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Wendy Howe
United States

Wendy Howe is an English teacher  and free lance writer who lives with her life partner and teenage step daughter in Southern California. Her Spanish style house overlooks a field of Joshua trees that  embrace a spectacular skyline and lodge a  host of  crows, ravens and one  recluse owl that appears on cloudy nights when the moon is dissolved in mist. They enhance  her Bohemian spirit and imagination as much as poetry. Writing is an integral  part of her existence,  as essential to her being as breathing air. She is inspired by life, its nature, people and history. She often refers to herself as a daydreamer drifting in a blend of wind chimes.  She has been published in a variety of on-line and in-print literary journals including : Stirring, A Literary Collection,  3rd Muse,  Eclectica, Panda Poetry, The-Muse-Apprentice-Guild,  The Green Tricycle,  Skyline Magazine,  Southern Ocean Review, Saucy Vox,  Mi-Poesias, Lotus Blooms Journal,  Niederngasse, and recently served as co-editor of The Baroque Review.
Limes and Gin

Posters hang on all the walls
except the hallway
where a peasant girl by Matisse
squeezes her hands tightly
yearning to touch
something cool and bittersweet.

Below her, the table hosts
our emerald passion for limes
and a bottle of Tanqueray gin.

Friday night comes again. As usual
we mix fruit with spirits,
fatigue with a pale twist
of candlelight
and jazz with a dream
of stealing back our youth.


Swallows  become the sun, letting
their gold eyes cast light
on the thinnest vine, splintered bark
and dabs of mud still moist
from last evenings rain.

Soon, they will take refuge
under my roof; and each morning
Ill wake to the bustle of Bedouin birds
patching their nest, complaining
in fretful song.

I wont need a clock. They start
at 6 a.m.  The Spanish tiles
loosen a little more and so do
my own qualms to rise
and refinish an antique dream.

Back to school, this time its beautiful
I m past thirty and wearing sheer
wind on my shoulder blades
instead of stone.

While Meditating

My day leans against the garden wall
absorbing the breath
of jasmine and lilies.

Here, I leave my body
restful, letting the sun
sculpt her shadow
while I, spirit,
stirred from half light, half space,
enter the tea house
and begin writing.

This morning, other women too
will perform an act
of separation --
dark laundry from pale,  
egg whites from yolk,

or like myself,
muse from the traditional mold
of homemaker and wife.


Eye to eye we meet,
two felines stretching
the word, silence
over muscle and bone.

I push aside my book,
and wonder if  you envy me --
woman tanned from front to back
letting her body stalk
the mornings light,

or if I should envy  you,
Siamese queen wearing
The Hope Diamond in her eyes,
and  poise spun from fur slinking
in shades of twilight and the moon.

Our Lady of Indecision

The sea washes her ankles
with salt and light
while she offers morning
a field of chiffon polka dots.

Black orbits randomly
on  Maries dress, the breeze
suddenly drawn to its wild
sense of punctuation.

Since dawn, her decisions
have fallen away to sand, nothing
settled but the beautiful
feeling of bathed skin.

Gulls fashion a ring
of metallic white against the sky
and she remembers how
a wedding band slipped
off her finger losing
itself in a field
of long grass and poppies --

the color startling
as red flowers dot the landscape
like proof marks suggesting
she might edit her life
and sail home to the solitude
of shade trees and tart, apple wine.