Monday, January 16, 2017


Today, my friends,  we have poems written by, in my humble opinion,  three of the most electrifying poets writing in the blogosphere today, Shay Simmons of Shay's Word Garden, Kelli Simpson, of another damn poetry blog, and Joy  Jones, of Verse Escape. I am sure most of you are familiar with these dynamic women from either Poets United or our sister site, Imaginary Garden With Real Toads. Draw up a chair and enjoy these poems, which just might leave you as breathless as they did me.


The train that I took out of London seven years ago
appeared in my dream last night.
It had dinner plate wheels and hung on a chain that hoisted it up to a mailbox
where letters spread their wings to dry.

The train that I took out of London seven years ago 
only moves in one direction: away, and yet there it was,
undeparted, filling like a lung.
I have sung everything into the parish poor box--

those things I loved most, first to go.
I have sung until I am mute, and as unsentimental as an oxygen tank.
The priest cut off his ears and put them in my pocket
like coins. I told him his wish is dust, and he turned into Jericho's wall.

The train that I took out of London seven years ago
took off its clothes and reported my movements from memory.
The tracks only go in one direction: away, and yet there I was;
I woke up in love, a stone in flight, a letter with no address,

a dove that left its light down a well, yet sings in the dark when I'm gone. 

Shay Simmons, August 18, 2016

Sherry: Where to start, with how much I love this poem. I can feel it, the having-given-it-everything-I've got, that which "only moves in one direction, away", the "things I loved most, the first to go." I love the letters spreading their wings to dry.

Your closing lines leave me with tight chest, no air to breathe. I have so been there, and perhaps am there still. Sigh.

Shay: The poem is about a dream I had, but it had nothing to do with the train, which was something that actually happened. it represents giving up on love, and then i dreamed i was in love with someone, and when i woke up I was thinking, wow, I had forgotten ever feeling that way.

Sherry: Love is glorious, but when we lose it, it hurts. We are not always up for risking that much pain again. I  know the feeling of giving up on love.

Shay: Except for doggy love!

Sherry: Of course! Doggy love is the truest kind; it never fails us.

Shay: I had the Fleetwood Mac song "Sara" going through my head. Also, the person I was in love with in the dream was not anyone i know in waking life. 

Sherry: Thanks, Shay, for sharing this poem with us. That "dove with its light down the well, yet sings in the dark when I'm gone" will stay with me a long time. 

Now let's hear from Kelli, with a beautiful poem called  "Stars", written by someone who clearly still feels the full breadth and flight of loving.


I will write my love in stars;
let every letter burn and fall
bright - my wishes where you are.

My want is strong enough by far
to shrink the world between us small.
I will write my love in stars.

Need is wild within my heart,
beating thunder at the walls
tonight - my wishes where you are.

I love with every piece and part;
my skin, my cells - you have it all.
I will write my love in stars.

So let a longing for me start.
A want, a need, a love; call -
don't fight - my wishes where you are.

I'll split the earth that keeps us apart
if you give me any hope at all.
I will write my love in stars -
light - my wishes where you are.

Kelli Simpson, August 3, 2016

Sherry: This is so beautiful, Kelli. I adore "I will write my love in stars." Tell us about this poem.

Kelli: "Stars" is a villanelle, a form that should probably have died with Dylan Thomas. Oh, I'm kidding! Well, mostly. I find the villanelle an almost impossibly difficult form, and I generally avoid it like the plague. But in this case it felt right, and I'm actually not completely embarrassed by the result.

Sherry: I should hope not! I, too, find the villanelle very difficult. It is odd, as I love the pantoum, but somehow the leap from pantoum to villanelle just floors me. You employed it to perfection though. You inspire me to try again.

In closing,  let us enjoy a wonderful poem of Joy's, about one of my favourite creatures, the wise old elephant. Let's take a look.

Thunder mumbled all night,
thunder subdued, a cello played
by a sobbing storm,
or the beat of a drum: an elephant's steps
on the following walk, trunk to tail through
the wrong end of the kaleidoscope
up the curved wall and
down down again toward the moving end.

As the stained-glass lights blind,
she shows me the way
to balance my bulk
up on a ball, on one oak-like foot,
small eyes sunk and kind
too old for my mind.

