A daily poetry practice to generate and sustain the Life/Lines among us, for published and novice poets alike
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Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.
Send us your poem via our Submissions page or post on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #lifelines.
Poems submitted for April 7
White shoulders gleaming in fading light,
she worked hard at trying to forget.
But as the angel slept
each of her disguises splayed across her face like a movie.
She was rock and roll in human form,
the ecstasy of death still smiling from pouty lips.
— Susan Lively
Sisyphus Redux Redux
Not to forget
Put shoulders to the rock
All disguises fading
Push on and up
— 2020 04 07 by Lloyd Klinedinst
wings folding around your shoulders
the black ink disguises your scars
like life underneath a rock
they are fading, but
you can never forget
same here, but mine
— Tobias Feldmann (International Writers Track)
My shoulders like a rock
The worry disguises as pain
Fading as I forget myself
In a puzzle of one thousand pieces.
Memories of last year are gently fading way,
As this year creates new memories each day,
Memories that I would like to forget
As I find my shoulders slumped and full of fret,
My memories feel hard and cold like a rock
That disguises itself in the stream of life
Not wanting to be unlocked
that hold memories of constant daily strife.
With sagging shoulders
In the fading light,
I cannot comprehend
How narcissism leads him to forget humanity,
How people believe his lies and disguises.
He was supposed to be a rock upon which we could depend.
— Pam Hughes
The fresh spring breeze disguises the tension in my shoulders, in the world.
We walk at night, to forget that you greet your neighbors by moving away from them.
The rock and the lilac and the bird and the buds are fading into dusk.
We walk at night, to forget.
— Stacey Barton MSW, LCSW
Did those sloping shoulders forget?
The weariness of early mornings.
The loneliness of midnight worries.
The disguises of the in-between.
Like a rock smoothed by a million drops
the clenched jaw, the balled fists, the eager steps, the willful heart,
— Debra Kennard
Forget about doubt,
Let it roll off your Shoulders
Fading to black until it feels ashamed and
Disguises itself as distraction while you
Shoulders are for burdens,
Like a rock for family and friends
To lean on when needed
And sometimes we forget that
So when bad times are fading away
And hurt and depression put on their disguises
We can’t really see the feelings of others
When they may need our support the most
— Betty Springfield
Try to forget the cold shoulders
and the forked tongues behind deceitful disguises.
As they become fading memories, let the warmth and firmness
of the Truth be your rock.
— J. Thomas
Summer's serpents all too soon are fading
Upon his shoulders lays the heavy rock
Ashen cliffs of slated years forbading
Disguises linger looming him to mock
— Gwyneth Henke
The fading shoulders
Came back in the disguise
of a Rock
I forgot the pain and fall
In the mood for love again
There was no place left
Between the rock and the shoulders
O dear Love
Why can’t I fall in love with the loneliness
— Jey Sushil (Track for International Writers)
FROM THE FUTURE
We will never forget these times,
when springtime advanced
bird by bird, rock by rock
in the mountain freshets,
while our shoulders dropped
the disguises of hope, strength—
their red fading to pink
as we distanced.
— Sharon Bangert Corcoran
I try not to forget
I am standing on the shoulders of giants
My memories fade
The presence disguises
The rock of my giants
I will never forget standing on Cherry Street
and looking at the raindrops on her shoulders.
And now she's fading away, so far away in fact
that she's wearing a disguise in the tattered
memory as I go along a deserted street
and pick up a rock and squeeze it as
hard as I can and nothing comes.
— Matthew Freeman
In fading light,
the round shoulders, knees and buttocks
of Elephant Rock drop their disguises,
reveal huge, lolling women
come to moon-bathe,
baring breasts and bellies to the stars,
the evening breeze.
I shall not forget.
— January Kiefer
As the sunlight fades
from April skies
you’ve already forgotten
and the way we sat
shoulder to shoulder
turning the pages
of the photo album
my sadness disguised.
