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under a purple night
the moon a pale freckled face
laughing at me
through frosted
the craters of the moon
carve out a fiercely
illuminated face
cheekbones of
rouge and twinkling eyes
beckoning between
the rose bushes
and the purple ivy
climbing up the rooftops
to reach over gothic spirals
an undoing of night.
the red burn of craze
quickens the twitching
of a pestilent ache
within the knuckles
to crack and spill out the silence of
the world
within them
in the event of an emergency,
return my eyes to the sky.
my hair to africa.
my skin to the rain.
give my smile to my mother,
she always loved it best.
give my mouth to my father,
my voice as well. make sure it is loud.

return my poetry to my English teachers,
give my words to my brother.
tell him there was so much i wanted to tell him,
give him both my ears, tell him i will always listen.

give my hands to my heart.
my heart will be tucked in my journals,
give them to the boy who loves me.
mail my songs to Maine,
with the letters you will find inside the shoeboxes.
give my feet to New York City,
my laughter to my students.

return my coffee mugs to my grandmother,
my tongue to her cooking.
give my books to my friends,
and both of my shoulders.

if there is anything left,
give it to the earth.
let the birds make of my bones a home,
let the spring find room to bloom.
give my lungs the air they were waiting for.
inspired by a Sarah Kay poem of the same title.
there is a poem here.
in new york city.
in the park and how the wind
tangles itself between the trees
in the train
eyes that meet
and touching knees
and all the hearts inside that beat
the wandering souls and wandering feet
there is a poem in new york city
does it belong to me?
un día maybe mami
will run her hands through my hair.
she will not try to straighten it.
her fingers will be gentle and kind.
un día maybe she will look at my skin
won't point out the flaws
(aunque los haya)
she will connect all the freckles and beauty marks
me llamará una constellation
miel will drip from her lips
fall on my forehead
un día maybe mami
will understand me
read my poems
write me un poema
in which she loves me
 Oct 2022 Portia Burton
in synergy of sky and sea
shadowy clouds bestow the rain
the gracious sea accepts
then gives it back again

filtering through the clouds
sunshine warms the scene
dancing on the ripples
creating a resplendent sheen

endless sky and water deep
all but a seamless view
who gives color to the other
which one is more blue

allies in a great expanse
their grandeur is sublime
their waltz remains unchanged
as they measure out its time
Inspired by a landscape/seascape in which clouds over the sea in the distance appear to either rain down or draw up mist.
I'm looking for my husband.  He has
disappeared into some place inside
his mind, like a sea creature slides
into a coral bed.

Quick now, here he is for a moment
or an hour.  Like a Robin bobs in
the yard, he is beautiful in his song
before he vanishes into the sky,
flying above or around me.

Are his pieces forever gone? Will
I find a kiss behind my chair meant
for me alone? Will my sorrow erase
the years of love?

I will be brave today.  Tomorrow
I will be the coral he needs. A small
animal in a very large and
strange ocean. .

Caroline Shank

The stream trickled on,
the frog jumped in to cool off,
the branch creaked with loss


autumn golds the leaves,
the cool breeze stirs the summer's
winding song to winter


Wind wraps around me,
I breathe in the winter air,
the cold ice crack snaps


Clouds form.  Cold North winds
toll in.  We run toward Spring,
slide.  You warm in me.

Caroline Shank
 Jun 2022 Portia Burton
it was nice while it lasted
but i guess you figured out
that it was best to stay
away from me, since
i'm nothing but shallow
water left on the bathroom floor
and you are an ocean
twenty leagues deep.
you dreamed that i'd dive straight
into you, not looking back,
but both of us knew that
i wouldn't be able to
breathe at the bottom.
 Jun 2022 Portia Burton
gently interrupted by velvet mountains
burnt sienna soil stretches through olive trees
that lift their limbs toward blue expanse
where pillowy clouds drift with ease

shadows lengthen as the sun spreads
a warmth perceptible to the view
energy and life pouring into ripening fruit
soon harvest gathering will be due

tracks of vehicles between the rows
show signs of tending that's been done
through summer's growing season
and years before when they were begun

saplings planted there with care
by tanned, robust yet gentle hands
have grown taller year by year
where now a stately orchard stands
A picture prompt - reminiscent of van Gogh's paintings of olive tree groves.
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