Anxiety 101

I’m sitting still; they are talking. I see their mouths move, but no meaning comes. I am quivering. I want to jump from my seat, yell, maybe run. At least hop on one foot. But I sit and try to take a breath. It is small, as small as I. I. I worry about things: the siren, the rain on the street, what everyone else is doing in the world. Somewhere someone is starving; someone else is writing a song; on the corner a homeless man waits. I am sitting at a white table in an aqua chair. I forget if I have a body and tremble like a spirit instead. I am just a vibration, an idea, a small bit of fear. Darkness hovers; I should do something. Get busy. Hurry. Be useful. I go into the kitchen and unload the tiny dishwasher. It is easy to find where things go. I wash the skillet from breakfast, put our dishes in the washer, wipe the counter with my palm (we used the last paper towel yesterday) and stand. From my bubble I wonder what is happening, why I feel this way. Through the clouds their laughter comes and I return, scoot my aqua chair and sit again. I count my breath in threes, like a waltz, and slow my core vibration. Their words slide into focus. I join them. We talk and laugh but my inside self still feels like bands of rubber breaking.

27 St. Stephens

They gather to hear

be heard—harmonic sounds

of the heart. In their ripening

they descend

toting mugs for tea

in twos and threes arriving

in coats they hoped to leave

behind at Easter.


Cold and rainy out

they bring their warm inside

and with wooden windows open

they fill the living


room. Pillows, blankets

scooting chairs. Shy, shuffling laughter

a caesura before


the music begins

taking us inside the language

of the soul. Bared spirits

meet, speak

of that unseen.

Naked, fully clothed

we know.

Back Bay in Spring

Colorless birds call

through dried sticks of wood;

yellow flowers defy death,

waving ruffled heads. All

the brown, the loss, the lack

quivers, rises, turns; you

can almost feel the birth

of song. Sunshine, shy,

peeks through April

clouds. I

tuck my scarf

bow my head,

and walk into the wind.


New Review of Lily Harp

What a delight to stumble across this review of Lily Harp! Thank you Ruminate Magazine for airing it and most especially Jim Prothero for writing it!

“Through all this multi-layered imagery of faith and fear, of mother and child, of God as a mother, Barton challenges the reader to consider love and faith, foolishness and grace, with skill and with subtlety…” read more 

Today’s Manifesto

I believe in intelligent design, inspired by divine love.

I believe that the natural laws of the physical world offer universal truth.

I believe in the existence of both good and evil.

I believe that humans are triune beings of mind/body/spirit.

Through the rhythm of nature, I see the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, and experience life at its essence as eternal, pointing to divine design.

As an eternal being, dwelling in a physical body, my mind connects the realms of heaven and earth through the sight of my spirit.

From my spirit connection to the divine, I understand that love and wholeness are available to all, in a cycle made complete throughout eternity.

Working on a “Book Trailer”

images Going to try my hand at creating a “book trailer” — most of you know I love creating video “medleys” of family gatherings…so I will try this here. We will see if my indy press will let me “release” it! Ha. They have fantastic taste and would never let me put something out that might distract from the real work of Lily Harp, my Florida mangrove novella. Stay Tuned…(that’s what my publisher always says)

Locally Grown Words Book Fair…with ME!


COME support local words & buy some Christmas presents @BOOKMARKIT !

Join us for the “Locally Grown Words” book fair–and look for my table at the East End Market…

Copies of my new poetry chapbook Like Summer Grass from Finishing Line Press will be for sale as well as copies of my previous book from WordFarm Press, Surviving Nashville: Short Stories. Plus I can tell you how to get the kindle version of my short story collection and I promise to be ready to spill all the latest “dirt” on my upcoming novella, Lily Harp & Stories, due out through WordFarm Press at the AWP conference in Minneapolis in April.

Come enjoy the local scene as authors chat about words, sign and sell their books, and generally create a sly ruckus at the fabulous independent bookstore Bookmark it at the East End Market  on Corrine Drive in Orlando.

Join us if you can…if only to keep me from looking like an unimpressive, unpopular, literary dork.


LSG with shadowsurviving nashvilleimage2