The World According to Poetry #12 by Stephanie Miller

First Love
By Stephanie Wood Miller © 2019 


She fills my whole horizon

Looking at those bottomless brown eyes

I know in some sacred self-secret place

That I will never love like this again

Ordinary boundaries

Skin, bone, souls

Lightly breached

We are one unknowable creation

Wholly understanding and understood

I touch the magically soft skin of her nose

Hot, moist breath against the cool air

A bolt of sheer terror shoots through my veins

I take the pommel and bounce light into the saddle

Surprised by how warm and smooth it is

Peering down the straight line of her neck

The world framed between her alert ears

Sitting erect

I have never been so high

Or seen so much

We experience the immutable union

Of horse and rider

The long and longed for moment has arrived

I take the reins 

Give her a gentle kick with my heel

And we are off

My heart throbs

Then gallops

Put to the meadow

Under the stars 

And out into the wide, wild world



Derby Poems
By Stephanie Miller

BYOP by Stephanie Miller

Bring Your Own Prompt. Find a picture that inspires you. Pick something from a magazine or search the web. Explore that box in the back of the closet with the family pictures you never look at or ask someone to send you a picture for inspiration. Explore the mystery of all the elements in background or make up a back-story. 

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The World According to Poetry #11 by Stephanie Miller

Desert Party
By Stephanie Wood Miller © 2019 


High on the curves of Mulholland Drive

Flickering veins of lights

Radiate out

Stop abruptly at the ocean

That laps up against the arid coast

A false promise that doesn’t quench our thirst

Good wine, catered small portions

Pass among them

Beautiful, white teeth

Tennis bracelets, silky hair

Turnaround and development deals

And always jeans and tans

Hope and rejection

Fear and promise

And all the time begging you to

Like me

Use me

Want me

I won’t be real 

Until my name rolls through the dark

Seen only by cast-off popcorn bags and empty soda cups

Derby Poems
By Stephanie Miller

Cat Talks to Dog. Dog Talks to Cat. by Stephanie Miller

Try your hand at an old-fashioned comic strip. Add your own words to the bubble. Is it funnyor ironic? Switch up the form and make it serious. Add your own characters or use the blank pages to create your own comic strip. Invent new visual clues for readers. Try creating your own visual lexicon for your comic strip, create your own emoticons or icons. CLICK READ MORE TO SEE THE ACCOMPANYING IMAGE.

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The World According to Poetry #10 by Stephanie Miller

Damaged Goods

By Stephanie Wood Miller © 2019 


She thought of it as magic

The way he fixed her toys

Like a modern day Jesus

He restored Larry the Lion’s voice when he was struck dumb
Relit the red nose of Cavity Sam

And regenerated the broken legs of her statue horses

All with exquisite skill

She sometimes wished things would break

Just to conjure a new miracle

She knew her stoic father loved her 

When he fixed her toys

Then she grew older

And learned it wasn’t magic

Just engineering

She wondered what she would have to break

To know he loved her now

Derby Poems
By Stephanie Miller

Cookie or Asteroid? by Stephanie Miller

It’s all about your perception. Think about the way you shape what you see with your opinion or how you look for clues in the context. Does your mind get fixed on an idea so that you can’t see things another way? CLICK READ MORE TO SEE THE ACCOMPANYING IMAGE.

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The World According to Poetry #9 by Stephanie Miller

By Stephanie Wood Miller © 2019 



He has grown intimate with the truth

In all its splendid remnants

Bleeding on the sidewalk



Hewed and dismembered

They always have a name, a cause, a religion

His eyes have grown tired

His heart paper-thin

Still, he knows the truth when it flits past

And lights nearby

He admires it

Captures it

Puts a pin through its heart

And presents it in an elegant frame

For the Record

Luminous black on blinding white

Its magnificent wings

Will lose their sheen and color


And eventually turn to dust

Lost in the oblivion of apathy and amnesia




She toys with the truth

Gently molding it

To match taste and ratings

Catching the wave as it rises and crests

She churns out her words

In the dozens, hundreds, thousands and millions

And waits for them to echo

Inside her Lilliputian realm

She knows she has found her heading

When her words return amplified and embellished

Then she unchains the “truth”

And allows it roam


Like rabies among children

From her lavish throne

She watches as her day’s work

Flickers and reverberates across the screen 

Careless to its cost or consequence

Remembered, repeated, and retained

By those who fear the truth

Derby Poems
By Stephanie Miller

The World According to Poetry #8 by Stephanie Miller

Confessions of a Barren Woman
By Stephanie Wood Miller © 2019 


You may have forgotten

How it feels

To sleep in until to you wake

Or take a trip on the spur of the moment


You may have forgotten

The silence on Sunday morning

Finishing a sentence

Or reading a book without interruption

You may find it shocking 

To do laundry once a week

Or dishes once a day

Or shop for food without a list


You may have lost your ability

To treat yourself to a spa night

Or eat ice cream for dinner

Or see a movie that doesn’t star a princess or a robot


You may have stopped dreaming

About writing a novel

Or traveling to India

Or cycling the coast of California


You may envy me

The careless freedom of my life

I may envy you 

The poignant smile

As your daughter swings higher in park

As your chest rises to shout for your fleet, running son

But I wouldn’t trade with you 

If I am barren

Then you perhaps on overgrown

And neither one us can weight our lives

On another woman’s scale


Derby Poems
By Stephanie Miller

What Are You Afraid Of? by Stephanie Miller

Think about the monsters under the bed. The bump in the night. The unspoken terror. The thing you’re afraid might happen or won’t happen. Who is in your Monster Hall of Fame? Add your own monsters or cage this one. CLICK READ MORE TO SEE THE ACCOMPANYING IMAGE.

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The World According to Poetry #7 by Stephanie Miller


By Stephanie Wood Miller © 2019 


Safe, suspended here

In my cozy cocoon

Against your other world

What I know and knew

In my bed, my house, my only

Don’t hear

Don’t see

Won’t be you

Or drink your unthinkable dread

From this blind house

Won’t give in 

Until you cut the silken cord that binds me


Derby Poems
By Stephanie Miller

Find Your Way in or Out? by Stephanie Miller

Are you trying to find your way in or your way out? Is there something to be gained by escaping? Or something to gain by finding a way in? Try navigating through this maze or use it to create a pattern. Use the space to make your own maze. Write something about a puzzle or needing a clue. Explore not knowing which way to turn. CLICK READ MORE TO SEE THE ACCOMPANYING IMAGE.

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The World According to Poetry #6 by Stephanie Miller

Chocolate Candy
By Stephanie Wood Miller © 2019 


I reach for sweet, slick, dark


While I sleep

Because when I am awake

It never tastes as good

As in my dreams —

As a remembered cup of coffee

In a train station in Switzerland

A hot, buttered sweet roll

In grandma’s sunny kitchen

All seem better than any

Here or now.

In my memory, and my dreams

They fill the empty hole

The deep, down place

That has never been filled

Can never be filled 

The hunger that gnaws at me 


And never finishes its meal

Even if I offer it candy

Instead of me.

Derby Poems
By Stephanie Miller

The Seed and The Blossom by Stephanie Miller

The bloom never knows the seed, and yet the seed proceeds from the blossom. Think about the cycle of life. The necessity of death and birth, destruction and rebirth. Is there a seed in your life that hasn’t bloomed yet? Perhaps you can draw what’s underground or the wilted blooms of the fall . Write a story about the unfulfilled promise or the bloom of success. CLICK READ MORE TO SEE THE ACCOMPANYING IMAGE.

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The World According to Poetry #5 by Stephanie Miller

Children’s Hospital
By Stephanie Wood Miller © 2019 


Her children

Circle round her

Like bees around their dying queen

Uncertain what lies beyond serving her

She will not forgive them

For all they have taken from her

Her money, her time, her freedom

Her figure!

She has lived all of life

Fists clenched

Jaws set

The hard, negative charge

At the center of their meager universe

She dispenses her vemom

In measured doses

Enough to poison

But never kill

Even death won’t blunt her jagged edges

With her last breath

She exhales her final bitter legacy

They bicker

And worry their tattered love


Lost without a center

To focus their tired rage

Derby Poems
By Stephanie Miller
Derby Poems
By Stephanie Miller

The World According to Poetry #4 by Stephanie Miller

Bury the Cat
By Stephanie Wood Miller © 2019 


My husband has prepared the hole

Square, small

Damp and deep

I knew, of course, that we would have to bury him

But now that the moment has arrived

I can’t put him so deep down

In the cold

I can’t leave him here

He was my friend

He slept with me

While I recovered from surgery

Licked me with his warm, rough tongue

Purred in my lap on winter nights

Cried for me in hunger and pain

We lower him to his last lair

Cover him with wet, black soil

So many graves yet to come

So much larger

So much deeper