Steps In Between

Celaine Charles ~ My journey as a writer.

Wednesday Whims of Poetry


I wrote this love-poem one year ago as a Valentine’s Day gift for my sweet. It was also part of my Tupelo Press 30/30 Challenge, February 2017. It still holds true. 

image link –

All Weather Tires


in the cold sunshine,

car trunk open,


except for the jumper cables,

first aid kit,

black box of… stuff.

I leave it at: emergency car essentials.

I don’t really know, because

the tips of my fingers start purring;

cats demanding attention.


I drive them further into my pockets.


New tires,

all weather

“See these deep grooves here…”

He bends over,

uses his hands,

touches the carved rubber,

“I had them siped to improve traction

and lengthen the life of the tire.”


He goes on like a salesman.

I can see my breath before my eyes

forming little cloud animals;

a bird,

half a horse,

a buffalo.

I shake my head to focus

because he’s on auto-pilot now,

and it’s almost time to go.


Just a day trip,

I will see him by nightfall,

when he looks at me,

finished with his sermon,

his personal driving crash course


as if I’d never driven before.

And he flashes a smile.

Sun gleams from behind me

splashing his face

with light –

a spotlight.

He shakes his head…


“You’re the exact picture of what I always wanted.”


Time stops.


My misty buffalo dissipates,

and the horse, gone wild, follows.

The cats in my pockets scatter,

on prowl for a cloudy bird.


For suddenly,

I am warm inside this crisp

February morning



feeling loved, deeply



and quite honestly


with my four tires,

all weather.




Art by Anna Vowels

Finding Myself

Who am I today?

Who do I want to be,

who do I need to be…

This is the conversation

I have in the mirror.


It’s different, you know,

with different people,

at different times,

in my past,

in my now,


because I haven’t decided yet.

I haven’t had every


every desire



How do I decide,

when sometimes it cuts,

razor sharp,

and the pain swells beyond

the face I paint?


When sometimes it mourns,

behind shaded branches,

sorrowful truths

dissected for all

to judge.


When sometimes it’s just me


for no reason at all,

because I need a beat

to find my rhythm.


To find myself today,

in contrast

from yesterday,

to bring about the change

I want to see…





Heart-Related (Wear RED on February 2)


Cardiovascular thoughts

run red today.

Reminders to remember,

to think past

where you are right now,

because tomorrow you may race

against time,


against the evil in numbers,

one death every 80 seconds,


against the evil in percentages,

80% preventable,


against the evil in acronyms,

HDL and BMI.


Numbers and letters represent

hidden proclamations.

But, you have the power

to change,

to stand up,

to make a difference

against this wicked threat,


on this wintery blustery day

in the month of love

and sweetness…

We are reminded to make

better choices

in the matters of the heart-



Image Link:




Far and Wide

The tree bends

far and wide,

just enough to reach

you and me.


You’ve blessed me

with this day,

in your temple,

in your world.


Honorably I accept,

and listen to learn

something old,

in a new way…


and I see

that we fit


under this tree.



Wyeth’s Window (as the curtains blow)

Ekphrastic poem in response to Andrew Wyeth’s painting, “Wind From The Sea.”

Gust of wind on a still day,

summer tranquility caught

in between time

as it sits



woven intricately with

featherweight cotton threads, white

like a whisper


her flight.


Until this moment, the birds,

benumbed by heat’s encumbrance,

revive and fly.

The flutter



My heart bobs in the ocean,

just beyond this window’s view,

and I inhale

more than dust

stale air.


Though my spirits rise on end,

and I glance back to be sure…

August crocheted

her message

of praise


to be discovered.



Art by Anna Vowels


Soundless moment.

That breath between sleep

and wake…

the in-between I slip through,

with narrowed shoulders.


Senses illuminate,

breath hums, bones trill.

The rush of wind

washes through me, though

I still stand.


Color alive, I reach out,

to touch, swirl

my finger in the bowl,

taste its essence,

swallow its purity.


Indigo sky

drapes me in blanket,

covers my wounds and scars,

folds durably around elbows,

shoulders, and hips.


Golden stalks of wheat,

an offering,

drip with music, and

melodies sung in rhythm

taste like honey,


yet I do not sneeze

here, in this place.

Food does not poison as it does

my daytime body,

back through the in-between.


So I gulp lavender air,

and cling to silver stones.

Hold me here!

Feed me here!

Just a little more time.


When lashes flutter,

familiar irritants


each limb,

and I am pushed back through…


Awake in my own world,

alien again.



Dear Crow

Black Bird,

carrier of dark valleys and sworn curses.

You soar as high as Eagle

and carry winds to cool these woods.


But you are a blot against the sky,

and death follows you,

or at least its scorn

paints your path.


We are forgiving folk,

we are…

If only you weren’t Black Bird.

Your tides of loom wash over

like unbound waves of sea.


The omen you carry sparks fear,

and stories rise from the soil

to jest

and torment,

to mock what if…


Majestic is your flight

dear crow,

and we bow to your grace,

although with one eye open…

Just in case the stories are true.

Image (


San Fran

Good Afternoon, San Francisco


Paint-strip houses, stacked row upon row,

as I descend into the city by the bay,

painting tired eyes pastel in welcome.


Vista soars its shadow box of color:

sandpaper, maze, terra-cotta, blue,

and lavender with its triangle roof while the others lay flat.


I try on shades with day dream skirts;

what ifs… maybe one day… perhaps another life,

If I could start anew, adrift in the sun.


Until the gun metal gray of the city

glints to catch my eye,

pulls me from my wardrobe, buzzes with new life,


which once was and still is

emerging from within the mist,

like icing on a cake; a delicacy for my eyes.


And from the watery wharf,

tradition melts on my tongue…

My heart made up sweet for the day.


Good afternoon, San Francisco.


candle light

Spark of Hope

Leaning back,


forward onto my knees—

Every which way,

I seek a flame,

a spark of hope.


The chance to step aside

from this moment,

this season,

this time of typical,


dare I say—



Head shaking, locks

dance about,

in slow motion.

Blindingly dizzy,

I seek flame after flame,

some spark of hope.


The chance to step outside,

breath caught

trapped inside,

choked through, because

sometimes you must



take off the outer layer

of yourself,


to seek the flame,

the spark of hope—


For something new.


beach pull


Chest rises

Like a breath

Inside my lungs


From outside my body



Senses gladdened

Ripple out

Through purple veins

Freedom gifted


On this morning

Seated in the sand

Ocean’s blanket


Tide’s pull

Placeholder Image

If I Were A Book

(Written from a prompt on, Where the Light Most Falls, with DJ Tamara)


If I were a book,

I would be shelved in Poetry,

wearing words on my fingers

and tales on my toes.


Though at night,

I would sneak over to Fiction.

Not for the horrors and murders of Mystery,

or the sad truths and burdens of Reality,

but for the enchanted realms

of Fantasy.


You see by day,

my feet,

they move through verse like notes

in a song.

My toes, never still,

weave together words

that clothe my body,

protect my thumping heart

in perfect beats,



But at night,

my feet,

they do not rest.

For there is no need

in the life of books,

forever alive in the author’s mind.


My feet plant themselves

on the moon,

and I fall

upside down,

little girl on a swing,

with popcorn stars

in brilliant darkness.


My front row seat

to stories,

teased out of freedom air.

No confinements.

No rules of spirit.

Only the place my imagination

soars higher

than swinging bent knees,


until morning comes,

and my satisfied soul

finds the melody

of rising sun

heating the day.

And once again,

my feet,

they find a rhyme to stand on,

barefoot, and happy to be…




The dictionary says it is something that makes things visible

or affords illumination.

It is also electromagnetic radiation

to which the organs of sight react.


Standing as a beacon,

it can guide ships in from treacherous angry waters,

or at least mark the spot not to go,

but regardless it illuminates the way.


That is more than the murky lightbulb

in the plastic lantern lighting my driveway.

Of course, there is no unknown destiny

in a driveway. Or is there?


Maybe those moments in the early dark

of morning, awaiting the stubborn engine

to kick in, to wake up, to rumble

the dead to work.


Maybe that soft glow conducts something

internal, something in the deepest corner of your heart,

and guides you on a journey. A calling you could miss,

if it wasn’t for the light.


But you miss it, because the light is blinding,

as dimming as it appears

in the wee hours of the night. It radiates

in the morning,


as tired eyes, the organs

which react to the electromagnetic radiation,

want to close. As they do at night,

after a long day.


And so the light, the beacon, the guide away

from the wrong spot… keeps you

in the same spot

with little light to illuminate the way.

friendship golden Glassybaby


Amber light creeps

sunrise warm,

chilly room,

empty walls, wait

to be called home.


Anticipation flounders,

cold space, exposed.

Unfixable flaws, long

for attention, hopefulness.


Cutting blade sinks

through cardboard, thick,

tape bound wounds

left behind, still healing.


The honey hue, sticky

with reminders, lifts

the mood. Its message,

clarity in a dark room.


Through tinted glass,

candle holder pleads,

tea light gleams, expectant

beacon ablaze…


Home is not a place.


leaf in rain

Fall Creeps In

Fall creeps in

sneakily, in colors of sunset.

Amber eyes watching,


tucked in

between bouquets of green,


summer’s peace…

Unknowingly vulnerable.


And like winding floral ivy

twists in final turn,

like rolling ocean breeze

blankets an end to starry nights,

like a snake hunting


as its prey…

Summer slithers softly