She Hardly Remembers Anymore, by Salvatore Buttaci

She Hardly Remembers Anymore
by Salvatore Buttaci

Hiding in the wine cellar,
she presses her grapes against
the clear glass that offers proof
it can help her forget the toasts
of years so distant in the past
she hardly remembers anymore.

When the darkness settles in,
she gratefully accepts it,
takes it in her upturned palms,
a gift she wants to deserve,
clasps her hands as if in prayer
so darkness cannot escape.

But once more dawn slithers
another new sun
between her closed fingers,
pries them open
while she pretends the wine,
possessively demanding,

is instead a red knight
who saves her,
not the enemy, a friend,
helming in a carmine sea
to sail her free
on the placid Waters of Death,

that last red wound
to whisk her away to abstinence.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 272.

Salvatore Buttaci won the $500 Cyber-wit Poetry Award in 2007. His story collections, Flashing My Shorts and 200 Shorts, were published by All Things That Matter Press. His work has appeared in such publications as The New York Times and The Writer. He and his wife Sharon reside in West Virginia.

Mew Muse, by Debi Swim

Mew Muse
by Debi Swim

The morning dawns, becomes a familiar thing,
after the night’s forgetting. I sit at my laptop
waiting for the words to come, a direction to
point the way. I feel your presence out in the

hall, you are stalking the light that speckles
the floor. Stealthy, slyly, you reach out a paw
and pounce. I will you to come into my room,
to twine between my feet, rub against my shins,

jump in my lap and mew music into my thoughts.
But, no, I hear you out on the sunny side
of the patio. You sit on regal haunches,
looking out over the dewy lawn, completely

ignoring me. At first, I am merely impatient, a
little huffy at your attitude but as the moments
draw a long line on the day I become afraid…
wonder if this time you’ve gone for good.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 255.

Debi Swim is a wife, mother, grandmother and happy WV poet.

No Degree of Separation, by Debi Swim

No Degree of Separation
by Debi Swim

Ah, sweet sorrow that accompanies me
in waking hours and in night’s sad dreams.
That you should give such pleasure and such pain
is a curious thing to me, burden
and yet, a comfort. You show me all the
places we have been, point out a stranger’s
shy smile and how it dimples just as his
and in my dreams that feel so tangible
I’d swear I felt the weight of his tender
touch, exquisite sweetness, exquisite sting.
Mind and body so entwined that thoughts, thoughts
could make the heart ache, the eyes tear, torture
the lungs with air withheld. Oh, sweet sorrow
that transcends transient time to weave her
paths from mind to the very core of life.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 254.

Debi Swim is a wife, mother, grandmother and happy WV poet.

Coming And Going Colors Of Life, by Debi Swim

Coming And Going Colors Of life
by Debi Swim

I began in righteous redness
knitted like yarn into a
recognizable thing. I grew
in darkness, inky onyx,
warm and snug in my fleshy bed.
I came wailing and kicking
purple-tinged, red-faced,
mottled mess of blood and vernix
into the afterbirth of turbulence…
and still I struggle to become,
probably always will, and yet
I’ve made a little progress
toward the coming end when
in hues of blue and parchment,
I’ll close my eyes against the bloody,
mottled mess I leave behind,
and snuggle into the inky onyx darkness
of my alabaster marble rest.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 246.

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and happy WV poet.

Reflections On Love, by Debi Swim

Reflections On Love
by Debi Swim

Who can understand love?
It is a tarnished mirror distorting
images, little chinks of
silver missing, reflecting poorly.
It is algebra, quantum physics,
a nursery rhyme of counting
one, two buckle my shoe.

It is a recipe with vague measures…
a sprinkle of salt, a pound of butter,
enough flour to make wet dough,
sweeten to taste and bake in a hot
oven. We never seemed to get the
ingredients just right, the measure
near enough. Must we throw it out?

Let’s try something new like chicken
tikka masala or the old math, with no
division, only the multiplication table
at which to eat our fill of love.
Let us get rid of this ancient mirror
and gaze into each other’s eyes.
Let’s be clear in our reflections.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 245.

Debi Swim is a wife, mother, grandmother and happy WV poet.

Life Quest, by Debi Swim

Life Quest
by Debi Swim

I’m in that in-between stage
of middle-aged and Old but not
as dirt, nor elderly, but definitely
senior. I’ve given up on dyeing
my hair and wearing three inch
heels or really any heels just a
wedge but always sensible shoes.
I’m at that age where there’s more
time behind than in front and more
of me than there used to be and most
of it crinkly but on the positive side
I wonder more, am less cocksure,
stance more grey than black and white
It doesn’t matter near as much
what I want to be when I grow up.
There’s aches and pains in all my joints
and a drunk controlling my gait.
But, I’ve lived, overcome, survived,
thrived, trusted, loved, birthed, laid
to rest… been human, abided, steady
to the end and have what I always wanted-
growing old with someone just like you.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 220

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and happy WV poet.

How Does It Feel?, by Debi Swim

How Does It Feel?
by Debi Swim

When death is summoned to do his duty
is he emotionless and unyielding
even as he bends over a child’s bed
or a man pleading at his wife’s side?
Are there ever times he drags his feet,
hunches his shoulders, tries not to weep
when coming to the scene of a burnt home
or wretched twisted metal on the highway?
Does he know some sacred secret that
eases his conscience, lightens his load?
Is he a reaper grimly scything the wheat,
harvesting souls for a fiendish yield
of banshee screams and sorrow’s tears?
Do wars, nature’s wrath, and terrorist
random pickings just fill his inbox with more to do?
Maybe he is just content with his job security
on a planet where life is so little valued.
But, I hope when he comes for me
he shows a little compassion.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 217.

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and happy WV poet.

Poetry on the Menu, by Debi Swim

Poetry on the Menu
by Debi Swim

When my soul’s a ’hungered
for sunshine and there’s only rain
or for rain and there’s only sunshine…
when my heart is starving for bill and coo
and you are far away
or when I need to rant and rage
against the wage of man’s sin
or feel ravenous for a gentler time,
famished for tranquility
midst this rat eat rat a tat incivility
I sate my appetite on syllables
sibilant, round, quiet, loud,
that tickle, sooth, incite, unbowed,
unashamed to ravish language
like an alchemist turning base
into gold, distilling the elixir of life.
I am replete, for you see,
“I’ve been eating poetry”

Editor’s note: Written in response to Prompt 49, Red Wolf Poems. “In your piece, reference a line of poetry. The line, “I’ve been eating poetry”, for instance. It is borrowed from Mark Strand’s “Eating Poetry”.”

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and happy WV poet.