I Am From

I am from…

I am from the infinite horizon, all the way to the blurry ends of this world and the next.

I am from the solar system, a yellow dwarf star, bright gold always.

I am from the third planet from the center, breathing blues and greens.

I am from the now and the past and the future.

I am from Eve and her daughters, sisters, mothers all.

I am from the West, the First World, the Privileged, the Outspoken.

I am from Erin Go Bragh and God Save the Queen and Hail to the Chief.

I am from the land of  biscuits and greens and grits, y’all’s and supper bells.

I am from the hands planting rosemary, thyme, and lavender.

I am from the garlic and oil–a marriage in the skillet.

I am from the church suppers and chicken dinners and potlucks for every occasion.

I am from the orange church pew, mildewing effigy to the evangelical 70’s, KJV thumped and thumper.

I am from the small voiced child reciting John 3:16 to a dark chapel.

I am from the Sunday School parties, Scripture memory awards, the Bible drills.

I am from children’s choir, blasting my off-key praises.

I am from the poor family in a rich church, the pitied, the unpopular.

I am from the hand-me-downs, the thrifted clothes, the badges of status and worth.

I am from the question askers, the doubters, the antagonist of all the just believers.

I am from the girl silenced, oppressed,  heavy-hearted, shamed by God’s well-intentioned people.

I am from the feminist rising up who dared said: ENOUGH!

I am from a new song, a new day, a new era when women speak and are heard.

I am from my sisters, my mothers, my fellow truth seekers, my Jesus women.

I am from my body, neither object or commodity.

I am from my strength, my voice, my ability to shout.

I am from South, the United States, North America.

I am from the water world, land and air meeting and living.

I am from these planets and sun and moons.

I am from the cosmos, without end stretching beyond all that

I am from….

Prayer Looks Like


prayer looks like

a black hole,

a wide maw open

inhaling all of our

fuck this and what the hells

into nothingness.

our words drown

in the bottomless weight

of darkness.



prayer looks like

an open field

grass bending over

listening to  windtalkers,

our words filling in

the empty spaces

between gusts and stills.


where is god?

he is the still voice

urging us to speak.


My Better Self

my better self lives

at the bottom of the potato chip bag.

salt covered and rippled,

she waits for me

to reach down deep,

uncover her from the saline mess,

pull her out like new clothes.

slip her on over my skin

until we two become one.


i’m too late—she’s dead.

maybe,  the next bag will be different.

Purging the Old Away

Purging the Old Away 


watch the smoke billow higher,

toward cloud and moon.

the wood cracks and hisses

out its last words

then–silent. more to come.


sweep the confetti floors

till carpet is blue again.

new year purges the tattered memory

even when it tries to hang on

by a dusty cobweb thread.


 look around and ask–what’s left?

nothing but newness;

waiting to become


Mary, Mother

world glows from

behind white twinkle lights.

snow doesn’t fall until

just after christmas.


even the lights make do

with the damp, the south.

we’ve never lived

in a perfect currier&ives land

just this place

of yellow dried grass

and brown-bare evergreens.


mary didn’t live

amongst the satin-silked.

perhaps, the stable

wasn’t her perfect delivery room–

it wouldn’t be mine–

yet, when time and need

collided and said:


perfect was asked

to leave.

Beyond All This: Guest Post

Today, I am honored to welcome another guest post, Veronica Ibarra. 

I first met Veronica whilst working with at risk youth, and we became friends over our mutual love of Jane Austen, fine literature, and zombies. She and I co-founded The Dark Jane Austen Book Club, and she writes for her own blog Veronica Monique: Word Warrior. I am pleased to present her poetic contribution here today.



Beyond All This


It isn’t a room in which I sit,

Where still silence echoes,

And darkness mirrors.

It’s a calm place where the storm rages,

Where acid tears scar my heart

As cherished voices slash deepest,

And sympathy is twisted into disgust.

Reality falls away

Leaving madness in its wake.

Foolishly I believe the lie,

Begging for its obliteration.

Please, help me see.

Give me strength to believe

I am as You made me.

With bleeding fingers I will climb from the abyss.

I will breathe in the light

To hear love and feel bliss

Because You did not leave me.

You live inside,

Deeper than the darkness

Beyond all this.



Heed: Guest Post

Today, I am honored to have one of my new internet friends as guest poet. Meet Mary C. M. Phillips! She is a lovely writer, deep thinker, and fellow dog lover(all poets should have dogs). Without further eloquence, I present her poem: Heed.



Of course it snows in winter

I expect it to be cold

with menacing clouds

and a dull pain

behind my eyes that tells me

a storm is coming.

My Lord says to walk in humility;

“Consider others better than yourself.”

I vow to surrender my pride

promising obedience, I say

“I will not mess things up.”

He then reminds me to

take my gloves and

wear a warm hat.


Mary C. M. Phillips is a writer of narrative essays and short stories.  

Her work can be read in several national bestselling anthologies such as A Cup of ComfortChicken Soup for the Soul, and Bad Austen-The Worst Stories Jane Never Wrote from Adams Media.  Her story, Jumper Cables, can be read in the new anthology, Finding Churchavailable next week from Civitas Press.

Mary blogs at Caffeine Epiphanies, a blog primarily devoted to literary heroines and contributes regularly to The Dark Jane Austen Book Club
As a musician, she has recorded and toured nationally for various alternative rock groups (Matthew Sweet, Marti Jones, Chris Stamey, and Don Dixon) and most recently with Red Wordsa New York based rock-and-worship band.

My essays are based on real life experiences, both humorous and inspirational.  The most satisfying task for me as a writer is to communicate that “A-ha” moment.  Whether in the discipline of short stories, songs, or poems, creative expression is (not only the truest art form) but also a vehicle for God’s love.  

we shall be heard

come you soprano wailers,

come you alto crooners,

you off-key hand raisers–

come, we shall be heard in the High Country.


watch the stones

rumbling on the mountainside

early morning bass notes

tremble out.

listen as the trees

knee slap their limbs

beatslap us an accompanient.

there, join arms with these sisters

raise, raise, raise

your voices-soprano, alto, off-key

doesn’t matter…fill this place

with harmony.


come you soprano wailers,

come you alto crooners,

you off-key hand raisers–

come, we shall be heard in the High Country.

we wait here

i know these mornings.

wind blows around, through

catching the lip of my cuff,

eating away the night’s sleep.

we wait here

to listen for the sunrise

behind the clouds–

frozen and warm,

exhausted and alive–

yes, i know these mornings.

The Rape of Humanity: Guest Post

Today, I am so very pleased to present our FIRST EVER guest poster, Grace Biskie! 
Grace is a passionate, big-dreaming extroverted communicator.  Wifey to Dave & Mama of 2 little boys therefore working hard to memorize Thomas the Tank Engine’s vast friendship base.  Grace likes to think she’s Joyce Meyer meets Halle Berry meets Anne Lammott…but she also knows she shouldn’t think more highly of herself than she ought.  She is a writer, a speaker and a program coordinator for a Foundation serving high school students in NYC & Kalamazoo, MI.  Grace is an essayist in the upcoming anthology, I Speak for Myself: 40 American Christian Women Under 40 addressing the topic of taboo.  (Published by White Cloud Press, 2013).  Also, she’s working on her first book, Detroit’s Daughter, a memoir about surviving her father, her brother, abuse, racism, Christians, boys, and poverty, while growing up in inner-city Detroit.   She loves social networking, photography, fashion & swiss cake rolls. She hates horcruxes and human trafficking. You can follow her adventures in trying to lead a purposeful, grace-filled, beautiful life on her blog, Gabbing With Grace, or on Twitter.

The Rape of Humanity: A Sestina for an Escaped Sex Slave 

By: Grace Biskie


The room was filthy and cockroach infested. 

Locked in a cage.   Shocked with electrical wire.  Whipped with metal cables until raw,

it all culminated in gang rape.

My mother sold me at 7. Twenty times a day my legs were pried open.

Burned with hot pokers forced to lie under the cover of biting insects was the torture

for a failed escape. I took my chances: fate would give me death or freedom.

There are 12 million of us, voiceless, desperate to be free.

But 32 billion reasons why selling our womanhood remains a global infestation.

Under 5, over 5, newborns, too.  Over 20 is “too old” for this form of torture.

Our hearts our raw,

our bodies are sewn up, ripped apart, sewn up and again torn open

yet it’s our humanity that’s at stake; it too is subject to rape.

Soul ravaged but not raped,

I choose forgiveness to set me free.

Conserve my energy to prying freedom’s doors open

for those still caged, my desire for rescuing them upholding my heart from infestation.

Nightmares threaten to keep me raw,

but it’s my will that refuses to be subjected to a self imposed torture.

I look in her eyes and I see her torture

for the 5th time today, she’s been raped.

Every inch of her skin is raw.

She’s never been free.

She’s only 5.  Her entire life has been infested.

It’s all she knows: “lay down. Shut up. Legs open.”

It’s all he knows: “lay down. Shut up. Legs open,”

Since he was 18 he’s been in the business of torture.

He doesn’t know his heart is hell bent on infestation.

He cares little for the 12 million who –today- will be raped.

He wants the control.  Wallet open, he wants the power.  He believes a good orgasm isn’t free.

He wants her young.  He wants her raw.

Yet, they want to be “young”.  They want to hope, but it’s too scary, much too raw.

They want to shut it down with a deafening shout: “NO! Business is NOT open!”

What they want is simple: set the captive free.

…a respite from torture.

…to heal from rape.

…hope to permeate humanity’s infestation.

Gently clasp the face of the young, raw woman to declare her freedom!

Open up your mind, your heart and your wallet too lest you unknowingly slip down the slippery slope of the indifference infestation…

…or you can power up the Macbook, watch your porn and ignore the torture of our dear sisters while our humanity is at stake.  It’s nothing less than all of humanity being raped.