Paper Flowers: DCW Poetry

A sampling of poetry inspired by daily creative writing
Photo by calico_13 via Flickr

A collection of poems by The Daily Creative Writer

Place Your Bets

A descendant of gamblers
I make luck my religion.
Superstition melds with Heisenberg:
Three knocks on wood,
and make sure you’ve got a bowl of milk
for Schrodinger’s wayward cat.

He wagers on destiny,
values fate over circumstance.
Puts his faith in meant-to-be,
Stubbornly following that thread
spun and cut by three sisters
forever weaving their inflexible tapestry.

Where he sees one road
along a single journey,
I see a thousand paths
and a choice at every crossroads.
Betwixt and between, our futures flash
like shadows on Plato’s wall.

In the multiverse, we’re both right.
Infinite possibilities spinning
and dancing in the cosmic dust.
All of our realities exist,
sitting comfortably side-by-side,
cradling our unbroken hearts.

November 2017


I’m just an Inn at the side of the road,
A convenient respite for weary travelers,
But not the final destination;
A pit stop on the way to
Something better.

So I bury myself in layers of gold and lilies,
And practice my siren’s song.
But the notes turn sour in the sun,
Fade to nothingness in the fog,
Nothing’s better.

I’m not missing charm or comeliness,
Affection’s mostly free at this joint.
But even with coupons and discounts,
You’re back on the road by morning,
Never better.

Seaspray lingers on the morning breeze,
The sound of breakers crashes all around.
But the view can’t keep you forever,
failing invitations in a flickering sign,
Lose better.

Blue motel by the highway,
Steeped in love and possibility,
Lacks a special knack,
And sits lonely and abandoned,
Waiting for better.

August 2016


Inconsistent and Insolent,
You purr when you feel like it
And scratch when we’ve crossed the line.

Stingy and solemn,
You’ll cuddle through the dawn,
And yowl at the sunset.

Pretty and Vain,
You’ll pose like Mona Lisa
But scamper off before the camera snaps.

October 2015

Wilt and Wither

Once, I had a rooftop garden.
We called it “the garden patio,”
But in truth, it wasn’t much more
Than AstroTurf on a tarpaper roof,
Surrounded by ragged bamboo fencing
And wilted potted plants.

I strung up Christmas lights,
And added plastic chairs in Adirondack blue.
In the evenings, stubby shadows danced
With music drifting over mountaintops and
Marching across 100-yr old bungalows
From the concert hall down the way.

At night, the Oasis reveled in glory:
But smoke and mirrors always give way
To the hot knife of morning,
When dawn’s long shadows
Cast a spotlight on every crack and crumble.
Every flaw plain to see.

In truth, it was just some Astroturf
Laid out on a tarpaper roof.
And when I moved, I left it all behind,
Secure that, in the hands of benign neglect,
Flower and weed would wither alike.
Expectations banished at last.

October 2013

The first scar
Was a victory.
A permanent marker of
what she’d won.

A fingertip on
Roughened skin.
Musings for
The blind

The ridges
They grow thicker
As sentinels
Walk on by.

That lash
That whip
That deepest cut.
Over and over again.

September 15, 2013

This Is All There Is

This is all there is.
A decade squats
Between the Me I am
And the girl I was.

A child robed
In adult’s guise
A quilt of clichés
Ragged and threadbare.

I am no swan
in disguise.
No stealthy caterpillar
Waiting to Bloom.

I disrobe,
Blanket of sins
Tumbled in the dust
The final reveal.

This is the Me
I am, not
The Me I should be
This is all there is.

June 2013

La Cienega We Meet Again
(Written while lost in LA)

La Cienega…we meet again.
“Boys Don’t Cry” blasting
on the radio, KROQ Roc-Bloc.
Lost in West Hollywood.

Cupcakes…my copilots.
The 101, nowhere in sight.
“I try to laugh about it.”
Like Robert suggests.

Sunset…sitting on the horizon.
That boulevard is looking good.
Magic Castle in the rearview.
Found in LA.

October 10, 2012

Life In The Slow Lane
By Elizabeth Cutright

“Slow down,” says Life –
serrated knife poised and ready
(And still, I keep on running);

“You’d better reign it in,” warns Life –
tightening its grip
(And still, I race on by);

“Time to put on the breaks,” pleads Life –
blade gleaming as it aims
(And still, I can’t stop to listen);

“You can’t go on forever,” cautions Life –
slashing at the air
(But still, I venture onward);

“Don’t make me hurt you,” Life beseeches –
honed scalpel twists
(I barely feel the cut).

Originally Posted 07/31/12

By Elizabeth Cutright

A fingertip on a shoulder blade
Left bare to scented air,
Traces promises and apologies
Speaks volumes with quiet despair.

A fingertip on a rib cage
Stripped naked by heat and desire,
Sings poems and whispers questions
Waits for hope outside its fire.

A fingertip on a jawline
Sets landmarks and stakes claims,
Declaring muddled triumphs
Over a will not ready to be tamed.

A fingertip on a heartbeat
Marks time and the passing day,
Measuring moments like raindrops
Falling onto sun-parched clay.

