forgiving is like that, he said

by Stacy Barton on August 25, 2015

don’t tell me this breeze


blues singing

on midnight porch

with patient dog lying


is not


or that this

wicker chair

wedding lights

your arms

those eyes


won’t be


don’t tell me I forgot

my mind

throwing well-fanged words

like venom down your side


I fear most

the less     the loss     the lack

unremembered mingling

of blonde and brown hairs

‘79 hatchbacks


but see

see     see     see

my crumpled

heart beating

watching your bleeding

struck by my gin

broken on brick

lost shine of moon


dark      shadows      light

dawn translucent

dark troubled eyes

grey stubbled skin

in Easter dew


you      you

don’t tell me

how  it is with you


but enfold me

ruffled with guilt

reclaim my fault

your pain

our seam


with one whispered word




Just Before

by Stacy Barton on May 14, 2015

In the stages of labor, Transition comes in the moments just before the new life begins to press its way out, to squeeze its greatness from the womb.

Sitting on the backyard porch, I listen to the birds. They weave a medley over my head, from telephone wire, to palm, to merry bougainvillea. The squirrels along the wood fence behave as though something is about to happen. I watch the sky move across the pool and wonder.

Transition marks some of labor’s most intense pain, for the one birthing can only breathe, release and surrender as the force of new life stretches the final sinews, creating the space it requires to arrive.

I step down by the pool and sit on the end of the mat. I breathe and stretch, lean into each position. I allow myself to think…of myself. Not the children, or Todd, or work, or loved ones, or needed tasks. Immediately I cry. There seems so little to consider when the thoughts contain only myself. Have I forgotten all I struggled to learn about the essence of me? I breathe, stretch, cry. I wonder if the world is flat. I breathe.

The new life crowns, and can be seen for moments before retreating in a pattern that seems devoid of progress. Pushing to hurry the Transition only impedes the birth.

Face down, arms outstretched beside the pool, the visceral memories of childbirth Transitions surprise me like a metaphor. I feel the brush of Spirit over my body and remember that if I push this new life—whatever it may be—before its time, I will thwart that for which I long. Waiting and trusting make me frightened, but with four births as my memory, I reach in hope for things unseen.

By its nature, Transition reveals a world between: between then and now; between old and new; between heaven and earth. Transition claims us, demands we trust that the birth will come, that the new life will appear.

Back on the porch wicker, I squint my eyes, the image of tomorrow like an old Polaroid slowly developing in my hand. Today I see only dimly, but the Spirit, like a good midwife, has whispered in my ear that I am in Transition, that all of this is not a march toward death, but the press of new life coming.

Though almost brutal in its incessant press to will us to wait with hope, the force of Transition is, in itself, the new life’s promise that the end of yesterday has come and the reality of the future is near.



Mother’s Day

May 5, 2015

One slow Sunday morning of feigned sleep each May, my children banged about the kitchen preparing “breakfast in bed for Mommy,” their daddy playing line-leader in a parade of plates.   Yesterday – nearly grown – they owned this small tradition, lined four wide beside my bed, beamed like children. Plates of cheese eggs, fried […]

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2nd Place in 1st “Flash Fiction Slam”

March 10, 2015

so i got all the way to the final round of my very first “flash fiction slam!” Won 2nd place, met some great new literary peeps, sold some books, passed out some cards and talked up my new novella Lily Harp, coming out in June! sweet night. kudos to Patrick Greene and the Gallery at Avalon […]

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Working on a “Book Trailer”

February 24, 2015

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 […]

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Help a Young Artist!

January 17, 2015

…who happens to be my daughter. Our girl Olivia Lynn Barton is working to get into Berklee School of Music in Boston next year & snatch up both a vocal performance and songwriter scholarship if she can manage it…otherwise we simply can’t afford it. So, this is a shameless ASK to those of you who love my artistry…check out […]

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Upon The Red Balloons

December 30, 2014

in Mary Janes she stands one hand of balloons between cracks dandelions grow in shiny shoes she sees herself let go red balloons rise   leave her body for sky remembering their dance in her hand she stands ribbons waving

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Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

December 23, 2014

Sidesaddle in a stuffed chair I sit, feet tucked. Sipping coffee, I stare at our tree as if it’s a stranger. Strings of white lights, green branches, childhood adornments suddenly blur through the lens of tears. A tinfoil star, a gold macaroni tree, a painted partridge too big for its branch, a handprint angel all […]

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December 1, 2014

I’m a Yaya! unbelievable feeling…crazy experience…blessed position…awed by god above in the intricacies and specificities and personal touch of his enormous spirit. wild love. grand hope. pulsing life. radiating out and out and out and out….can you feel it?

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Locally Grown Words Book Fair…with ME!

November 19, 2014

DECEMBER 14, NOON-4PM @EASTENDMARKET 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 […]

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