Steps In Between

Celaine Charles ~ My journey as a writer ~ Author site:

Poetry Friends


Works from Poetry Friends…

I am proud to introduce poetry from some incredible writing friends. The authors are listed alphabetically, as to show no favoritism, because they are each unique and worthy poets. I can’t thank them enough for sharing their work.

Introducing (alphabetically):

Keith Barnard

Yvonne Brewer

Mark Burns

Ailsa Cawley

Clare Glynn Chitan (Glynn Sinclare)

Michael G. Hickey

Pamela Hobart Carter

Linda Imbler

Michael Lee Johnson

Martha Maria

Tamara Miles

Carmen Peone

Jenny Ni Ruiseil

Melissa Steffy

Ann Christine Tabaka

April Thompson

Kenneth Wagner

Please scroll down to find each poet’s work in alphabetical order:

Sing Softly, by Keith Barnard

Sing softly

And the sound

Of the serene

Shall flow

To the heart.

Another Poem by Keith Barnard

In a Lovecraftian dream one may superimpose a concept based upon eldritched ambiguities as if travelling beyond the realms of existence will eradicate the primeval presence at the edge of the universe waiting for the magic Tome to enhance the old Gods we may reside at peculiar gabled garrets where the meanest slopes will propel our spirits to yet unknown Netherworlds relating tales of unknown chaotic masterpieces throughout a sublime esoteric but it is just this flirtation with the “ultra – voids” which may carry us all far away from the sheer boredom of conformity through portals of ” liquid – crystal – colour” over extraordinarily gorgeous “multi – angularised” walkways stretched beyond infinity will inevitably find oneself traversing the “upper – dimensional” chromaticism of extreme tautness over interspersed causeways with such grandiosity as to reveal the facets of every mighty plane at least as overlocking an amazing landscopic size throughout vibrational facets of beauty ever to be looked upon as we all strive on climbing ever higher upon the upper realms reaching as far as we can possibly manage to never look down but always uplifting to the eternal magnificent power of our own truest Godhead.

Keith Barnard is a prolific composer, also dedicated to exploring the relation between music, colour and healing.
He resides in London, and is also a poet.
Keith’s Websites for composing and poetry:,
Colour Harmoies, by Keith Barnard, part 5:
Yvonne Brewer tree pic Fiona Fox

Picture by Fiona Fox

I See Faces, by Yvonne Brewer

For as long
as I’ve known

I see faces
in strange




I saw
your face
in a fallen tree

as always
it didn’t

Yvonne Brewer is originally from County Offaly and lives in Cork, Ireland and has had poetry published since 2014 with Women’s Spiritual Poetry, including in their fourth anthology “Goddess: When She Rules: Expressions of Contemporary Women”. (Dec 2017) Motherhood has taken her down a very creative path and her writing is greatly influenced by her children, her dreams, nature and fairies.
In 2013 Yvonne self published an e-book called “Breathe and Bloom. Soul Mother Meditations”
She also has had poetry published with the Blue Nib and her poetry has been read on several audio poetry radio shows of American poet Tamara Miles “Where the Light Most Falls” broadcast by
Yvonne’s Website:
Yvonne’s poetry book, Twigs, is available on Amazon:


If, From the Top, by Mark Burns

If, from the top of his ivory tower
The practising poet reveals himself
leans out
As far as nerve and gravity
holding in his hands,
ink blacked hands
Pink, raw palms
fingers paper sliced
His post partum poem,
thought through
fought and moulded
Beaten and crafted
A poem lived,
not just scribbled
He leans as far as
Leaning allows
And just lets go
Would he see his poem
At first float
Suspended in belief
And then, as hoped
See it breathe and unfurl
Take wing and sing
Across the gilded air?
Or would it
Drop, hurtling, lumped and leaded
Faster than a buckshot ball
fall silently screaming
Down a dry wrung well
So deep even
cave bats
Can’t hear
The splatter.

Surface, by Mark Burns

Look north, from here, Derry quay
The crooked elbow of the Foyle
Bends left from the curve
Where bridge divides city.
Look all the way
To the flat line horizon.
The gasping mouth of the hungry lough
Opens, sucks in, chews, swallows
Regurgitates, spits out repeatedly
The toll bells that chime
Calling card of the dark Atlantic.

