‘Love in Nepal’ mixed media drawing by Amaya Engleking

There’s little that’s less inspiring than school, the place with all the solutions.

Still, street henna artist Sweety asked for nothing more than some milk for baby Pari and to send her four kids to school.

I couldn’t reply for weeks, at odds with institutionalized education and the corresponding state of the world,

its bony-limbed beggars

its middle caste class action mobsters

bursting the belt buckle.

Water and well-anointed oil do not mix;

they never share a meal.  Read More



Time is racing but I stand paralyzed
Velocity will make anything seem real
Its hard surface pressed tight against my perimeter of curve and dangerous angle
Convex dagger into heart
Solid and staid I collapse slow a lifetime inward
Invisible to the still eye, let alone the mercenary one
Reliving my sins and tragic smiles,
Shrinking to singularity
A cracker crumb on the ground of this decrepit drafty back shack
A human head floats on a balloon string
Our lofty ideals like kin like air
Not only have they failed me but I’ve failed them
So long, brother! Tread lightly upon my Weminuche earth.
A relief it will feel to finally lift you up.


©2018, Amaya Engleking 

Poetry Prompt: 7 and 7

‘Seven’ by Jackson Pollock

I know I’m late to the game in inviting you poet readers and anyone else up for making a public confession, but here we are. Head on over to dVerse where we celebrate seven years of poetry prompts and community with 7 and 7’s: vices and virtues. Prompt is open until Thursday, 3pm eastern.


Painting by Françoise de Felice


A sickly smear of an old bruise
coloring the confessional
my sin is not trusting in God
my contrite heart is my sin
if I live through this bellum perpetuum
it’ll be my Maker’s doing, not mine.
I’ve nothing left but a sloppy note
stippled with day-old milk
left in archipelago on kitchen counter
and a sweltering cling of
berry-stained seersucker
girls in curls who need me,
but not this. Read More

Man-made Hell

Spring Fire from La Veta, CO. As of Saturday evening, the fires have consumed over 41,000 acres of forest and an undetermined amount of homes. No human lives have been lost. Photography by Rheanne Velie

My husband was interviewed today by a news crew while walking with our daughter to the library. As if we locals didn’t have enough fire to worry about, they were out to stoke the flames of emotion and incite reactionary anger to the cause of this whole disaster: a reclusive middle-aged man with [hashtag] “delete the elite” strewn across his social media accounts, was burning trash near his home in Forbes Park, despite the fire ban. The broadcaster asked Joshua what he thought of this hot-off-the-press information, and he replied,  Read More


Pine beetle art

Beetles get beneath the skins of conifers leaving mountainsides of standing dead. Kindling for the next heated debate. We haven’t had fireworks (or something to unitedly celebrate) for years and now it hurts to breathe the dry, crackling air. Nose bleeds before breakfast.

Who craves this combustible atmosphere, rumors for paramours and oracular paths beneath barkskins? The wild grass is bleached before June and everyone is swayed in the winds. Sharpened filigrees of justifications out the mouths of the all dried out, heartwood to pith, for why it is good to have caged babes in the hazy periphery. “There are not enough drops of rain to quench us all.” Coveting love as if it were limited. Read More


Are we as a country becoming more divided or more unified? When historical decisions are made and elections fall to one party or the other, there is an “in your face” celebration focused at those who lost. When was the last time there was an election for president that was separated by more than a few percentage points in the popular vote? When was the last time there was a unanimous Supreme Court decision on any major decision? It’s usually 5-4, or 6-3 at best. That tells me there are a lot of people who will be hurt, lost, disappointed, and even confused as to what the future holds for them and their beliefs. Where is the leader who has seen his/her cause win, and then truly demonstrated a humility that there are a lot of people who are not celebrating?


John Pickard, Lakewood

This letter was published in the July 5, 2015 edition of The Denver Post

Read More

E Minor

Balls deep in the disarranged bacchanal of domesticity with a strong urge to pick up the old nylon-string, tune it down and everything/one else out, and play Domeniconi, improvising when it gets too technical. Read More