Monday, November 28, 2016

The Language of Pain

Art by Audrey

pain is the whistle between my teeth
on cold mornings when dew lies heavy

pain is the woman whose blood runs
chasing her children
knowing she will never catch them before
time runs out

pain is the mill we grind
pulling it round
to spot ourselves a $5 or a $50
to pay that last bill

pain is the language
we speak
when we forget the others

it speaks in the clearest tones
from the jar on my tongue

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

Posted today at d'verse

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Reweaving

i awoke to a world gone mad
hatred its main bargaining chip
and though i didn't want to,
i cried with each step this morning,
picked up worn linen
woven in youth's innocence
its nubs a part of its landscape

i will reweave it
over time
make it stronger
though you may shout your imprecations 
loudly in my ear
i will not falter
i will not halt
i will not hate

so that our children 
need not fear

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

Posted for the midweek Motif at Poets United

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Left Behind

i find pieces of me
strewn among old buttons
plastic whites
yellowing with age

a red box
with white buttons
grey hair, my thread

these are the colors
you left behind
and a thimble
bent silver
to hold them all
until i sew them into place again

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

Posted for Poets United Pantry

Sunday, October 30, 2016

An Unfinished Story

our stories are written inside us
making their way 
up through marrow
exiting through pores
a whisper of skin

did we always know them
or did they drift
with those dreams
passed to you
in utero

i hope you find them
feel them rise inside you
let them see sunlight
learn their names and places
see them dance on the wind

until it is time 
for you to pass them 
through blood and bone
gifts of the mother
to us all

copyright/all rights reserved

This feels unfinished--but then I feel in transition somehow--

Posted for Poets United

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Gifts From Small Gods

small gods
strew yellows and pinks
onto dew from liquid palattes,
a gift to the cats who stalk them
in the jungles of spent tomatoes
and browned squash

i sit awash in morning's gifts
gathering courage
from waxen images
torn open
spilling seed

colors run together
until all i can see is brown
and I am reminded that
there is no tomorrow
without fertile soil.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Poet's Breath

i met you in the sun

you wrote your poetry
on clouds
blue on white
a daisy, your pen

until grey streaks pushed
your kind aside
deeper and deeper
into the edges
pulling petals apart
a litany to tiny ends

the wilt of a berry
on your breast
rebirth          it's red
this new ink
the leaves your pages

poetry, your breath.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

posted for poets united

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Breathing Lessons

The dead must breathe sometimes,
inhale their memories,

let them sink quietly
into revenants,
scrub them clean,
until like bone,
they shimmer in the dark.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

Process Note: This piece has been hanging around in this short form for a while now. I am not sure it is a poem yet, but every time I try to expand it into something longer, I fail. So for now, I will share it with you as it is and see if it morphs into something else later.

Posted for Poets United Pantry

Sunday, August 21, 2016


i am stuck in sadness
its teeth
sharper than i recall

its fear
an ooze
that seeps

liquids never run--
they fade
leaving stains
and red in the sun

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

Poets United

We are waiting for xrays for my 14 year old dog tomorrow.  She is in pain and not putting any weight on her back left leg.  I am fearful and sad.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


i am the ordinary
the middle

feeling tenterhooks
in the small of my back

lodge in the place
where love used to roost

arthritis builds its condo spread
 on that tract now

a co-habitation --
a formless tendency
toward bilingual fluency.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

Posted for Poets United Poetry Pantry

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Cuppa

she went first.

it was her way
to settle things early on
broach unpleasantries
teacup in hand

launch earl grey
through spit
shine until done

crepe smile
fingers bent
ditching the cup
in favor of
a lily.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

Posted for Poets United Pantry

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Center of Things

By Alexa Szlávics - Own work, permission:, GFDL,

I am the darkness,
awaiting exposition
by peripheral light.

You come,fear etched
in the many colors of your face.
Do you know that you flow
from my center--
your beauty, from mine?

I will sheath you in death's stillness
but for a moment
before numinous breath
finds you 
and calls you away.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

Come share your poetry today at the Pantry

Friday, June 17, 2016

Portraits at Rest

A Rock, by Thyago Hills
wikimedia commons

cool eyes
leak quietude
in umbra.

silence, the mantle i wear.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

Sanaa's prompt is Rest. Come join us for a feast of poems at A Dash of Sunny

Also linking up to Poets United Poetry Pantry

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Dead Speak

"Góndola del tiempo", de Héctor Valdivia.
wikimedia commons

Families gather 
under sheltering sky, 
mourning their dead,
who passed
out and under too soon
toasting memory
with fried chicken and soda,
the heralds of summer..

We too
gather our baskets
and blankets,
a bottle of lemonade
and one of sweet tea
amid black breads
and stinky cheeses,
head for the beach,
climb rocks until our toes
find crabs scuttling
in angry protest
their fiefdoms

I have trouble mourning your dead
I have my own, 
refugees in unmarked graves.
I run from them
from the bombs and the smell of the dead,
their Slavic syllables
of death, a scree in the wind.