Along here, across from Derry quay
The full canopy of the oak lined banks
Reflect so still atop
The plate glass surface.
It mirrrors us. It reflects, us
So still so breathless.
It neither shimmies or shakes
Moves neither one way or that.
Nothing breaks the gunmetal surface.

Except a bubbled wake trails
Search and Rescue, life lost boat.
Underneath, trouble tumbles and turns
Sinks slow to the sea bed
Drifts and rolls and rests
With silt, sand, mud, stones
And the unbearable weight
Of overburdened hearts.

Mark Burns: Sometime writer, broadcaster, poet and all sorts of nonsensical things.
alisa cawley pic for eruption

Art by Pierre-Jacques Volaire (The Eruption of Vesuvius). Link:

Eruption, by Ailsa Cawley

It’s bubbles are hot and the lava like acid burns

My throat tight from tasting anger

Twisting and turning as turbine

You spout nothing but searing air

To then forget goldfish-ly as the wind changes.

Your world has no room for anything of logic

It contains your grand vision

You the star of your own show

Roses falling at your feet in the hurrah

That you decided you deserved

And still you wait for it…

Differ and Change, by Ailsa Cawley

Undercurrent flows into conversation

A bitter edge that says you’re not better

Yet I never said I was

How do you explain it?

That you just need to see what else there is

Know what other choices there are

Make decisions without fear of

The failure that surely follows

If you dare to change

And allow Times mist to swirl around

Carrying you with them to new things.

If you’re happy where you are I’m happy

For you are living your plans

As I am

Neither of us better or best

Just different and happy with our choice

So we shall have to beg to differ

And I will follow my change.

Alisa’s websites:

Frosty Night, by Clare Glynn Chitan

I greet the changing seasons of the year

That hoary frost that leaves a silvery tear

Foggy clouds that rest on trees

Moisture slowly dripping in the breeze

While droplets glisten in the air

The cold that seeps and permeates the earth

Put seeds to sleep until the warmer light

A wolf she howls and chills the bones of night

The silvery ghost of winter nights

Her gown glistening in bright light

As moonbeams move in elegant delight

Hail to the moon that walks the night

And covers all she sees in silver light

Writing poetry and prose has immersed me in occupation. I have no time to grow old; I am too busy, now that the floodgates have opened. I have dipped my toe in the waters of creativity. I can see creativity all around. The one who paints the nails in imaginative ways ,styles hair in exotica. Groups putting the world to right, craftsmen in their trade. Dentist creating a new smile. We are all creative; some have not recognised it as yet.
Clare Glynn Chitan’s Website:
Her poetry books, written under her nom de plume, Glynn Sinclare, are available on Amazon:

