Tag Archives: Blackout Poetry

Tuesday with the Muse…”mother”



my mother is everywhere
among the things I return to
engrained in memory
forever open to me
then closed, hidden, dark,
mother, spilling everywhere


A Blackout poem inspired by the poem “The Question of My Mother” by Robin Ekiss:

The question of my mother is on the table.
The dark box of her mind is also there,
the garden of everywhere
we used to walk together. 

Among the things the body doesn’t know,
it is the dark box I return to most:
fallopian city engrained in memory,
ghost-orchid egg in the arboretum, 

 hinged lid forever bending back and forth
open to me, then closed
like the petals of the paperwhite narcissus.
What would it take to make a city in me?

Dark arterial streets, neglected ovary
hard as an acorn hidden in its dark box
on the table: Mother, I am
out of my mind, spilling everywhere.

Source: Poetry (November 2007)

Monday with the Muse

bend in the road

photo courtesy of shrutikhanna at Pixabay.com

the bend in the road

at the bend where
the roadside devours
the dust of summer
we carry with us days
to hold in our hands;
to live as if death
were impossible


A Blackout poem inspired by today’s poem of the day at PoetryFoundation.org by Li-Young Lee, “From Blossoms”.

From Blossoms

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.

From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we  devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

Li-Young Lee, “From Blossoms” from Rose. Copyright © 1986 by Li-Young Lee. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions Ltd., http://www.boaeditions.org. Source: Rose (BOA Editions Ltd., 1986)

Midnight with the Muse ~ surrendering


in the belly of
grace I fall
I long to drink
deep of its
to celebrate
the blink of


A Blackout Poem inspired by the poem by Dante Micheaux below:

The Second Beautiful Harvest

By Dante Micheaux

I wake in the golden belly of this abode

and sense some diurnal grace at work.

I take my body to the fall, to bathe

and anoint my genitals with shea.

I have made my journey to the cold hills

to commune with my people there.

I come for the second beautiful harvest

and have waited long to look into its eye.

The harvest hosts libations, the meal

and my desireso I drink the deep

heady liquid of its languid stare, under

the hum of many voices: burgeoning

friendships and reunion in the low light.

I break into the soft weirdness of injera

and dip my fingers into the meat stew,

to celebrate the glory of the kings.

The clear splendor of the serving boy,

his slow blink as of a camel, does not

distract me—here to reap but seduced

by the second beautiful harvest.

Copyright © 2019 by Dante Micheaux. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 14, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

grief repeating – Monday with the Muse


Painting, “Blue” by Kat Myrman

grief repeating

even now, grief
repeats itself
“what hope for
love survives

see only
in blue


A Blackout poem inspired by the poem below “Anne Frank Huis” by Andrew Motion.

Anne Frank Huis
by Andrew Motion
Even now, after twice her lifetime of grief
and anger in the very place, whoever comes
to climb these narrow stairs, discovers how
the bookcase slides aside, then walks through
shadow into sunlit room(s), can never help
but break her secrecy again. Just listening
is a kind of guilt: the Westerkirk repeats
itself outside, as if all time worked round
towards her fear, and made each stroke
die down on guarded streets. Imagine it—

four years of whispering, and loneliness,
and plotting, day by day, theAllied line
in Europe with a yellow chalk. What hope
she had for ordinary love and interest
survives her here, displayed above the bed
as pictures of her family; some actors;
fashions chosen by Princess Elizabeth.
And those who stoop to see them find
not only patience missing its reward,
but one enduring wish for chances
like my own: to leave as simply
as I do, and walk at ease
up dusty tree-lined avenues, or watch
a silent barge come clear of bridges
settling their reflections in the blue canal.

Andrew Motion, “Anne Frank Huis” from Coming In To Land: Selected Poems 1975—2015.  Copyright © 2017 by Andrew Motion.  Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Inc..
Source: Coming In To Land: Selected Poems 1975—2015 (HarperCollins, 2017)

Mondays with the Muse

the morning’s mist
is lined with breath;
soul devouring ecstasy
where angels spark
eternity in realms afar


A Blackout Poem, courtesy of the Muse and this poem:


by Adah Isaacs Menken

Poor, impious Soul! that fixes its high hopes
In the dim distance, on a throne of clouds,
And from the morning’s mist would make the ropes
To draw it up amid acclaim of crowds—
Beware! That soaring path is lined with shrouds;
 And he who braves it, though of sturdy breath,
May meet, half way, the avalanche and death!

O poor young Soul!—whose year-devouring glance
Fixes in ecstasy upon a star,
Whose feverish brilliance looks a part of earth,
Yet quivers where the feet of angels are,
And seems the future crown in realms afar—
Beware! A spark thou art, and dost but see
Thine own reflection in Eternity
brilliance looks a part of earth,
Yet quivers where the feet of angels are,
And seems the future crown in realms afar
Beware! A spark thou art, and dost but see
Thine own reflection in Eternity

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