why write?

I have to write what I hear in my head, what I dream in my sleep, what my bones ache to express.

My poems tell stories of strength, love, regret, disobedience, loss, hope, redemption, and whatever whispers to you.

—Cindy B. Stevens

Books Available

My first collection of poetry, Naked, is available for $12.00 at http://mainstreetragbookstore.com/product/naked-cindy-stevens/


For local readers, books are also available at:

Purple Crow Books in Hillsborough, NC

The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, NC



27 December 2019

before

“before” is a simple, five stanza poem; sharing the first and last stanzas:

while in the womb
how can it be
that God knew me
before

. . . 

knows me coming
knows me going
how can it be
that God knew me
before

© 13 December 2019
Cindy B. Stevens

#know #womb #breath #thought #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #NC

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21 December 2019

flesh and blood

Here are the second and next to last stanzas of “flesh and blood”.  The entire poem is in Naked, © 2018, Main Street Rag Publishing Company.

my day stretches out with its guarantee of apathy
I see pain-etched faces akin to old window glass
I watch the heavy, summer wind blow my hat
from one end to the other on the rear window car ledge
like my unanchored belief
 

if I follow my path
I’ll arrive at the manger
in the dark, alone
with only donkeys and goats
for company

© 2018       Cindy B. Stevens



#pain #manger #dark #path #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #NC

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15 December 2019

bare skin

I wanted a Christmas poem to share with you, ten days prior, and decided on “bare skin”, which appears, in its entirety, in Naked, © 2018, Main Street Rag Publishing Company.  Here are the first and last three stanzas of this melancholic poem:

I feel his bare skin pressed against mine
intimate
snuggle in soft sheet luxury
on a cold, no alarm, Saturday morning

. . . 

lights are on
fire’s laid
it’s a full moon Christmas

I fill my glass
practice the art of the dunk
air bubbles shoot to surface and pop
I scoop the chocolate chip cookie chunk from my milk

Santa died
it’s hard to sleep

© 2018       Cindy B. Stevens

#Intimate #Melancholy #Christmas #Santa #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #NC

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09 December 2019

I make change

Here’s the first stanza of “I make change”:

I’m a fallen angel
                                    in my laced-up
                                    buckled
                                    zippered
                                    burnt-orange
                                    knee-high leather
                                    boots, I walk
past the greeter towards the third pew

© Cindy B. Stevens
7 October 2016


#angel #fallen #wings #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #AmEditing #NC

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03 December 2019

I cope

“I cope” speaks of needs and acceptance; here are seven lines:


pain grinds me like a coffee bean
I need escape
need a brew

I wait
watch
want
light

© Cindy B. Stevens
21 July 2017


#coffee #touch #light #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #AmEditing #NC

Photo credit:  charl-durand-_YVhRwUlL4Y-unsplash

27 November 2019

breathe on me

Three lines of an eight line poem, “breathe on me”:

I like when he stands behind me


breathes on my neck
scruff scratches smooth

© 25 August 2019
Cindy B. Stevens

#breath #smooth #curve #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #AmEditing #NC

Photo credit:  marcelo-matarazzo-eoll6jVrEM0-unsplash

21 November 2019

after the wedding

Here are the first two and last two lines of “after the wedding”, an eleven line poem:

a black dress woman undresses the brides
in front of the windows beside a red light

they’re stiff and they’re stoic
they can’t see with their eyes

© 21 September 2019
Cindy B. Stevens

#bride #tulle #silk #satin #lace #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #NC

Photo credit:  dan-lefebvre-J-3b5sj4yIE-unsplash

15 November 2019

fishing

“fishing” is a short poem; I’m sharing five lines:

I want to be a caught fish
a found sheep
I want a new name
a new life
new eyes

© 18 October 2019
Cindy B. Stevens

#new #name #Jesus #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #AmEditing #NC

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09 November 2019

a domestic engineer

Here are three stanzas from “a domestic engineer”, which has been finished for a while and will be in my next collection:

Home-Ec taught that cakes fall
make it perfect
smooth frosting over cracks
slather more over the German chocolate
until it stands prize worthy

