I live with my husband, three children and two orange cats in Buffalo, NY where I teach creative writing and composition at Erie Community College. When I'm not running, I'm writing. My poems have appeared in The Healing Muse, Rockhurst Review and Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine. My two chapbooks include My Daughter Wears Her Evil Eye to School (The Writer's Den, 2015) and Chamber Music (Finishing Line Press, 2013).
Fancy journals intimidate —
with built-in bookmarks or engraved covers.
My musings don’t belong in Moleskine.
I romp around the page cheap and free,
exploring long, yellow legal pads.
Scratching until it gets too messy
up and down all the margins.
Here is where I trace the path,
form symbols, hope the map
will lead to unexpected treasure.
A handsome, bright-toothed pirate points
to the key with ruby ring
counting his steps to find
a chest, buried in soft sand.
He’ll split the loot evenly
since I made him up, offer me
a swig of rum and silverscreen kiss
before we board his rugged ship,
off to discover greater bounty
with a slight turn of the compass.
Sonnenizio on a line by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The face of all the world is changed, I think,
since I studied in your seaside class.
My world is filled with poetry now
begging me to transcribe all of it.
Changed, I stop often to reflect
on a heron’s flight or your face
etched with deep rivers of knowledge.
You think I’m too coy to be serious,
but every line of my work is changed
as we face new adventures in this craft.
Everything in this world amounts to sweet timing --
open at the right blink to accept love.
All love is not the romantic kind;
sometimes, I think, shared passions also bind.
She fluttered last night
then kicked real good--
swift jabs, footprint shapes
protruding stick-like out my abdomen.
I tried to decipher a heel or an elbow
before she repositioned herself.
These movements I haven’t felt
in a decade, all my children grown.
No name picked or suitcase packed,
bolting awake, ready for delivery,
I find only these pages
waiting to be swaddled.
©2016 Lisa Wiley