NaPoWriMo #4: mirror terror



Self-portrait, digital image, 2015

Sometimes life fails me.

Mirrors reveal my terror:

being Black scares me.



NaPoWriMo #3: Even in the Grey



Even in the grey,

those overwhelming moments,

when all seems lost: dance.


NaPoWriMo: Entry #2 Black, is it

not enough to be born

into a must-be-better-than

and can-never-be-good-enough

dominant society that shames

god-given skin, that uses

words and guns to trump,

that whitewashes while adding

phalluses to a supposed history,

that does not know its own face,

a Dorian Gray, if ever one existed,

playing a solitary piggy in the middle

while making a mockery of freedom,









NaPoWriMo | Entry #1: A key turns…somewhere



Paradise Lost. Book ii. Line 146 (Lodestar), acrylic on paper and digital, 11 x 14, Miles Pasick.


I opened myself,

and there I was.


Lifesaving Poems: Mary Oliver’s ‘The Journey’

A great poem to start National Poetry Writing Month. Also, this one:

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Mary Oliver

Anthony Wilson


If there is one theme I keep going back to in these Lifesaving Poems posts, it is this: behind every discovery of every single poem in the list there is a person who nudged it forward, often directly, sometimes invisibly, frequently without knowing it, towards me. From friends, fellow poets and teachers, to sitting in a car park waiting for a poetry workshop, or driving to one, I feel the luckiest of people to have had such great mentors.

This is no less true of my discovery, some three or so years ago, of Mary Oliver’s poetry. Now, I realise, as with my discovery of Billy Collins, that I was pretty much the last person I know to come to this particular party. Until I found this marvellous blog post by my old friend Malcolm Doney I had kind of felt Oliver’s searching and tough-delicate poems…

View original post 403 more words

Poetry.Org Celebrates 20th Anniversary of National Poetry Month — JCU // Creative Writing Workshop

The time has come again. The sunshine of April, twittering birds, budding flora and that overwhelming desire to create signals not only the beginning of spring but also the start of a month-long celebration of poetry. Yes, it is National Poetry Month, the world’s largest literary celebration, and this year marks its 20th anniversary. To celebrate, […]

via Poetry.Org Celebrates 20th Anniversary of National Poetry Month — JCU // Creative Writing Workshop

April 26 | Poet Eleanor Wilner to Read at JCU — JCU // Creative Writing Workshop

Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 6:30-8:00 PM, Reading by Poet Eleanor Wilner. Eleanor Wilner is the author of seven books of poems, including Tourist in Hell (University of Chicago Press) and The Girl with Bees in Her Hair (Copper Canyon Press). Her work is widely anthologized, most recently in The Best American Poetry 2014. (From […]

via April 26 | Poet Eleanor Wilner to Read at JCU — JCU // Creative Writing Workshop

NaPoWriMo: Day 7…Oi oi…

(Of course, I am still behind, but here is my entry for today!  The formatting is far from correct, but I am having a bit of difficulty with WP today. Poem is still a work in progress…)


Via Ostiense

There’s only one park bench

when you turn that corner

from that train station,


announcing first where you are—

where you might be;


when you turn your back

on that displaced pyramid

of scaffolding, half-cleaned,

butted up against that

cemetery filled with those

people who didn’t belong—

at least to the Vatican;


when you can see a bookstand,

covered by used books and rags,

all bounded up by ropes, propped

up by planks of wood to form

a makeshift table—it’s guarded

by an old man and his would-be

customers or companions;


when can you smell a wall of graffiti,

stained by urine, new and old,

smell cigarettes strewn to create

a mosaic with leftover vomit

from the night before the night

before the night before that,

and smell the people passing by

who never glance even one eye

at either bench or stand—

it’s always like that.


Once the lights of night become

only stars, you learn to fear its dark

corners, unless you’re a tourist or

young or careless or drunk or

drugged or any combination

that might make you feel safe

when it’s late in the city, or perhaps

you’ve already learned that lesson—

perhaps you’re in the midst of it?

No one sits or lays on that bench—

except that man with the scraggly hair,


sadly wild eyes, tattered clothing,

swollen feet, darken face but not Black,

smelling of yesterday and the day before that,

smelling of all that’s missing: a home, family,

friends—still, he’s got his cigarettes, half-smoked

by strangers, collected in a cup mixed in

with coins and no lighter.

NaPoWriMo: Day 5…Who knows…


Doli agreed with me about the pleasure,

though twisted,  to be found in action-less love,

through the act of loving, not taking measure,

not caring why or how it came to be, of


not knowing when or where it will go, loving

simply because there is no other choice but

to love, disregarding old boundaries, trusting

the depth of time to heal any old wounds, cut


through the bitterness that hardens our hearts

every time we love and then lose ourselves

in that loving, that careless tossing of parts,

that ultimate destruction of self that delves


too deeply within us, rooting us to

the bitterness of having said  “I love you.”



(Scongelare means to figuratively unfreeze, or literally defrost)