I am a pink rose petal’s pale glow

black ash tamped in furrows
between the breaths of the living
& the droning of the dead

the dawn’s blush unfurling over sand dunes

& seagulls soaring on thermal spirits
of iodine     salt     & shellfish

& sometimes     scattering in the wind
I can’t find where everything else ends     & I begin

Now rising from the morning hush     this cloud of me
speaks to the red tail hawk perched on a streetlamp
& tells her I’m fine     because I’m still not sure
how to talk about not being fine

I am an instar     trying to be
the clearest version of myself     to sculpt
a final skin of lucent crystal

so that when you come to see my cinder eyes
glinting diamond dust     I will be
the embered dusk bleeding into the sea

& you will know the truth of me


“Alabaster,” having first appeared in print in Sixfold magazine, winter 2014, is included in my new chapbook, This Being Done,


available now at Finishing Line Press until April 27, 2018, for pre-publication order. The number of orders received during this period will determine the print-run scheduled for release on June 22, 2018. I’m grateful for your timely orders to help my work take flight! RESERVE YOUR COPY HERE TODAY!

52 thoughts on “Alabaster

    • I appreciate your thoughts, Lynne. I wonder if this scattered-ness — this difficulty with differentiating (and protecting!) self from other — might describe the plight of poets, in general? I’m starting to believe that no matter how practiced I become in gathering myself into the appearance of a discrete entity, I’ll always be made of cloud-stuff.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Ken! Yes, it’s about a blob of vulnerability trying to learn to inhabit a form that at least has a skin, however translucent it may be. I think it captures some of the angst involved in putting my work out there in book for the first time. It’s both wonderful and freaking hard…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Every word of this is worthy a pause … but especially “sometimes scattering in the wind / I can’t find where everything else ends & I begin” – while not exactly a happy-state description, this nevertheless energizes a yen to be so, to scatter in the wind, unsure where I might next settle. Freeing – if scattering, no WAY I’d ever have to tend to all the stuck-in-place stuff!
    (Thanks for the virtual lift.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that uncertainty can be a great defense against stagnancy — that is, if it doesn’t cause outright paralysis… Lol! Thanks, Jazz, for seeing “this cloud of me” as representative of possibility more so than limitation. I suppose the best we can truly do in this life is strive for the former. 😊💖

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Stephanie L. Harper on WordPress Discover | O at the Edges

  3. Pingback: Alabaster - DMG COMPANY

  4. Pingback: Alabaster — SLHARPERPOETRY – the face masterz

  5. Pingback: Alabaster — SLHARPERPOETRY | PDX Vanguard

  6. From “.pink.rose petals pale glow/ black ash tamped in furrows” onto
    “.. cinder eyes/ “glinting diamond dust”
    I was enthralled with your shine on Beauty while you tell yr tale .Thanx

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s