Christine Ray smells smoke.

Brave & Reckless

the world burns
flames licking
at my heels
melts amber
encasing me
drop by
precious drop
preferred armor
for fragile sanity
beginning to blur
primal scream
growing deep
in my gut
barely suppressed
I teeter
one presidential tweet
one revisionist headline
one bigoted Facebook post
away from bursting
struck by irony
of how protected
how privileged
this life of mine
really is
wearing accident-of- birth
middle-class skin
with equal parts
I look out
my suburban window
watching mute
the world burns. . .

© 2020 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

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Drive along the Parkway.

LuckyOtter – Blue Ridge Parkway

Lucky Otters Haven


It was a gorgeous day so I took the car up the Blue Ridge Parkway again.  I never get tired of its views.   This activity is so relaxing to me.

The first picture (above) I took at Craggy Gardens, which has an elevation well over 5000 feet.  The trees here are stunted, short, and knobby looking, due to both the cold and the wind.  A little higher up, and deciduous trees disappear completely and are replaced by a spruce/fir forest, similar to what you might see in Canada.  This is the home of the Frasier fir, similar to the kinds of trees you find in a northern boreal forest, but native to the southern Appalachians.  The Frasiers were almost killed off some years ago by the wooly adelgid, a parasite that attacks balsams, hemlocks, and fir trees, but they have grown back.  You can still see the white “skeletons” of…

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Monday’s Coming and We’re not Okay

Something to imagine which many live

Hephaestus’ Waste & Cosmic Rubble

Photo by Mathew MacQuarrie on Unsplash

Monday’s Coming and We’re not Okay

Imagine a world
where property value,
tax-paid infrastructure,
the rule of law,

justice’s infuriatingly slow

tact, decorum,
gold prices and golden manners,

collective peace-of-mind,
tranquility of greater-good,
and the easy flow of
status-quo traffic

and blissful return to
whatever we consider
our communal normal

were all more important

than the unconscionable
completely avoidable
death of your son,
or brother,
or father,
or lover.

Really imagine it though,
and feel free to sub-out
and imagine your daughter,
sister, or mother instead

murdered by the state;

I didn’t recommend it
because I’m no monster.

Now sit with that moment,
that overcooked despair
and rage as your civic institutions
tell you with a dismissive shrug

that his death was unavoidable,
his assailants, servants of the state
are good and normal in completing
the task of snuffing-out his light

and your…

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Calls For Submission

Patimouse – lots of places to submit writing


I decided to offer links to a few calls for submissions today. This has been such a busy week with release day coming up for both Through the Sunshine & Poetic Reminders that I am afraid I have gotten very little else done.

So we will start with the two Fae Corps has…Nightmare Whispers & Fae Dreams.

Then there are two more that I have come across in the last couple of days that I found interesting….

Burningword Literary Journal & Write of Passion both are looking for submissions right now.

then there is this list of 48 Writing Contests in June 2020 

I know that this is a small post for me…but it is highly packed with possibility….If you enter let me know. I am curious as to whether anyone will see this.

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Natural state of being

TheFeatheredSleep – Found



They don’t want to hear about you

you’re not their kind

color, height, smell and gait

sets you apart, making you unpalatable

cast out from something you never belonged to

your back is curved before you hit the ground

sans parachute

cowing in utero to the inevitability of rejection

this is you, yellow girl, jaundiced before birth

you enter the world with a cigarette in one gnarled hand

the other high in protest

Gloria Steinem. could learn a thing or two about

your resolve

while she grew up in affluence and chose her metal

you were given nothing but inherited disease and

a penchant for purposing

all this in the time when women were

supposed to cross their legs in polite company

and open them for their husbands every whim

it disgusted you, the hypocrisy of hate

people at your Baptist church crowing gospel

calling you sinner when they caused…

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Jan Malique marks and reviews five years of blogging.

Strange Goings On In The Shed


I logged into my WordPress account this evening to find a notification announcing an anniversary. Five years of unleashing my eccentric musings on the world. Well, what can I say? Plenty, but I’ll ease you gently into this stream of consciousness dear readers.

My initial efforts were clumsily constructed pieces, reminiscent of a child’s efforts at crafting activities. Dipping my toes into this world, where “proper” writers created and engaged in dialogue was, nerve-wracking. Would my work ‘measure up’, and would anyone even read my posts? A wise person  at the start of the journey offered valuable advice, he said “write what you want to read.” Or thereabouts.

panda-1892023_1280 GraphicMama-team at Pixabay

So I wrote, unlocked doors to strange, and often unsettling worlds where ancient gods, shadowy entities, and human frailties imprinted themselves on the canvas of the psyche. The process could be likened to, I’m reluctant to call it this…

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Christine Ray – Floating

Brave & Reckless

waters rose
‘round me
so gradually
so soothingly
I barely noticed
when gentle lapping
against bare toes
became insistent
nudging of knees
with a feeling
that could be described
I let it gently
close over my head
abandoning myself
to bob
beneath the surface
from time to time
angel fish whisper
to me
I fight to emerge
filling lungs
painful gasp
after painful gasp
with undiluted broadcasts
eyes assaulted by
unfiltered headlines
ears tormented
by buzz of a million
angry hornets
it does not
take very long
until I embrace
drift back watery depths
unexpectedly grateful
to find gills have grown
along my ribs
brightly colored fish
who do not
know the world
of men
entwined in my
seaweed hair
who dart
who play

© 2020 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

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To all but I

TheFeatheredSleep – memory held & memory discarded


Two naked women - I am author of this imageThat silence you hold around you like a mink

is just a stuffed head with loose teeth

meant to rattle on long voyages

if you had the guts to take them.

Do not go beyond, to that infernal

evocation where haunted,

camouflaged people trade real glass

for plastic and suck deeply on

the opiate pipe.

Stay here, pealing as we are, beneath onslaught

Et je fus plein alors de cette vérité

possessing real in hyssop, amaryllis and anise

you say it’s getting late, I say it’s still

early enough

people fall away like pealing clementines

at Christmas, tossing orange skirts on

low fire, see them eaten by flame, till

blackened over, their pride is absorbed.

You climb winding steps away, concertinaed

in your certainly we are ruled by time

reducing from me in sleep

tucking the parts of you filled with shame

like moths will beat and beat and beat

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