Poetics Book of 100 Poems by Glynn Sinclare glynn sinclare book also

Service Dog, by Michael G. Hickey

I could be a Schnauzer, a Black Lab, or a Dalmatian, but I’d prefer to be a German shepherd, and you could name me after a Greek god or your great grandfather or that punk/funk band you really like. When we go out, I would start wagging my tail like a pendulum in heat and you could dress me in one of those neon orange vests with the silver stripes (maybe neon yellow on special occasions) that read in big block letters: SERVICE DOG.  I would follow you around tirelessly, endlessly, binge-watch TV with you, and suffer from acute separation anxiety when you leave the house – ripping up cushions, your favorite pair of suede pumps, and knocking over that crystal vase you got from your mom last Christmas. Upon your return, I would shamelessly avoid direct eye contact thereby implicating the cat. I would sleep with you, cuddle with you, and be your over-sized lap dog with an insatiable desire to please and be petted by you. I would lick your face. I would drool but only a little. After you give me a bath in the mudroom, I would shake a dog-halo spray all around the room. I would be the epitome of loyalty, faithfulness, and fidelity, loving you unconditionally into perpetuity. On weekends, you could take me for walks to the park and teach me to sit up and beg. You would feed me human food under the table even though you’re not supposed to and if I ever sensed that someone was threatening you, I would bare my teeth, snarl menacingly, and transform from your watch dog into your personal K-9 unit. Essentially, I would love you like you’ve never been loved before and even if you drank tequila through a crazy straw and texted your ex-boyfriend six times, I’d sit with you all night while you cried and say to you with my eyes: He wasn’t good enough for you anyway. I would love your poetry and listen to your songs and admire your watercolor paintings of sailboats and clouds drifting across impossibly blue skies. I would bark in approval at that faux mink stole you bought at the thrift store even though you couldn’t really afford it and if that bad thing from the past that happened when you were a little girl creeps into your dreams and you can’t get back to sleep I’ll be your PTSD dog, and when you’re surviving solely on blind faith I’ll be your guide dog, and if your life ever completely implodes, I’ll be your search-and-rescue dog and sniff every square inch of rubble for signs of life until I find you. I will never stop searching. And if you throw me the tennis ball 112 times in the backyard on a Sunday afternoon, I will fetch it 112 times, breathe heavily, and wait for you to throw it again so I can retrieve it again and you will love me even more today than you did yesterday, which you didn’t think was possible. I will not need a collar or leash because I will never get lost or run away and if I ever get sick…  really sick… like when I’m 91 years old in dog years… so sick that the vet can’t save me, you can cry into my fur as long as you want until it’s over and know I will be waiting for you on the other side, at the threshold of the spirit world, caressing your scent, your essence, and your light while I look for something to shred ‘til you get there.

Michael G. Hickey

“Z” is for Zebra


not once, not one damn time, not even by accident

have I ever been a fifth-grader’s “spirit animal”

it’s always the lion. tiger, gorilla, cheetah,..

so let’s make this abundantly clear

zebras were the first pair on Noah’s Ark

in fact, aardvarks were the last, dead last

so fuck alphabetical order

the damn aardvarks added another “A”

in front of their name

just to piss off the African bullfrog

African bush elephant, African clawed frog…

you can’t just throw in a continent

and pretend it’s part of your name

you know what that is? – African bullshit

the collective noun for my tribe is DAZZLE

a DAZZLE of zebras, we call our herd the “Razzle Dazzle”

& let’s make this equally clear

we are not mules, donkeys, or horses in pajamas

all those jackasses can be domesticated

they’ll never tame us, never – we’re zebras, goddammit!

we wander out on the savannah, tall grasses swaying on the plains

we stick to the middle of the herd where our babies are safe

from all those vicious little school mascots you love so much

when the Razzle Dazzle tribe runs together trampled clouds of dust rise

amidst white stripes and black stripes blended as one

fighting for each other, not against each other

like the blur of a prison break to confuse your precious predators

our stampede last year trampled six poachers

who wanted to grind our balls into some kind of skin cream

to soften your complexion – they had it coming – all of them!

so think about that the next time you’re looking at a zebra in the zoo

or seeking inspiration for your little fifth grade poem

but just remember this: even in the animal kingdom

the last shall enter first & if don’t believe me, ask Noah

Michael G. Hickey received a BA in creative writing from the University of Arizona, 1987, and an MFA from the University of Washington, 1992. In 2009, he was inaugurated as Seattle’s eighth “Poet Populist.” His first novel, Counterclockwise, was released by Northchester Press, as well as his first full-length book of poetry A Dress Walked by with a Woman Inside. He has volunteered as a creative writing instructor for children at bereavement camps as well as for inmates at the Monroe Correctional Complex and King County Youth Detention.
Books by Michael G. Hickey:
michael g hickey bookCOUNTERCLOCKWISE (fiction)
michael g hickey poetry bookA DRESS WALKED BY WITH A WOMAN INSIDE (poetry)
Pam Carter

Image by Creative Commons,

Soothing Perspectives, by Pamela Hobart Carter

I like the idea
that we’re seeing
into a parallel universe
when we imagine things.

I’ve had that
as a working theory
for a while now.
Helps alleviate
some of the agita
from this world.

I always wonder
what of the things
we see in fiction
are really true

My other trick
is scale–to think
of myself as
a small animal
on a spinning globe. Yes.

The universe is
much bigger than
any transitory issues here.

Pamela Hobart Carter loves Seattle as much for its water and mountains as for its bustle and creativity. She explores the Emerald City daily while walking her dog. Carter used to be a teacher who wrote on the side. Now she is a writer who teaches on the side. My most recent poems. My websites.

