Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Way Home

The Morgue File

tears are private things
meant for coat pockets
on a Wednesday morning

they fray edges
and stain fabric
i pull at them
until i lose my way

if they were breadcrumbs
only the birds would follow.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

posted for Poets United Pantry

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Prayer

The Morgue File
Painted Background 502
by Natureworks

i found thanks on the hardwoods
beneath my feet
their cracks
a fulfillment
of the generations
whose sloughing dreams
fell through their open eyes
into my cupped hands.

a small piece of thanks on this holiday weekend. I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday.

Copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

Posted for Poets United

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Mercy, a Forgotten Language

The Morgue File

the sinking of things feels old to me
weight upon water
a tendency toward disappearance.

if i could
i would advocate
so that lost feelings could reattach somewhere
on recognisable terrain

but my mouth is clamped
and my soul silent
its language forgotten.

eyes open to the shimmer overhead
the light can be blinding
to those who see

Very rough piece today--At Poet's United we are writing about mercy.  I am not even sure if this is the beginning of one poem or several--but this is what came out of me as I thought about mercy today.

Copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Facetiming It

I talk to you across the 6000 plus mile distance

that separates us

your face fills my screen

freezing from time to time

with the poor connection

Did you know that you are golden?

Your hair,

the light,

Maybe is is just you,

the light inside you

that I see

and wrap myself up in.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015


photo by Audrey Howitt

we push through,

feel the air whip,

veins an extension

of the need to be present

for just as long as we can.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

Posted on Dverse

I hate titles--so this title was borrowed from Bodhirose--I hope you don't mind

Friday, October 23, 2015

Salt on My Tongue

The Morgue File

i fold salt into the remainder of my day

and watch parsley

soak up oil's emotions

a round of bread nearby.

i taste tomorrow

floating bittersweet on my tongue

as the day settles,

pours out its stories

for those who pause

to listen.

I read a piece today about aging. I read once that the young are rarely the ones who enter therapy as they haven't lived long enough to have experienced regret. The taste of regret and loss as we age fascinates me. And I am reminded again of how societies can hold onto their elders and treasure them--when we all pause to listen. I hope you enjoy this small write.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Gravity of the Moment

The Morgue File

the bed lies empty
its center, a crater
in which we found ourselves

pulled from dark matter,
night without light
surface abraded
its tension, molding space

bodies are drawn together
as time slows,
we cannot overcome
the gravity of the moment.

Copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

Well this feels very rough to me--but there it is--I have an old bed and need to turn the mattress else we keep finding each other in the middle

Posted for Poets United Midweek Motif

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Three Poems on Loss

The Morgue File

i am hollowed out
 your bones nestle
down next to mine

 an uncharted map


The Morgue File

perhaps it is the sun
which will steal you away
old bones 


The Morgue File

i search. 
endings veiled
in  obtuse emotions,

my guide.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

Posted for Kerry's prompt for mini poems at the garden

I will be 60 soon. My constant companion is 13.  I sometimes think that growing older is a lesson on continued loss--peeling one layer back at a time, until not much is left. Maybe that makes it easier to leave when the time comes. I don't know, but as #60 approaches, I think about it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

матрёшка (Matryoshka}

The Morgue File

Paper lined your eyes
and cyrillic your tongue

as you loosened both,
plucking the stories of us

from mother soil
before we knew who we were

forming us, a decoupage
in Russian.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt

Today, Susan challenges us to write about teachers at Poets United Mid-Week  My poem is for my father, who taught Russian to so many, and who gave me and my sister both, a Russian soul in the process--

A matryoshka doll (Russian: матрёшка;, matrëška), also known as a Russian nesting doll, or Russian doll, refers to a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another. The name is believed to be a derivative of "Matriosha" or "Matriona," which were female names that enjoyed immense popularity among Russian peasants. The name connotes the matriarch of a big Russian family.(from Wikipedia)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Bar Stool Baby

The Morgue File

wantonness is a slow burn
moving silently toward shadows
left behind bar stools on a hazy Saturday night,

picking its way among the wreckage
trailed in from lives disintegrating
one decibel at a time,

finding life in thieves' movements
a slip of lip
in a bathroom stall.

are you all in yet?

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

The midweek motif at Poets United is all about choices this week, Here is my bit.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Prague, the Main Station
The Morgue File

we suffer the tenderness
that suffuses a smile
pasted in place,

one that imprints
its block of light
upon skin too timid to know
that its time is almost up.

count them down,
those days until
the extant becomes the extinct---

not so long really
we all helped
we weavers of shrouds
tinged with the apathy
that killed the bees first.

Copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

Not sure what is going on with this one today. But here it is anyway.
posted for The Tuesday Platform

Thursday, September 3, 2015


The Morgue File

i cried daily
for years as you drank.
i cried until rivulets
permanently etched, north and south
along my mouth.

my heart, shriveled and dry
love's aftertaste
stamped on tongue and cheek.

the afternoon sun was hot against concrete
the day you slammed her against a wall
she was five and you,
you were drunk (again)
and it was that easy

you were gone a week later
a marriage dissolving
like so much ice
in vodka.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

A watershed moment for Poets United  mid-week motif

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The You I Hold

The Morgue File
Painted Background

I pin your voice onto the backs of my eyes
corneas etched with words
that feel like magic in the air,
in the red sky of the day.

I want to roll my coat in them,
stuff my pockets with their sounds
so that me who reads them
can always find her place in them.

I fear their fall into gutters,
their mixing with the sweat of the day
until ink runs,
before my eyes can really see.

If I am careful
I can hold them in place,
long enough for the ink to dry,
long enough for me to breathe them in,
long enough for me to remember.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

Posted for the Toads Tuesday Platform

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Leaving

The Morgue File

i have ignored it,

the thought of your leaving,

the sheer weight of it behind my eyes.

it builds sometimes,

like an over salted piece of fish

assaulting me

even before I get it into my mouth

to chew on the idea.

but the days are getting smaller.

soon a pocket Saturday will come

and I will put you on a plane again

another nine months of Skype.

in the time you are gone

much will happen,

but mostly, i will miss you,

in the tiny moments of my day

the ones you so casually inhabit,

the bits of lime and avocado in my salad

a reminder.

and if i am lucky,

the scent of you will be right there

on your pillow

when i rest my head there

after you leave.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

In a few short weeks I send my youngest daughter off to the Kodaly Institute in Kecskemét for nine months. I read Claudia's piece about her daughter, and was able to sit down and write this piece for mine. Thank you Claudia!

Posted for Poet's United Pantry

Friday, July 24, 2015

Stones Rest

The Morgue File
Dianne Hope

i feel stones in the cracks of my feet
wedged between souls
left too long in the wind
to know their way home

lost, they find solace in small things,
the feel of sand
in the mind's eye
stirring memories
into paths.

i feel them most in winter,
when all souls seek sleep.
I lay down stones
in the shadows of their desire
hoping we both will rest soon.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

Posted for the Pantry

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Leaf Smiles

The Morgue File

It fits somehow
that leaves fall
in the wake of tears
leaving behind what they have known

They smile as they touch the earth
grace the soil
with joy.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

my words: joy, grace, abandonment, smile, leaves, tears

Posted for D'verse on it's fourth anniversary! Congratulations Poets!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Stillness

The Boat
The MorgueFile

we find rest where we can
in slips and covers
with notices pending
our to-dos tightly knit
upon our foreheads.

we think of night, its blackness,
a movement upon a sea of thoughts;
dreams we loosen in the
slipstream of the moon,
never noticing
their path,
an ebb and flow through
until we find,

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015
Posted for Poets United

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Strawberry Juice

The Morgue File

love is a slice of something sweet
that dribbles down your chin
strawberry juice
sluicing onto pinafore white
as you held me on your lap
and smiled

brilliantine hair
in sunlight

your smile
etching lines of forever

eyes still see you
the lines, a road map

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

For my Papa, without whom I would have been lost. Posted for Poets United

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Garden Shorts

The Morgue File


beetles know their way home
ground into blurry lines of movement
my eyes follow their tracks


i flutter
in the still afternoon
awash in color


until i cannot see the sun


old bones
find sun first
as warmth
trickles into
sinovial fluid

copyright/all rights reserved. Audrey  Howitt 2015

It is a month of weddings, graduations,birthdays,  listened.and recitals in our family.  I sat in my garden today and listened.

Sunday, May 31, 2015


Morgue File

you surprised me yesterday.

you knew,
much deeper than i,

that once again, i stand in my way

road lead, as they must,
to unexpected places

awkward turns imposing 
their own justice

lying in inexorability.

i have walked,
pushing past obstacles
moving stones.

the clearing of the road
was the thing 
i loved most.

but this stone,
moves me, 

resistance gains me nothing
as stones are inevitable,
each rejoicing in its own truth.

paths are funny that way.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

posted for Poet's United

Thursday, May 21, 2015


The Morgue File

as day passes
folding in on itself
i find the corners of you

left behind
as you passed into night
and fold myself into them
bit by bit
to feel your edges once more.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

Posted for dversepoets

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Triptych

The Morgue File

A Triptych


The sun casts its own shadows
making darkness out of light.
I stand in them sometimes
pulling my toes to the edge
watching the gravitational pull
against them.


We harvest our natures
like patrons at a buffet
gorging on favorites
in fear that without that last bite
we will lose the selves we know.


