Unfinished Pisces by Pacific NW artist CC WillowThese are personal – often exploring roles in interpersonal relationships such as family, friend, lover, enemy.

Samples below

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Look Deeper

Do not mistake me;
that which is exposed still hides
my roots’ true nature.

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Soundcloud audio

i don’t like Self Doubt at my party;
he came uninvited,
tagged along with Self Pity,
hid behind its big ego
and slipped in.
didn’t even use protection.
and now, the morning after,
he’s telling me i’m too fat
and why do a let a little thing
like the common cold or bruised ankle
stop me from much needed exercise
as if getting sick was a personal failing.
Self Doubt sits on the couch, scratching it’s belly
and begins to pick, telling me
i should have done something more
than coddle myself all week –
“it obviously wasn’t successful.
you’re still sick –
and look at everything you let slide” –
having chose me, he is now set to prove
i’m not good enough.
according to self-doubt
i’m too fat
i’m too old
i’m too boring
i’m too incapable
i’m too lazy
i’m too …
i’m too busy to listen to him anymore.
he is out the door and will not get the key.

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Soundcolud audio

During the first crash,
stockbrokers and their investors
having been stripped of all
jumped to their deaths.

In New York, I once watched a Jill jump
or rather a Jill fell.

The 5th floor of my new building
is based with a ground cushion;
plantings that would treacherously soften the impact.
One could easily get carried away, live another day.
No way to make it to the sidewalk
unless one really threw themselves, took a running start
threw their arms in the air as if to catch it;
an albatross with broken wings trying to fly.

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The PAD poetry prompt for April 9 was “under the weather” ..

sleeping under a storm

 Soundcloud audio

CC Willow ink art Zentangle 132
Zentangle 132 (NFS) by CC Willow

i see a black mass between me and the door tonight
living and aware, a sentient hurricane;
and dreams of spiders white as bone when my eyes close
i could easily be a tree wrapped in webbing this shivering night

a proverbial ship on the storm

for these crawlers and their fleshy mandibles
perhaps that is why i feel alien legs on my skin -i see nothing
brush nothing, slap nothing – yet still the skittering forays
like raindrops racing down on a window, gathering force

a flashlight will not reveal them, nor a mirror; i tell myself

“don’t turn left”*
it’s an atmospheric system that will pass, a wind bringing
unpleasant temporary guests; this hurricane waits just beyond fingertip
measuring – testing barometric drops and highs of pressure –

the air gets thin, it’s hard for lung walls to breathe

and i, also testing measuring, trying to identify friend or foe
wait it out, batten down the hatches, tell myself it
could be phantasm, could be a dream, could be i finally shattered again …
a tropical storm drowning an isolated island – they do recur, don’t they

it would explain how i feel like i’m wading as i pace the room

or could just be a fallen hair, lying on skin too attuned, too reactive –
a thin strand of hair blown, bobbing as the fingers of wind flick at it –
i shed hair all the time – minute variations of atmospheric pressure
blowing strands across my skin …

that would be rational, a logical supposition to explain away

heightened thoughts in the dark, a theory to shine light on …
were i not bundled in my nightclothes and heavy blankets, no skin exposed –
battened hatches, remember –
and the hurricane not lurking there, smirking and persistent – i feel

i made no impressive impression, my rationale not

withstanding full gale winds of this inky night  –
how did i not notice the numbers on my clock being a tornado sky green
oh i want to sleep – hibernate into non-awareness until it passes – but then
i see bone white legs bloom from between pillows, glittering uncaring eyes …

and i’m sitting again – contemplating –

willing this to dissipate, flow north, return me to becalmed waters or dry land
telling myself it’s not really there isn’t working – and besides
even the flashlight’s beam confirms its swirling and threat
i don’t speak to it, however: what effect has shouting to a storm ever had

on a storm – no, only patience wins out, enduring, waiting it out
in dug-out shelters, even the cats have huddled under the bed

*Yes – Whovians – you are not mistaken. That is a Doctor Who/Donna episode reference I stuck in  there.

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Soundcloud audio

come unbidden
in the night;
no longer black and white
but shades of gray. And I don’t know the way
back from the deep recesses
of the mind.
Too much time.

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Isn’t It Nice o Have A Friend

(The Skipper)

Soundcloud audio
When feelings boil over
and you get bit by Rover,
When you get mixed up in your roles,
and in your pants you find four holes
(one in a very embarrassing place),
then you find a zit in the middle of your face …
When you find a ripped-out pocket in your coat
(and you no longer have your note),
When your pet tarantula gets free,
and your brother goes crazy
(thinking he’s The Man on The Moon),
and you think you’re going to join him soon …
When, in matrimony, you hope you’ll lose another brother
but instead you gain a sister(with a little brat you end up baby-sitting to boot),
and it seems no-one gives a hoot . . .

Isn’t it nice to have a friend
to whom you can talk to with no end,
Then you can cry on her shoulder
and she’ll say you’re not as crazy as any other
person in the world,
And you can depend on her word
that things will get better soon
(even that Man on The Moon),
She’ll assure you the teeth marks don’t show,
and she gets a needle and sews up each and every hole,
Tell you your face will clear,
and your tarantula is under her chair
(She doesn’t faint or even jump;
her phobia can wait till you’reover your blue funk),
She’ll tell you she’s glad that you’re around
and soon you’re laughing on the ground . . .
Isn’t nice to have a friend?