I try to escape while I iron
a button-up starched shirt waves its arms
makes demands from the counter
towers over the ironing board
I soothe the yoke
careful to not scorch the starch, I run steam over wrinkles
they scream and hiss

refrigerator tosses salad greens
cork bits float in red wine
supper has done its prep-time when
the train whistles from the driveway
a clatter of boots at the back door
his eyebrows frown below his forehead drawn with lines
I stay for eyes that dare me to leave

© 5 November 2017
Cindy B. Stevens

#domestic #anger #eggshells #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #AmEditing #NC

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03 November 2019

my daughter; Jessica; infant casket

In May of this year, I posted a few lines from “infant casket”.  It’s been revised and I’m sharing again, preceded with portions of “my daughter” and “Jessica”.  These poems form a trio in my new collection.

One stanza from “my daughter”:

she helps me from the table
hem pins prick my legs
as I leave the room
Mama says
“I hope you have a daughter
just like you”.

© Cindy B. Stevens
23 July 2017


Two stanzas from “Jessica”, which was published in The Phoenix, Issue 60 © 2019, literary journal published annually through Pfeiffer University:

birth pain kidnapped me
but I wouldn’t scream
she emerged
from my cloud
silent

in my dream Jessica’s five years old
she laughs
plays with her angels
tilts her head back
fastens her eyes
on me
two days prior to yesterday


A few lines from “infant casket”:

two men carry a princess through the crowd
she wears her only pink dress
my groundskeeper carries a ladder
hedge clippers
I gaze over my manicured hedge
covet
a wild rose who doesn’t belong to me

© 29 June 2019
Cindy B. Stevens

#Daughter #Death #Funeral #Angels #AmEditing #BeWriting #AmWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IloveWriting #LoveWriting #IGpoet #IGpoetry #Poet #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetLife #PoetryLover #WriterLife #WritersOfInstagram #WritersOfIG #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #Wordsmith #WritersNetwork #Write #Writing #Hillsborough #NC

Photo credit:  Cindy B. Stevens

28 October 2019

Mama's humor


a stanza from “Mama’s humor”

I forget what my humor sounds like
before I was shot to death
before I couldn’t resuscitate
these days, I forget those anniversaries
sometimes I forget the tragedies
most times I forget how to joke
and I don’t remember what my laugh sounds like
 
© 2 August 2019
Cindy B. Stevens

#laugh #life #cry #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #AmEditing #NC

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22 October 2019

Lucifer says



a glimpse of “Lucifer says”

resurrection binds my hands
my wrists burn with dawn
prophesy chafes my bones

I’m a bird’s cry
I harmonize piano melody
I come from an open door where David sings his blues
he pours out his soul
it sparkles like scotch in a tumbler

every and each changed tide
blows my flame
tickles my heart
I recognize the gritty love of
Bethlehem
here, breathe my sulfur

© 27 April 2019
Cindy B. Stevens

#mercy #sulfur #Lucifer #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #AmEditing #NC

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16 October 2019

liquid

a portion of “liquid”

surrounded by bricks and wrought-iron
I cultivate secrets
stockpile seedlings
acquire heirlooms

but fragrant Wisteria strangles
my Hawthorn hedge integrity and
Silver Maple roots breach my wall

© 14 November 2017
Cindy B. Stevens

#distribute #garden #wall #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #AmEditing #NC

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10 October 2019

praying for drought

here are the first and last stanzas from another recent poem, “praying for drought”, that I imagined on 1 March with the line “he builds a nest in the rain”; it wouldn’t leave me alone during March or July, and has agonizingly finalized itself:

I don’t think god cared I kept my absent parent fears locked
inside my diary
hidden in my closet, because
god didn’t speak up
and rain came
most every afternoon
it tried to drown my ivy


I don’t remember when
the rain
stopped
I don’t want to remember
the rain

© 2 August 2019
Cindy B. Stevens

#rain #fear #roots #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #AmEditing #NC

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04 October 2019

found


this poem, “found”, began as a rambling piece, and here are four lines of the nine remaining lines of certainty:


Jesus tells me I’m not as lost as I think

salvation is not in my reflection

my voice

head

© 16 August 2017
Cindy B. Stevens

#reflect #found #certain #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #AmEditing #NC

