Mountainous Birth

Driving back home the hour from the grocery store and a quick visit to my midwife’s home, I noticed a few minor contractions about twenty minutes apart. But mostly I was aware of the greening grass sweeping the valley, the crepuscular haze to the west making the Wet Mountains appear colossal, the rays of the sun braiding themselves with cloud and wind. Wahatoya. The ‘breasts of the earth’ with their veins and mammaries radiating all around the nipple peaks, and I once again was overcome with blessed gratitude that I’m given the gift to mother in such a place. And now give birth in this maternally dressed valley.

Wahatoya, Ute for ‘breasts of the earth.’

I wrote that previous paragraph after a candlelit shower at 1:30 in the morning, Friday, April 13th. While the hot water soothed my aching body, I asked God for labor to start and visualized a psychedelic bloom of oxytocin receptors in iridescent colors multiplying in my limbic brain and in the fundus of my uterus. While lying down and trying to write more, I felt a small snap and was sure my waters were being released! Holy God, the poem/prayer worked! Just earlier the previous day I had written a poem, Rain Dance, about poetry’s power that included imagery of the amniotic skies setting free their deluge, in hopes of summoning my body doing the same thing.  Read More

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Embracing Blessed Pregnancy (Shape Poem)

I am
in bloom.
Full of blood,
bubbling, full of life.
Face aglow, I am awed
by the blood vessels
flowing into womb,
thickened veins and
umbilical pulse.  I can
feel their swollen contours
as they inflect upwards beneath
the skin.  Bulbous breasts plump with
sweet amber, ~~ dripping like blackstrap
molasses. ~~ Soon the ambrosia will pour
forth as the new baby feeds,  feeding the
flowering plants, tuberose and jasmine,
clematis and columbine,  blossoming
blackberry brambles; ~~ this milky
blancmange enriching the fertile
soil of spring. ~~ Efflorescence Read More

37 Weeks, Rings and Pens and a Beautiful Orb

35 weeks/8 months pregnant

Probably my last pregnancy update, but I promise there’s a treat in this post for you poets too!

Well, yay, I made it to 37 weeks which is the full-term gestation that I would personally be comfortable delivering the baby at home. I forgot how UNcomfortable the last few weeks can be, but I’m not complaining as I know it could be much worse. I’ve lucked out and have had good blood pressure, very minimal low back pain, and absolutely no edema. I definitely have a oompa-loompa waddle and I’m pretty much saying “c’est la vie” and letting housework fall by the wayside as I’m just too exhausted for the constant bend-overs that are part of daily life with two kids under four. I’m looking forward to labor but a little worried about if the baby’s a girl because we have no viable first name choices. If any readers have suggestions of a name that fits these, send them my way:

– three-syllables
– different and melodic
– preferably Hebrew (but open to any origin)
– does NOT begin with letters A C J K Q S

Yeah we’re, uh, particular. I also have quite the pregnancy brain and here’s a little senryu to illustrate:

Lost my wedding ring

At least I still have a pen

(Somewhere around here)

That’s not to say I put writing above my marriage, but I definitely would rather be stranded on a desert island with a pen (and paper) rather than a bejeweled tiny circle of precious metal. But poet friends, that wasn’t the treat. Here it is:

Cartoon by Peter C. Vey

Haha! We’ve all been there.

And lastly, here’s just a little touching moment I want to remember. Read More

Confectionary Confession

Painting by Wayne Thiebaud


I’m eating leftover birthday cake from last weekend, cutting each slice thinner and thinner, hoping to savor the layers of buttercream godsend from the town bakery. I’m grateful my husband gave up sweets for Lent and that my daughters forgot all about the festivities and the giant box in the fridge. A secret delectable all for me and the one in the womb:)

2018, Amaya Engleking 

Supernatural Birth

Art by Stepha Lawson

My midwife gave me a visualization assignment that I normally wouldn’t take too seriously, not prescribing to the “law” of attraction but rather more to the principles of prayer and surrender. But after just having read Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent, I’m interested to try this as an exercise to funnel good thoughts and intentions into a desired outcome. If I am a co-creator, after all…  Read More

Waxen

Photography by Charlotte Colbert

All is white these days, the humidifier noise through the night and late January skies, but I’d give my life not to remain a blank slate mirror anymore. Smooth, slippery cold marble surface, not even the Kronos Quartet playing Philip Glass to the much prayed-for snowfall, not even the kids’ laughs or cries, not even my husband saying poetry doesn’t matter can penetrate, or stick, or stain. Albedo one hundred percent. Read More

Aura

Almost halfway!

I haven’t been one for pregnancy updates throughout any of my “with child” months, mainly because I’ve thankfully had healthy, normal pregnancies. I’ve never really had a scare besides when my husband and I were trekking in Nepal while I was five months along with my first and when we were a three-day walk from the nearest town with bus services, he came down with giardia. Read More

Pregnancy Diet Quirks


Here are some strange changes going on with my palate right now. (If you’re here for the poetry, maybe skip this monotonous pregnancy diary.)

• First and foremost, beverages. I regularly drink coffee and tea. Black coffee about one cup every other day and herbal tea before bed about twice a week. Now, at almost 11 weeks, I don’t want to drink anything hot and I skip coffee altogether because it’s too bitter but I don’t want to sweeten it. I don’t normally take ice in my drinks but now I only want to drink something if it has at least three ice cubes in it. And the sudden cold affinity has been consistent in all three pregnancies. Read More