She's a thing born for trust
despite what we've seen
from killers and users,
pale abusers who'll never hold
the blowing rose that drops away
as they push close.
She knows
all our possum secrets,

our summer fades,
how we murder our minutes
to buy our day.
She sways, a grey
forest that grows wild and wide;
she blocks the dead light

that increases night.
She'll let my feet slide
down the dodger's paradigm
towards the planet that struggles
to be a star, to the music
womb-warm but
played from so far. She bends
down her great head

to let me ride, for going there
might take a fall, and all
that's left of our lives, drums in the rain,
footsteps patient--cello gone soft
thunder subdued,
thunder in mourning.

Joy Jones August 21, 2016

Sherry: Where to start, for it is all wonderful! The cello, the "small eyes, sunk and kind / too old for my mind", and the drums in the rain - such beautiful images. One feels the slow, plodding steps of the elephant.

Joy: Most of my poems start as a thought or a phrase. I scrawl them out and put them in a file to mature till hopefully something comes of them. This one had nothing to do with elephants when it first came to me, but it did have a spirit in it, a somnolent, wise and suffering one, so that when Shay asked us to write about elephants for a prompt, something just clicked and I began to rewrite it. The painting I found to illustrate it added the cello music in the opening. The elephant became part of the soul of the world, and of our own souls in that world, a mirror for both our best and worst selves, and for whatever is greater than each. And in the end, a force to give us strength and comfort.

Sherry: I love the concept of the elephant as part of the soul of the world. We need such mirrors of our best and worst selves, and the treatment of animals on this planet is perhaps one of the most disturbing. Thank you, Joy, for this wonderful poem. 

Kids, these three talented women collaborated on two amazing books : Three Note Howl: The Wild Hunt, and Gemini / Scorpio / Capricorn, both available by clicking on the links. I proudly own both and they are excellent reading.

Thank you, Shay, Kelli and Joy, for stopping by to share these beauties, and your love of poetry, with us. We appreciate it.

Wasn't this wonderful, kids? Three wonderful poems and poets. Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!


  1. Love deep in the soul is a thundering--and so these three very different poems of the heart came together for me. What an odd day it is! To come from the stirring but pragmatic speeches of a MLK day rally for survival and arrive home to this poetic imagery. I am stirred up. What to do with all the energy? Gratitude.

  2. LOL. I love your comment, Susan. I know! So much good energy everywhere - let us channel it and spread it far and wide!

  3. Sherry, thank you so much for featuring one of my poems. You are so supportive, and we all love you for it.

    1. It is my pleasure, Kelli. I absolutely love this poetry community, and the talented people whose work I get to read and share. I love my Job! Smiles.

  4. Three wonderful ladies in blogosphere that Hank has great admiration for, known by their more familiar names of Fireblossom, MZ and Hedge. More in 2017 ladies! Thank you all and Sherry too!


  5. Thank you, Sherry for featuring the brilliant work of these talented women.

  6. You are most welcome, friends. My pleasure.

  7. Thank you Sherry for sharing one of my poems here, and for your constant support and caring.

    1. Thank you for taking part, Joy. I so appreciate it.

  8. Love each one of these amazing poems equally!!! So glad I popped by today. Some talented ladies featured here and as always a lovely interview by Sherry! Thank you all for all you do for us at Poets United and Imaginary Gardens!

  9. What a wonderful trio of poems from such gifted poets...thanks Sherry for bringing these to me and the info about the books!

  10. amazing striking expressions decorated with exquisite poetic devices...natural elements reflecting deep all in one go...Thank you Sherry for the opportunity to read such fine talented poets.Wishing them success in their great creative work...

  11. Thanks, Sherry, for not rejecting us with a form letter! ;-) Seriously, I appreciate all that you do. Thanks so much.

    1. LOL. You are most welcome. Thank you three wonderful poets for saying yes!!

  12. Sherry, A wonderful showcase of talent. All unique, yet connective in the world of poetry.

  13. How good it was to read these love poems that brought back feelings from so many years ago of wooing, winning and losing love in a never ending sickness of the heart. Thank you Shay, Kelli and Joy for reminding once again how precious the human malady of love is and thank you too Sherry making it all happen.

  14. Such a great combination of talent from three very different writers.
    Always a pleasure to see their work featured.

  15. Sorry I'm a little late to comment. Thrilled to read this wonderful post! I'm a great admirer of each of these poets.


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