”. This summer, I’ve been slowly reading the book, Basho: The Complete Haiku, a volume of over 1,000 poems. Alongside the poetry, the book also shares the story of Basho’s remarkable life, and more importantly, his evolution as a haiku poet. 

     What caught my attention is Basho’s triple directive when writing haiku: live and write in the present moment, keep it simple, and that the haiku should also contain an element of loneliness.

     First, let me say, I’ll NEVER be able to achieve the level of mastery Basho attained. I live in an urban area, have two jobs, and am mostly a homebody. This is the opposite of Basho, who freely traveled throughout Japan, lived a monastic life, and was supported by a variety of patrons and friends. That being said, I do strive to live a spiritual life. 

     Second, when looking across the centuries, Basho lived in a time where nature was much more pronounced than now. There exists a carefully cultivated patch of nature in my backyard. My landlady, a Hindu from Fiji, has turned the backyard into as close a tropical garden as she’s been able to, in a chaparral climate, and during a thousand year mega drought. When I look out my window, I’m greeted with rows of red pepper bushes, two pomegranate trees, marigolds, hibiscus flowers, datura vines, and rose bushes. I also live several hundred feet from Ballona Creek, which feeds the Playa del Rey Wetlands, and then meanders to the Pacific Ocean.

     Most writers tend to pick the time of day they’re most comfortable, and alert to write. For me, that’s the morning. For Basho, that was anytime, but he produced a good deal of his poems in the evening. A good portion of Basho’s haiku features the moon as an element, or inspiration for his poems. I decided to use sunrise.

    I almost missed my first day (August 1st). I woke at 6:45 AM, minutes after the sunrise. I felt resentful, as summer is my least favorite season, and with climate change, summer in California is now pretty much all year round. My goal was/is to write at least three haiku a day, and that first day, I wrote the following:


I left my shades

on the kitchen table


sun at noon


offer little comfort


afternoon sun

long shadows hid

so many secrets

    Not bad for my first day, or so I thought.

    Another surprise is how quickly I grew to resent my chosen inspiration. How many haiku could I write about sunrise? So, I reformatted my rules. I gave myself permission to write other haiku, with the new rule that sunrise needs to be included in one haiku. This opened the door for more variety, which helped me to relax, and enjoy the process, as with these haiku I wrote on August 4th.

hibiscus blooms

new friends 

in the garden


my hungry cats 

demand breakfast

  For the first week, things progressed nicely. I found myself eager to wake up and write haiku. Then, another challenge presented itself. There’s another form of Japanese poetry I’ve spent a great deal of time writing;  tanka, which is like a haiku, but adds two more lines (5/7/5/7/7). This form was (re)made popular by Masoaka Shiki, a Japanese poet and literary critic who brought both haiku and tanka back to the forefront of Japanese poetry. Tanka, while a natural element is preferred, allows the poet to further develop the turn, and narrative of the poem. Modern tanka is now considered, at least in Western poetry, to be any poem with five lines. My love, and preference for this form quickly began to assert itself, as with the two poems (one haiku, and one tanka), on August 8th:

dawn greets me

in her gold and lavender

fancy dress


from the palm trees

a crow cries out

for its mate

and receives 

no answer

   As a poet, I’ve learned to not ignore the progression of a poem. I can only speak for myself, but when a writer attempts to subvert the intuitive, organic development of a poem, it becomes an artifice. I reset my expectations, and found, in letting go, the poems developed  themselves, like with the ones I wrote on August 15th:


dries up my dreams

of cool rain


butterfly lands

on a marigold

for a moment

I feel 



dust motes 

dance in sunlight

yesterday's ghosts

    Haiku also allows for the writer to live in the present, while filtering through the emotions involved with that moment. Like any good poem, a haiku paints a picture that allows the reader to step in, and live that moment the writer intends to share, like with two haiku I composed on August 17th:  


heat rises

with my anger


no moon tonite

your absence 

drives me to tears

  The loneliness Basho encouraged his students to incorporate into their poetry became more difficult, for me, to deal with as the month progressed. I found myself grieving for friends and family who not only died before/during the pandemic, but also for those who’ve drifted out of my life. I discovered I can’t bury my grief, how lonely life without my loved ones has become, or how I may have engendered loneliness in others, as with the a tanka sequence poem I wrote on August 21st, about a breakup with a clueless boyfriend from my teenage years (last two stanzas):

sometimes I wonder

where and how

you are

we never spoke


I’ll never forget

how I ripped your soul 

in half

or the tears 

in your eyes

   Predictably, for me it became more difficult to write haiku toward the end of the month. As a writer, endings are not my strong suit, and as a procrastinator, it’s also easy for me to put aside a self-imposed task. What was I missing out on, as a writer, while producing only one or two forms of poetry a day? And how many of these qualify as actual haiku/tanka? I took a chance, and submitted six haiku to Under the Basho, and had one accepted for a fall release. One, out of six? For the record, I'm honored to be included, and as my fellow wordsmith, Amélie Frank pointed out, “It’s quality, not quantity, with poetry, that counts.” 

   She’s 100% correct.

   You’ll be glad to know I completed WLYA. When I woke up on August 31st, it was with a sense of relief, and a bit of sadness. I’ll keep writing haiku and tanka, but I’ll be going back to other poetry forms, and writing in general. On that last morning, I watched the sun rise, and thanked them for being my constant companion, and muse for the month:



my last haiku

about you

poems/photos/content © 2022 marie c lecrivain

Bio: Marie C Lecrivain is a poet, publisher of Dashboard Horus, and Al-Khemia Poetica, and ordained priestess in the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, the ecclesiastical arm of Ordo Templi Orientis. Her work has been published in California Quarterly, Chiron Review, Gargoyle, Nonbinary Review, Orbis, Pirene's Fountain, and many other journals. She's the author of several books of poetry and fiction, and editor of Ashes to Stardust: A David Bowie Tribute Anthology (forthcoming/copyright 2022 Sybaritic Press,