Originally Posted 07/10/12

A Sound and Shake
By Elizabeth Cutright

What did the old poets say?
The world is too much with us.”
What would they think of today,
When every action announces itself
With a sound and a shake.

Tapping. Clicking. Scrolling.
Easy information at our fingertips,
Comprehension harder to grasp.
We declare ourselves to everyone
With a sound and a shake.

Click. Ping. Blurp.
With every tone, a deed proclaimed.
Endeavors, accomplishments,
And feats of glory broadcast
With a sound and a shake.

Originally Posted 07/05/12

By Elizabeth Cutright

Stealing into a hotel pool.
Free breakfast for a smile.
Long, lingering twilights,
Filled with celebratory sights.

Respites, breaks, and interludes.
Moments of quiet leisure:
Those infinite loops,
And seconds never-squandered.

Time’s friendly embrace,
On a warm summer’s day;
It’s why we shrug off winter,
In favor of holiday.

Originally Posted 06/22/12

It’s History.
By Elizabeth Cutright

“You’re the girl from the weird state,”
He said.
And she liked the idea
Of being discussed

“You made me swoon.”
A snippet of paper
From an email
A reminder that it’s real.

“I know I can tell you this.”
A confidence shared.
A connection deepened.
Ties to bind.

A different girl.
The same old line.
A false hope.

(June 22, 2012)

Originally Posted 06/18/12

By Elizabeth Cutright

I stretch my hand across the clover,
And although it’s wet with dew –
I feel your cool dark hair
wrapped ’round my fingers.

I stare up at the bluest sky,
And although the sun keeps shining –
its light pales against the memory
of your true and clever eyes.

Your smell, your touch, your taste,
You fill the air.
Seep through the walls.

So when they say,
“that’s it, one touch, one taste, one smile.”
I stretch my hand across the clover, and I know –
No world’s heaven could be more.

7/17/97 (Rev June 2012)

Originally Posted 06/07/12

Emily’s Bee
By Elizabeth Cutright

It could be Spring–
Birds and bees and everything blooming –
That makes me start to wonder when
I last tasted someone’s lips.

It could be Fall –
Cozy fires and falling leaves –
that keeps me anticipating
hot hands and lazy embraces.

It could be Summer –
Sand in my hair and sea salt on my skin –
That makes me yearn
for quiet, heady abandon.

It could be Winter –
Families gathering and gifts on the hearth –
That makes me wonder
where You are, and where You’ve been.

Sun or snow, rain or shine –
Seasons make no difference –
Emily’s Bee hovers; no sharp sting or honeyed kiss,
Just anticipation…buzz…buzz…buzz.

Feb. 6, 2005

Originally Posted 06/04/12

Changing Views
By Elizabeth Cutright

I was born in a hospital in Inglewood,
the night after my parents watched Wilt Chamberlain
lead their team to victory as the star player
notched another win on his 33-game sweep.

We lived in Redondo Beach,
in a suburban split-level with
a white station wagon in the driveway,
and a set of steep and narrow stairs.

In those early photos,
I have long straight hair and a fringe of heavy bangs.
My pale face holds serious eyes and a defiant chin,
but my smiles are wonton and free.

The settings in those photos vary –
Parking lots, beach towels, poolside in Las Vegas.
There’s no sense of permanence or routine:
We were always on the go.

Later we lived in an angelic white craftsman.
Brick fireplace and a backyard full of fruit trees.
My creaky swing-set hopped and moaned
As I swung up and down, my view rising above our tall wooden fence:
rolling hills full of yellow grass and wildflowers.

(June 4, 2012)

Originally Posted 05/24/12

Dusty Differences
By Elizabeth Cutright

The dusty grime of city streets
Secret alleyways
Twisting lanes and
Cobblestones wet with rain.

A nostalgia for what never-was
The never-meant-to-be.
The “yeah whatever.”
What do I know?

It’s another life
Possible and not,
Sometimes hard to tell
the difference between the differences.

(May 24, 2012)

Originally Posted 04/23/12

Dreaming of the Nile
By Elizabeth Cutright

We were in Italy, with a mystery.
You took my hand.
So comfortable and sane, but
no truth existed in the reflection.

There was a girl with warm brown eyes.
She offered us a song.
A melody about a lightning bolt, but
even she knew it was a lie.

A fountain flowed in the piazza,
amplifying the afternoon sun.
Sparkling stars in a cool spray, and
for an instant – heaven.

The police siren snapped like whiplash.
Killing the moment,
breaking our silence, and clearing the smoke.
In waking life, it hurt to see.

Originally Posted 03/21/12

The Garden
By Elizabeth Cutright

I’ve built myself a garden,
and on the surface, it’s quite beautiful
(as you can plainly see)
I think the ivy covers the walls quite nicely –
Don’t you?

If you look closer, you’ll notice
the flowers are made of paper
(and you thought I had no skill)
Nevertheless, I pretend they’re real –
Don’t you?

