Poem of the Week-Crop Duster

Crop Duster

The plane takes over the stage
where last night, constellations starred.
The morning’s blue backdrop
rips. Out pops a yellow machine,
double-storied. Oblong wings

tilt, bank, circle, assail
a sea field of corn stalks
high as a bulldozer’s windshield.
Two months ago, the earth opened.
Shouted under vast electric light.

Kernels danced into soil,
sprouted into floppy leaves—
they wave their tassels
to push away the airplane’s
sticky downward-drifting dust.

A shocking plane to fly so low,
just outside a bedroom window.
It should be in a museum, but
the live shadow sails on grass lawns.
Shakes the ears with alarm.

Jeanne DeLarm-Neri
Greenwich Branch, CT

Poem of the Week–Plant Me in Iowa

Plant Me in Iowa No. 2

When only I say it’s time
dear daughters, plant me
in blue-bearded Iris
where I shall wake
to perfumed nights
of fading petals that shyly
ply my touch.
There, will I rest and sleep
in peaceful quietude, alone
and quite at home with God.

Linda Newman Woito
Iowa City Branch, IA

Editor’s Note: Greetings from chilly Melbourne, Australia, where I am with family. I will diligently find time and internet access to give meaning to the “world” in “world wide web.”

Meanwhile, today is the deadline for submissions to the Pen Woman Magazine’s Summer issue. I will now be processing poetry for the Fall and Winter issues, and as usual for the blog.

Poem of the Week-Three Sisters and The Light Between Us


Up in the moors, under the clouds
Sturdy and wide sits a stone house,
Stretching upward, brown and cold,
Mysteriously enveloped in a gray shroud.

From the valley below, nothing is known,
Except for the icy sinister walls
Which trap ancient stories written by three
Talented sisters wrapped in their shawls.

During the day, there is no sign
Of life. But at night the stone house
Becomes mystically alive
As three shadows parade in the candlelight.

As in a trance, they furiously write
Till the break of dawn all through the night,
Those words that death stole from them
Despite their plight.

Three women living in the sturdy stone house.
Sisters that, unflinching, refuse to die.
They whisper their words to poets alive,
The Brontës, Emily, Charlotte, and Anne.

By Alexandra Goodwin
Boca Raton Branch, FL

click here for a link to the Brontë Society in Great Britain for more info about the Brontës and their groundbreaking works.

Light Between Us: True Stories of Healing Through Creative Expression

The Light Between Us, cover painting by Dorothy Atkins

The Light Between Us, cover painting by Dorothy Atkins

Click here to pre-order this collection of stories by Pen Women now! From the back cover by Marilyn Lewis:

The Light Between Us is the open and honest sharing of renewal. Throughout these pages, creative women bear witness to the healing power of artistic and literary expression. These stories will lift your soul and give inspiration to your own new vision.

Memorial Day Poem

Rest Peacefully

Once they floated in mothers’ wombs
Now interred
In well aligned tombs
Though much life
Meant still to live
Their lives
For our country
They did give
They lie beneath
Our sacred soil
Because man can’t live
Minus knife and foil
Now cannons and rifles
Rattle the calm
And horrific bombs

Rest peacefully
Under flowers
And flags
And long after
Due to the weather sags
They who died
For their blessed land
Are held tightly
By the good Lord’s hands
Happy Memorial Day
For all those who died for the USA
Barb Whitmarsh

Editor’s note: This poem was due to go up on Monday, May 25, but as many of you may know, I live in Houston and Monday and Tuesday were not ordinary days here. Prayers for all those affected by the storms and floods. We are fine and our hearts go out to those still recovering from losses.–Treanor Baring

Click here to visit our competitions page to learn more about our Vinnie Ream Medal competition, postmark deadline June 1, 2015!

Poem of the Week–Armistice


I pass the long train
as it waits, unmoving,
each flat car carrying military vehicles —
armored tanks with caterpillar tracks,
long gun noses extend into air —
the kind of transport we only see on the news
rolling down the streets of Baghdad,
Helmand province,
Tiananmen Square,
right here in Ceres, California,
and for a minute it jolts me,
all the more ironic
since it is Memorial Day weekend
and this looks like an invasion,
tank after tank after tank,
gray green gigantic Tonka toys
that have played for real
in the game of war,
not raw recruits
but old war horses,
hopefully on their way
to some kind of resting place
where they will be honored
for their service,
never used again

Nancy Haskett
Modesto Branch, CA

Poem of the Week–Between Times

Between Times

During hard, empty-hearted years
I fled to your place, wherever it was,
to get my breath, my footing,
to talk over cups of French-pressed coffee
about parents who drank too much
and men who loved too little.
After you went to work, I padded around your home,
savoring the cool tiles of your kitchen beneath my bare feet,
and the coarse thick yellow-green grass outdoors in your yard
before settling into a comfortable chair with my diary to consider
it all, mostly love and work.
When you came home, we talked and talked,
two friends weaving the fine silken threads
of their lives into handiworks
with which to wrap truth
and hold it
for a moment.