Photo credit: maxime-valcarce-mAj8xn5zXsk-unsplash

28 September 2019

my thunder







sharing one stanza of “my thunder”, a brief lyric poem:





thunder
scares me
wraps my brittle bones
black kettledrum
crashes
splinters my smoking door

© 23 July 2017
Cindy B. Stevens

#smoke #concrete #bones #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #AmEditing #NC

Photo credit:  marcelo-leal-zV02p9_MDr8-unsplash

22 September 2019

collateral damage


This poem, “collateral damage”, took me almost four years to complete.  It started in 2013, then I had to leave it alone for three years, before taking it back in 2016.  Here are three stanzas:

some secrets damage
community
family
relationship
me

I’m no priest
I didn’t want to hear Rodney’s trembled voice confess his sordid secret
seek absolution

he dumped it on me
I went home
showered
the secret wouldn’t drain
to the septic system

© Cindy B. Stevens
23 July 2017

#secret #confess #casket #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #AmEditing #NC

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16 September 2019

if I tell you



only the middle stanza of a recently written poem, “if I tell you”, which was inspired and completed in two weeks, 1 day; somewhat unusual for me as a poet:

if I tell you that my dreams
my off somewhere, that my
nightmares have become real, then
my shadows have sanctioned their shadows
to slaughter my sleep

© 2 August 2019
Cindy B. Stevens

#holy #funeral #pistol #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #AmEditing #NC

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10 September 2019

a metal me

a few lines from “a metal me”:


I rip me open

I’m exposed, except for Elijah’s mantle that spills over me

like a surgical drape


should I wait?

should I leave?

should I pray?

© 2 August 2019
Cindy B. Stevens

#metal #leave #stenosis #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #AmEditing #NC

Photo credit:  brannon-naito-RER6g2wvEyw-unsplash

04 September 2019

indigo beach

I’m sharing three lines from “indigo beach”, a concise poem:

my sand-washed mind

moon dominated

it lures my twilight

© 20 July 2018
Cindy B. Stevens

 #moon #indigo #twilight #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #AmEditing #NC

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29 August 2019

ode to frontal disclosure

An Ode:  two stanzas of “ode to frontal disclosure”:

I count your colors
on my three hands
your pinks are blush whispers
volcano hot reds

yellow daisies in sunshine
sapphires and sky blues
you are rich mocha
cappuccino smooth

© Cindy B. Stevens
6 January 2017

#color #texture

Photo credit:  ferdinand-feng-2RAt2zMoHqU-unsplash

23 August 2019

messy

My poem, “messy” tells a sordid story and I’ll share two stanzas:

I like tight sheets
clean sheets
crisp sheets
I like fresh-from-the-line smelling sheets
I shouldn’t lie on these sheets

dread heats my jittery bones
my pores whisper smoke, shiver flame
hair singes and curls
my skin crackles
feet track soot through his bedroom to his bed
where I want to lie
burrow in a cover with his cat

© 16 June 2019
Cindy B. Stevens

#crisp #soot #debris #AmWriting #BeWriting #BookLove #Bookworm #Dream #IGpoet #IGpoetry #IloveWriting #Inspiration #LoveWriting #Poet #PoetLife #Poetry #PoetryBlog #PoetryLover #Reading #Write #WriterLife #WritersCommunity #WritersCorner #WritersNetwork #WritersOfIG #WritersOfInstagram #Writing #Wordsmith #AmEditing #NC

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17 August 2019

foggy bottom



Okay, I’ll lighten up a bit with one stanza of “foggy bottom”, a three-stanza rhyming poem (which I don’t often write) and a bit sweeter than my usual:







Fog has gathered over morn, revokes its blessing on the storm
that left the night with dewy gloom, ablution hidden from the moon.

© Cindy B. Stevens
20 July 2018

#fog #storm #daffodils

Photo credit:  andrea-tummons-epV802g5T7A-unsplash

11 August 2019

cloud burst

This poem, “cloud burst”, is short and I’ll share three lines:

 
I house a cloud

it floats me

it siphons my light like sun draws moisture

© 7 January 2019
Cindy B. Stevens

#cloud #light #siphon


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