Letter to a Hypocrite

Dear Hypocrite,

Heavens to Becky, I wish I was Pretty
And pure and perfect as you.
To be able to look down with pious pity
And pass judgment the way that you do.

Clearly you are flawless
And totally free of sin.
Doubtless you find solace
In spreading gossip with a grin.

Casting stones at me, at us,
But indirectly so.
Cleverly avoiding fuss,
To mutual friends you go.

Did God give you the power
To act as judge and jury?
Did you expect that I would cower
Or lash out in childish fury?

Instead, dear hypocrite, I’ll choose
To go on about my life.
Not by yours, but by my own views,
Without your drama and strife.

And so, goodbye, my former friend.
You shall not have control
Of me or mine, but in the end
My life will still be whole.

With bygone respect,

The Rabid Artist


Today’s prompt at OctPoWriMo was about power and control. I took the opportunity to take back control of my thoughts by pouring these into this poem.


Monody for Aunt Janie


Her fingers would dance across the keys
As she played piano by ear.
Even though singing was her expertise
Both talents were beautiful to hear.

Comedic timing and dramatic flair
Made her fun to be around.
She’d laugh until she gasped for air,
Another beautiful sound.

With a glint in her eye and a wry smile,
She was quick with a dirty joke.
A storyteller that could beguile
As she lit another smoke.

She’d inhale deeply from her cigarette,
A fresh one in her hand.
Not even done with the first one yet,
She was nicotine’s to command.

Soon the cancer began to take hold;
It stole her voice and breath.
She quickly slipped from young to old
As smoking caused her death.


written in response to the prompt today at OctPoWriMo

Painting Process

Intuitive art 2

Mixed Media painting by Amy McGrath inspired by Jodi Ohl

How could I know what the canvas wanted
To become until my brush began
The colorful dance? Slow blue and
Staccato red and orange
Waltz and cha-cha in an
Improvised, frenzied
Crescendo ‘til
The music
Ends in


intuitive art 1 (2)

Mixed media art by Amy McGrath inspired by Wendy Brightbill


When I am not writing poetry (check out OctPoWriMo for daily prompts this month!) or fiction (usually for NaNoWriMo each November), I am in my tiny “studio” painting. A few years ago, I stumbled upon one of the BEST values in online painting courses. I’m taking Life Book 2017 now, my second round in this amazing class. The founder Tamara Laporte has gathered mixed media artists from around the world to come together and offer weekly art journal lessons that are often healing and always accessible to both novice and experienced artists. The art you see here with today’s poem was created from two of this year’s lessons. If you’re interested in creating your own art, this is a wonderful, welcoming and supportive community. Check out the plans for Life Book 2018!

High Anxiety

While I was pacing the room,

focusing on the “what ifs”,

Grand plans and schemes

intersect with fears and doubts.

Talking myself into

or out of some small risk;

Walking in circles,

going nowhere…

Spiraling thoughts…

some rational, some not…

Waiting for the right time

to make my move…

Realizing too late

that opportunity passed by

While I was pacing the room.



Have you been writing with us? Daily prompts available all month at OctPoWriMo! Come join in the fun and develop or improve a daily writing habit.


Today’s prompt at OctPoWriMo produced many seeds for future poems. This is the first of a whole group that I’ll likely be writing in the near future.

***Trigger warning: eating disorders, depression

Foster care
Always wanting attention.
Left to cry,
Left with a bottle.
Yearns for human connection.


Unhealthy habits
Now part of life.
Diets repeatedly fail.
Eating for comfort.
Reaching for
Trying to fill the void.
Adult still yearns,
Needing human connection –
Dies alone.

Ocean’s Daughter


Topsail Island 2013 photo by Amy McGrath

Umbrella drinks and feet in the sand

As summer days grow hotter

Unwinding as my skin gets tanned

Between the clouds and water.


When life becomes too much to bear

And my spirit starts to totter

You will often find me there

Between the clouds and water.


Winter’s coming and I’m growing old

On seashell walks I potter

Even as the air turns cold

Between the clouds and water.


I have no choice but to conclude

I am the ocean’s daughter

My soul finds peaceful solitude

Between the clouds and water.


Head over to OctPoWriMo for today’s prompt (written by yours truly!)