A Message From Mom, by Linda Imbler

Angels walk on Earth in guise of mortal manifestation.
A painted rock with one word, love,
written on it and placed strategically inside
a zoo rock garden
by a kindly woman.
Found by a recently motherless boy.
His thought,
my mother left this for me.
Through heat of summer
or chill of winter,
children will remind us
that those who left us leave messages,
if only we act with the eyes and ears
of our early years,
and we look and we listen with the hearts
of the innocent.

Linda’s Contacts: Email:
Books from Linda:
cracker jack

Image provided by Michael Lee Johnson

Cracker Jack Box Poem, by Michael Lee Johnson

I don’t wear my pocket watch anymore

it reminds me of my age, 73, soon more,

outdated gadget, time hanging where

moving parts below don’t belong nor work anymore.

I don’t like to think about endings.

Age is a Cracker Jack box with no face, modern speed dial,

no toy inside, when it stops, no salute, just pops.

Lesson:  “What young men want to do all night takes older men all night to do.”

south chicago night

Image provided by Michael Lee Johnson

South Chicago Night, by Michael Lee Johnson

Night is drifters,

sugar rats, street walkers, pickpockets, pimps,

insects, Lake Michigan perch,

neon signs blinking half the bulbs

burned out.


Image provided by Michael Lee Johnson

Young Couple- @ Heart Attack Greasy Grill, by Michael Lee Johnson

I was a little boy,

tad hillbilly son,

patterned then in

present tense,

hardly old enough

tall enough to work

nor notice if I had pubic hair-

large or small endowment

growing up self-conscious

about short comings

narrow chest.

Just a teen aged nighttime boy

looking 4 a part-time hook up-

little girl play, with a five-card stud.

Preacher daddy raised me,

back-seat Christian boy

low on faith high on doobie

rolled cigarettes.

I took my 1st job, pancake flipper

@ Heart Attack–Greasy Grill, 24-7

pocket coins 4 tips, a few greasy dollars,

pancake short stack, secret menu was that

boss’s daughter, blood on hands,

my bun busted now stale, stained, & baked.

Eliminate lines unessential:

waitress injected me some spice

old time recipe.

Michael Lee Johnson lived 10 years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois.  Mr. Johnson published in more than 1072 new publications, his poems have appeared in 38 countries, he edits, publishes 10 poetry sites.  Michael Lee Johnson, has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 2 Best of the Net 2018.  190 poetry videos are now on YouTube  Editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze: poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available here  Editor-in-chief Warriors with Wings:  the Best in Contemporary Poetry,
Mp3 Files Available/Some Poetry Photos/Open To Interview Requests.  Short Bio & Personal Photo Available On Request.  PoetrySh139
Do not forget to consider me for Best of the Net or Pushcart nomination!

Before the Storm, by Martha Maria

Over cast, heavy

and damp, the morning sky rides

the tawny backs of

slumbering mountains

Too silent the birds

too still the woods; nary a

breath stirs lank leaves; not

a lizard or bug to be seen

the sole sound

my feet striking ground

as I traipse the valley alone

Martha lives in a small white house in the woods in the shadow of the Cumberland Mountains, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. That little white house is also where most of her music is produced and recorded. When she’s not playing music, she’s wife to Bob and mother to Joseph and Walker.
Martha Maria’s website:
Tamara Miles poem

Image by Creative Commons,

The Haunting Happens at Certain Times…

by Tamara Miles (Irish and English Translation)

The following poems are “found poems,” in the sense that all Irish Gaelic phrases are borrowed from the Foras na Gaeilge‘s New English-Irish Dictionary and then built and shaped into poetry in various combinations in English. I am not a native speaker of Irish Gaelic, but I am an interested learner, and have traveled to that beautiful green country in October, 2017 to give a poetry reading (in English). Using simple phrases without the option of greater sentence variety/structure has taught me to contain the essence of what I want to say in a tighter, more succinct, yet vivid manner. The poem is presented first in Irish Gaelic, followed by the English version. The Irish poems have little punctuation or capitalization, following the form in which they are found in the original format. Foras na Gaeilge has provided permissions for use of the phrases.

The Haunting Happens at Certain Times…

Bionn taibhsi ann ag amanna ar…

scal solas na gréine ar an gcnoc

pictiúr d’ábhar neamhbheo
cantaireacht Ghréagórach
bláthanna teach téacháin

thit scáil ar an doras
bhuail ga gréine an bord

fear atá tógtha san fhuil
uisce beatha te

maidhm charraige le fána
tuile agus trá na taoide

rún daingean 

thosaigh sé ag cogarnach
lagaigh an ghaoth

The Haunting Happens at Certain Times 

boggy ground,

sunlight fell on the hill –

a still life painting,

Gregorian chant,

hothouse flowers –

a shadow fell over the doorway,

a ray of sunlight fell across the table —

a hot-blooded man,

hot whiskey,

a fall of rocks down the slope,

the rise and fall of the tide,

a closely guarded secret.

His voice fell to a whisper.

The wind fell.

Tamara Miles teaches college English and Humanities. Her poetry has appeared in Fall Lines; Pantheon; O’Bheal Five Words, Tishman Review; Animal; Obra/Artifact; Rush; Apricity; Snapdragon; Crosswinds Poetry Journal; Whatever Our Souls, Cenacle, and Oyster River Pages. A 2016 contributor at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and a resident at Rivendell Writers Colony in August, 2017. She has an audio poetry journal/radio show at called “Where the Most Light Falls.”
Tamara Miles Facebook Page:
Poetry Book, Earth Gospel, available:

earth gospel tamara miles

Haiku, by Carmen Peone

carmen peone pic 2

Aged roots unearthed

Life once booming now flooded

New memories made

Carmen Peone pic 1

My eye on you

Trust earned and established

Bound in love

Carmen Peone
Women Writing the West Past President, 2019 WILLA Chair
Award-Winning Author *~*~* Order HEART OF COURAGE now!*~*~*
Join Carmen’s Western Tales and Street Team
Link for Carmen’s books: 

carmen peone books

Poem by Jenny Ní Ruiséil

A cycle complete

From its unconscious beginnings,

to the inklings of awareness;

Some heeded, some hindered.

Some hauled mercilessly into the open;

here, we no longer hide.

Baring all a constant discovery.

Creation, destruction, layer by layer sinking teeth into that which we once

forbade ourselves to touch,

Spices of what we’re made of – sweet, sour, bitter, pungent – sprinklings of

antidotes to simmer down and regroup.

Each feeling is a flavour.

Tasting it all – full nourishment, full circle, full embodiment, light and laughter.

Toes disappearing into sand –

the waves above a salty reminder of humanity

and the minute blip of this

Single, solitary cycle.

Returning to the shore,

We start again.

Hi there – my name is Jenny!
I’m primarily a Yoga teacher, writer, and musician, yet I try to include creative aspects to all of my work and everyday life – no matter where I am or what I’m doing. I believe that as creative beings, we humans have the responsibility and power to continuously redefine, create and manifest our ideal lives. The healing and empowering properties of the ancient Hatha Yoga practices are something which have helped me in this area, aiding in my recovery from and management of anxiety and other mental health issues, and inspiring me to start sharing some of these skills, observations and techniques with the world.
Jenny Ni Ruiseil’s Website:
Melissa Steffy Boxwoods poem

Image by Creative Commons,

The Wooing, by Melissa Steffy

Heavy boxwood perfume


untouched by the brisk winds

flitting amongst updrafts

and downdrafts

chittering chatter

songs smatter

come here

come here

I love you dear

look here

tinsel and twigs

bottle caps and grass sprigs

can’t you see

puffing breast

sing my best

how much I love thee

Melissa Steffy is a person, like many on this planet, and yet unique, as we all are. She hopes for better for her children, for humanity and for this place that we call home. Her words come from things she’s seen, good and bad. Thank you for reading her words, for feeling whatever feeling they bring for you. Perhaps you have your own story to write.
Melissa’s poetry book, Big Sky and Broken Hearts, is available on Amazon:

big sky and broken hearts by melissa steffy

Waiting, by Ann Christine Tabaka

Hard back wooden chairs

dull pale green walls

minutes morph into hours

thoughts rush forward then retreat

racing back into the blackness

Outside, morning rain falls softly

reminiscent of an old song

with emotions rising to the tune

like so many smoke clouds

evaporating into the atmosphere

Poppy seed salad dressing

added to the grocery list

phone calls need to be returned

the black cat on the video cries

bringing reality back in focus

Time has no master but itself

and so the day continues

like a ping pong game of the mind

where no one loses

and no one wins

Notebook resting on a lap

words written on a page

conclude the next chapter

all the while sitting

in a hard back wooden chair

*Published in Quail Bell Magazine,

Ann Christine Tabaka is a nominee for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry. She placed Third in Vita Brevis Best Poem Contest both January & February 2018. Her Interview on Spillwords was voted Publication for the Month for March 2018. She was selected as Poet of the Month for January 2018 and interviewed by Kingdoms in the Wild. She lives in Delaware, USA. She loves gardening and cooking. Chris lives with her husband and two cats. Her most recent credits are Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, Oddball Magazine, The Paragon Journal, The Literary Hatchet, The Stray Branch, Trigger Fish Critical Review, Foliate Oak Review, Bindweed Magazine, The Metaworker, Raven, RavensPerch, Anapest Journal, Mused, Apricity Magazine, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, Scryptic Magazine, Ann Arbor Review, The McKinley Review. *(a complete list of publications is available upon request)
Author’s Page:
Anne has several books available on Amazon:
april's poem

Pumpkin Spice Latte, by April Thompson

Autumn breeze runs through leaves

On trees of changing color

Swooping strands of hair let down

Wearing my favorite sweater

Chilly hands embrace my cup

Of aromatic bliss

Taste of Fall, sweet creamy spice

Feels heavenly and indulgent

The seasons warmth flows through each sip

And fills me with enchantment

April Thompson has been writing for some time now, and with all three of her children in school, she has found a few magical hours to create and share.


The Litany of New Things, by Kenneth Wagner

the new juice glasses scream   a high static ring so shrill

the dinnerware waddles out of the cupboard toward the sink

The new couch bristles    the middle cushion arches

like a halloween cat and the new flat screen T.V.

swipes at my head flapping like a bird caught indoors

the whole house is nervous when my mother comes to visit

it knows nothing will escape her assessing eyes

her hymn almost a whisper as she stares down the new

valences and road tests the new blender and toaster

that’s new…that’s new…that’s new

            is that new   yes…yes it is…it’s new

my mother is older since I saw her last

more frail and outwardly helpless

but the engine that drives her still growls

with injustice and want   her anger a hiss

as she tells me I shouldn’t buy new things

but send the money to people who can use it better

the new carpet rolls over showing it’s rubber belly

giving up before it can be seen and I hear the new

bed galloping around upstairs trying to find a place to hide

clutching the new comforter up to the chins of the new pillows

what’s the household income here because it seems like a lot

            it seems you have more than you need

the new throw pillows are so nervous

and unsure of themselves they are vomiting

and the windows are pulling their shades

not wanting my mother to see their tears

this house is too big    you should rent out a room    or better –

            I will live here    you have plenty of space   


the new juice glasses scream again and I turn just in time

to see the dinner plates on the ledge of the sink

ready to take their own lives

Kenneth’s poem “The Litany of new Things” appeared in  the journal – Hanging Loose #104

Kenneth Wagner is a poet and teaching artist in Seattle – he’s been a student/assistant teacher
for David Wagoner at the Hugo House for the last 11 years.
He met Celaine when forced to sit in the front seat of Full Throttle, at Magic Mountain’s
brain-numbing rollercoaster….Celaine was sitting solo in the front
taking notes for a poem on wind and speed.  Poets meet other poets In the most absurd ways –
we never did find out what happened to that poem, on the second dip, the G force took her notebook away.

Celebrating Friends…

Thank you for reading the poetry of some of my writing friends. Please let me know if you might like to join us with some of your own poetry on this page. My email is Let’s continue to lift each other up.

If you would like to view my personal poetry, it’s on “My Wednesday Whims of Poetry” page:

As always, my thanks in your support!