I cry into the wind sometimes
just to feel a sting in the creases.
salted rivers
know their way home.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

I am behind in the NaPo thing--this might be #12 on day 16--

The Journey Inward

Monday, April 13, 2015


Paper Cranes Hiroshima

i write in stillness,
the afternoon floating by.
clouds are like words
creating impressions in the sky
unfolding at their own pace.

soon the moment will pass
and i will fold that bit
of poem
into tiny folds

a crane for peace
a crane for memory
they take their positions
on bits of string
flocking toward blue
sliding by in the distance.

copyright/all rights reserved

I know I  have missed a couple for NaPoWriMo. So I think this might be #11???

The Journey Inward.

Friday, April 10, 2015


The Morgue File

i burnt the last of you
along with sandalwood
in a bronzed tray
fired with the patina
of sleepless nights.

there was a time i thought
we would grow old
our wrinkled skin a haven
the bliss of the aged
a kiss on my forehead in the dark

i still see you
standing with coffee by the bed
waiting .

i stand by the bed now
and hope you can find me

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015
my #9 for NaPoWriMo

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Time's Back

The MorgueFile

time steals breath
sneaking in
underneath doorjambs

finding the temerity
to wrinkle skin
during sleep
its presence
always fleeting

its weight felt
only at death

it passed this way once
i felt the wisp
of its back
clawing the floor boards
as i turned
to face it
and you.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

My NaPoWriMo #7

The journey inward

I am behind already. I was going to write about that--but this is where I went instead.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Blue Seas

The MorgueFile

temporary structures
house fears
providing containment
for the worst meltdowns
found in closets at midnight.

others live in the wild
retreating upon encroachment
intended and not
by well meaning adults
who rationalize
a three year old's terror.

she lives in silence
watchful eyes
a blue sea, 
hiding much.

blue seas can darken
in closed closets
as she waits.

Copyright/All rights reserved Audrey Howitt

My #6 for NaPoWriMo

The Journey Inward

A little rough, I will have to come back and clean this one up --
I had terrible nightmares and was a hypervigilant child. My father often found me in closets crying when I was three or so---there is a history there--

Sunday, April 5, 2015


The MorgueFile

children of morning,
doves coo
in sleep's wake.

they dance on feet
which feel air only
as they hold wings
toward the wind
trusting that moment

i watch, and worry, as

days move toward closure
and i know that
night will claim her sacrifice
in a burning of incense
as mistakes
are surrendered
like smoke signals
against a blackened sky.

copyright/All rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

My #5 for NaPoWriMo

The Journey Inward

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Walking Backward

The MorgueFile

i slow myself,
walking backward
across invisible stairs,

trusting that the 
treads are clearly outlined
in the bottoms of my feet.

bare on soft pine
i feel long threads
of wood sacrificed and planed.

their length surprises me,
and though eyes are blind,
feet know the way home.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

my #4 for NaPoWriMo

The Journey Inward

Friday, April 3, 2015

Under Construction

The MorgueFile

when did i first notice
desire dying,
its neck fluttering
beside me,
its language quieting?

i believed
that i would
always be whole
or just assumed it

i find myself lying in parts
beside you,
each part restless.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

My #3 for NaPoWriMo

The Journey inward

posted for Poets United

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Shredding Patience

The MorgueFile

i know i should be patient
allow each movement its own time

i  know i cannot move others
with my tapping
or my ears whining in the wind.

but  i would like to.

there was a time when
i would have ripped
my fingers bled

now i look aside and hope that it is enough.

i breathe
and then breathe again,
counting breaths,
the small responses.

maybe that is better,
but i still imagine
shreds on the floor
around my feet.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

My Day 2 NaPoWriMo
The Journey inward

Wednesday, April 1, 2015



a proving ground
drawn in in pencil stokes

a circling
toward a center
or lost in a jumble
of tasks,

post-its litter the floor.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

This is my #1 for NaPoWriMo. I am feeling a pull inward. This venue with be an exploration of that for me. So little will be polished. More, I intend it to be reflective of that pull.

Thank you!


Shared with NaPoWriMo

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Growing Things in Small Spaces

wikimedia commons
Azolla in petri dishes
IRRI Images

i want to store my fears elsewhere
or maybe erase them
as if they never were--

petri dishes, full
growing their incendiary mountains
stacked, dated, sorted.

i could go blind
looking for the disinfectant.

copyright Audrey Howitt 2015

posted for The Pantry at Poets United

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Almost Tanka

the morguefile

Almost Tanka 

you make me see lines of grace
in streets of pain
etched in sepia.
my heart cannot bleed when it is empty.


your hair sweeps the garden
in glossy gold
ringlets curving to meet the sun
as I hold my breath
and try to remember.


words fall out of ether
each stroke
a poem
each word 
a tree.


i thought i could discern your face
in the body
of light you left behind
but it was only a shadow.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

Posted for Real Toads

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


The Morguefile

i am not old,
not yet.
cocks crow those announcements
dancing around edges of things unknown to me.

looking down with scarred eyes
as my abacus shifts weight,
i nod my head 
to the rhythm of clacks
moving my days along.

i am not young.
i have lost my appetite for ambition,
that season-all salt
of the palate of my 30's
and 40's too
if I am honest.

ambition is an aphrodisiac 
in that gloaming of sex on boardroom tables
and bathroom stalls 
after too many cosmopolitans.

i got tired of the hangover
and so, took the cure

abstinence is a bitch
cool as ice floes, calving.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015 

Not really sure what this is all about. I am feeling kind of stuck between things right now.