I look back as I leave
to see you
still clinging to the rock
I pressed in your hand
the last vestige of your
Already, we paint some sepia over your antics,
carve in amber your greatest hits: that ugly meatloaf,
cake plates left in the bathroom, the time
you saw a backyard rock tectonic shift
(one of the local opossum’s best disguises).
Already, I forget the chill in your shoulders,
the curve where your knee fits best in mine,
all of it fading like silk left to shiver in the sun.
— Stephen Reaugh
Forget your profile move away from the screen
Hike up your shoulders it’s not healthy
Staring at yourself
We are all fading all the time
Only a rock has that kind
Glad you called
— james goodman 4.7.20
we rock in place
that effervescence is fading
is not the point
love is just a contract to not forget
— Jay Buchanan
her disguises no longer offer cover
what did she forget now?
can you see
how the light in her eyes is fading?
how her shoulders point back like fragile bird bones?
do you recall
how she mistook the amazon man for her rock of ages?
Forget those shoulders
They wear but fading disguises
Made of rock
My Father… my rock…
the star of my childhood memories
Alone…in his room…in memory care
No Visitors allowed…COVID-19, you are not allowed
Alone…in his room…we FaceTime so he won’t forget
His shoulders bear the weight of his loneliness…
As our phone call ends my cheerful goodbye disguises my internal fear
Are his memories of me fading away?
— Mary Clemens
Love in thin disguises
Sitting on damp rocks
Daylight fading into haze
Was my arm around your shoulders?
Yes and no and yes.
Don’t forget, don’t forget, don’t forget
— Holly Gabelmann
As I slide again over
The tall face of this rock,
Shedding my disguises, tell me—
Is it they or I that
Keep landing on your shoulders?
Please excuse my fading memory,
Please remember, I forget.
— John Randal
The fading sunset helps me forget
The woes of the day
Shoulders ache from carrying the burden
Heavy as a large rock
That disguises itself as chaos
King of Corinth
My shoulders bear the weight
Of a behemoth—
A heavy rock.
Shadows cast at sunrise and sunset
Disguises a laden silhouette—
Hard to forget, the image of myself,
As Sisyphus fading on the edge of a precipice.
— Tila Neguse
My father wore several disguises
hid behind anger, alcohol and unspoken grief
masks he could neither shrug off nor forget.
So he was fragile and fading.
But perched on his shoulders as he carried me from the backseat of the ’67 Chevy to my bed
He was rock.
— Steve Givens
Winter’s cold shoulders
are fading into the past.
One day, we will forget
which year this was.
Time disguises itself
not in the when
but the what and who that are
written on tombstone rock.
— Julia Gordon-Bramer
Your love shoulders the pain
of fading dreams,
helping me remember,
the woman I am.
No disguises, no deceit, no platitudes;
your voice is a rock of truth
on which I can depend.
— Kelley Lingle
rock in the
light that is
get the dis-
guise that has
cost you so much
— Robert Henke
Fading into his shoulders
she tries to forget,
tries to melt the disguises
she wears when away from him,
— Linda Munsell
How could I forget
or ever want to
the fading rear of the bus
carrying you to war,
the squaring of your shoulders
when you let go my hand
and climbed the stairs
donning the disguises you would wear
on the other side of earth –
on which we both exist
— Cathleen Callahan
April 7, 2020
Rock perch, fading light
Forget viral disguises
Let shoulders relax
— Peggy King
Shoulders thin and frail
all your macho disguises
are fading now
As you forget them, one by one
You rock slowly back and forth
listening for an old man’s
— Lee Kroeger
disguises greet disguises
six feet between our shoulders
the danger is not fading
but in fading from view
you may be a rock
and I may be an island
but do not forget
when I was with you
— Molly M. McLay
The Coup will not be heard,
Rock turns from stone to weapon only when activated by the wide paddle of back
the long leashes of arm and blades of shoulder
and the onrush of air into those precious lobes of lung.
When they take our breath, they disguise that they stole our words
Fading fast into the scream of a ventilator that never was.
The colors faded into one another,
Reds, pinks, and purples forgetting the bright blue noon skies of hours before.
She admired the hues as her breathing quickened,
Legs picking up speed with her shoulders held straight.
