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Is It Too Late? #poetry #2020aprpad

Prompt: write a purpose poem

Is It Too Late?

How do I write about purpose
when I no longer know my own?
I did once, long ago
bright-eyed and determined –
I wanted to weaponize my words
slice through the demons of this world
right the wrongs
reveal the hidden bones
of corruption run amok

But I had demons of my own
that needed slaying
and my demons weren’t readers –
I had no voice to echo them out
Their torment overshadowed me
left little room for my warrior self
Their occasional plagues
became rampant attacks
and I had no immunity against them

Decades came and passed
as I cowered in my self-imposed cave
carefully nestled between fanged walls
trying to find my sword, my voice –
small whimpers at first
but not quite loud enough
followed by squeaks and yelps
’til one day, a roar
The demons took notice then

And now with demons scattered
their bones crumbled to the floor
I still tremble –
no longer the bright-eyed girl
my determination worn thin
Do I have what it takes
to be an Elder? One wise with knowing?
Will my ancient words even matter
or have I reached my end?

©2020 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

Confusion of Womanhood #poetry #2020aprpad

Prompt: Write a form or anti-form poem

Confusion of Womanhood

Which form should I take
to please your perverted mind –
Mistress, Wife or Whore?
Whose altar will you bow before
burn incense and flesh to appease?

Black-laced and leather-clad
red lipstick and heels –
should I deepen those scars
criss-crossed and nearly healed
or wrap this whip around your throat
’til you gasp – passed out?

Or should I Joan-Cleaver about?
house neat and penned
three course dinner and I
promised as dessert –
wine in hand, lead upstairs
to vanilla sex on ironed white sheets

or whiskey-eyed in the bar bathroom
hips ground into cold porcelain
back against a moan-steamed mirror
or face smashed into a filthy wall
as you thrust, thrust, thrust
then toss bills on the floor as you leave

These primordial needs
leave me teetering, near cliff-felled
I cannot be all three –
or set me free

©2020 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

Visitations #poetry #2020aprpad

Prompt: write a spirit poem


Sometimes I see you
from the corner of my eye
a glimmer, shimmer
and I long for you to be real
You were once –
snuggled tightly against me
in afterglow
or dancing along the beach
waves lapping at your feet
your laughter peeling

If I close my eyes
I can smell the scent of coconuts
and patchouli on your bronze skin
or taste the sweet-saltiness
of your breasts on my tongue
and in my mind’s eyes
I see yours – slits of lapis
half opened, half closed
and those moans of passion
entwine with my own

I embrace these moments
these remembrances of you
as if it were yesterday
no longer crushed by a sighting
only filled with awe at your presence
but even a decade after your passing
I wonder, ponder
over this love so sincere
will your spirit always haunt me
or do I conjure you in moments of need?

©2020 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

Paper Cuts #poetry #2020aprpad

Prompt: write a ‘control’ poem

Paper Cuts

I have no control
how these razor-thin lines
will affect you

a nick or scrape
if you are lucky
or a deep gouge
hitting too close to the bone

I don’t want to hurt you
to make you bleed with my words
but sometimes the truth is painful
and my heart would burst
to hold it all in

so put on your blinders
if you must
or plug up your ears
if you think that will save you

but sometimes my words are paper cuts
that barely bleed
it’s the sting that gets you in the end

©2020 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved

The Prez Who Blusters #poetry #2020aprpad

Prompt: ‘the blank who blank’ as title

The Prez Who Blusters

He chases the headlines
with his outrageous shrills
Not just for the moment
but for hours, days if he can
& we fall for his nonsense
again & again & again

He knows he will shock us
& once stunned we can’t let go
Then he swoops in with a reversal
& changes his tune
We sigh with relief
’til he’s at it again

Some love the chaos he creates
they feed off the energy
vampires sucking on our lifeblood
The rest of us – anxious & depressed
But he doesn’t hold back
there he goes again

This isn’t just a game
& he knows the score
He’s a master manipulator
driving the press to his door
Someone else in the limelight?
time to drop an outrage again

& each bombing is worse
gotta keep us on our toes
Only his cult is safe
& the rest of us living in fear
Is this History repeating again?

©2020 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

Dementia – #poetry #2020aprpad

Prompt: write an Ekphrastic poem (photo #1)


memories of you are
slipping away
like sand through fingertips

but it will do no good
to turn the hourglass upside down

those won’t be old memories
spiraling through
like vintage photos of our lives

no, those will be new ones
too soon forgotten

©2020 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.


Anticipated Tomorrows – #poetry #2020aprpad

Prompt: write a future poem

Anticipated Tomorrows

An expectation is a cruel mistress
traps you in a web of lies
a vortex so deep
you can no longer see the sun

I want to help you
to rid you of wishes & desires
you will only disappoint yourself
no one else raises the bar

but you anticipate, anticipate
anticipate the outcome
hedging all your bets on a future
that may never come

I beg you
live only for today
but you can’t, can you?
the future’s bright, they say

until it isn’t
and you tumble & fall
grasping at slate walls
black & splintered shards

cries echo through cannons
& of course, I save you
your gratefulness lasting but a day
’til something shiny flashes by

Off you go, chasing rainbows
the next great gamble
& I wonder, are those pins & needles
worth the scars?

©2020 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

Uncertainty – #poetry #2020aprpad

Prompt: write a lucky and/or unlucky poem


Was it luck
to not remember you
to not have preconceived notions
& a second chance for you?

or, was it bad luck
to forget you
to be unsure if I could trust you
& if your love was true?

©2020 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

A Soul’s Journey – #poetry #2020aprpad

Prompt: write a trap poem

A Soul’s Journey

You laid your trap so well
caught my soul off guard
now it’s written here:
In this lifetime, she’s a fraud

recycled, born anew
a parent this time I’ll be
all the trials and tribulations
of children bred too free

the records will reflect
a parent much too distant
children running wild
without any adult supervision

born over and over again
maybe someone with second sight
evil or good, a lover or friend
a soul just trying to get it right

why all of these stumbling blocks?
and who gets to decide?
in some ethereal kingdom
all these Akashic records set aside

For some a book of life
for others, just wretched death
for most a trap it seems
a review before the next breath

In that angelic place, I wait
surely someone makes the call
and then I hear a familiar voice
these are my own trappings after all?

I’ve made each choice
where to go and as whom
each lesson I want to learn
before I enter another womb

This is my own soul’s journey
no trappings laid bare
my soul is merely learning
it’s all really quite fair

Can one only fully know Father’s glory
when all sides have been revealed?
the good, the bad, the joyous and sad
then homeward bound – the books all sealed?

Perhaps it takes millennia for some
for others only a few rebirths
but for the over-curious, such as myself
mayhaps I’ll never leave earth

©2020 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

Keeping It Real #poetry #2020aprpad

Prompt: write a moment poem

Keeping It Real

I have no moments to waste
Selfish whims are passé
Tomorrow affords no guarantees
There is only today

No time for selfish reflections
To go deep, deep, deep
There’s so much to do
Real life beckons

But I am no automaton
Just blindly repeating routines
No, even in difficult days
I will mindfully be

©2020 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

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