Steps In Between

Celaine Charles ~ My journey as a writer ~ CLICK "Steps In Between" for past posts

Wednesday Whims of Poetry (Celaine Charles Poetry)

Poetry Collection by Celaine Charles…

Thank you for sharing in my poetry, including raw and refined free verse and form poetry. I use this platform to grow in my craft, so check back often for new pieces and revisions to older pieces. I also include occasional challenges to keep myself in tip-top shape… ENJOY!

My poetry book, Colors Collected, is available here:

new colors collected cover pic PLEASE NOTE: Just scroll down…

The links below work for the poems at the bottom of this l-o-n-g page. For newer poems, simply scroll down. I can’t link newer poems as the tech would go madly wrong with each new poem, so…enjoy the journey. Cheers!

Table of Contents (for earlier poems):

Three Poems For Independence Day
Wordless Love Song
A Daisy’s Concern
Wishing Star
Unlikely Lupines
Hungry Deadlines (A Tanka)
Standardized Testing and Little Souls
Cartoon Dreams
New Eyes (Georgia O’Keefe)
Poetry Falls
Spring’s Corsage
Rainy Day Vengeance
Sand Crab Haiku
Blue Bowl, Unbroken
The Gate (Haiku)
Woes of Early Spring
Haiku for February
All Weather Tires
Finding Myself
Heart Related
Far and Wide
Wyeth’s Window (as the curtains blow) Inspiration Andrew Wyeth
Dear Crow
Good Afternoon, San Francisco
Spark of Hope
If I Were A Book
Fall Creeps In

sun pic

Photo: Hopeful Sun, picture from CC’s iPhone Spring 2020


(Quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr: King, Martin Luther, Jr. “I Have A Dream.” 28 Aug. 1963,


Hard to see hope in a shadowy dark room

on a black screen box, blaring the news

of the day. You must first step outside,

walk into the light,

to the sunlit path of racial justice.”


Oppression’s bruise—blooms urgent purple

under skin, amid naysayers, knowing and

unknowing; apologies overdue or calcified,

once again revived, awareness sears:

With this faith we will be able to hew

out of the mountain of despair

a stone of hope.”


Perpetuated cries from our past, sealed

in tightly lidded jars, hidden

behind the label, Freedom Rings…

From every mountain side, let freedom ring.”

History’s heartbeats thrust against the bones of our country.


Emanating, “to this hallowed spot” year after year:

The whirlwinds of revolt will continue

to shake the foundations of our nation

until the bright days of justice emerge.”

But to heal, you must first step outside, walk into the light.


~By Celaine Charles, June 2020


Our Colorful People SBrownART

Art: Our Colorful People, by SBrownART,  (I just purchased this one, myself)!

Afraid to Say


I want to say

I see you in this world I saw without color.

I want to say I see you

in this world I saw without color, when really,

I saw every shade but was afraid to say.


I want to say

so many colorful affirmations to you.

I want to say so many

colorful affirmations to you in this world

I saw without color,

when really,

I saw every shade but was afraid to say.


I want to say

I hear your cries to listen and accept.

I want to say I hear your cries

to listen and accept a new composition

from an old equality in this world

I saw without color,

when really,

I saw every shade but was afraid to say.


I want to say I’m sorry

I was afraid to say.


~By Celaine Charles, June 2020


flower bee haiku

Purple venation

Roadmap visible by those

Willing ceaselessly  to strive


By Celaine Charles, Spring 2020


Cleaning Day


It’s in the grain of the wood, rubbed with cloth,

soft strokes in lemon oil,

the scent

the shine

old memories—

on my coffee table.


It’s in the fold of each dish towel, in fourths,

the bath towels in thirds,

how they stack

how they fit

in my memory—

inside my cupboard.


It’s in the mopped linoleum, scrubbed sink,

the luster of wisdom

and pride

and care,

the gleams of you, mama—

on cleaning day.


~Celaine Charles, May 2020 (for my mom)


Ashton and Mason poem pic by Julia Blackshaw Hold Me

Art: Hold Me, By Julia Blackshaw (

It is Time

Love spreads comfortable wings

around knowing hearts,

perhaps unknowing,

only wanting

in desperation.


Secrets reveal wishes

upon stars— lost, on course,

meandering aimlessly

until time decides

it is time.


By Celaine Charles (inspired by my fiction book, Seam Keepers, coming soon…)


Letting Go (an Elfchen poem)


a dark

heavy burden carried,

until tossing it out—


A couple haiku from my life…

dog Yarrow

My daughter’s new joy!

Mysterious path,

journey across the border,

shelter, foster, home.


tree poem haiku

A tree along my walk!

Nurturing mother,

adopting and providing,

love-wrapped and adorned.


~By Celaine Charles, April 2020


Such A Theatrical Season


Flowers in the sky and sunshine at my feet

in my early spring walk at sunset.

April newness stirs the leaves,

on pointe

at the brink

of every branch.


Petals in the wind, its fragrance calms the air,

my breath, my lungs, my soul…

Such a theatrical season


tiny stars

to be born.


~By Celaine Charles, April 15, 2020


Robin’s Call


There’s a robin out my window.

He calls every morning, before

any other birdsong, the earliest

of callers. And I greet him with

smiles, even in sorrow, because

nature doesn’t know you, doesn’t

know me, doesn’t care that

the world’s stopped spinning;

as long as the sun rises and

the robin sings.


By Celaine Charles, April 2020


Spring Comes


Spring comes,

when the covers are pulled up tight,

when the door is closed,

or bolted,

barricaded from the inside

keeping the germs out, the people out, the unknowns



Spring comes

with no eyes to see the signs,

red tulips kiss the sun,


dance in a warm new breeze,

creating a tickle in the air, an itch in the bones to get



Spring comes

whether depression or anxiety or fear…

it doesn’t wait for the okay

to go,

permission from those in charge,

authorization to be allowed



Spring comes

in isolation; one brave stem pushing through

the cold, frosted ground,


hope in the season ahead, trust

in what we can’t possibly know, spring comes



By Celaine Charles, April 1, 2020


sun golden milk my pic of seattle sunset

Another glorious Seattle sunset, March 25, 2020

Does the Sun Know?


Does the sun know

he sets on unstable lands?

Does he know his golden milk

feeds the hungry

and the weak,

as they wait alone

in uncertain



By Celaine Charles, March 2020


worlds of the world paige morris

Art by Page Morris

Words of the World


Rain drips down the gutter outside my window, open wide.

Cool air blows in the words of the world; blows out

stale stories lost within the folds of my skin.


Fence post groans under the weight of age and time,

rhythm slow and easy so the message aligns

with stars shining far-away through gray quilts of sky.


I will rest

I will rise

I will move again


Through the seasons I will walk, and not look back.

Thank you to the Heavens for the rain outside my window,

for the words of the world fill my soul.


~By Celaine Charles, March 5, 2020 



My Valentine


I have never had a Valentine

before you, my love,


sending apricot and sterling roses,

flying on a whim


across the state to see only me,

my romantic dinner date.


Though now the sofa wears our imprints,

scattered space between,


you will always be, as you always were,

my forever Valentine…


to me.


By Celaine Charles, February 12, 2020 (Happy early Valentine’s Day to my love) 🙂



The first spring bloom in January, taken with my iPhone:)

To Wait


Sometimes early on

we are beaten down

by the s l o w

unfolding of life.