Originally Posted 03/19/12

To Me, You Will Always Be
(for CH, who lost Doc on 01/01/1999)
By Elizabeth Cutright

To me, you will always be…
running after rocks,
and chasing your own tail;
that goofy smile on your face,
pawing me in a muddy embrace.

To me, you will always be…
the one that was up for anything –
who made a game of it all.
Life was just one big adventure,
punctuated by lunch and dinner.

To me, you will always be…
the one I could depend on,
the ear that was always there.
Beside me when the world felt hostile –
You made it all seem possible.

To me, you will always be…
the one I’ll miss when the leaves are falling,
the one I’ll search for in the snow.
The summer sun will be cold without you,
but every spring your spirit’s home.

Sometimes my heart will feel empty
and I’ll listen for your voice,
But I won’t be saddened by your absence
because I know your soul is free.
To me…you will always Be.

Originally Posted 03/13/12

Rumor Comes to Town
By Elizabeth Cutright

Whispers dart ’round corners,
Tap you on the shoulder,
And slip into your ear unseen.
Rumor’s come to town today.

Tall tales and asinine asides.
All scandal & circumstance
Laid out before us
Like a Last Supper feast.

Protagonist or villain,
The teller never really cares.
It’s the juicy, pulpy story
that’s all in the details.

Cast the net yourself
Or get caught up in its twine.
Either way, you’ll end up trapped,
By truth and its tiny little lie.

Originally Posted 03/08/12

I’d like to be a poet…
By Elizabeth Cutright

I want to be a beatnik
Finger snaps and a black beret.
Have words fall down around me,
Ask Kerouac out to play.

I want to be a rebel
Full of passions and a cause.
Words like knives through the bullshit.
Ask Bukowski to give me a call.

Can I be the romantic,
Full of lust and love run amiss?
Flowery phrases to seduce the reader.
Ask Neruda for a kiss.

Should I be righteous?
Talk of God and the sins of old?
Look to heaven for inspiration,
Use soft words to heal a soul?

How does one become a poet –
Faithful to the song that lingers in the ear?
Turn your back on the old grave-singers,
Or let their music draw you near?

Originally Posted 02/29/12

Orchestra for Spring
By Elizabeth Cutright

The loon’s song wafts
And the plane engines rumble.
Hammers yell in the distance,
While jazz sneaks out an open window.

Bamboo rustles with the breeze.
The dog’s bark fades in and out.
Crows and seagulls argue,
And the church bells chime.

The cat’s muffled footfalls
Stir the nesting finches.
Car alarms bleat and twitter,
While a worker’s yell slides by unnoticed.

The ringing of a lonely telephone
Melds with the wind chime’s lazy song.
The afternoon sounds swell and swoon;
An orchestra for spring.

My wine glass clinks on the tile tabletop,
Two more sips and it’ll be gone.
My pen scratches words on a white page;
A tiny coda to the song.

Originally Posted 02/17/12

Pebble In My Shoe
By Elizabeth Cutright

Well, I guess you’ve now become,
just a pebble in my shoe.
So you’d think that every step I take,
would stir up images of you.

I admit, sometimes you surround me.
When it’s quiet, I might hear your voice.
But the pinch and the ache grow familiar,
so that remembering you is a choice.

Should I remove that pebble?
Cease all memories of you?
If I did, would my step grow unsteady;
my balance thrown off with no cue?

For now, I’ll keep my pebble –
Leave it lodged there, gently prodding, in my shoe.
But I can’t guarantee that forever,
its sharp nudge will remind me of you.

Originally Posted 02/14/12

Lips and Kisses
By Elizabeth Cutright
(Inspired by What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, and where, and why by Edna St. Vincent Millay)

What lips my lips have kissed.

There’ve been some great lip and some bad lips,
and some in-between lips.
Some forgotten lips and some desired lips.

And lots of lips that never seemed able to deliver on their promises.

Of course, the ones you remember most
are the lips your lips were aching to kiss
and dying to kiss.

Sometimes those lips ended up being nothing more than someone else’s lips after all.

But there are those few…
those golden few….who transcend.
Who are so much more than just lips.

Those are firework lips, they crack and sparkle and light up the sky.

Ahhh…but sometimes those lips have a faulty fuse!
They just sit there…dormant… secretive…sinister
Waiting for one touch to explode.

You can lose a whole hand – or heart – that way.

And then there are the windstorm lips.
Those rushing, windy, whisper lips that breeze through the trees.
Crashing, fizzy sound of the ocean, swirling and foaming over sandy shores.

Those lips stalk a treacherous coastline and can make you the victim of your own siren song.

But the worst…the absolute worst…
are lips that go quiet and cold.
Who knew the absence of sound could cut so deep?

Silent little time bombs. The most lethal lips of all.

Except that’s not quite true.
Because true lips can be a cradle and a beacon.
They can lift you up and catch you when you fall.
They make your lips aspire to greatness.

Those lips are the best lips of all.

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why (Sonnet XLIII)
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.
All Content is the sole Property of Elizabeth Cutright and The Daily Creative Writer, if you are reading this blog on another site, it has been reposted without the author’s permission and is in violation of the DMCA. © 2012 The Daily Creative Writer

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