Six Words


You Stood There

you stood there in the pouring rain, cupping your hands as if collecting stardust

stopped in my tracks, I swore I saw shooting stars dancing in your palms

not wanting to disturb you, as the world swirled around in chaos, you, a pillar

of calm serenity, your gaze upward and unfazed, soaking to the bone, smiling,

time stopped — my eyes took a picture and framed you with gilded memory

to be retrieved some future rainy day when the only thing felt is gloom

your inner light captured amidst pelting spheres, tears dropped from the sky

reflecting only the truth of your beauty, magnifying the darkness

in such a way, even it

had to smile

~ EC


Singed Smile

wind whispers to leaves
trees speak blowing change
sun dips below horizon’s blanket
unease spills across the land
she steps outside to breathe
this new ion-charged air
accepting the danger
her heart and soul bared
along the country road she strode
following she knows not what
but into the storm she goes


rains begin to drip, pour, pound
her golden mane flattened down
streaming tears of yesterday
over heaving bosom of empathy
cotton clings to peach skin
her gaze remains on far flung
neither here nor there, but everywhere
unfazed as hail pelts her well
rolling shoulders back, chest opens
palms face out, steady gait
plodding ground rhythmically 
purposefully, undaunted 
tilting chin to sky, closes eyes
lightning strikes by her side
unflinching she sinks her feet
into mud, determined 
deep breath she breathes


wide open target, she deflects pain
defiantly stares down fears
challenges world to do its worst
it might or might not
kill her in the end

but her spirit…invincible
unstoppable, storm-proof
a lightning rod built to take
straight shots to the heart

only to stand again


with a smile


~ Emily Clapper 



order Odonata, suborder Anisoptera

drifting on world’s most complicated wings

inducing engineers’ envy in their design

you fly with precision and tactical flare

capturing bugs under sun’s glare

darting to and fro in iridescent glow

my heart stops as I watch you float

your colors catch rays and reflect light

hard not to notice your spritely flight

I dream of flying alongside someday

tracing your invisible flightpath

for now, a thank you, for making me smile

my totem insect, my kindred rainbow in the sky

twenty-four thousand ommatidia in your eyes

zeroing in on your next airborne feast

If I were you, I’d be purple

and I’d want to fly

for more than one week…


~ Emily Clapper




I sit in the dark car, parked.
The windshield weeps.
My heart heavy
With my smile’s ghost.

The last time I was here,
your voice was in my ear…

It was over
before it began.
A sudden loss
I can’t explain.

Some memories
cannot be escaped.

I was
so happy…

But, I’m still here.

I will always be here.

I promised.

~ Emily C.