In the beginning, in margins and in-between


Writing always begins with white space — a blank page or word document. I like to think of it as a place — a silent world where stories, ideas and characters live until they are pulled into existence by our words, sentences and stanzas. A place that remains even after we cleave that blank page with lines of poetry.

White space is where that silent world carries on and characters continue their lives in pauses, in margins and in between lines. It’s the unwritten words — the untold story our strategic line breaks can conjure. …


is like sledding
down a glistening slope —
the faster you slide, the nearer the end
and if you live full speed ahead, it can take your breath away.

Song Parody of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee


Standin’ around the Christmas tree
with the same old office bunch.
Bored to death, I’m ready to flee
until someone spikes the punch.

Dancin’ around the Christmas tree
with a lampshade on my head.
Co-workers point and laugh with glee
as I turn their faces red.

I just get a little rowdy feeling … when I drink,
twirling, singing “Let’s celebrate.
Deck those halls, I’m feeling great!”

Chasin’ around the Christmas tree
with mistletoe in my teeth.
My naked butt on the copier
and around my neck a wreath.

(awesome sax solo)

I just get a little rowdy feeling…

Dear face in my wall,

I see you hiding in that stucco swirl,
sulking in the cobwebbed dinge
that’s settled in your creases.
I bet you think I don’t notice.

Day after day I sit opposite you —
watch as you quietly contemplate
your dull, tragic life.

I watch the shadows crawl
across your eyes —
the disappointment
of going nowhere.

I know how deep your cracks run,
how you pretend you don’t feel
that pit of live wires, writhing
like snakes in your gut, waiting
to bring you down with the tiniest spark.

Always, I see you looking back.
Why do you stare at me
with your mask of pale plaster
and textured skin mimicking my flaws?

It is cruel of you to pretend to be me.

A Grossblank Poem

Max Pixel

The days of summer drifted tranquil as a dream,
with thoughts of winter buried back in early spring.
But now I hear that he has blown back into town
to stir unpleasant memories of times gone by.
This morning brought him calling in his bleak, white coat.
Around him flowers wilt beneath his rude embrace.
I hear his whispers beckoning to let him in
and see his frosty breath fog up the window-panes.
Above my door his icy fangs hang waiting for
a chance to drop and snuggle close against my skin
— to nibble at my ears and chap my lips. Oh how
I shudder at the thought of winter's dreaded kiss.


Your little brain child has grown into an imaginative, young poem and it’s time to send it out into the world to make something of itself. But wait, before the unveiling, before you push your little darling out the door to face an editor, there are some things it should know if it wants to make a good impression on the literary world and be taken seriously.

Poetry can have many different looks, voices, and styles. Before its big debut, share these tips with your aspiring, poetic masterpiece to help it stand out in a crowd:

  1. Research. If you pay…

50 word story — Toys in the Attic prompt


Piece by piece, Mommy pulls treasures out of the trunk — ‘memories’ she calls them. My heart skips when I see the lonely dolly. “Baby Tara’s doll,” she says with sadness, putting it back. I want it, but Mommy shakes her head no. Whoever baby Tara is, I don’t like her.


Air is the shape of gone things.
It’s the shape of what-was
clinging to what-is
in a continuous current
of drifting, empty things.

Air is the shape of tattered butterflies
fluttering away from the place where love laid —
where passion, no longer shared,
empties from the outline of our bodies.
Air is the shape of cracks in our bond.
It’s the space between us expanding
into a rift of uncertainty.

The shape of air is the eye of a swirling storm.
It’s unsaid words we never shared —
shapes of wings rising in an empty sky
circling above the chasm…

a blitz poem


One life to live
One step at a time
Time waits for no one
Time to move on
On the wrong track
On a dead run
Run-away child
Run for your life
Life in the fast lane
Life is too short
Short-cut to hell
Short time to get there
There lies the problem
There in your mind
Mind is a trap
Mind over matter
Matter of fact
Matter of trust
Trust in the light
Trust not the darkness
Darkness imprisons
Darkness blinds all
All hell breaks loose
All honor is going
Going away
Going nowhere
Nowhere to hide
Nowhere to run
Run from the shadows
Run far and long
Long is the road
Long way to go
Go to the light
Go it alone
Alone in your skin
Alone you can think
Think for yourself
Think when…

Wikimedia Commons

Vines of ivy partially cover the brick walls of the sprawling, two-story mansion. A modest sign on the manicured lawn reads ‘The Dreamers Resort’. I’m excited and a little nervous too, as I walk up the winding stone path and into the lobby, overnight bag in hand. The marble and polished oak decor would have you believe this is a typical 5-star hotel, when in fact, its innovative technology pushes it way beyond. Their virtual reality accommodations are renowned in the writing world for unlocking hidden ‘inner stories’ from a deep dream state. …

Annie Caldwell

Lifelong learner, experimenter, writer and lover of poetry.

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