Never Take Rain for Granted

When you live in the torrid desert
Play in the dry, dirt like sand
Algid rain is miraculous

Flash flooding inevitable
Clouds unearthly 
Forming into mythical mountains

You’ll see shadows and light
Tug in play
As if, God is cracking

Open a window into Paradise
A promise to internal happiness
Gifting aqua pura 

To believe in the heavens or not
Never take rain for granted
Because in an hour, it may disappear

© GM @musings_by_gina (instagram)
02 June 2023

© GM @musings_by_gina (instagram) | 02 June 2023 | Edgewood, New Mexico


Katrina Kaye

She returns as shards
of glass in heel
hindering escape.

She takes the breath
from my mouth
and blows it back
in my face.

She makes my
eyes sting.

She whittled words
into my skin
and left me there
to scratch at the scabs
till they scarred
in the shape of tin can,
brown boots, bad luck,

a promise made and then
unwoven like a web
on a cracked window.

I am not sorry
I took her home
that first night.

The way she
enveloped every
part of me,
the way she
recklessed through
my unconscious

filling the empty
inside my chest,
rekindling a spark
that had long
gone to ash.

I know now
she always remained close,
waiting for the time
when I was brave
enough to call on
her again.


Katrina Kaye

I was not made of metal
but there was iron in my hold.

It took a tamer of horses,
but once bridled,
I absorbed my part
like husband’s body.

I dressed him,
helmet and breast plate,
securing sword and shield
with a kiss too genuine and devout
to be any less than natural wife.

A woman of battlement,
I never pleaded the gods for his return,
I demanded it.

I waited for him,
patient in bed chamber,
silently sewing white to purple,
once screams dried
and red sun subsided,
he would need me
to sooth dirt from face and eyes,
tend split scabs,
bandage newly broken skin.

I was tenderness
to a tyrannical time.

But not all husbands
return from battle.
Front doors receive knocks
instead of familiar sways,
armor remains on front line,
flags are folded and delivered,
bath water ripples cold.

The last sensation I felt
was husband ripped from arms.

Resonating through me
was the tangle of limbs
dangled from Achilles’ chariot,
skin scraping from face in laps
around Trojan Walls.

I regressed to wide eyed beast
as child tore from hip,
body reined, and
led from home.

I didn’t stomp my hooves
as smoke slithered fortress walls,
brick collapsed to dust,
glory crumbled to ash.

Inside husband’s skin,
as though it were my own,
I was struck down,
traded for gold.

As though strapped to Hector’s chest,
I burned atop his body.

Clay molded as wife
and kilned;
I was made
a woman of Troy.
I was made for this.

Tell me the sky

by Gina Marselle


Tell me the sky…

Tell me the sky 

isn’t carved 

from lapis lazuli,

and I’ll tell you 

the clouds are not 

God’s whispered breath.

Butterflies dream 

in the quiet breeze, 

fluttering without fear. 

Their time is limited,

and they do not cry 

or feel pain. 

The birds chirp happily 

welcoming in the warmth. 

The sun is Joy 

wrapped in yellow.

Quiet city sounds 

in the distance, 

Humming of vehicles.

The quiet sounds of a neighborhood—

A few hellos, 

Someone watering their yard.

A jogger.

The postal carrier 

bringing the mail. 

A dog barking.

I welcome this 

tranquil moment  

it is as if 

the universe knows 

I’d need nothing.


Katrina Kaye

there is a trench
dug against my navel

running between breasts
concaving into clavicle

a ravine
through the center of me

this is where
I need to be filled

it doesn’t matter
if it is love that floods the chasm

or pebbles of hope piled
one upon the other

it doesn’t matter if it is a spell
to resurrect the dead

or songs which conjure oceans
and summon the mountains

it could be the sweetness of sunrise
kaleidoscoping before my eyes

displayed against bare ceiling
while last’s night coda repeats in my head

it could be anything that is pure
simple and peaceful

it only needs to complete me
fill me, make me whole

but these fleeting sentiments 
have yet to fill the hollow

for now, I remain gutted 
with little hope of being finished


Waiting for My MRI Results…

the sun is out and shines warm.
It has been cloudy for days.
Winter lingering, wind blowing
like a gale in the desert.
Chasing the bird songs away.
Waiting for my MRI results—
it is a lot like winter.
Bad news, worst news, life changing news.
No news is punishing. My anxiety crippling
with this wait.
My report says complete ASAP,
5 days later, no results.
I call and the radiology supervisor
says it will be 3 weeks.
There are only
2 radiologist at the UNMH to read the results
for my type of MRI test for the abdomen.
Everyone else has left. I am in a state that
doctors leave. This state does not care about the helpers—
Teachers, medical, police… I know, I’m a teacher
21 years. No one knows my name.
I’m replaceable, I will not be missed.
Besides my test, there are 70 more results still to read.
ER patients are read first. Outpatients have to wait.
I should be an ER patient. I kept myself out
surviving on Pedialyte popsicles for 16 days.
I lost 11 pounds.
If it is cancer, I tell the supervisor,
I needed to have started the fight

(c) Gina Marselle
February 27, 2023

The poet getting ready for her MRI on 2/22/2023
(it was a 3 hour ordeal from start to finish)

Chocolate Spring

This chocolate smells like Easter as a child,

a holiday whose scent, to me, is not of grass 

or black patent leather shoes restricting 

my feet with white tights, or strips of palm

leaves made into small crosses pinned to dresses 

the week before on Palm Sunday. This scent

is of cheap chocolate, milked down water 

hollowed out shapes of spring bunnies. 

The time of year is not a memory of Jesus dying 

or gone missing and reappearing, not the story

of an execution like the ones happening in Iran,

in Ukraine, Mississippi, Texas, not a story 

of freedom or belief, not either is it the fragrance 

of a holiday ham. It is a scent and memory of sugar, 

one of the next most addictive religions. Feed me 

sweet cheap chocolate in the shape of a rabbit, 

rainbow colored pastel plastic eggs stuffed 

with jelly beans hiding in the yard behind bushes, 

in the caverns of low tree branches, amidst

grass greening for this occasion. This time of year 

includes a day with a rabbit leaving treats 

for children to realize that if you look, there are  

sugar eggs hidden within reach. Candy that waits 

to belong to someone’s mouth’s desire 

like a last wish, a last meal, sweet memory.

-Liza Wolff-Francis

Eve’s Omen

“Because there never was an apple,
in Adam’s opinion,
that wasn’t worth the trouble you got into for eating it.”

Because isn’t it a woman’s folly?
to recognize knowledge and vulnerability;
we know how our bodies live in danger,
how they live despite it.

But Eve never had to take a bite
to know her own nakedness
and shame.
She just wanted to show Adam:

“see? this is what the world looks like,
it is not beautiful and soft
it is a man’s rib-world
bleached bone-white
sharp and hard-edged–

And I was still bloody
when you removed me
from your side

So I listened to the serpent
that your man-God
put in front of me;

And it makes you believe
that women are serpents, too.”

Women are serpents, too.

Because we were not made of a backbone
(and this is not to say we have no spine),
We were made from ribcage
we were made from a heart’s place.

So we ate the apple,
we ate the heart
that God hung up in that tree

and it was worth the trouble
if only so you could see–

There will always be an apple worth eating,
if only you ask Eve.

Beginning quote from Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
Photo taken by the poet, Maxine Peseke, in October 2022, shortly after the poem was originally drafted.

All of us animals

After the birthing of the calf,

I wanted to hold her four-legged 

tipsy body in my arms, then 

leash her to me for what 

could be twenty years of life

rather than two or three

on a commercial farm. I wanted

to keep her with me so she would 

avoid all of the unsayable things 

we plot against cows.

Even before the calf’s mother 

sang in the pain of labor, 

even before the mother cow 

marveled at her own image 

in her new baby, both of their lives 

were set for human needs.

What I really want to say is this:

there are some animals we care for 

and some we do not. Of course, 

I include humans in this word animal.

Perhaps there is a way to see each other 

with love in all of us, in our eyes, in our fur, 

in our hides, in our muzzles, on our hooves, 

watching the sky and Earth, smelling 

the air for the coming winter.

-Liza Wolff-Francis


Katrina Kaye

You are

a winter’s day,

the mist of breath as I
laugh in the cold,

the cracked footprints
fading in snow.

You are

a river trail,

the stretch of limbs from 
cottonwoods that canopy the sky,

the bare branches that streak
shadows under the winter’s sun.

the soft brown earth of the path
which leads me from wild to home.

You are

velvet embrace,

the softest of caresses
against cheek and jawline,

a secret in my ear,
a kiss on temple.

A gentle hand stirring the
small of my back.

a sweet invitation to stay in your arms
and lingered in your constant gaze.

You are

a peacefulness I didn’t know
was possible.

a home I didn’t know
was needed,

a treasure I never dreamed
was deserved.

A masterpiece,

that magnificent and that simple.