Originally Published in The Rusty Nail Literary Magazine

Issue #1, March, 2012

The Winter That Wasn’t

Last fall I begged
Mother Nature
for her mercy

plead I could not bear
to brave the cold again

to see her ice
and frost the world
in powdered sugar

or sifted flour
gently falling from her hand

I was never
supposed to be back here
in Michigan

I was never meant
to see more snow at all

It should be summer
for me there
that someplace other

and I’d go blind from tears
should glaring brightness fall

Now I wonder,
as I watch
the evening weather

reviewed, forecasted in the dark
on blinking screen

if She didn’t just this one year
deign to listen
and spare one soul

her darkest nightmare-
winter’s frigid sleep


Autumn Song

There is no time but spring, said she
all others are just longing
exists no hour save twilight
-stars to hold me until morning

There is no life but love, said he
-too meaningless a thing
the moon can only mourn as I
for she who dreams of spring

Over the endless oceans deep
veils of cloud-mist shield
the dawn from tears of autumn skies
dead leaves beneath her yield

'Tis spring for him at least, thinks she
on rambling walks he'll roam
sunlight falling o'er his face
as would my kisses, were I home.



the muse fell silent, tied of tongue
hard wrestled down to frozen ground
long battle lost, before begun
or deafened by the aching sound
of lover's songs still on my lips
heart under siege, I swirl around
denying hope of sweetest kiss
sworn promises of joy, profound

hot brine of tears will render blind
in glare of brightest bridal lace
most hopeful eyes that once were mine
a shattered life denied, replaced,
plans and maps and whispers shared
shrill resonance of light undone
souls mingled with such secrets bared
and bells that cannot be unrung


Tug of War

I am the wishbone
pulled between
two stubborn, equal wills
One forever holding fast,
Other sways to and fro

My marrow leaks
from thinnest cracks
unseen, unfelt, unknown
whatever would become of me
should one or both let go?



Six months since
touching down on that last runway
roar of engines
trace of jet fuel
makes me shake

small suitcases sit
just where I left them
to breach their zippers
desecration of a grave

buried there
still in mind
that life I dreamed of
left behind and
boarding passes jagged, torn in half

Melbourne, Sydney, LAX
then finally 'home' to what was left
though the word
had long been stripped 
of all its meaning

I know no matter how much time
elapses since what was
and is
the sight of suitcases
will always make me sick


Issue #3, May 2012

Of The Apocalypse

Four little horses
mares and foals
lined up in pairs
along my wall

you brought them back
as "keepsakes"
just for me

faithful tiny equine friends
you made them gallop, whinny, bend;
graze upon 
imaginary grass

still, unfeeling things
precious, painful memories
whisper sweetly of your absence just to me

they neigh and whicker 
and I cry
as I still see with faded eye
ghost of that happy little girl at play

you have left that life behind
not only them, but also me
too wide a field to cross, too far a leap to fly

such hell, these darling memories
the air grows much too thick to breathe
as tiny horses seem to whicker
just to me



How many words 
am I to pack
in the case I aim to carry?
Ancient typewritten 
heavier things
or only lightest
electronic figments
of shifting neurons?


The Little Bell's Teardrops

Peter Pan with broken wing
bound to Earth on darkest night
no Pixie magic songs to sing
prevented freedom of your flight

Never Never calls you home
an image only, to exist
a dream life, yours and mine alone
dear wishes cannot conjure this;

what happens to our merry band
when second star above collapses
nowhere to go and no way home
when pirate sailing dream elapses

the ticking time bomb in your soul
lies not in old crock's bulging middle
but inside the sad and haunted truth
of your internal, endless riddle

what will happen to the man
never more than fragile boy?
I wish that I could send you back
to Never Never's pristine joy

Originally Published in Vine Leaves Literary Journal

Issue #2 2012


We always
said we would,
we never did

Endless staring
at the ceiling...
what if we ever had?


Originally Published in the anthology  
Poetry Pact Volume 1 2011

it matters not
what storied words
the poet bleeds to page

it matters less
if moon above
still shines in mourning rage

should purest gold
gilt every bar
twined rosemary, and sage

--if keeps the angels 
from the stars...
a prison, still, a cage 


Compass Rose

"The time is now," the young man said,
as his mother knelt to pray;
he kissed her hand to bid goodbye,
having no more words to say.

At ten and seven he left the farm,
to take chances, make his name,
and he whistled to his young white mare,
"Ride, Compass Rose! Away!"

Not long he'd journeyed his new world,
he was soundly smitten by the sight,
of a particularly quiet girl,
and aimed to make that girl his wife.

