Poem of the Week, by Ginny Lowe Connors

It is impossible to be a woman, it is impossible to be a woman: a mantra I chant to myself at some point almost every day. This mantra is usually comforting, in a weird way, because it reminds me I didn’t make this suffocating, cruel, abusive system we live in, nor am I alone in it.

Not today, though. Not with an illegitimate supreme court. Not with sanctimonious zealots who believe my religion doesn’t count but theirs does. Not with minority rule that wants to force us into cages. Maybe they think if they just keep saying no, we’ll be dulled into submission.

We won’t.

Betty Parris Hears Only No, by Ginny Lowe Connors
(daughter ef the R.everend Parris)

No running    no dancing    no wasting of time

no power    no nonsense    opinions    or rage

all of our stitches must march a straight line

no running    no dancing    no wasting of time

stubbornness ugly    defiance a crime

I dream I’ve been captured    forced into a cage

no running    no dancing    no wasting of time

no power    no nonsense    opinions    or rage 

Please click here for Ginny Lowe Connors’ website.


Words by Winter: my podcast

Poem of the Week, by Ada Limon

The other day I recaulked my bathtub. Razored out the repulsive old caulk, chipped and dug, alcoholed and bleached. Cut the tip off the tube of new caulk but the caulk gun didn’t work and I couldn’t squeeze it out of the tube. So I razored open the tube, spooned the caulk into a little plastic bag, snipped a corner of the bag and drew a bead around the tub as if I was frosting a cake. This worked, kind of anyway, and the tub looks pretty good.

Later that afternoon I read this poem by the inimitable Ada Limon and pictured that mountain lion in envy and admiration. Her six-foot fence, my baggie of caulk. . .

The Mountain Lion, by Ada Limon

I watched the video clip over and over,
night vision cameras flickering her eyes
an unholy green, the way she looked
the six-foot fence up and down
like it was nothing but a speed bump
then cleared the man-made border
in one impressive leap. A glance
over the shoulder, an annoyance,
as As if you could keep me out, or
keep me in. I don’t know what it
was that made me press replay and
replay. Not fear, though I’d be
terrified if I was face to face with
her, or heard her prowling in the night.
It was just that I don’t think I’ve
ever made anything look so easy.  Never
looked behind me and grinned or
grimaced because nothing could stop
me. I like the idea of it though, felt
like a dream you could will into being:
See a fence? Jump it.

For more information about Ada Limon, check out her website.


Words by Winter: my podcast

Poem of the Week, by James Laughlin

Most of the time you don’t know, in the moment itself, the moments that will return to you for the rest of your life. The look on your daughter’s face that day, the way his hand felt when he held yours on the train. You don’t know when a moment will be the last time you see her, the last time you hear his voice.

But sometimes, even as a moment is happening, you know that it will be with you forever. That you will always be held inside its laughter, its love, its pure happiness and comfort, and that you will wish you were still in that moment. Even as you experience it, you are letting it go and you are wishing it back. Those are the moments that shiver your heart.

O Best of All Nights, Return and Return Again, by James Laughlin

How she let her long hair down over her shoulders, making a
love cave around her face. Return and return again.
How when the lamplight was lowered she pressed against
him, twining her fingers in his. Return and return again.
How their legs swam together like dolphins and their toes
played like little tunnies. Return and return again.
How she sat beside him cross-legged, telling him stories of
her childhood. Return and return again.
How she closed her eyes when his were open, how they
breathed together, breathing each other. Return and return again.
How they fell into slumber, their bodies curled together like
two spoons. Return and return again.
How they went together to Otherwhere, the fairest land they
had ever seen. Return and return again.
O best of all nights, return and return again.

Click here for more information about James Laughlin.


Words by Winter: my podcast

Poem of the Week, by Joshua Poteat

This poem awes me every time I read it. It floats me up above the earth and outside of time and noise and sensation while thousands of years of humans and our endless struggles against ourselves and the planet play themselves out below. We cut down our forests to make ships on the seas, the seas rise against us, the whole tide of history washes in and over and out.

Sixteen words! The wild power of poetry. And now I’m laughing, because look how much longer this little backstory is than the poem itself.

Tintype, by Joshua Poteat

Whole forests went to sea
                        disguised as ships.

         Whole seas went to forest
                        disguised as time.

For more information on Joshua Poteat, please click here.


Words by Winter: my podcast