We mistakenly stand

amid the others

too soon when

to wait is essential.


Then every raindrop

luminescent and true

press against each

aspiration, until


the weaver of time

reveals a delicate

design, and sunlight

bids welcome.


~By Celaine Charles, January 29, 2020


Elfchen Fun!

Charles Robert Lindholm, The Reluctant Poet (, has done it again – he’s challenged me to two new elfchen poems. Elfchen is the German word for eleven. An elfchen poem is an eleven word poem over five lines. Charles introduced this lovely form of poetry to me in December and I wrote “Message Sent” (three poems down on this page) about a fogbow. This time, he’s given me two new starters. 1) The wind whispers, and 2) My dancing heart… I’ve taken his challenge and written the poems below. How about you give it a try? If you write an elfchen poem, add it to the comments or facebook me (link: I will collect everyone’s elfchens and present them in my February 2nd Blog Post (giving you credit, of course). Thanks, Charles, for your clever challenge…Keep them coming! 

The Wind Whispers



wind whispers

olden truths, wrapped

loosely among white lies;



~By Celaine Charles, January 22, 2020


My Dancing Heart



dancing heart

sways in rhythm,

knocks against my bones;



~By Celaine Charles, January 22, 2020


me and bry

Happy Birthday to my sweet baby girl! This may be an old blurry picture, but wow – so long ago and I remember it like yesterday!

Born on a Rainy Night


Little girl born

on a rainy night,

sleeps soundly

in my arms,


by the pitter patter

coursing between

smooth new skin

and joy. Fear.

Unrelenting purpose

pulsing through veins,

suddenly thin

and frail,

as if my bones

might crack,

crumble away

in the wind,

without her.


~By Celaine Charles, January 8, 2020 (Happy Birthday my sweet)!




Image by Steffi Besser, Pinterest

Footprints at Dawn

(Thank you to author and friend Yvonne Brewers for this 3-word challenge: footprints, icing, escape)


Snow glides over every limb

of the willow in my backyard,

across every curved branch

almost grazing the frozen ground.


Quiet in the night, like icing

shines under candlelight,

Winter escapes to bed

under a yellow moon.


Awaits footprints at dawn,

fawn and mama deer,

welcome Morning’s first light;

I sip my coffee in the window.


By Celaine Charles, January 1, 2020


Thanks to “The Reluctant Poet,” Charles Robert Lindholm, for my Wednesday poem tonight. I played around with my first Elevenie, a German short poem, or Elfchen, with eleven words in a formation of five rows. There’s a little more to it, but wow – so much fun! Here’s his blog with another Elevenie: 

Message Sent


gossamer light

reflects promises sent,

arcs through morning mist,



~B Celaine Charles, December 11, 2019

Winter’s Fortune


I’ve been to the top of mountains

under the ivory fall of winter.


A quiet, as clear as rainwater,

you can hear your fortune


whispered between evergreen

arms, embracing the season,


weighed down with snow,

now sentinel statues guarding


a truth you must await,

open-souled, open-mouthed;


head back, baby bird…

swallow every breath.


~By Celaine Charles, December 2019

***This poem was inspired by the many mountaintops my family snowmobiled – and all the secrets I swallowed while appreciating the indescribable beauty. Thanks to my folks for making sure I had this experience over and over, over the years as a child. Best life!


ART 1 – by Zhiwei Tu:
ART 2 – by Blythe Smith: /

Moods of my Sometimes

Sometimes I awaken,

slip on morning

like a warm sweater,

denim-clad, and

curls untamed

as if a gentle wind

follows me, while

a tiny brown wren

rides the breeze,

chiming her thoughts,



Sometimes I rise

in the dead of night,

shrouded under black

layers of mourning veil,

slicked-back bun

pinned tight,

frigid air

stamped harshly


a steel-toed



~By Celaine Charles, November 2019


Tired painting

Art by Jem Yoshioka



mental exhaustion

leaches deep within each bone



marrow’s march halts fast

storm silently brews inside

how much can you take


~By Celaine Charles, November 2019



Marooned in the Season


Isolated behind lavish layers of fog,

I think I’ll stay right here

on this early November morn

where I am unfound for a few

precious moments from constant pull.


I will huddle with the leaves,

marooned in the season, to fall,

to alight atop frost-kissed grass

blades like a sacrifice, a ritualistic

renewal within the privacy of Earth’s


gray swags, sloping low. They cloak

my heart, somehow lost on the outside

of fevering skin, crimson like the maples

already tossed aside, lamenting what-ifs

from earlier summer months, and first


September days, lost then, to October,

to the now that stands perfectly still

in the ashen light, holding time captive

for a few precious moments from constant

pull. I will huddle with the leaves…


marooned. Marooned against a grim

misty sky. Morning, hold me in your arms,

sway me from your branches one last

time before the wind lifts, casts me

onward. And I return to the foggy day.


~By Celaine Charles, November 5, 2019


Halloween Poem pic

The Almost Utter Darkness

Storm clouds settle at dusk,

whisk away the last rays

of light, stitch themselves

slowly into an eerie disguise.


The city awaits, anticipating

a night of bats and goblins,

swarms of children adorned

with sheets and masks.


They waltz among the dead

in glee, the watchful gaze of

parents stalk behind, within

the almost utter darkness,


as if the last lamppost lit,

was stamped out by Dumbledore

clicking his Put-Outer until

tiny pops fade to black.


Shadowed branches grow

webbed fingers, grab for sweets

and brittle bones beneath

flesh covered, costume delights.


~By Celaine Charles, Halloween Eve 2019


red skies at night pic

Photo from my iPhone:)

Red Skies at Night (A Tanka)


Twilight tie-die sky

although mama would declare

a sailor’s delight

brush-stroked rouge across blue skies

blinking billboard in the night


~By Celaine Charles, October 23, 2019

(Inspired by this picturesque sky on the way home from work and my mama’s voice in the back of my mind…

Red sky at night, sailors delight

Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning

~A Sailor’s Proverb)




Autumn in the Ocean


She rises with the ocean current, slow

lazy morning for waves with little wind,

but the chill seeps down deep, calling,

and the colors!


She nears the surface along the eastern coast,

exploding in copper and crimson,

dotting the shore like arcadian redfish

cling to a muddy floor.


The slip of her sleek golden tail, a twist

and turn—only reflections of amber sun

to beachcombers exhaling salty air,

in hope of a lucky catch.


She’s found her hidden treasure though,

before their weakened eyes, behind their sluggish

sense of smell, gems like rubies and topaz

announce the one season


she desperately wants to embrace, like a song,

to swirl in a dance to the depths of the sea,

to hide among the redfish, her own

autumn in the ocean.


~By Celaine Charles, October 16, 2019 (PICTURES ABOVE: the Maine coastal picture is from Pinterest, and the mermaid picture:


The poem below was inspired by a challenge to write a Nonet. It is a nine-line poem that reduces from nine syllables (on line one) to eight (on line two) to seven (on line three) all the way to one syllable (on line nine). My daughter and I found this to be frustratingly enjoyable…and I would do it again. Give it a try! 

Snoozing Dawn


Foggy morning falls with chirps and caws,

a dripping melodic tune seeps

through cracked and broken gutters,

as drenched skies yawn and stretch

from woken slumber,

calling morning

back to bed,




~ By Celaine Charles (with a little help from my daughter) 🙂 October 9, 2019



Art by Debbie Criswell

Slipping into October


Quietly, I slip into October’s chilly breeze,

pull it gently across suntanned shoulders,

await the sunrise show of stunning gold

surprises under canopies, longtime green.


Birch and Maple thoughtfully drink the fall,

sipping slow, to savor each earthly bouquet,

as it will be their last for a long time to come.

So, I clink my glass to their farewells,


bring color to my cold stone fireplace,

crimson and persimmon, like a breath;

a fresh renewal. Season’s phoenix takes flight,

soars gem-stained skies in a dance of silence,


and the world begins its cocoon…


By Celaine Charles, October 2019


spotted owl

Image Link:

Owl Waits


Spotted Owl waits

with hooked bill,

talons grip

Douglas Fir…



Night eyes,

binocular vision,

hiding mouse,

silent swoop…



By Celaine Charles, September 25, 2019 (written to share with my young students learning to write list poems) 🙂


creamsicle sky

I took this picture tonight!

Creamsicle Sky


Creamsicle Sky

bursts between

mountains majesty.


Liquid gold runs

amid black valleys

in hope of rain.


~ Celaine Charles, September 18, 2019


big sky picture from my iPhone

Whisk Me Away Blue Sky


Whisk me away blue sky,

wash over me with color,

with phthalo sapphire blue.


Hide me in a cloudy

brushstroke, framed

in white-washed wood,


set behind glistening glass,

hung by a window

west facing, so I slumber


blanketed by warm amber

sunsets and tucked inside

my earthly bed, goodnight.


By Celaine Charles, September 2019

Summer Fox

I see you, summer fox,

pointed ears to the ground,


for the faint chafe of digging.


Fall ascends in due time,

although not before you

wrangle those

last bits of tumbling light,


claimed as scuttled treasure

from vixen to cub mates.

Yet only

the feeble bow out hungry.


I see you, summer fox,

as slender as you are,

season’s mark

like drums to announce anew


celebration of time.

Autumn beats hum within

night’s nocturne.

Your speedy red coat, the sun,


sets harmoniously,

as if its paws never

quite touched down

when newborn babe-kits rebirthed,


claiming the warm season

as their skulk, the scoundrels!

And anyhow,

the trees are striking scarlet


on their own, as nature

yips and howls a new verse.

Rest assured,

I still see you, summer fox.


~ By Celaine Charles, September 2019

Blue Sneakers on the Blacktop

She stood in line

that first day of school,

a soundless space between

her salt water sandals

and the blue sneakers

on the blacktop.


Along down the line,

as far as she could see,

she counted shoes

in pairs; rainbows.

She would draw them

at recess if she could, but


new school, new rules.

New playground bark

aroma fills the late

summertime air, a bite

for the breakfast she was

too anxious to eat.


But the boy in the blue

sneakers turns around,

toes point in her direction.

Her fingers cross

behind her back,

“Please be nice to me.”


The words flank her mind,

alert and aware, familiar

noisy responses,

rarely good, rarely kind,

but the blue shoes wait

for her chin to lift.


“You’re the new kid,”

he said it matter of fact.

“Wear different shoes tomorrow

or your toes will fill with bark.”

Then he smiled and followed the line

into her brand-new school…


and she felt heard.


~ By Celaine Charles, August 28, 2019 (inspired after a staff meeting at the incredible school where I teach… and where we work to emPOWER all our students)! 


Sharing Space


A house fence becomes a freeway system

for all critters crawling, creeping,

landing in flight.


This planted shrubbery; a bird hotel,

with a pool made from poured cement

placed off to the side—

a pedestal for honorable appearances—

awaiting like paparazzi for

the birds and the bees

to bathe


refreshed and refilled

again and again with water


from the hose; green garter

leaves circular pressed lines

strewn amid soft grass,

neatly trimmed.


Shut doors still share



By Celaine Charles, August 21, 2019




I am lifted today,

encircled by your open

arms, stretched to hold

every need, every hurt,

and always, every joy.


I am lifted today,

as all your roots bend and

curve, stitch together beneath

the soil where I stand,

and I am elevated.


I am lifted today,

new heights to reach the ribbons

of blue sky, the silver threads

of animal-shaped clouds, to feel

the breeze of your friendship.


I am lifted today,

far above the Heavens,

above yesterdays and tomorrows,

enclosed by constellations,

in safe hands, I am lifted.


~ By Celaine Charles, August 14, 2019


CA map pic


Coastal shores

Align like stars down

Long southern road trips…

Interior Interstates abandoned

For the less traveled and curvy

Old highways whipped fresh with ocean breeze…

Roaring waves hunger like captive lions

Nourish their bellies with each traveler’s fret

Illuminate a buried inner peace

Anointing each soul with golden sun…

By Celaine Charles, August 2019

sky love try 3

Sky Love

Revealed by a breeze

An overcast patch of blue

Hopeful universe

By Celaine Charles, July 2019

great blue heron

Thanks to Joan Granger for providing this beautiful picture to inspire me. Sometimes it feels like I’m tucked spiritually inside her pocket along on her beach walks.

Blue Heron, Secret Keeper

It could be that my secrets hide

beneath silver blue feathers

of great blue heron.


And when you see beauty

still in shallow waters,

patient and waiting,


or gliding atop quiet

morning shores,

it could be that my secrets hide


beneath silver blue feathers

of great blue heron…

and he will keep them.


~By Celaine Charles, July 24, 2019 

broccolini bouquet


Fresh broccoli

with a sweeter bite

than the vegetable

your grandma boiled,

because why not?


Mess with nature,

bring an old native

into modern times.

Multicultural since 1993,

its roots trace to China.


Hybrid bouquets,

in deep evergreen shades,

and filled with vitamin A,

folate and iron, perfectly

packed with potassium.


Petite florets fit snugly

atop long slender stalks,

crunchy and fresh

from the garden, but

as well, cooked in a dish—


surprising even the most

skeptical of grandmas…

you simply must

add broccolini

to your grocery list!


Just having a little fun… by Celaine Charles, Summer 2019


Sweeping The Kitchen Floor

Quick movements catch my eye

through the window as

I sweep the kitchen crumbs,

always food crumbs,

always sweeping.

At times like these…I wish


for allergy-free dogs to be

truly allergy-free.

They’re not.

And so I sweep.

Except today, flickers of tawny fur

reflect through the glass…pull


my attention, as I lean

on my broom stick,

witchy, I suppose, from the sweeping,

but there’s a baby

chipmunk beaming

in my backyard.


Under the safe rocks

and behind trellised ivy,

home typically for squirrels,

always squirrels in our yard, yet

without concern for them, I wonder

could I take a shot…with my camera?


Would chipmunk pose

or race away

like the wagging tails

of non-allergy-free dogs?

He races.

I race too…off


to the garage, quick return,

bird seed in hand,

crumbs from the kitchen floor

scatter under speed. Then,

soundlessly, I slip open the door,

sprinkle seeds galore,


as who are the lovers of bird seed,

with my robins and wrens


Always squirrel, and with hope

visiting chipmunk

enticed by the seedy scent,


offered as my gift.

I greedily await his return,

hoping hunger trumps care

about the witch in the kitchen

or the crumbs on my floor…

might he venture out?


If quietly I wait and wait…until

…silence sweeps without need

of a broomstick.

My husband closes the door,

cleans the moment

like a dog tongue to the face.


“You’re letting in the flies.”


Witchy with my broom,

I sweep up the floor, though my gaze…

peels beyond the glass

for when chipmunk arrives:

birdseed feast—no worries about the mess,

and no photos please.


By Celaine Charles, June 10, 2019 (although I did, in fact, get a photo as you can see) 🙂


Foxglove appreciated on an outing with my hubby. Love this beautiful flower!

Beloved Foxglove

Beloved foxglove

lights the way,

tributes above

cowslips and daisy.


Her bells sound

to special folks,

“Welcome, welcome,

make way…”


Sentinel, she stands,

bowing before:

the spiritual, the fairies…

Silent fireworks.


~ By Celaine Charles, July 3, 2019

Summer Rain

Damp skies leak

summer rain,



far from the darkness

of April downpours.


Hope seeps through

filtered light,


the day,


souls clean,


inviting Earthworm

and Tree Frog

to join a world

where the small

stay hidden;

to dance


in the light

of the rain.


By Celaine Charles, Summer 2019

gray day pic

Carry On Gray Day

The gray hangs heavy today,

like a cloak fastened at my neck,

draped over shoulders to cut the chill,

though it sweeps under folds of fabric.


I could hide here, from the cool winds,

wait for the blue light transcending beyond

the dark cloth, sewn with silver string;

it unravels me, hem and soul, to carry on—


To carry on with my day, as if there

is no burden of weight, decisions

cannot only be made under blue skies,

but even when night calls to suffer.


Pulling my cloak tighter across my chest,

I move with the winds brushing past,

let the folds dance in the wind,

And carry on. Carry on. Carry on.


By Celaine Charles Spring 2019




Forever Yellow

Her roses arrive

each year,

the same day in June;



With sunset centers,


caress the tender



She knows they will come,

though her

youthful heart still swoons;



And isn’t it true—

true love

begins as friendship;



One, two, five, sixteen,

each year

the hearth of her heart



soft yellow petals,

long stems;

his promise sincere,



Twenty-five, fifty,

past years

blossom as numbers



a single new rose


welcome in the vase.



Who needs a red rose?


will be forever



~ By Celaine Charles, June 13, 2019

Happy Anniversary to my parents, 55 years!

Family (A little Haiku)

Brightened memory

Time flies when you’re having fun

Hearts from my past

~ By Celaine Charles, June 2019

Accepting Grace

That place behind

forgiveness of self.



it’s undeserved.


Facing it head on

and just because.


The sun is a gift

each morning,


brightly dimming

unfavorable choices.


Sleep comes

in new beginnings.


~By Celaine Charles, Spring 2019


Image link: My Beautiful Mind, Central Coast Primary Care

SPENT (acrostic style)

Some days take their toll

Pressing from every corner

Entangling every nerve

Never relenting until

Tomorrow’s a new day

~ By Celaine Charles, May 22, 2019

Sad Rain

Water runs today

from cloudy sky,

sullen and gray faced.


Shadows lurk


unsettled while rain


drops in repetition;

an inner monologue



of another time

still burdened,

still sad—


same water.


~ By Celaine Charles, Spring 2019

Weather Birds

Watching the weather

like a hawk

before my travels.


I wonder would the birds

use an app,

if they could


to know what comes?

Or do they

already know?


~ By Celaine Charles, May 8, 2019

May in the Pacific Northwest

I throw open

the windows today

in every room.

Outside the breeze

croons a song I’ve heard,

although restored,

abuzz with new life;


birdsong chimes

beneath lush verdant

signs of spring,

squirrels chatter

as if their busy world

hasn’t slept these last

six months,


as if time awaited

their arrival

to set right the paths

of my feet,

to spur direction

somehow lost in the folds

of winter’s nest.


My world awakens.


~ By Celaine Charles, May 1, 2019

Temporary Journeys

We all walk our own roads

in temporary journeys,

occasionally crossing


in warm (or cold)



~ By Celaine Charles, April 24, 2019

Noticing (#1)


The striking gong of a clock tower at Winter’s dusk.



That little speck of dust dancing airily in Sun’s rays.



A breeze floating aimlessly through Mama’s empty arms.



Hushed lips beyond Morning’s fragrant sermon… grateful.


~ By Celaine Charles, April 17, 2019

Spring Hope

Crickets chorus out my window,

open to let in the breeze.

April flurries lift away

all winter cares

because Spring has latched

her long green fingers,

caressed my soul with hope,

for a fresh new start.


~ By Celaine Charles, April 10, 2019


*Art by: 

Chocolate and Wine

It’s been a long day

indulgence lightens my soul


~ By Celaine Charles, April 3, 2019

sagging cedars with moss

*Photo by: 

The Woods Outside my Window

***I pulled the words below from a chapter in my novel rewrite and created this poem. I love it when the faeries reveal themselves…

Rustling, crackling branches,

dense section of

wet forest,


fallen logs,

sagging cedars

weighted by moss,

covered boughs


with stories

only faeries tell

when I listen…


~ By Celaine Charles, March 27, 2019

HAWK Red-tailed-Hawk-in-flight-SLL-5476

Verbs from a Paragraph in my Novel ReWrite

(I am so engrossed with my novel rewrite, that I am not creating a lot of poetry right now. But words are flowing from me in other ways. Here are all the verbs from a paragraph in a chapter I am currently working on. I thought they made a poem all on their own.)















“How is this possible?”


~By Celaine Charles, March 20, 2019

desk pic

My Writing Desk

Wine swirls in the glass to my left,

honey spun in the dim yellow light,

reward for each newly written line

after line, after line.


Golden bird sits with her crown,

to the right she cocks her head,

all attention to the keyboard, type,

type, type.


Crystal mug, markers and pencils,

scattered jewelry peeled from the day job,

collection grows more each day I sit

and think and write.


Sometimes I burn candles, to set the mood.

I sip my wine, and peer into the palm trees,

3D sticker under the lamp, as if the sunset glows,

glows and glows.


This is my writing desk with stacked books,

post-it notes, a journal, my glasses,

a second lamp for dark days and nights,

day after day, and night; I write.


~ By Celaine Charles, March 13, 2019

Morning’s First Hour

There’s something healing about silence,

about the quiet fall of snow,

about morning’s first hour,

truths crumple

in blankets,

still warm with tangled legs.


Reality blurs

behind sleepy eyelids;

diagnosed, undiagnosed,

I don’t know’s hushed

until the weight of remembrance

sounds its clanging gong.


~ By Celaine Charles, March 6, 2019



The little ones

that fit in your palm,

granite, feldspar,

a mix of minerals and sand

clamped in a fist

holds the whispers

of wind’s end.


The natural language

of trees,

if only souls

could interpret

songs sung

on thunderous

stormy nights.


A message to cipher,


for failing hearts

strained bodies,

no longer strong,

no longer standing

on sturdy stones.


Steps leap onward,



dynamite flashing

golden red,

pink skies as night

settles, secrets in hand.


~By Celaine Charles, February 27, 2019


Snail’s Journey

(My class swirled our science snails and Haiku… I guess I couldn’t switch gears. 🙂 

silver liquid drops

gleam in early morning light

slow and steady march

~By Celaine Charles, February 2019


There’s a bird outside my window

trilling at the snowfall,

unhappy in his day.


I wonder why he hollers

but then the world is covered

in white lattice flakes,


accumulated to a point of blinding

glistening flurry, demanding value

of appreciation and applause.


I pause because it’s lovely

to watch fall through the window;

picking up the pieces is the burden.


This bird knows the truth,

he sings his disapproval, and

I hum along as I shovel the drive.


~ By Celaine Charles, February 13, 2019

Winter Night Pic

Winter Night

white flags sail

blue canvas sea

snow topped limbs

by Celaine Charles, February 2019

Shepherding Souls

Hummingbird waits,

her wings invisible, or perhaps

perceptional rivalry in play

outside windows of the ailing.


Souls in transition

seek shepherds on their journeys beyond.

Trochilidae abuzz; bereavement

ascends in iridescent rise.


By Celaine Charles, Winter 2019

morning knew forest pic

Morning Knew

     ~For my friend who lost her little gem in the snow, may she shine in her new home.

Morning knew

in quiet surrender

forest’s loss.


Time swaddled

fluttering wings

under snow.


Sun shrouded

along gray veils

in mourning.


Eulogy sung

on flightless wings

a way home.


~By Celaine Charles, January 2019

walk with shar pic

Two Friends Walk A While

Just a walk.

Two friends adoring time


away from the busyness

of the day,

the news,

the happenings they can’t unhappen,

no matter how sad,


or unlikely it all may be.


Two friends can walk a while

away from burdens,


let evil spirits sleep— still there

hard like a shell,

course like gravel,

fixed in reality,

though far enough away

to grant rest in apprehension

and hold a hand.


The woodlands keep our hearts

secure in every sense,

lost on a path, around a bend,


beneath the boughs

of old tall cedars

in key

with a robin’s heartfelt song.

Scents of our souls,

an aroma to soothe all strain—


when two walk together in time.


~ By Celaine Charles, Summer 2018

Saying goodbye

Songs are written about sad goodbyes,

about last kisses, and parting thoughts.

But those are just words to her,

while heartening, they lie flat.

And the accompanying melodies

fall short against her ears.


She strains to hear a familiar tune,

a unique key soon to be lost.

There’s a needed silence

when memorizing the sweet voice

of a one loved, the one slipping away

for a while, or forever…


Time sways to its own beat, always onward.

She clutches the hours with freckled hands,

strokes each finger, ten smooth nails.

Mama used to paint them pink, always pink.

Now blue veins travel on a course

she can’t follow in song’s end.


~ By Celaine Charles, December 2019

New Year’s Writing Purgatory

What to write about on the first day of a new year,

how to choose a topic or find the words.


Is the slate even clean as the computer screen glares

white blinding light between worlds; purgatory


of wills. Wants and desires collide with expectations,

obligations boarded up; roadwork ahead, take alternate


route. But perseverance strides down dirt roads

along tumbleweed and rising dust, lifts


each footfall. Hope sets in the distance, golden

rays stretch to rescue if only… the eye can see


or the heart can soar… through the minutes and hours,

days of time, ticking resolutions to start anew.


A new year awaits determined decisions. Fingers

rest atop each key, warm and igniting, ready to create


something. Prayers dance along the edges, peripheral

appointment with destiny, if deciphered under pressure;


writing on the first day of a new year.


~By Celaine Charles, December 1, 2019

One Day a Year

Unwrapped packages strewn the floor in a new

style of garland; anticipation, want, guilt.

Of course, they’re not the only decorations.

Those of eternal gratefulness shine

like tinsel in the morning light, along

ripped wrapping paper splattered

in cookie cutout patterns, as if Mrs. Claus

baked fresh gingerbread just inside the kitchen.


Aroma swirls the air, ascends with flavored coffee,

hot cocoa for the kids, French toast casserole,

and suspended moments where everyone comes

together to smile, to share, to forget the other

364 days of the year. To place one golden star atop

an evergreen tree; symbol of hope, regardless

of the mess on the floor, overflowing boxes

in the recycle bin, calories and food waste.


They crowd countertops, but the table is set for dinner.

Candles are lit, and for one day may we ignore… forget

our sufferings. Join hand in hand with those who might

feel indifferent, or lonely, or concerned about a world

indifferent, lonely, and overwrought with worry.

For one day, may we pardon annoyances or snubs,

misunderstandings or long-held burdens… for one day

may we celebrate that we are alive together…


for another Christmas.


~By Celaine Charles, December 26, 2018



Seasonal sentinel

dressed in cheer.

Scarlet and evergreen

for inspiration and passion,

balance and growth.


What secrets he holds,

year after year,

memory after memory,


after time.


What stories he’s heard—

The truths he could tell,

joyful and sorrowful,

wrapped like garland,

like glittering strings of light.


Each ornament hung,

a tangible still life,

carrying moment after moment.

Some remembered or recalled

after a mere glance.


Others reminisced like time travel,

past events returned

to a room donned in hopeful spirit.

Each occasion stitched in stockings

by the fire,


warm for the taking,

if you so choose—

If you linger long enough in the veil

between time

and Christmas.


By Celaine Charles, December 2017

Debut Drug

Just a quick poke, the needle glides,

as if pushing through my flesh

is nothing of concern.

Stainless steel tubing, drawn slender, small,

the size of my last drop of hope, injects

the FDA’s latest debut drug.


My doctor is certain, though doubt sedated

this same decision only two season’s pasts.

Somehow summer’s exhale

into fall fell short, previous concerns

miraculously recovered, coincidentally

when other possible paths shut down.


As if the very fact my immune system

attacks itself in painful, life-altering ways

causes the same skin withstanding

the plunging stab of a new hypodermic cocktail

to fissure and welt isn’t enough,

this new syringe brings relief—


In the form of a bee sting without summer,

a spider bite without tree climb,

the loss of love without an ocean wave

burying the bones of young romance, renewal

alive on a sunset; the nurse rubs the fire spot,

as if her added tender touch heals my uncertain reality.


By Celaine Charles, 2018

Loose Threads and Goodbye

I stare at the car lights


as she drives away,

every bad-mom moment,

whether real or imagined,



on repeat.


It doesn’t matter

that our visit was good

or memorable,

that we smiled

and enjoyed

each other’s time;

I will forever wonder

What I neglected to teach.


I will forever mourn


I may have forgotten

to pass on.

And as beautiful and responsible

or independent as

she may be,

I know my little girl.


She hungers

for the piece of me

I failed to provide,

or at least I feel

it must be so,

as my fingers fumble

along loose threads

in empty pockets.


By Celaine Charles, 2018

Mimi Remembers

She smiles on her journeys,

leaves fall at her feet,

cherry blossoms

float tenderly by…


when a story

spills from her lips,

swirls into the universe,

and cradles the ears of her heart.


She sucks in life

like a breath of magic,

exhaling miracles in her path;

though only the wise can see.


Souls who cry in beauty,

sway in sadness,

and lift up

their presence to count.


No matter in this lifetime,

or the next,

or maybe the one before

because gifts are timeless,


and tied with tiny red threads

making memories

to remember…

to remember.


By Celaine Charles, 2015

Trapping Fish

My daughter suggested I try a black-out poem – so much fun! I used the book “Delbert’s Weir” by Carmen Peone. A young adult adventure book set in 1870 my son just finished reading (he enjoyed it very much).

Trapping Fish

“Plenty of worry

about you feeding us

before fish

double back, swim

into our traps.”


