Posted on June 26, 2021 8:49 pm EDT 

Across the street the sun shines on
a tall tree top. Over here it’s already dusk.
A shower earlier left my yard green and
dripping. Its wild with years of unraked
leaves and bushes and coarse grass, uncut.
The fireflies, their tiny red and green lights
ziging and zaging, glowing.
They fly up to the window
lighting for a moment,
soaring away
their sparks magical 
in the darkening 

The Rain – part 2

 Posted on June 26, 2021 7:54 pm EDT 

It was the next morning before the
clouds moved in. The rain spread across the
mountain and beat on the tin roof
like a troop of gumboot dancers. It rained
all day and all night.

The next day brought the sun back, sparkling on
the puddles all over the yard. The
periwinkles covering the path to the garden,
flowered extra beautifully
from the rain.

Summer Heat – Part 1

Posted on June 26, 2021 6:42 pm EDT 

Back then, we lived on Elbow Ridge,
up on Red Top Mountain. Mostly I
raised children and a huge
garden. My husband worked in town.

That evening, the kitchen table was crowded with jars
of tomatoes I’d canned that day. The air was
full of steam and heat.

We ate dinner on the screened in
porch surrounded by the evening
sound of frogs singing like
rain was on the way.

Afterwards we sat around watching fireflies
dance in the overgrown yard, fanning ourselves,
waiting for a breeze and
hoping for the rain to come.


Prompt for hour 14. Random Write a poem that contains at last five of the following ten words. Feel free to include all ten if you wish. frogs, evening, tomatoes, jars, raincoat, steam, peculating (embezzle or steal (money, especially public funds), children, elbow, mystery

Call and Response

Posted on June 26, 2021 4:52 pm EDT

Hey, where's the
meat? Are you bringing it?
(What will we eat if
you aren't?)
Oh, she plans to bring it
later this evening when she
takes them back.
Did you need it before
(I had planned it
for dinner...)
What time will that
be? Was it frozen?
She said between seven and
eight. Yes, it was frozen. Hope
you are not planning
to have it for dinner.
Not now we aren't. Thawing some
chicken as he froze the salmon and
shrimp.  Arghhhh.

Say Their Name

Consolation doesn't mean much 
before another 24 hours pass, another
black wo/man is 
Because the 
moment when you become the 
target, the only 
support is 
someone who can stand
between you 
and the bullet. Can stop the 
pulling of the 
trigger. The 
weight of the

Train Memories

Posted on by kriscleage

Train ride through the Rockies. Photo by Kristin Cleage
Riding the train, wondering
what life I'd find in 
any small town if I got out and

The lonesome sound of the train whistle,
coming into a night time stop. Pulling
back the curtains to look. 

The huge prehistoric bird flying
alongside the train for awhile in Wisconsin.
The officers coming through, checking
only the ID of two Asian women as we
traveled along the northern border.

The grafitti coming into or out of 
Chicago. And along the way on water
towers, viaducts, freight cars. Cris-
crossing the country carrying their
authors tags.

A father singing "This land is your land"
to his daughter as we rode along the water
coming into Seattle. Or leaving Seattle at 

The tired, dirty look of Detroit,
coming into the station at 
night. Almost

11 May 1860

Posted on

Anonymous enslaved people on an Alabama plantation.
The inventory of the estate of Crawford M. Jackson, deceased, 
contained one hundred and thirty-five enslaved people.

My thirty five year old great 
great grandmother, Prissy and her 
baby child Eliza, valued 
at $1,200. 
Twelve year old daughter 
Iba, valued at $1,000. 
Sons Harjo nine and 
Griffin eight.
Six year old
Frank, $600. My 
great grandmother Mary, (Poppy's 
mother, my mother 
Doris's grandmother), was 
four years old and valued at 

In today's money, $12,973.25.