~Dedicated to my soul sister “Willy Whippor Willow Jr.”

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Soundclud audio

What are they?
What do they mean?
Why are they so
fragile, yet so

They’re so small,
Just little lines
lying next to each other,
like sticks

But …
just a few of these sticks
has sparked rebellions,
created democracies,
gave birth to

A few words
killed over three billion lives,
almost an entire race,
within just
a few short
A few words!

Yet …
what is this
but words?

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The Formed Eye

Soundcloud audio

The fog is in the fir trees,
now dragging its slimy belly
on the bank.
Even the dirt keeps breathing
a small death.
Taken from the ocean,
the river turns upon itself.
in the dark time, an eye
begins to form.

Let us go then, you and I,
the Cambridge Ladies who live in
furnished souls,
who never dreamed of incarnate
gaps in time and space,
but of a world of knights,
wizards and Love.
Let us go then to imaginary gardens
with real toads in them.
But the flowering lily pads
are moody, lapping their glossy sides
as if trying to hide
the slightest flaw, but
failing completely.
And the warm eye in the sky
is gone
and there is no light.
I knew not that you
had covered my eyes, as
you led me down a path
of twists and turns; a
descent follows, endless and

One must have a mind of winter,
biting clear and cold,
who sees, who steps, who calls in a
blessed rage for order.
When sisters separate, they haunt
each other: you know in
not to sing.

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The Greater Sin

Soundcloud audio

I would not
forgive you.

Who am I to
refuse you forgiveness?

I am not better
than you.
I have not progressed
more than you;
not if I let
jealously wrinkle my soul,
not if I hold
a grudge
against something
that is insignificant
compared to losing
our sisterhood
that we have shared
through the eternities.

You have begged and begged
in the past months
for forgiveness.

And I turned you aside
wrapping myself up in the hurt
… and hypocritical righteousness.

Mine was the
Greater Sin,
that of no mercy.

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skin walker 1

your own skin is a terrible place to dwell,
to obsess over, to live in and inhabit; there
is a reason why we breed, become more than
just ourselves, create others to think about
care for; gets us out of our skins, we decorate
the skin of our walls with paint, wood, inked
photographs – trying to escape the limitations
put upon us, the boundaries. we drape fabric
and metals over our own lath & plaster. even inked
words are meant to remove us out of myopic vision
allow passage into another’s, to feel contented dermis
pumping blood, air caressing their mitrachondria, sun
creating melatonin and synthesizing cholecalciferol;
learning locations of their pleasures, their scars –
how the world looks through windows not brown
and half-shaded with sleep and worry. my brain too
wants to escape into another’s skin, to let go
of the irritation that flares when fingers catch
the dermal layer, want to escape the riot of histamines,
a immune system gone amok and cancerous, welts
are layered in layers where i sit, where i unsuccessfully try
to lay. not even fingers combing out hair is consequence-free:
hair follicles feeling like volcanic plugs under siege
by pressure – i can feel my skin bubble, give way on
my soles when walking – letting go of integral cohesion.
i am walking on sponges, on rotted wood, in swamps;
my spirit is an animal yearning to escape it’s mortal coil,
it’s imposed springs and catches, it’s huddled den,
it remembers walking among others, eating, evolving
to being more than just flesh – journeys that fed
words and  sustenance, journeys among warming sun
and hibernating snow; my spirit remembers the heat
and smell of fire in the hearth, placing dishes around
a gathering table – not this year. this present i must shun
all but my own skin; no secure blankets, no covering
clothes or shoes, no being held in another’s arms …

i don’t dare touch myself.

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what is the saying –
stranger in a strange land?
yes, and i think
how strange that we stand perpendicularly
on insecure legs
flat feet too small to make a footprint
swing arms forward & back for balance
as windmills trying to propel ourselves
falling forward
the motion of moving one impotent foot forward
and before the entirety of that consequence
the other is put in motion.

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just before dawn

willow weeps
vines twist
the birds are silent

white moonflowers close
as luna’s light fades
stars go out like spent candles

i’m picking words off dirty carpets

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checklist: discovery

  1. this isn’t to say
  2. there aren’t things
  3. before you start
  4. you need to stretch
  5. stretching anything
  6. priming
  7. preparing
  8. first things first
  9. or start with the last
  10. getting ready
  11. building up steam, momentum
  12. reserve the word “start”
  13. set your alarm clock
  14. how do you do that
  15. somewhere inside, you hold the time perfectly
  16. a perfect clock
  17. a perfect wish to create
  18. say to yourself “tomorrow morning”
  19. you’ll oversleep
  20. “first thing”
  21. you don’t mean it
  22. “right now”
  23. come on with booming reggae
  24. practice starting
  25. say “no” loudly, clearly to aloneness
  26. feel belligerent that split second “no” whispers, tempts
  27. take that short walk to a passionate begining
  28. encounter
  29. bring yourself
  30. get caught in a maze
  31. enter a trance
  32. hush, hold
  33. start.

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past midnight

the cotton sheet
i lay on
is mostly smooth,
almost perfect,
for one wrinkle,
a tiny cliff,
where it unevenly
folds upon itself.
it worries the skin,
this unexpected
pressure; you
would think
the days accumulation
enough to avoid this
negligible cold
flat blade
but as you try
to sleep
that sharp edge
that scrapes
your skin
will be your
only worry
until morning.

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