the finish line moves

but i still

sprint for it




State of the Em

In my almost 2 years on WordPress, I have written around 1000 poems, give or take. They came roaring out of me after having neglected my voice and my writing for years.  I couldn’t stop them. I’d write a few a day on average. It was like finding my home, and my people.

Emily Dickinson wrote about 1800 poems in her lifetime.

Needless to say, my brain needed some recovery time, some time to recharge, time enough in order to live life that would replenish my source of inspiration.

Of course, some of my down time has not been down at all. I’ve been managing a chronic vestibular disorder and all the wrenches it throws into my ability to live the life I want.   I have my good days/weeks/months, and my bad days/weeks/months. I’m about a 6/10 on the drunk-dizzy scale right now, but doing my daily vestibular rehab exercises and seeing my therapist. I’m progressing, but that means I get worse before I see progress. Yup. I have to do what feels bad in order to rewire my brain to compensate.

Today…I braved going to a vestibular disorder support group. It was the first time I’d actually connected with anyone in person who has a disorder like mine. Cathartic, and validating. No one understands unless you’ve had it yourself. I’d rather just pretend and forget about the whole thing, so going to the group is choking down acceptance that after 7 years of ups and downs…I will always have to manage it in some way. Not easy. But glad I went.

And something that I hadn’t shared, that my father fell and sustained a concussion and broken ribs about 5 weeks ago.  I had to push through my own struggles and be there to help him and my mother as he navigated hospital to rehab, to home. He is recovering but still has post-concussion syndrome that has impacted his memory. Concussions can take weeks to months, to sometimes years to resolve. Slamming your head on concrete will do that.

Understandably, my energy has been sucked into these and other demands of just trying to survive life. It’s left my cognitive tank near empty. Yet still, I have tried to post something a few times a week as I feel I can. I don’t want to just throw up anything just to keep your attention.  I believe in inspired work and quality over quantity.  I don’t want to force myself.  My best work comes when I’m not trying.

Some of my closest friends have moved on from WP, a part of the core group that welcomed me has dispersed, as is natural with the fleeting nature of online connections, short attention spans, life events, writers’ block. I’m kind of surprised I’m still here.

But, I believe that our fires roar and they die; they need tending, new fuel, oxygen to keep burning.

My goal is to housekeep my page, clean it up, organize my work, and finally get my ass into line and publish somehow this year.  Perhaps my following has cooled too much, maybe I didn’t strike while the iron was hot, maybe I lost my chance.

However, I remind myself…I didn’t come here expecting anything. It’s all been one ginormous surprise…that I could write poetry that people enjoyed, that I could make friends here, that some of them would want me to write a book.  I’m endlessly grateful.

After all, I just came here to store about 10 handwritten poems from my past. Now look?  Almost 1200 followers and over 71K hits.

Thank you for your support, your patience, and for embracing my words.

So She Shivers

like an abused animal,
she shivered,

craving love and touch,
yet fearing them like the hands
of the ones who struck
her when she risked all.

beat when baring heart,
bruised, her soul

tearing apart
all the true love she’s denied,

punishing the honest
while damning herself.

no more thinking
about what could be…

it hurts to know
what’s missing.

so she shivers…

tending to her wounds,
keeping a cocked eye open
at the corner of the world
that aims her way,


it may be the one this time…
and that

she’ll have to say no
just in case

it isn’t.


~  Em ~



the smell of lovers stains her hands
as sweet woodsmoke,

in waking dreams

she drifts

along tides left by the leavers
who yanked anchors and swam

heads lost bob
on distant window horizon

the faceless gray nameless
destined for a cursed never

caught in swirling whirlpool
cycling like moon, they come,

they go — she stays —

treading in the bedding
her hands companions,

the lamplight sun casts shadows
in foothill creases of sheets

ironed there by bodies bare,
tattooed imprint on her skin


where two once were, one

— one is now none

~ Em ~


Hear Me Go

eyes closed indefinitely

candle flicker remains

moving through reality

blinded by silent pain

slowest fight imaginable

quiet like the mouse

no one within a radius

of 100 miles round

breathing with the fire

in lungs drown by air

taking steps in increments

without moving anywhere

alone in moments unnoticed

days go by in hiding

no one knows i’m naked

no one knows i’m dressed

if i stepped outside today

if i said hello

if i choked on a pill

no one would hear me go

~ Em ~


The Last Dying Star

your love is the last dying star

i can’t reach its fading light

grasping at the growing dark

ripping vast cavity into night

so far from glittered evening sky

we’ve come to find it empty

one by one fond memories die

lingering long words you left me

flicker till the blackness reigns

and all that’s left leaves misery

cold heart vacuum of this love

lost without celestial guide

your love was the very last star

i watched it fade away

as distance grew interminably

and with death met cursed day



The Gravedigger

the gravedigger crosses my path every morning
on the road bisecting the cemetery.
the casket pincers dangle
on the green John Deer
by the rope and the pails and shovels
darting between halves of plotted lawns
dotted with names no longer spoken
and where daisies upward yawn

cars pass on the oblivious highway

to jobs, to doctors, to cafes
to escape, full of worry
apathy, joy, disappointment
mad at the traffic jam
mad at the news
their wives/husbands/friends

road rage — life rage

while bodies sleep cold
beneath, expired

tired we drive
blinking numbly
at lights that tell us

to stop
go, stop

if we deviate
we lose time

but if we deviate
we gain life

the gravedigger reminds me
the cemetery waits

my breath cannot be wasted
unless I forget
I am alive

~ Em ~