The foamy waves crashed against the rocks,
Meeting the artificial concrete with gusto.
Creatures crept from their habitats, no longer seeking the disguise of grass,
As the warm summer night slowly wrapped itself around the Bayshore.
— Tanvi Kohli
Faith in the Time of COVID 19
You are my rock and my foundation
So says the psalmist, of God I guess.
And so we lay on Your shoulders our survival
when so many of us forget to pray,
much less believe
In these times of so many disgraces, violences, hatreds;
All thin disguises for fading faith and trust in You.
— Karen Sterbenz, 4-7-20
The waves crash up against a large rock.
Hunched shoulders as he stares out into the harbor.
Immigrant children play along on the dock.
The fresh ocean breeze helps one forget a long day's labor.
A public beach disguises the woes of a city.
Sunlight fading as the sand is bathed in an orange hue.
Some Kelly’s roast beef and back home we go on bus 411.
— Alex Madrid
Far and away
Incrementally, rocks on blonde sands slide
Under the placid moons
Trading an inch for a thousand light-years.
When boulders grind into rocks or steroids shower,
It is forgotten to everyone but time.
Wouldn’t you rather be a ball of gas than shoulder the weight of war?
Earth’s greatest disguise is that from space, the details fade into blue, green,
Or blank, the color of endlessly swirling clouds.
— Ellery Saluck (Class of 2021)
Sisyphus in the Rain
All the days already past, fading
memory is where I kiss her bare shoulders, now
I dedicate whole hours trying to forget. The little things,
muscular hugs and unguarded laughter, who could've known
the half-life of loneliness has such empty hands. Letting go
this jagged rock I push like Sisyphus is all there is, I hope
time might come easy again like Oregon rain. Never
far from falling into all the disguises named desire.
— Casey Hampton
The sky is fading
doesn’t linger like it once did
How we forget the gods
whose names we no longer whisper our desires
Who have placed our power
Back upon our ignorant shoulders
our own disguises
Until we are the rock
In which becomes our tomb
Gods don’t need to resurrect
When they can reincarnate
Only the fearful hold on to one form
St. Michael’s Page
Forget the disguise.
Leaning on the rock of your shoulders
Pretense fading, we battle the orcs
Clad only in the sword and shielding
Of sterling innocence
— Jo Schaper
In a crook of the rippled lake still
water shoulders autumn’s fading foliage,
usurped by algae propagating in sunshine, golden
as the finch that flew its nest, confused by the absence
of visitors missing out on nature's best.
Our disguises— masks weighted with worry pebbles.
I shall never forget our rock collection.
— Linda O'Connell
Time to forget all disguises as light fades into night.
Soon head and shoulders drop like a rock...sleep tight.
— Ann Replogle
Forgot your shoulders, fading fingers,
Traveling across the earth just to leave you.
I need disguises, I need a heart like rock,
And Yes I can get over you.
Lest he forget in the fading dusk
A rock in his pocket reminds
Disguises well worn and with a most sour musk,
Slumping shoulders completes the surprise
I am a rock lifting iron across my shoulders.
Pebbles to forget stacked under my eyes.
Mistakes fading into disguises I used to wear—
Seat, footstool, fish tank decoration.
— Sabrina Spence
fading light forgets,
disguises, shoulders of rock—
mountain’s pure glory
— Bernie Mossotti
Grandpap was my rock.
Watching him shave in the cellar, like he did when he was a much younger man,
never wanting to bring the soot from the coal mine into the house.
But at 85 years of age, his shoulders are slumped. He shuffles through the kitchen,
probably expecting to see Grandma rocking in her chair near the big living room window.
She's been gone nearly six months now, and he is fading. He misses her.
His wistful smile is one of the disguises he puts on to get through the days alone.
He died one day short of six months after Grandma departed.
— Kim Lehnhoff
Never one for disguises
He always was who he was -
Gentle and kind, wise and true.
In times of trouble, our rock
So much we put upon his shoulders
Those loving eyes never fading.
— Karen Engelkenjohn