J. K. Winters: Poetry (Western Voices 2021)

Bio: Over the years J.K.Winters has been a teacher of writing, literature and psychology. Along the way, some of her own fiction, poetry and articles have been published in literary publications, professional journals and online. She has also written a full-length play, “Midsummer Nights’ Spell,” which was produced in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2017. Email her at jkwintersauthor@gmail.com





I am the maven of metaphor

playing with blocks—the mental kind.

Living in a swirl of synchronicities,

words dart around like fish

in an aquarium too small for pauses.

This is no time for mauve:

the deer stands in shadow

at the foot of a vermillion sky.

Semi-trucks burp along the highway

mimicking my emotional flatulence.

Night growls, and smelling expectation,

smacks its lips as Panic dances the apocalypse.

Silence turns brittle, a profane parody.

What is trying to happen to me?

Beneath my aloneness there is no abyss,

for I have driven off the map into exotic territory.

I have seen the architecture of the other side

—the now and the not-yet.

Image morphs into metaphor and I find

I am the poet of my own path.





On a butter-browned bagel, I would seek to finagle

some bacon-glazed berries—and other contraries—

bursting with flavor. Still, choices cause me to waver:

Why not fill my belly with green apple jelly,

wafting a hint of mint, on a doughnut, decadent?

But what would really put me in the zone,

is a sassy-singing, starfruit scone.

Oh hell! I’m just going to risk it and opt for a biscuit,

slathered with strawberry sage (now all the rage).

No! fragrant fig jam, spread over ham or

possibly piquant pear and pepper preserves, which deserves,

I’m afraid, an accolade, along with mango muffins marmalade.

Wait! What I’m craving most is cranberry compote on toast.

O.K. I’ve made up my mind with something not hard to find:

Just give me instead a PB&J between two slices of bread.





While peacemakers propose palaver,

unseen, unheard and unloved, terrorists tiptoe,

hostile and hopeless,

through murky worlds of weapons and war.

“I belong, you belong, he and she belong.

We all belong, you all belong, they all belong…”

But they don’t, really.

Alienated, disrespected,

they continue to hurl grenades, guerilla-style,

into unexpectant crowds. Their bloodied victims


cry out,


Hope pauses, sniffs the air,

then retreats in the face of ignominy.


While arbiters bargain, barter and beseech,

no one thinks to observe that we all have gardens—

and that one of us could ask,

“What do you grow in yours?”


  1. Excellent wordsmithing-- the alliterative leaps are precious.

  2. I love this collection!
    - growing self-discovery
    - clever & fun, dancing humor
    - powerful connection of simple humanity

  3. Thank you. Love "alliterative leaps"!


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