Double Shift

The diner glows fluorescent at 2 a.m.


The diner glows fluorescent at 2 a.m.,
beckons boozers and truckers, runaways,
women between men.

Mary receives them
as her namesake received Gabriel,
pours coffee unbidden, tends
to coconut cream and lemon meringue,
eggs over easy, a malt for the guy
with stringy hair, jittery for a fix.

She saves her tips in a pickle jar
under the grill — enough, she hopes,
to post 50 bucks for her old man’s bail
come morning.

Sarah Russell
First published in Kentucky Review
Photo:  Diners, Delis & Dives

P.S.  New prompts are up on the Prompts page

The Weight

One drunken night he lay on the coach road and she lay beside him.

“The Weight” is by my friend Ryan Stone who lives in Melbourne, Australia.  More of his fine poetry can be found at Days of Stone.

Faerie Lights on the Dark Road by Faustus-Faunus

One drunken night, he lay on the coach road
and she lay beside him. He pictured a truck
descending – wobbling around corners,
gaining momentum. They spoke about crushes,

first kisses. He told her of an older woman
who’d stolen a thing he couldn’t replace.
He tried to describe the weight of lost things.
She listened until he stopped,
until I stopped

hiding behind he. I felt small,
watching the cosmos churn
while I lay on the coach road
one summer night, speaking
of big things
and nothing.

Ryan Stone
First published in Algebra of Owls
Photo:  “Fairie Lights on the Dark Road”
by Faustus Faunus

PS  New prompts are up on the Prompts page.

Winter Hawk



He holds vigil in a ravaged tree,
his fields, once tall with corn,
now snow-tipped stubble.

He accepts the unforgiving wind,
the cold, thin light – not wishing
for tomorrow or warmth or spring –
alive only in what is.

I close my eyes, clear my mind
of stubble in my own fields,
gather Now around me like feathers,
like breath.

When I look again, he rises
on fierce, decisive wings –
his crimson tail as brilliant in the January sky
as truth.

 Sarah Russell
First published in Prey Tell

Leaving West Virginia

The road curls snug against the hills,
dips into hollows, rises up through stands
of oak, rough against dun clouds
that promise snow.

Old Jimmy waves goodbye, and Maude
is backlit in the door. Homesick starts here
on this gravel road, I guess — nuzzling deep
in sun-sweet quilts, an owl keeping himself
company at midnight, clanking the old stove
to life come morning.

The world is raw, waiting where the road
goes flat and blurs in a rush to get somewhere.
I watched for dawn this morning, breathless to be gone.
Now I want to salt away this place the way it is,
the way I was.

Sarah Russell
First published in Kentucky Review
Winner, Poetry Nook Contest

Photo by Cerys Lowe

P.S.  New Prompts for the week here.

First blog post

I used to have a website…


I used to have a website where I collected all of my published poems in a kind of portfolio.  But there are great poems and poets out there I’d like to share,

and people I want to interact with,

and prompts

and ideas about writing that might be helpful to other writers and poets.

So I decided blogging would be the way to go.  I’ve populated my pages just a little so you’ll have something to see when you visit, and I promise to put up a few new prompts as a P.S. in my post every Sunday so if you hit a dry spell, click the link.  Maybe you will find some inspiration.  I’ll also publish poems that made me laugh or cry, and maybe they’ll move you too and introduce you to new voices.

Take a look around, click the “follow” button if you’d like to get my updates (and those ever-useful prompts) and leave me a note so I can meet you too.  Thanks for visiting!


If I Had Three Lives

After “Melbourne” by the Whitlams

If I had three lives, I’d marry you in two.
The other? Perhaps that life over there
at Starbucks, sitting alone, writing – a memoir,
maybe a novel or this poem. No kids, probably,
a small apartment with a view of the river,
and books – lots of books, and time to read.
Friends to laugh with, and a man sometimes,
for a weekend, to remember what skin feels like
when it’s alive. I’d be thinner in that life, vegan,
practice yoga. I’d go to art films, farmers markets,
drink martinis in swingy skirts and big jewelry.
I’d vacation on the Maine coast and wear a flannel shirt
weekend guy left behind, loving the smell of sweat
and aftershave more than I did him. I’d walk the beach
at sunrise, find perfect shell spirals and study pockmarks
water makes in sand. And I’d wonder sometimes
if I’d ever find you.

Sarah Russell
First published in Silver Birch
Winner of the Poetry Nook contest

Republished in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily