You Carry One Word


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Light Fills the Ancient Sky

haiku-may-ancient sky

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You Dance Your Own Way


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30. Lifeline.jean-wimmerlin-533659-unsplash


The bold ants move

Almost as one army

Tiny and fierce

They organize

To pierce a tunnel into the earth


A small lion falls

Into a deep pit of mud

His mother sees him

And feels him call out

In her blood


She moves down to rescue him

Some furry speck

She lifts from death to life

With her teeth reaching into his neck


The wind blows a shiver into us

Biting our skin

Like something carnivorous


I am told nature has its own plan

I do

And do not fully understand


Is that why I look past all of this

And wait for someone to stop

And kiss me


Maybe you will be so bold

And move to the center of something

Where crumbs are a feast


Maybe you will lift me up

And make me feel tiny

Like a kitten

In the mouth of a beast


Whatever happens next

Will be a surprise


God or animal

You move in your body

And I move in your eyes

Like some cosmic reflection

Of everything I hope for

As I fall

And you rise


I look to you

For resurrection


By Julie Flanders

Photo by Jean Wimmerlin



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The Because of Any Word

the beacuse - flipped


In the ecstasy of the common element

We share with everything

You stare into the fractals

That are and are not a language

Are and are not a system

Are and are not a way to understand

What is both chaos and order


You are afraid of mystery

Yet you move toward her


There is and there is not a border

Where you end and she begins

There is nothing much to win

But there is so much to lose

If you choose the wrong frame

The wrong name

To say the same thing

And mean the entire

Or maybe just the partial



For example, to say I mean

Is so different from saying

You mean


I mean

You mean



There is no elephant in the room

But there is a bird of paradise

Here in her imaginings

Where you are also beautiful

She sees flowers in everything

And she knows that you do too

You stare to the center

And she stares right along with you


But there is nothing there

The red is an illusion

The bird’s beak—is it made by your eye

Or maybe by your brain

If you think too much about reality

Very little stays

Just pain


So instead you think about her

And that strange energy that pertains to love

You think about Maya Angelou

Knowing why the caged bird sings


You could say that it’s unimportant

Or you tell her

That it’s the most important

And the most urgent

Of all things


By Julie Flanders

Photo by David Hofmann



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The Past Life of K

Past Life of K.louis-blythe-218678-unsplash


I was with you

And I was so afraid of the silence

And the mistakes we made

But I followed you into safety

Or what I thought was safe


And we went up a mountain

To a place in the sky

Where a soldier was drilling

And I saw into his face

And I thought to myself

I would never want to be

This poor boy on his way in


And down a corridor

I walked through a door

And I realized I was a boy

SuddenlyI was a boy

So I began practicing

Fighting, drilling


And I looked at myself

And felt thunder and lightning

But it wasn’t a sign from god

Only the distant fire I heard

And I looked at myself

But could not form a word

I saw only a boy’s face

Only full of hate


And I floated above what had becomeme

And I realized I had to unite with me

In the body of a boy


And I felt my arms

My hands, my legs

But could no longer feel myself

And I felt the battle

Beginning to move in me

And I felt myself growing

As strong as a boy

As strong as a man


And I knew things I’d never known before

And something inside me said

To enjoy the fight

This is all right

And if I am a boy

Then it must be god’s will

That I learn for god’s sake


But the first boy I killedwas all by mistake

We were all so afraidthen

He got in my way

And I saw that his face was nothing like mine

At the time

Only his face was just like mine


So I shot

And saw him fly back like a bird

And I was so glad that it was not me

That it was him instead of me

And I wanted to run

Like a woman

Like a girl

I wanted to run

But I didn’t want to be weak


And a part of me floated up

And a part of me looked down

At a boy who kills and can feel ill

And so I felt so ill

I wandered somewhere

Where there was a girl like me

Soft and prettylike me


But a whoresmiled at me

And closed the door


And I finally felt safe

And there in her arms I thought

I never want to be a boy again

And she kissed me

And I saidamen

Thank you, god


And as suddenlyas I felt her kiss

I pushed her away

And she asked me what was wrong


And I looked at my hands

And I looked at my legs

And I touched my skin

And I knew that I was still in

The body of a boy

The body of a man

Who had just killed a boy

And was about to kiss a girl

And was about to make for her

A world without fear


I pushed the fear out of me

And into her

I pushed myself into her

And I felt myself strong

And it felt good for the first time

To be a man

It felt good and I could finally understand

Why it’s so good

To be someone who is the stronger one

The physically stronger one


And a part of me split

And I felt myself break open

Into the body of a girl

And I felt him move into me

Becoming me

And I gave myselfover

To all of his pain


And I knew I would be

What would finally remain

What was brokenand heartless

What was simple and pure

And I knew right then

I would choose


I would choose

To be a girl


And I was a baby

In my mother’s arms

And she kissed me and loved me

And kept me from harm

And my father had eyesso green

Like the grass

And I loved him


And I forgave him


I forgive you

For being weak

And for being strong

And I forgive you

For being beautiful

And I forgive you

For being a boy


And I forgive myself

For being broken

And ashamed


By Julie Flanders

Photo by Louis Blythe



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We Spoke That’s All

We Spoke.debora-cardenas-500580-unsplash


And then I compared

You with me

Height, youth

Nails, hair

Just the things I could see

You are

That I will never be



Could you write a poem?

Could you win me in a dare?


You could steal my husband


That is some dress

You decided to wear


When I am so jealous

I turn green

I feel my skin

Hard and metal

As an old machine churning

Its unoiled parts


I look at you

And I see whole kingdoms

Of broken hearts


I will never be able to

Compete with that

I will never be

Young, sweet

Smart, strong

And coming up to bat


I am on the other side

Of life’s roller coaster

I am the bread that got cooked

And then left in the toaster

I am the butter

That has to be scraped

From the butter dish

The bones

That didn’t quite get picked

Out of the fish

Before it was served


I am old-ish


I am the car

Without power steering

That swerved

To avoid hitting

A wall of fog

Or cement that curved

Around some hidden bend


I am a bog

A hollow log in the rain

I am a bitter fountain

Of complain


Sometimes I still pretend

I will like what I see

In the mirror

That I will wake up

Soft and juicy

And full of spunk


Sometimes I embrace

The delusion

That I am a fresh doughnut

Ready to dunk


But then

I remember you

And I flunk

In my self esteem


My own dream

And I realize


I am still the swelling


That sank and dissolved

I am still sunk


I am the stale potato

Growing green bits

I am the smell

Left over

After the skunk

Lifts its tail


I am the sad, mean

Tooth-loosing monk

With the dirty pail

Who shaves her head

Because her hair

No longer matters

And gives away her ponytail

So a poorer person

Can make a wig


I am the grub-digger

Eating bugs

I am the stuff that collects

Under rugs


That’s how close I feel

To dead

When I look at you

You take

Whatever good is left

Of me

And that is everything

You steal


But how do you feel?

For that’s what really matters

That’s what stays un-cracked

When my looking glass shatters


I’ll smile and I’ll ask

How are you?

That will be my task


I will make you

My spiritual freedom teacher

I will assign you

To myself

I will pretend that you are

Someone I could love

If I could

Only love myself


Let me learn

To love you

Let me learn

To share this world

To let you win

To be that girl

That one

They will always choose


Let me lose


Let me learn

To not compare

Let me suffer this

And still choose



Let me choose

To dare


By Julie Flanders

Photo By Debora Cardenas



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