Posted for Real Toads

Saturday, February 28, 2015

To Cheat Death

The Morguefile

In my dreams
we cheat death

pulling toes backward
just in time

announcing lists
to empty air.

There are things to be said
though not the time to say them,

instead, they crowd my heart
take up small rooms.

We sort through them
and hope that is enough.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

Two friends died unexpectedly this week.  I am a bit lost in it right now.

Posted for Dverse

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Cost of Love

the morguefile

i scrape with serrated edges,
the endometriosis 
of love's stain,

it's bruising
quietly purpling
the edges of my eyes.

i fathom its ache
in cycles of days

when i stop counting
will it be time again
to lift the knife?

copyright/all tights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

Not sure where this came from exactly. Perhaps, a post Valentine's Day sigh--

Posted today for Poets United Pantry

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Love at 19

wikimedia commons
 Stylized rendering of a cross-section of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
Los Alamos National Laboratory
In the Public Domain in the United States

i seldom think about you now,
the burn
in a box of parliaments long ago.

your fingers stained
with the dye
of his hair
in some alley

on black.

so many colors
there before i closed
my eyes to you
or was it you to me?

when it took you down,
that disease we didn't have a name for--
not then,

i sat on your bed
and fed you ensure
and told you about the
daughter i was pregnant with,
the one you wanted.

you died that night.
i saw the blinking light,
a message on a piece of tape.
but i knew
when i saw the light.

did i tell you
that i loved you then
i think i did.

i still do.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

for Kerry's Challenge at Real Toads

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Uninvited

dreamy glass by marlene dietrich
by Arien

windows tells stories,
sometimes ones
you wish you could hide.

they breathe,
insinuating themselves
into forms uninvited

forming agreements
between the inside and outside of me
until i wonder which is which.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

Posted this rainy morning for Poets United Pantry

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Weaving of Lives

the morgue file


i knit a blanket
out of old merino,
bits tied
ends tucked
needles clacking
over time.

i find myself
in their rhythm,
pulling through
until i am warm again.


there is no there
between us,
only a voided space
held together
by bits of string
left over
from other projects
found in baskets
underneath my bed.

i had thought
them to be of no use,
but edges unravel,
and i cannot help it.
repairs are inevitable.


the bits of us
across beds,
our lives
a pastiche

copyright/all rights reserved AudreyHowitt 2015

posted for Poets United

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

59 and Counting

wikimedia commons
Death of the Grave Digger
Carlos Schwabe
in the public domain in the United States

i look for bits of me
under beds
in drawers.

dust bunnies run amok.

there was a time
i knew who i was,
it was clear.

on tuesdays
i taught.

on sundays
i slept in,
held your love between my teeth
and inhaled
your scent off my pillow.

fifty nine.
i say it
over and over.

it feels old.

maybe it is.

i look for the youth
i left
stubbornly clinging
to boxes of lace,
afraid to let myself go.

if i opened
the lid just once
would i know myself
in the things
i placed in there
so long ago. . .

fifty nine
years, losing bits of me
i would cry
but i can't find that part of me.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

Posted for Real Toads

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Wave of Breath

wikimedia commons

Nasa. Bob Cahalan

This Landsat 7 image of clouds off the Chilean coast near the Juan Fernandez Islands (also known as the Robinson Crusoe Islands) on September 15, 1999, shows a unique pattern called a "von Kármán vortex street." This pattern has long been studied in the laboratory, where the vortices are created by oil flowing past a cylindrical obstacle, making a string of vortices only several tens of centimeters long. Study of this classic "flow past a circular cylinder" has been very important in the understanding of laminar and turbulent fluid flow that controls a wide variety of phenomena, from the lift under an aircraft wing to Earth's weather.

confound me
in their ability to make themselves known
in morning hours filled with light,
in dreams 
which foretell
those truths 
blithely overlooked
during day's cognizance.

In dreams, I learn
to ride the wave of breath
to its natural end,
a replenishment 
of that interior landscape
so ready to receive.

So too,
today's end
wrapping itself around a calendar date
which marches forward
regardless of intent.

I breathe.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015