Our blood drenches, like yours,
only the land is different
and the way we remember.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

For Poets United

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Secrets' Journeys

wikimedia commons
fractalmandala by Alexa Szlávics artist

i fell from the sky
on a mid-morning, white
as alabaster,

seeking out
the dreamless,
their void a door
left ajar in the night.

i can sail on the detrtis
of dreams unrealized,
their canons unwrit,

verses left muted.

in trees i can always dance
in the chatter of leaves
left to their own devices.

but instead, i found only you,
cocconed in the chaff left behind,
lies left unspoken.

shall we open our eyes
to see where we land?

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

Posted for Susan's mid-week motif prompt--Secrets at Poets United

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tinged Tales

The Morgue File

she found she breathed best
in the dark
when blue air circled round ears,
in between toes
speaking its tales
in sibilant syllables

she favored tinged tales
that spoke openly
of lies uncovered,
kilned from the craw
of those she left behind.

on wednesdays she pulled
them open
digesting darkened truths
like books shelved too long
foxing eating them
bit by bit
in stale air.

truth held  itself in stillness
vowing no replication
she found she could breathe again.


Audrey Howitt 2016 all rights reserved

Today Susan asked us to write about openness. I find myself drawn to how we uncover lies, often alone--Poets United Mid-Week Motif

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Magenta is the Word

The Morgue File

by photoholic

sometimes home fades on the lips

minds travel far distances to whisper
about nuanced colors
such as magenta
on days when the sky turns black

not all roads lead to home.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

Not sure where this cam from as I tend to love home. But maybe I didn't always.

Posted for Poets United Mid-Week

Sunday, April 3, 2016


The Morgue File

by laura musikanski

i bumped against you accidentally
in the candy section of the local Pik 'n Shop
pondering choices both
desirous and poisonous

you smiled,
as i had hoped you would
pearlies gleaming,
your lashes dancing
as i lost myself
between one heart beat and another.

the viccistudes of a sugar rush
held at bay,
until my choice was made.

regret seems futile, don't you agree?

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

pull up a poem and get comfy

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Bells and Smells

The Morgue File
Jose Spena

i sat in my anger
its pool
heavy behind eyes
that had seen too many days
of kneel now and beat the heart

better to know my own heart
feel it beat along with someone else's
as i dance in the shadows

better to lick the rain off the window sill
and touch the joy of bees
as they dance drunkenly in the sun
of their days

i have closed this door of guilt
at leasr for now
its abyss, an endless pull
of sin and redemption.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

Go out an enjoy a poem or two for National Poetry Month

Linking with Poets United

Friday, April 1, 2016

At the edge

The Morgue File
by Mendini

Posts hold more than their own weight
across their backs 
designed as they are for such tedium.
and when through,
they bathe
in the stories they leave behind.

I listen in the stillness.

coyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howtt 2016

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Scent of Morning

The MorgueFile

a flower was offered to me, and
i find it best to take what is offered.
stash it--
fold it away, intimately
nestling the scent of it
against my own skin

until i remember
that gratitude
is an ocean.

Copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

Posted for Poets United

Thank you Sumana--your midweek motif is inspiring

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cannons' Cry

The MorgueFile

I wrapped yellow tissue around red
on days that the sun was clouded
and battlefields drenched,
days interminable.

If eyes could speak and lips weep
none would have broken
the confidences of their deaths
spoken only in their burying.

I learned silence that day.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

Today we are prompted to write about martyrdom/witnessing at Poets United

This is my humble offering.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Path

The Morgue File
Withered Flowers of Winter by Modnar

One foot in front of the other
their patterns old
like toes that
tread the sun

I walk.
It is the only way I know--
one foot
then another--
without the sight of youth.

Its mirth
parsed out,
cards fluttering
between spokes
singing their rhythm in the wind.

I hear them laughing.
I know the secrets
that their rhythms guard
That life flutters
by us
touches our cheeks
when we sleep,
mourning when we forget
that all we must do
is continue.

One foot in front of the other.
It is the only way I know.
one foot

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

We are challenged today to write about identity at Poets United
This is where the prompt took me.

Saturday, January 30, 2016


The Morgue File
by Quicksandala

she passed me twice
head nodding
to some inner conversation
that only she could hear
lips curved their replies
wrapped in ribbons
around her ears

moored, in kelp beds so tangled
her ganglia
drifting across currents
only she can feel

fastening rag to bench
a tying off of ropes
rocked her gently
toward the dock where she had landed

pulling off bits
of rag or skin
I am not sure which.

copyright/all rights reserved

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Thief

The Morgue File

He held her up, wringing out
those bits that she clung to
littering the sidewalk
with her shine.

Unfolding himself
he mopped up
and wondered how much more
of her he could find
hanging around the bus stop.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

This is where a prompt on spontaneity took me today--unexpectedly dark write for me!