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She lay on her side like a

noun, flat and inattentive

barely descriptive as a

pond that doesn’t stir

in the summer heat.

She was divided by

her thoughts wondering

if the wick of passion

would be lit.  Listlessness

infiltrated her beyond her years

and then the rains came

and the river swelled.  Syntax

was thrown into the wind.

A verb arrived

waking her, moving her out

from unconsciousness.

Upright and forceful

she was obliged to write

her name.  A cry of action

protruded from her throat

and her veins wept

and she pressed her flesh

against delusion

and once again began

to dance.


Barbara J. Spinelli

Masters in Organizational Development, published chapbook, PPA co-founder

Last Leaf


Encouraged by winter’s impending sleep

   the cold plays hide and seek

Graying sky beckons night

   movement slackens

Questions hung suspended

   in the thickening air

The challenge comes

  wrapped in a persistent breeze

A single slice of brown

  hardened veins defined

  suddenly releases its grip on yesterday

  delivery itself to the present tense

  of integration and rebirth


  mistaken for loss

  this stubborn, resilient, brilliant life stage

  falls before me

  weakening my preoccupation

  reminding me of death’s promise

  a window to eternity

I breathe deeply

  and move on

But a bit more slowly

  watching leaf surrender

  to nature’s call.


Barbara J. Spinelli


December Rose


The leaves have fallen

a sea of amber and russet

cover the ground

the earth obscured

by nature’s feast

I gather these leaves

these fallen gifts

into my arms

immersed in the scent and sound

of their abundance

I am surprised

by my discovery

my heart leaps

have my eyes deceived me

a magnificent rosebud

standing proudly

the persistent one

not deterred by cooling winds

or gray shadows

a reminder of something greater

beyond reason

beyond expectation

love in a simple form

I take her indoors

and watch her unfold



smiling as she comes

into her own.


Barbara J. Spinelli

California Grandmother


The taste

of your California

on my mouth

cup up  -  handed out

lush lemon

from your


and deep brown coffee

in a sauce pan,

eggshells float

on the brew.

A loom stands

with half-finished work;

while you

indulge me,

feed me,

bring me

café con leche in bed.

I drink so much of it

I cannot sleep.

Instead, I lie awake

listening to you


bathed in the light

of your San Jose moon.


Susannah W, Simpson

World traveler, founding member of “Poets for Peace, Long Island Chapter”



Where does it all go

            The anger, the disappointment

                       The fear

I remove it from the sanctuary

            The muscles, the tissues

                       The bones

Through my pen

            I bleed on to

                       The page

Purging my insults




I torch the words

            Just as I have been taught

                       And send the smoke

                                  To the Divine


           Fertilizing the expectant

                      Flowers and herbs

From that

           Pillar of hate




           I look towards the sun

                     And smile

                                On a new day.


Barbara J. Spinelli

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