But before the pair could justly wed,
the rising war now ruled the day;
"I promise to return," he pledged,
and rode Compass Rose away.

Her hooves fell heavy on the land,
Trod heather and trod hay,
o'er bracken bright and darkest night,
swept Compass Rose, away.

The battles dealt so fierce a blow,
their blood ran scarlet on the land.
Some fell in field and some in snow,
with one sword-stroke of the young man's hand.

When final oath was sworn and done,
-dead thousands littering golden lanes,
he wondered who had truly won,
and led Compass Rose away.

He rode all night, beyond the dawn,
with only one sweet face in mind;
behind victory's lines now clearly drawn,
he hoped her sweet face still to find.

As man and horse raced over hill,
he heard Beloved call his name,
she held him fast with all her will,
as they rode Compass Rose away.

Today if you should come to town,
you'll find the gentleman's modest place:
his blondish hair now sterling gray,
soft lines upon his sweet wife's face.

And if you walk out to the back,
through paddock down to rolling hill,
you'll hear the call, a feisty pack,
of children, blessings all and still.

They play their games, and sing their rhymes,
they stroke their hands through silken mane,
'neath, a pair of aging, watchful eyes;
Compass Rose in golden days.



I was born
beneath the wrong complement of stars
this night a place not home
a heaven foreign to my eyes

Polaris always up above
and they say North is always true
but Southern Cross still calls me home, my dear
to my true sky- back to you.


Farewell to Wendy Darling

She's so anxious to erase her youthful history
little handprints on the wall- such memories
Surroundings whisper still of days she's left behind now
this pixie child fades against the tick of time

She doesn't even see the metaphor she's making
repainting world around her strictly black and white
She plans to draw and write, her silent protest
against her highly guarded, empty, stained-glass life

She's veered off down a narrow road I cannot follow
one I wish she'd see can only snuff her soul
I only hope the day will come she'll wake to realize
that will survives despite such deep and dark control

That real people live aloud, in vibrant color
though there are shades of gray that make up black and white
lines in a book of absolutes cannot define us
we must each find our way to truth, to love, to light


Oaths of Angels

Winter sighs, whispering through a cracked and lonely window.
She longs for the light of her errant god, the sun,
to ignite her as she melts forever after
into green's eternal love affair with spring.

Her breath is freezing--azure gasps, white crystal dew.
Ice and moonlight, silence, shoulders still and pure.
Eyes of fire and all desire to sleep,
to cherish, hold most dear the noble, just, and true.
To renew a world without regard
and mend for good with golden thread
the fraying halves of one enchanted soul.

The wind's soft exhalation turns--his voice--
his promise affixed to scroll with ink and sealed with signet ring:
Though held apart by oceans now, my angel,
I am coming home, please wait for me.
Though all above us and around us be lost and broken
day precious eyes, love, do not weep for me;
True earth below may fall to darkest Hell or rushing water,
whatever fate of king and kingdoms, you and I shall ever be.

Pinned to Pattern

how could any four souls
be so dissimilar
when cut from biased cloth
of the same making


Playing God (Quinn's Poem)

I painted the world pitch black tonight,
frosted ebon curtain, blocking light;
crossed lines and lands and roaring seas,
erased borders, kings, bureaucracies...

My eyes were deep, my touch was slight,
taking once blue sphere from day to night;
in quiet, perverse reverie,
I wondered what could someday be.

To start again in dark of sky,
to pain the moon and stars nearby;
above the heads of all who fell
beneath Atlas' burden, --us as well--

If streaks should rain down from on high
Perseid tears of fire, fly,
if here and there we live and fall,
Earth will mourn us, one and all.


Originally published in The Rusty Nail in 2013

Skylark by February Grace

I was captured by a voice
a skylark's laughter-no-a sparrow, she
taking wing and with the draft flown upward
My heart aloft; tattooed upon her breast
all feathered softness
wherever on this earth her feet may fall
though I remain, I am just hers.

Poet by February Grace
How lifeless blood itself can feel
when running cold through marrow breached
by dark command, to withdraw prose
from poet's soul without consent.

Speechless by February Grace

Speak? I cannot speak, yet
would if in so doing
past the hitch within my throat
I could force sound.

Wrest by violence the voice
from cords which tie it;
speak of hair so dark and
eye so deep no light escapes, yet
is absorbed
just to reflect upon my face.


February 2018

My poems "Mixed State" and "Broken" were published in Blanket Sea Magazine online. Click here to go to their site and read those poems.

All poems Copywrite 2011-2018 February Grace and may not be copied, reprinted, reposted, or used in any fashion whether in part or in their entirety without advance consent of the author.  Please email to inquire.