He headed downstream,

sticks and pebbles

clutched in both fists.


Rolling, the fish

dart past, jerk

his tender feet.


The current pulled, but

he trudged on,

his feet to perform their

trout-gathering dance.


Hope-abundant, splashed

at the traps…



~ By Celaine Charles, BLACKOUT poem inspired by page 59 in Carmen Peone’s book, “Delbert’s Weir” (young adult adventure, set in 1870)

The Next Footfall

Footsteps on the pavement,
each connection grounding
my spirit to this body,
to this place.

If I think about flying,
about refusing the next footfall,
I might simply

Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad
to spare some burden
of the weight
off my shoulders


By Celaine Charles, 2018

Daylight Savings

She leaves work with darkness chasing her heels.

“It’s only five o’clock,” her sigh finds life on the wind

just outside her car window. Red dots blur

down the road in a long line

headed nowhere fast.


“Does it matter?” she wonders,

because night steals any motivation

she may have felt a day ago, a week ago

when Sun gave wait in setting until after supper,

and she joined the event.


A glass of wine in hand, deep breath swelling

in exhale. Inhale. The days back then full of life.

A day ago, a week ago, when light led way to jubilation.

“And now it’s time for bed.” She sank into the driver’s seat,

gaze fixed on a red line down the dark road.


By Celaine Charles, 2018


Image Link:

Happy Halloween poetry friends, or should I say, All Hallows’ Eve!

Soul Cakes for Prayers

A promise to pay, a promise to pay,

door to door for soul cakes today.

Before the cockcrow, before the morn,

the beggars will pray for souls to be mourned.


A promise to pay, a promise to pay,

families prepare on the eve of All Saints.

Soul cakes are baked, the currents adorn,

soul cakes for prayers; hear the knock on the door?


By Celaine Charles, October 2018 ~ Inspiration Link:

Fat Squirrel

Fat squirrel feeds on the bird seed I’ve scattered.

The very mix a man at the Grange said,

“They’ll stay out of these kernels, for sure.”

Though this critter fills his cheeks regardless

of the sales clerk’s expertise.


He hardly looks for danger, this squirrel,

silver with his sunshine face, still pink

from his youth. Is it bravery strutting

for show, to the glimmers of his brothers?

They could be watching, and there’s always a need


in nature, to be feared for your strength.

To be honored for your abilities.

To surpass the expectation of “others”

watching… may they take heed.

Or, perhaps, it is his youth that hinders


his impulsiveness. Like a storm that swoops in

faster than expected, without precautions, only

anticipation, because the seed is spread—

tempting him for the taking, calling his sense of

hunger, his basic need of survival undermined


by the fact he sits here now,

on my porch, birdseed strewn about

and bulging at his sides. He’s far too fat to outrun

an enemy, or predator, or even the birds

for whom the sales clerk claimed to advocate.


By Celaine Charles


Image Link:

Every Thought That I Have

I am my every thought,

so I will devour every ounce

of sunshine and good tidings.


I shall think on every success

and all my days of laughter;

sad memories will have no place


on my plate, although I regret

their loss and tuck them neatly

away in the cupboards.


Folded and stored in case

reverie comes knocking, there is value

and worth in such burnt offerings.


But today, I will love instead.

I will spoon golden sunflowers at dawn,

grateful to awaken another day


I will knead childhood memories

into smooth round dough,

bake bread in the hearth of my soul,


let the scent permeate the air—

reminding me I have become

every thought that I have.


*Inspired by Philippians 4:8-9

By Celaine Charles

bellingham squalicum harbor

North Winds

It’s cold here
on the coastal shores of Bellingham.
Fierce ocean breezes
blow the tent flaps,
like sails in a storm,
along the festival of
Summer’s End,
and reminds us all
on land
who’s in charge.

Though the brick barrier
encircling Squalicum Harbor,
built by man
to honor fisherman gone to sea
and never
to return,
feels warm on my legs—
heated from the sun;
perhaps nature’s golden

By Celaine Charles, photo with my iPhone.


Image Link: Lothlorien art;

Forest Free

Night parts way for moon

Spotlight gleams beyond concrete 

Forest takes the stage

~By Celaine Charles

bear scratches back

Image Link:

Husband Awake

Like a tree he stands,

the weight of the wind

threatening to timber.


Like a bear, sleepy

from slumber, but alert



Scratch – scratch, tree bark

almost hits the spot,

or is it a door post?


Rumbling growls, low

on the wind, slip under

hums of modern cooling;


he makes his presence known.

And I smile,

my husband awake.


~By Celaine Charles, 2014

mother son artIMAGE LINK:

Time Capsule

Time with my son

comes with great



The world through

his skin feels




and porous

at the same time.


And though he knows


yet so little


in his tender




When he looks at me,

offering advice,

I know



at my age

to smile;


to bask

in the glow

of our time capsule.


By Celaine Charles, 2018


birdsong at dusk

Image Link:

Birdsong at Dusk

Birdsong at dusk—


Vibrant notes carry on

as if to record the day

in a big bound book

of time.

Copyright © Celaine Charles 2018

summer to fall dandelion

Image link:

September’s Spindle

Ticks and tocks begin their tilt

as time pushes back

in September.


Long days fall, one atop the other,

sleepily entwined;

a sudden halt.


Across Autumn’s spindle,

Summer coils to wind

around the hour.


Fibers neatly thread,

now waiting to be woven

into October.


Copyright © Celaine Charles 2018


Image Link:

Change of Season

Summer folds in close

Persimmon change of season

Stitches pulling taut 

Copyright © Celaine Charles 2018

Butterfly 1

Image Link:


Butterfly floats on August winds, dusting
Tips of sand-anchored foliage
Fear-of-fire dry
The only color striking
Lies delicately
Across fluttered wing

…And she hopes

Butterfly soft atop brittle, broken
Bits of pine
Needles lost to summer
She dances tip-toed
Across tiny leaves of courage
Held in time, thoughtfully tight

…And she trusts

Butterfly chances her honored visit
Selected gift to seekers
Knowing escape
Comes in a blink, expectancy
Lasting an instant

…On hearts of summer winds

By Celaine Charles ~ Published on Nature Writing ~


Image Link:

Rules of Summer

There are no rules of summer,

only suggestions

for time.


Let its tick tock metronome nest

with the robins, and wait for babies

chirping cheer for mama’s worm,

caught at dawn, after dewy jewels

adorn the day.


There are no rules of summer,

only counsel

for cares.


Let them gather in a tinderbox

as fuel to set flame, for sunsets

melting ruby red against

blackened Independence

Day skies.


There are no rules of summer,

only blessings

for joy.


Let it run rivulets down chins,

spit seeds in the grass,

green and growing like vines

underfoot, tethered gently to

season’s wind,


forever blowing freely

… for a spell.


By Celaine Charles 2018


Palm Trees

Fronds fall peacefully

Bidding triumphant welcome

Bouquets in blue skies 

Copyright © Celaine Charles 2018
Grandma Benner 1934 Grad Pic

My Grandma Marie, 1934

My Grandma’s birthday was yesterday, July 31st, so I honor her today on “Wednesday Whims of Poetry” with a poem published in Dime Show Review, inspired by memories of her and her endless field of buttercups (or at least endless in my mind).

Happy Birthday Grandma…

The Secret to Life (From the Back of my Mind)

There is always a hum in the back of my mind.

