Category Archives: Poetry Archives

ADR Poetry Archives

Symbiosis by Marci Klayder Gibbens


Outside my mind, his breath is shallow;
I see him gasping for air,
his emaciated chest rising and falling.
Some days—no, many— I let him in.
I feed him, clothe him, let him soak in the bath.
I would not want him to suffer.
And yes, some days—no, many—
I let him spend the night.
You might think this would satisfy him,
rekindle his desire for independence,
and sometimes, it does.
Then, I am satisfied, my good deed committed.
I have saved a life.

Continue reading Symbiosis by Marci Klayder Gibbens

I owe you this black silence by Margot Block

I owe you this black silence

as darkness turns
changing pain
like the razor’s edge
Careful now
she sets in quick under a bright sky
when I want them to fade quickly
Not to play the victim
or take one little fall
between spaces where
human traits reveal themselves
where pride falls to the floor
nothing to separate us
from the weak


Image Credit: []

View From the Hot Rock by Greg Bell

View From the Hot Rock

The sun is crackling
now on granite boulders
piled in disarray
as frozen in mid-shift
as molten immobility
and heat is oozing up
to drive the cave bears
rumbling out
from fiery crevices
to claw at stones
and scorch their paws
then roar in helpless rage
at the inescapable

They slice the air
to swipe at me
and miss
me seated on the flat
and only mossy stone
out of reach
for only now

Snakes are seething
on their bellies
pissed and breathing
spit from hell
fangs bared
for taste of flesh
dripping honey-venom
they look at me
with threatening eyes
a hint of death
trembles in my spine

There is no turning back

Wish what I will
there’s nothing for it
but to bear the heat
thread the needle up
up the path serpentine
and trust in possibility
of blue-skyed Golden Sun

Only the dragon
rousing underneath the rocks
cocks his ear in pleasure
at the mounting fire
(brother to his sister Phoenix)
flame is fuel
to wings that would be spread

And as I remember Icarus
the dragon tells me
fire put to proper ore
with heavenly alchemy
creates the glowing crucible
kindles rising pressure
tempers diamond
from the coal

Greg Bell writes because he must. A critical illness finally roused him to publish in 2013. He’s since placed work in literary journals & anthologies and was the 2019 recipient of the Kowit Poetry Prize. He’s the author of the hybrid poetry collection Looking for Will: My Bardic Quest with Shakespeare (Ion Drive, 2015) and two award-winning plays: [1] Says he, ‘We are the witnesses, the Jiminy Crickets, the agents of change’; [2] let’s go!

Image Credit: Diamond-cut wallpaper abstract [] spanning colors to symbolize the red hot stress of adversity to the cool blue of hope

School by Leslie Dianne


To understand the ocean
I would have to lie
on the sand and
let it scratch my skin
until it was smooth
then I would bury my arms
and let the sandweight
take my bones and
knit my flesh to itself
my legs would grow holes
and turn inside out
my chest would sink in
to the deep moist layer
where treasures are kept
my ears would dissolve
and say hello to my eyes
my nose, curious at the change
would scent danger
then wonder when
the fog would come
from across the world
when the tides would visit
and offer me to the moon
when I would wash from the shore
blink with my big new eyes
at the waves
my tender gills
learning to breathe
once more
a creature
in a new kind of school


Image Credit: Surreal image [by B. Samms and is kindly reproduced here with permission of Art and Frame Source]

The Rains Across the Ridge by Alan Caldwell


The Rains Across the Ridge

The rains across the ridge never rest, a ceaseless and fine mist descending from a gray dissolution of bruised clouds.

The sun in my valley rises and sets, and the rains come to the valley and then go, but the rains across the ridge never rest.

My valley is cold, and warm, and hot in seasonal turns.

I pull my breast close to the winter flames, fire shadows dance on the walls of the forest cathedral, the burning savor of split and dried hickory, the back of my warmest coat cold to the touch

The spring sun unfastens my coat, and the trees in the valley evince their early green and gold.

I recline in summer shade and pray for a breath of breeze.

Autumn answers my prayers, the leaves again turn gold, and crimson, then sere.

The trees across the ridge never vary, perennially passionless, colorless, and insipid, and the rains on the other side of the ridge never rest.

As a boy I scaled the crest and peered over the ridge and into the restless rains, and I saw dark figures and shadows dancing in the hollow.

Their patterns were strange, and I was afraid.

On the summit, I read the Scriptures, and the prophets chastised me for my climb and for my ignorance.

They told me I was unprepared, so I returned to my valley.

As I aged, I longed for the rains across the ridge, and the company of shadows and dark figures that I witnessed as a boy.

At night, mists began to fall softly on my roof and lull me to sleep, and the now-familiar shadows and figures invite me to dance.

Today I lace my tired boots and pull my slouch hat low across my brow and again scale the ridge.

I know shadows and figures wait for me there, and I long to join their dance, and I am not afraid.


Image Credit: Rainy mountain [wallpaperaccess]