Christie Palmer Lowrance
Cape Cod Branch, MA

Poem of the Week–My Child Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to every woman, whether your child is grown, still with you minute-by-minute, or is your art!

My Child

My love for you, my child,
is warm and tender,
yet it is fierce and strong

My love for you, my child,
is full of wonder; delighted with your victories,
yet wants to shield you from the world beyond

My love for you, my child,
is knowing love,
it’s wary of the time to come,
when you will leave for distant shores

Now spread your wings, my child,
and fly away, though do remember:
my home and heart are always open

Come back and lick your wounds,
then fly away again
to new adventures

Ute Buehler
Minnesota Branch

Editor’s note on the apostrophe in Mother’s Day:

Oh, the details! To put an apostrophe in the word “Mother” and if so, before or after the “s”? Here’s why I chose to put make it Mother’s Day, singular possessive, from www.betterwritingskills.com. After all, we as Pen Women, honor the legacy of creators, so let’s honor the creator of Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis, and each our own (individual) mother.

Poem of the Week–April


April is a thieving bitch.
April is the cowbird who kicked
sparrow eggs to a snake below.
Laid her own, abandoned them.

April stole my father.
April is a greedy bitch,
hungers for more. You ‘d
think warmth, waxing day
light would lift her mood,

but no, even clumps of pewter-
bottomed clouds bounce their round,
white bellies north, toward the lake,
sky so blue it looks fake. Fear.

I face that direction. Song sparrow’s
liquid serenade pierces my heart. I know
what is happening on that shore, right now.
I stand vigil.
April is kidnapping my friend
another fight lost to death.

April should display only forsythia froth,
daffodils’ band as they trumpet,
crocuses’ creeping purple, orange,
heads to the ground filled with sleep-drunk
honeybees warmed enough
to gather saffron.

Don’t die in winter.
The cold, the snow, heartlessness.
Come home in spring, some April
afternoon by an ice melted lake.
Don’t leave me to receive
your suitcase, your glasses smudged
as if just shoved in breast pocket.

One eyelash on their frame shatters
left-over shards of my heart.
My knees root me to the earth. Face north,
scattered tatters, fingers sift
a life remembered spread
before me on the asphalt.
I smear my face with mud and I weep.

Rachael Ikins
Central New York Branch, NY

Poem of the Week–Restorative & a call for bloggers


For Lorraine

A hand of spring lies gentle
on this wounded land.
Golden fingers of sunlight stretch
across my bed while winter sinks into the Earth.

Or winter raises up from the Earth.
Stands on her hind legs to walk away.
Melted ice mounds crackle and mutter.

A betrayal to their cold minds. Winter stands
on her sculpted hind legs. Water rivulets
flow the length of her calves, dribble from her heels.

She trails pooling footprints’ necklace.
Divots, dead grass, mud, tangle with potential green.
Oh. We know she bowed our heads
those many months of darkness.

Water returns to ground, to river, to lake, to sea.
It flings fingerfuls upon the beaches, silver reaches,
Stretches to call her back to the depths. No.

Winter walks on. Wordless. Away.
Sinks into the brown. Flies into the blue,
shades of blue streaming, spring’s sunlit skies.
Scent of her breath.

Rachael Z. Ikins
Central New York Branch, NY

Interested in writing blog posts for the www.nlapw.org blog? Contact webeditor@nlapw.org for details. Writers Get Together is also seeking blog writers. Click here for more info or submit a blog post by email to writersgettogether@outlook.com in .doc or .rtf format.

Poem of the Week–The Gordian Knot

The Gordian Knot

Who love each other
But blur the lines, blur the boundaries
Borrow money, borrow trust
From each other
Slip the ropes around the heart
And begin to pull
Until love dies slowly
No one knows why
No one knows
How to untangle the Gordian knot
Where does it begin?
Where does it end?
The puzzle remains unsolved
People remain tangled even as
Hope strains for a solution.

Susan Bassler Pickford
Member at large