New Poetry: A Different Seed


 Photo by Texas Parks & Wildlife

So … I’m knee-deep in poetry right now, still.  And I feel almost guilty. I have so many people waiting on my next novel, but I’ve set it aside (again). I’m drawn to poetry and I’m gonna ride this pony til she stops.

Here’s one of my latest that I worked on in a recent Lighthouse Writers workshop. I can’t seem to get the line spacing right on this blog, but it’s close.

Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!


A Different Seed

I was born in fields of bluebonnets,

ink-well-sapphire             dense petals spiked in sun-blind white

short-lived in the Texas spring —

each dew-soaked stem

flattened just yesterday

by the sharp nose of the coyote

the hoof-step of the Hereford

hiding the hiss and slither of the rattler —

always bouncing back

seemingly singular,

good for early-morning picking

before the heat sets in.


Yet by high noon

it’s never easy

to detach a wilted loner

from the rest      held together by a nest of roots

entrenched in the holy dirt

of Saint Sam Houston

el malvado Santa Anna

battle-blood of the Alamo

sweet bread of the German siedler

rusted barbed-wire of fences

oily cotton boll of the farmer

weather-worn skull of a fire-ant-stricken calf

my grandfather would’ve tried to save.


And even though Lady Bird’s highways are lined with them —

musky-sweet flowers,

family ties,

good intentions —


not every seed will grow

where planted.


Is it easily spread on the wind?

Can it tolerate full sun?


And what happens


the parched and crisp soil

becomes suddenly drenched,

clay-like —

unable to breathe?

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Heading to Sea Level … Where the Oxygen and Writing (I Hope!) Are Plentiful

This week, I have the good fortune to be heading down to the Outer Banks to a lovely beach town to do nothing but live, eat and breathe writing for five whole days and nights. I haven’t had this kind of “luxury of focus” in about eight years … to be able to do nothing but write fiction and talk fiction for a week.

Most of my work on my first two novels, Blue Straggler (30 Day Books, 2012) and A Good Kind of Knowing (MST Publishing, out before the holidays), was done after work, before work, and in between other responsibilities, like, say, feeding the world’s cutest kiddo. There were a lot of late nights and early mornings in there.

But now, the kiddo will turn six tomorrow, and our financial crisis (you were heartless, stupid economy) is over for the most part. And thanks to the success of Blue Straggler, a husband who will hold down the fort at home, a new job that is supportive of my writing, and a WONDERFUL writer friend who has hooked me up with this beach gig, I can afford to do this. I can actually afford to do this! And I can’t wait.

My third novel, which is untitled right now, is fully formed in my mind and I have eight chapters written. But about three-fourths of those chapters need to be tossed. This week at the beach will give me the time, I hope, to really knock out some pages and get this story off the ground and onto the page.

I’m so thankful to have this opportunity. I’ll be with other writers in spurts, and we’ll talk craft. We’ll talk characters and plot and structure. We’ll do some writing exercises to get our minds all stirred up. And then, it will be a writing marathon, with lots of coffee and hopefully inspiration involved. Maybe a little vodka here and there.

I plan to write outside as much as possible, mosquito-willing, with a sea breeze blowing across the laptop. The hardest part for me will be to truly unplug from my real life, work, email and social media, and just let the words flow.

Wish me luck! And thank you to every person who has read my work and who has supported this writing thing of mine. I’m grateful.

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