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No Tap Shoes

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tap shoesRough day,

thick-headed with the fog of grief

and weak bodied with the blood of life

all tough things at once,

a circle of loss,

this is how to choose your bites —

too large, and sticky-sharp

Overwhelmed with

your human condition


ALL seasons at once

teary, choking humidity,

hot salt and swirling bile

swallowed down

in rhythm

with a blister-busted heart

and sweat-aching bowel


(Just a small voice) muffled

beneath heavy pack,

buried in the avalanche

and heavy swelter of

water-drenched wool,

swaddling the (your) face,

seizing the (your) lungs,

weighing the (your) limbs

Peaceful they say,

(how would they know?)

dancing they say

(without your feet?)

reunited, at last

(but lost to us)


THIS uncharted land.


we’ve read a map,

roughly drawn,

(once or twice before)

to a similar place.

We’re offered directions,

(by every well-meaning passerby)


But NOT this one,


They don’t know it.

not this one,

not this place,

they can’t find this place

where we miss each other,

where you don’t know me,

locked away

in the distant abstraction

of reverie,


longing . . .




do not know . . . )


Until, even hunger is a stranger,

and sleep is your closest friend,

I feel your fingers slip from my grasp,

and with them goes my heart

Is this how it feels?

to lose your compass and canteen,

no shoes upon your feet?

no trail to guide you,


no shoes.

and still,


there are no footprints

(only bone chips) in this sand

(and no arms to carry us either),

no lapping waves at water’s edge,

no horizon to follow,

just the grit and gristle

of sand,

And I can’t even FEEL its heat,

only the thirst,

just THIS  thirst.


So I make water,

of my grief,

and touch the edges of your face in my mind,

and look for you in every corner of my being,

in every laugh and toe tap of this child,

in the newfound creases of my own skin,

in the mixed scent of soap and hairspray

and floral-covered cotton house dresses

and in the bitter sweetness of a peppered melon rind

at summer’s end . . .



(it has just barely begun)


And it’s briny,

but I drink deep,

(it knots my stomach),

but still,

I will drink,

(and yes, survive),

bathed in the hope,

of a freshwater savior,

(attempting my own osmosis


until the sand comes for me,

and with it, a time when,

those behind me,

will drink, too.


— Vanessa Nix Anthony

May 30, 2017




Written by Rainee Squatch

June 9, 2017 at 2:44 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Toynbee’s Inventor

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mackintosh-silver-applesSilver apples of the moon
steeped in dandelion’s wine
grown from carnival Egyptian tombs
in aging funhouse rooms
where Martian-tongued gypsies make
deals in never-ending autumn fields
Amid the acrid scent of burning books
whose weathered pages, like broken butterfly wings
still beating staccato-rippled echoes in the night

A startled heart
thumping loud, behind the lapels of a sweated ice cream suit
thought safe,to take a breath,locked behind a door
its pounding rhythm, A Sound of Thunder, drowning, ringing ears
from closets creep, your inner fears,
Come crawling, spider-legged and spindly, woven of your dreams
to smother, all summer, in a Ray
in culverts filled with cricket sounds
fed by shadows in

Summer’s wind taking temporary possession,
in the October Country’s pumpkin colored skies
a body claimed, to steal a taste
of a young boy’s rebuffed affections
these tattooed vagrants bide their time
holding hands with firemen, spacemen, ghosts and technology’s assassin
while Grandmere, this April Witch, waits with dusted lips
to break her seal
and golden-eyed, give throat to hymns
that sing their bodies electric

A homage to Ray Bradbury, who lit the way in darkness to my dreams.

Written by Rainee Squatch

July 21, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized