Posted in Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge

The Infinite Now – OctPoWriMo, Oct. 31

The Infinite Now



This moment.

This single Now

Becomes infinite.

All possibilities

Exist first and only here.

There is no other time for me

No other instant I can act in –

This heartbeat, this breath, and only this one

Holds the magic of thought, impulse, movement.

Waiting as open as the vastness

Of the Grand Canyon in the star-

Pierced near utter dark, open.

Unseen unknown landscapes

Their power soul -sensed

Wide deep fierce true

Only bound by

What I


Grand Canyon 1


Posted in Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge

Two Lives, Two Rings – OctPoWriMo, Oct. 30



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Two Lives, Two Rings



I lost my ruby ring on my wedding day


For years, I wore it on chain


Where it rested just above my breasts


Warmed y my skin, and warming my soul.






It was my grandmother’s ring, a treasure


From the days before rubies were grown


The deep wine red with tones of pink


That I had worn on my small finger


When I was nine


And attended her funeral.






The day I was married, I wanted to


Wear a necklace that matched my dress


And so removed my grandma’s ring, and


I never saw it again.




The stone was set in a delicate filigree of gold,


A intriguing braiding of supple metal


That reminds me of the nurse


Who stood behind me as I cried on the bed


And whisperingly braided my hair


As I held my dying fiance in my arms.






I was twenty-five then, and the thought


Of my life without him was a jagged precipice


Like the fifth floor window I had so briefly


Considered trying to leap out of


Before the death-message doctor could stop me.






And then, when I ran out of things to say in


Tear drowned and crumbling words


And you simply relaxed soundlessly into


The undiscovered country where I


Could not follow you.






Because I had promised him that I would live


And accept love if it were offered freely


I went on and accepted the love of


A dear friend, and the gift of our








One little boy, and then a second-


Born not breathing, terror replacing joy


Twelve days of unreal, breathhold living


Traveling the long road to the hospital NICU


Each and every day –


Until he died.






A year later, less five days


Our daughter’s cries wrung out


My tears of relief and joy


Although I would not trust that


She was here to stay


Until after she turned one.






Another ring lost, some years back


A simple sterling claddagh


with a purple glass gem


Meant, perhaps to be amethyst.


It was bought for pocket cash


At a farmer’s market on


The Erie Canal, on a whim.





It slipped off my finger while


I was tending our home, and,


Although I looked and looked


everywhere I thought it might be


It was simply gone, and I


Eventually accepted the fact.






The, two weeks ago,


My daughter came to me


In her sparkling, laughing way.
“Guess which hand, Mommy?”


And she knew I would guess left


Because I always do.






There on her palm, as though conjured


Lay the simple claddagh ring


Symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship


A gift now from my daughter to me


Just as she is a gift given from sorrow.






The ring had fallen into a corner


Back in her closet, and lay


A hidden treasure, unnoticed


For the years until she chose


To make a sleeping nest in there.



Life is the story of loves and losses


Some enormous, some trivial


All bringing feelings and memory


Touchstones for our humanity.






Some loves are seemingly


Torn from our lives without reason


Or regard for our grief and the raggedly


Ripped wound left behind.




And sometimes, another life and love


Our another symbol to cherish and cleave to


Are given to us, if we will be open


And not insist on seeing only


What we think ought to be.



Claddagh ring
Claddagh ring (Photo credit: Eddo Kloosterman)


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Posted in Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge

Outside In; Inside Out – OctPoWriMo, Oct. 29, 2012

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Outside In; Inside Out

What do you see when you look at me?

Or is it presumptuous of me to think

That you notice me at all?

I am, after all, what might be called

Past My Prime”

If you are the type to judge others

On such a trivial matter as appearance.

My voluptuous youth has settled,

Fatigued from long years of fighting gravity

Gravity, eventually, will win.

I am becoming what is sometimes called

With polite dismissal,


You might notice that my untamed hair

Tousled and twisting into rampant curls

Is woven and shot through, now

With coarser silver, honestly earned.

I do not wear makeup

And so do nothing to disguise the

age spot lakes and deepening creeks

formed of laugh lines and crow’s feet

Changing the geography of my face

Making it perhaps more interesting

But no longer my culture’s

Perception of beauty.

Ahhh, but,

If you should follow the map of my face

Up to the twin geyser pools of my eyes

Sparkling with light, life and fire

You might get a peek into my soul

And who I am within, in my hidden depths.

Those lines and crow’s feet

Which do not know wrinkle cream

Are the outward sign of a life

Spent more in laughter than in scowls.

This wild hair is a perfect fit

For an untamed, unbound spirit

Symbiotically part of the golden fall grass

The thickening curves and settling plains

Echoing the shape of the rolling hills

I am a being more attached to nature

Than to the the city skyscape

More interested by far in the

depths and breadth of the inner life

Than in how others my see this outer shell

That conceals universes and subatomic

Particles of  my being.

Me, in the backyard on October 18, 2012. Photo by Annalise S. Burton.


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Posted in Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge

Beneath Visibility – OctPoWriMo, Oct.27, 2012

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Beneath Visibility


can see

And yet not

So much beneath

Within all I see

Upside-down images

Flipped by a trick of my mind

Just light bouncing off rods and cones

More physiology than vision

And so very much that remains unseen

But I aspire to a far truer sight

A sight not of lens and cornea

Nor the dilation of pupils

Sight born only of presence

Without assumption

To see what is

As it is

Not through


Integrated photoreceptor cells


Posted in Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge

I Ask No Forgiveness – OctPo WriMo, Oct. 26

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I Ask No Forgiveness

I ask no forgiveness

For this slapdash poem.

You see, I was lost in another world

And forgot until now

That a poem was waiting within me

For its moment of birth.

And where is this other reality that held me?

This other world I lost myself in?

It is, too, my child, in a sense

Borne of me just as this poem.

It was, until yesterday, a world

I had lost.

And thought gone beyond retrieving

I gave thought to recreating,

And yet knew it could never

be the same as it had been

At conception, or at birth.

From the lost fog of a broken hard drive

Ministered by wise minds and gentle hands

My world has been reborn

Freed from its restricting

Plastic and electronic prison.

It breathes again, and fills my soul

With wild, elemental beauty

I must delve and soar there

I am captured



And cannot return

Until I am released.

And so today I offer

This ragged feral scrap

Perhaps a pretender to poetry

And then I return to my

Prosey -world immersion.

And I ask no forgiveness

At all

For following the scent-trail

Of my own bliss.

English: Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions
English: Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Posted in Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge

Claiming My Voice – OctPoWriMo, October 23, 2012

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Claiming My Voice


I speak

Of my life

The truths I live

The past that shaped me

The lessons learned soul deep.

My blood breath life bone heart soul

Emotion beauty seen unseen

I claim my voice because it is mine.

No other can ever speak what is me

Each flitting thought every feeling flash

The deep maze passage mind twists and turns

The glittering vivid dream jewels

The passions that fire my blood.

The self that is my own.

Sorrow ecstasy

Becoming one


Who I


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Posted in Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge

Random – OctPoWriMo, Oct. 22, 2012

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I am not

Just what you see.

I go far within

Deep and wide, strong and true

Rich veins of my sacred truth

Hidden flows of pure emotion

Thoughts and experiences explored

Blood and breath the pulsing fuel for my life.

I am not simply the image you see

Or the assumptions you choose to make.

You see only a funhouse me

Clouded, distorted, unreal.

A flat and dull image

The surface of things

Me, seen through you

Not myself

My own.


Annalise reflects on her image as a British officer. Saratoga National Historical Park, July 4, 2010.

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