The dryer clanging a cacophony of notes

to a song that should be softer.

When I remember my grandma’s line of laundry,

flapping in the wind.


It was wistful and breezy,

linens with stories stitched into their seams.

Always they teased flight

in my seven-year-old imagination.

They temped me to run through them.


The arms of her nightgowns beckoned

to meet them on the other side,

there in the buttercup fields to the north of her land,

under the warm blanket of summer,

I knew I would find the secret to life.


I laugh now, loading the dishwasher,

adding its chime to the chorus of reality.

Years later, grandma long gone to the other side,

I wonder if it’s the same chord from before,

only louder and banging to capture my attention.


To turn the head of this forty-year-old body,

Moving slower now, with temptations at hands length.

I think too much about the laundry, and the dishes,

the certainty of life that calls upon my absolute focus.

I can’t stop for childhood memories, games that might push me off course.


The whir in my laptop springs to life, because

I might as well get some work done.

My to-do list grows, like the buttercups from Grandma’s field

still blossom, like the north star still signals a shift,

and I can see the signs as clearly as her rose-budded


nightgowns, swaying in the breeze all those years ago,

tempting me to run through them,

their tune a constellation to be deciphered,

if only I could hear the melody through the cacophony

of the dryer, and the dishwasher, and the hum of the laptop


in the back of my mind.


By Celaine Charles ~Published in Dime Show Review:


shark Great White

In Honor of Shark Week

Photo Link:

Great White, Built to Hunt

(Inspiration Article: Maloney, Brenna. “On the Hunt With the Great White Shark.” National Geographic Explorer, Nov. 2015, pp. 2-9.)

Part 1: Great White

Great White swims under blue skies,

canopy to his water world.

Winding deep

he finds his way.


Perfected body, curved and tapered,

water slips without

currents swirling,

without slowing.


He catches the scent, blood

in the water, a sign.

An injured animal… seal;



Part 2: The Hunt

His flexible skeleton bends,

back and forth

he turns his head;

discerns the way.


Lobes in his back-fin swing

side to side,

keeping balance,

granting speed.


He is made for the hunt.

Lateral lines run


down both sides.


Vibrations travel the tubes

under skin,

and he feels the energy

from his meal.


Diving deep, he veils below

unknowing prey.

His dark back cloaked

against dark abyss.


Charging, he makes his move

through open water.

Rows of jagged teeth

snap at the prize…


Part 3: The Kill

Injured seal is fast.

He leaps and twists.

Scratching claws swipe

the shark’s eyes.


But this creature— made to hunt,

rolls his eyes back,

protected. Sight now

unneeded to pursue.


Electroreceptors pick up

signals. With closed eyes

he finds his prey

poorly bidding escape.


Mouth open, jaws clamp

on second attempt;


He may not eat again for weeks.


By Celaine Charles 2018

Glare on Roadway, by Barry Shuchter (Photo art:

Glaring Revisions

Rewriting words is a blinding task.

The pages toss objections,

resentment, disappointment

into reflections

only the mind’s eye,

tired and overused,

see flaring like angelic gleams.


If it were a song,

It may only be heard

by small yipping dogs.

If a flavor;


bland, and only appropriate

for infants.


This blinding

unheard dish

presents itself

in hot dry seasons,

where the ground cracks

in protest,

where the heat rises


in waves,

like gasoline exhaust

distorts a view.

Dizzying vistas

to otherwise typical settings,




on the page,


with mixed-up words;

the untold story


an outstanding



By Celaine Charles 2018

Landscape Dreaming (Inspiration Dorothy Napangardi)

Dorothy Napangardi working

My Ekphrastic Poem inspired by Dorothy Napangardi, Australian Aboriginal Artist.

Landscape Dreaming

Grandfather’s Dreaming

from the beginning of time,

threads woven through the years,



from beneath the sands.

As once they emerged,

Ancestral Beings;



All that is seen, or walked upon,

or breathed into lungs,

every plant, animal, ounce of dirt,

every stream…


moves to the pulse below

the lands. The earth we share

is not for sale, but rather



And waiting for the day

in which their tale is retold,

revived and with

tumultuous force


to be free.


By Celaine Charles 2018

Photo Link: (SAMS)

Back to Top>
Three Poems For Independence Day

flag art

America the Beautiful, by Shannon Chiba

Three Poems for Independence Day ~ Mixed feelings this year, but still proud…

1) For All… For All

The Fourth of July once

expressed a time of spark and glow.

Colors blossomed against night skies,

drizzled pride in our country, and

in our hearts.


Until lately,


we seemed to have forgotten,

our chins held high, with

eyes on the frame of freedom,

with liberty and justice for all,

for all…


who end up a some.

And only those who do not see

wonder why, wonder where…

We may need those glowing



red, white, and blue,

to increase our night vision.

To see through shadows

looming between the colors

on the flag.


To saturate another

“… foul blot upon our nation”

and make amends

to the very ones we claim

to stand for…


One nation under God,


with liberty and justice

for all…

for all.


~ Works Cited:

  • Lyrics from “The Pledge of Allegiance”
  • Quote from Henry Clay



Happy, at least, to live in a country where we can disagree

Opposite views are still worth fighting for, though

Perhaps we can unite again and come together as a people

Engaged in aspirations for a future brightly sought


3) Thank You

Thank you to the men and women still standing

with our flag, though torn and ragged.

Blood shed to protect those unforgiving.

Perseverance for those willing to fight.

Purity to come together as an uncomfortable



Thank you to the men and women who put

their lives… their families on the line

for something bigger than themselves.

Because that flame still burns in the night—

for those who hate, for those who love;

for healing…


thank you.

By Celaine Charles 2018

Image Link:

Back to Top>

Wordless Love Song

horse Junior and Anna

Wordless Love Song

Velvet muzzle nudges

wordless love song

for only two



golden sun.


Only two hearts

beat in rhythm,

yours and mine,

for this moment


in time.


And years away

when hearts settle

adrift, wordless love

songs forever


the wind.


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

A Daisy’s Concern


A Daisy’s Concern

Concerns of a daisy—

only Summer knows.


The pressure poured freely

on her poor petal back,


“He loves me… he loves me not…”


Does she carry this burden by choice?

Does she hold some regal say?


Or smirk mischievously,

her face in the sun.


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

Wishing Star

moon reflection CC

Blue Moon, by Mike Ball

Wishing Star

I want my star back,

the one I wished upon

as a child.

The one floating downstream

in moon’s scornful reflection.


Unbeliever,” Moon spurns.

All the time gone by,


in those tender years between

eye lash wishes and rabbit feet.”


Grow up,” he laments,

not down, cascading


Ascend to the hope soaring in starlight,

the hope you once felt.”


Image Link: – Blue Moon, Mike Ball (and Creative Commons)

Back to Top>

Unlikely Lupines

Lupines take 2

Unlikely Lupines

Lupines stand tall,

illustrations of endurance,

for the small,

the frail.


Their seeds once lost— strewn

amongst rocky shores

and cliff sides, adrift in

barren wind-pressed cracks,



on troubled dry grounds,

until the earth declares;



Lupines are

living proof

of the resettling

of debts.


The universe grasps

even the unlikely,

when the unlikely

stand reaching.


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

Hungry Deadlines (A Tanka)

Image Link:

Hungry Deadlines (A Tanka)

Has my mind eaten

every last morsel of thought?

Devoured insight,

leaving the blank page barren,

and deadlines wanting dessert.


Copyright © Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

Standardized Testing and Little Souls

Standardized Testing and Little Souls

Standardized testing,

mixed results.

I suppose it helps

our state to think

they know

each little soul’s



deep inside.

All the stretched


and the making of

new myelin.

Little souls’ crinkled foreheads

when pressed


with something quizzical.

Perhaps they’re readers

of imagination and


within every bubbled







I wonder though,

if these little souls’


have the same gain,

that the state is equally


with their rhythm…


as they dance

across playgrounds,

and frolic

in soccer fields.

When one bends

low to spy an ant,

or wish upon


a dandelion.

Does the state see

little souls’


in each delicate umbrella,


and drifting through childhood?


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>



(in an octave of 8-syllables, as inspired by Tamara Miles)

My fingers clutch the earth below,

as tether for a wandering soul.


I grip the soil and leaves and grass,

and will my heart to anchor so.


Gravity taut with binding roots,

protect me from a transient flight.


My fancy tends to flee on whims,

allow my steady home to bend.


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

Cartoon Dreams

Anna colorful art 2

Art by Anna Vowels © 2018

Cartoon Dreams

The apex of living,

never steady,

gains height

as we trudge

like little ants,

tromping mindlessly

down carved paths,

because we know the way.


We need not think

deep thoughts, buried

under years,

behind stolen Saturdays.

Yet our subconscious

ventures off route:

Destiny hijacked.

Because life is lived


in cartoon dreams…


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

New Eyes (Georgia O’Keefe)


My young students inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe.

New Eyes

“Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.” ~Georgia O’Keeffe

Step into my flower,

the one nobody sees,

“Really –


It is so small it takes time.”

Time to notice red that’s more orange,

that’s more… vermillion.


Lean back against soft petals,

in long lines

to hold you still.


Transform your faith

in new landscapes,



and you will unfold

new eyes to see

beyond borders.


Mother bathe me

in golden stardust,

lands so green…


for then, I will take,

“…time, like to have a friend

takes time.”


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

Poetry Falls
Limerick Writers Center Pic 2017

Poetry Falls

Poetry falls,

rain on the window


Renewed thoughts roll,

winding their journey

a c r o s s




Ideas slip,

turn in hollows, already

there, reflective only

forgotten, unseen,





By Celaine Charles,

Published by Limerick Writers’ Centre for “April is Poetry Month in Limerick.”

Back to Top>

Spring’s Corsage

rhodi sunrhodi cloud

Spring’s Corsage

Rhododendron bursts,


scarlet bells bundled

brightly on green lapels,

Spring’s corsage

rings in the season.


Her song skips

across gray-blue skies,

announcing her arrival,

declaring her claim,

though Rain’s dark hand



His own beat,

his own light— glints


and rumbles behind,

to stake his counterclaim,

to shout:


One is not without the other!


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

Rainy Day Vengeance
drip drip drop rain

Image by Creative Commons (

Rainy Day Vengeance





Begins a whisper in the background,

nature’s call of attention, until…

a spoiled child

he beats his fists to rumble hearts.


Disregarding moods,

drenched and cold,

he dares in tempt of judgement,

anger strikes…


Then mockingly he salts the wounds

of hopeful souls,

who weigh each day’s success

with golden fare.


Behind dark shrouds of mist and gray

he snickers in delight

at the prize of disappointment

in your face.






By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

Sand Crab Haiku

Sand Crab Haiku

sand crab in palm

A flip of a rock

New discoveries await

Crawling crustacean

sand crab crawls in sleeve

Whoops! He’s on the go

Seeking shade from blinding sun

He makes his own path

sand crab hiding

Suddenly exposed

Though king in his own small world

He eyes the giant

sand crab in shadow

Permission granted

No need to drum fierce pincers

Rest safely my friend

sand crab sunny

Sand crab finds solace

Within a coat sleeve shelter

Gratitude bestowed

By Celaine Charles 2018 (and photos from my iPhone) 🙂

Back to Top>

I participated in a Pic and a Word Challenge this week. So fun! The picture and my poem are below, the inspiration word is “Twilight,” and the info & credit goes to Patrick Jennings:



Twilight strikes like silver swords

cross and cut the sky,

sheathed within chill.


Songs from the old exchanged

in secret,

Crepuscular tales told…


By only the lone awake,

sneaking about

between the seams of time.


by Celaine Charles, #picandawordchallenge

Back to Top>

Blue Bowl, Unbroken
blue bowl

Blue Bowl, Unbroken

She loved to entertain,

and cooked for my family

in laughter,

children ran amuck at our feet,

and her fiery locks draped

behind bended shoulders.


We shared wishes with teabags,

desires with cream and sugar,

high hopes

mixed and swirled into every recipe.

And her fiery locks draped

behind bended shoulders.


But in the morning,

truths left bitterness on our tongues,

sour endings

to perfectly constructed mealtimes.

And her fiery locks draped

behind bended shoulders.


For that final night together

she gifted me the last

blue bowl

from her broken collection.

And her fiery locks draped

behind bended shoulders.


He moved her away after that,

recipes revealed her ruse,

secrets burned…

without goodbyes,

and her fiery locks draped

behind bended shoulders.


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

more kind less judge


Kindness appears to have its own etiquette,

Impossible to keep things orderly.

Not that I’m unaware of its meaning,

Dare I say my mother taught me well:

Notice the people around you, and treat them

Every way you wish to be treated yourself… although

Some, I fear, forget their manners in this practice,

Soliloquies to others in disdain.


Image link:

Copyright © Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

The Gate (Haiku)

The Gate

Beyond trampled path,

faded white and memory-worn,

ethereal hope.


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

Woes of Early Spring
new daf in snow

Woes of Early Spring

Bending low,

Daffodil slumps her shoulders.

The weight of the season

frigid and white,

glistening in clumps at her feet.


Winter’s bejeweled accessory

tossed to the earth,

symbolic of her arrogance

her inability to see the meek

as they climb to meet the sun.


Too soon they stirred in warming soils,

stripped from dormancy,

hues rich in a naked world.

No return from whence they came,

and so they bend            low,


while Winter receives her final

curtsies and praises,

icy fingers applaud her finish.

And Daffodil bends         low

burying her shame.


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

Haiku for February

Image Link:

Haiku for February

Tempestuous zeal

Amongst snowfall and sunshine

Twenty-eight days twain


Ice crystals negate

Flourishing sunrays rebuke

Both duel and duet


Cerulean skies

Converse flakes iridescent

Together they dance


Terse month in the year

Opposition of seasons

Quibble their day’s rest


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

All Weather Tires

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

Waiting 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.


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

Finding Myself

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…




By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>


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:

By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

Far and Wide

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.


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

Wyeth’s Window (as the curtains blow) Inspiration Andrew Wyeth


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.


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>



Art by Anna Vowels © 2018


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

coat each limb,

and I am pushed back through…

Awake in my own world,


alien again.


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

Dear Crow


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 (
By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

Good Afternoon, San Francisco
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.


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

Spark of Hope

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.


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

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


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

If I Were A Book

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…



Copyright © Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>




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 light bulb

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.


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>


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.


By Celaine Charles 2018

Back to Top>

Fall Creeps In

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



By Celaine Charles 2018


Back to Top>