Tuesday 4 October 2022

Five Poems by Karen A VandenBos


Sometimes I Wish


We peer into the night to collect shooting

stars and gather around the fires held in

our aching hearts.


We are astonished to find how broken and

gutted we truly are, yet we still breathe.


We create pyramids of empty beer cans, a

shrine to the thirst in our souls.


We gather together as lost sheep holding

hands and take another sip for courage.


We feed our hunger and tango with anger

as we fuel ourselves with leftover sorrows.


We slap at all the things that bite and notice

how easily we can still bleed.


We visit the ghosts from our past seeking

answers and finding none we sweep the

ashes, looking for bones.


Sometimes I wish we were just dreaming.



Just Because


Pray for prayers for no reason, just because.

Tell the story about the time you watched the

mountains part the sky.

Reach for the lives you are not living and

dress them up like paper dolls.

Separate yourself from routine and draw a

new map.

Take the detour.

Abandon your rational mind and swim away

from shore.

Drive past the petrol station and step on the

gas, heading for empty.

Wrangle with the questions, follow the wind.

Get your fingers dirty and write poetry in the


Dig up dreams on the side of the road.

Align yourself with Jupiter and Mars.

Paint your nails the colour of loneliness.

Taste the infusion of jazz on whiskey drenched


Light the fire with the morning sun and sing

lullabies to your sorrow.

Make a commitment to getting lost.



Taste of Freedom


Thundering hooves colliding

with sand. Waves crashing to

the chime of freedom calling

as wine drenched candles drip

serendipity across a champagne



We raise a toast to Alice and

sip tea with the Mad Hatter

watching time run backwards.

We have let ourselves tumble

down the rabbit hole.


Everything known becomes

unravelled, fuelled by a drop

of acid and the brain moves

to a new rhythm.


A kaleidoscope of colours

explode behind melting eyes

and emotions taste raw, salty,

unfettered, alive.


We pick notes out of the air

and dance drunkenly under

a full bellied moon, twirling

to our own song.


Unlocking our dreams we

add nectar to a poem and

watch it brew. We twinkle

with stars, cascade with

waterfalls and erupt with



We let freedom take us where

we need to go, Hair unbound,

ribbons cast into the wind.

Riding painted ponies, running

with the rivers.



Blue Twilight


It is the hour of blue twilight

when I seat myself at an empty table

where I have an unobstructed view of

the parade of characters.


She enters the scene with her intricate

lace dress on long flamingo legs and

her chapeau tipped in the way of the

avant garde.


Delicate fingers circle the stem of her

wine glass and she sips Merlot with

her generously painted lips like a

hummingbird drinking sugar.


I watch as she lights a match to her

Gitanes and inhales, holding it in for

an extraordinarily long time before

exhaling her bitter thoughts.


The air smells like cheap perfume

and sweat as couples fuse together

waiting for what the night will bring

as the feral cats swagger between

legs and wait for scraps.


As stars begin to poke holes in the

darkness, I stand and raise a glass

to the ghosts who have gathered and

watch as the moon drips mozzarella

and glazes the terrace with love.



The Bitch of Boulder


I was born a rainbow.

Full moon of many faces.

Dancing in balance with the seasons

to alter my ego.


I created rivers out of the desert

and taught Monet to paint.

I danced Swan Lake to Aerosmith

and taught Mona Lisa how to smile.


I am the Bitch of Boulder.

They named the Badlands after me.

The sharpness of my tongue makes the

sound of fingernails on a chalkboard


Here the word mother isn't nice and

PMS is easy.


I've sat side by side with Virginia Woolf

and I wasn't afraid.

I travelled with Charley and showed Steinbeck

a few back roads that never made it on any map.


For whom does the bell toll?

I answered that for Ernest.

I also let Paul Revere in on a little secret.


With breasts that jut like the Tetons,

to howl at the moon is my right.

I can bring on global warming with a

belch and my breath sets the canyons

on fire.


My sneezes produce a gale force wind

that rearranges the landscape and causes

a solar eclipse.

The return of the ice age is near..




Once upon a time, Karen A VandenBos was born on a warm July morn in Kalamazoo, MI. Her youth was nourished by books and writing. When adulthood opened the door, she was detoured to working in health care for 30+ years and obtained her PhD in Holistic Health. She tumbled into the realm of retirement landing on her feet and was reunited with her creative spark. She can now be found contributing to three online writing groups where she
unleashes her imagination and trusts her pen to take her where she needs to go. 

Her writing has been published in The Ekphrastic Review, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Verse-Virtual, The Rye Whiskey Review and Sweetycat Press Anthologies. Some of her photographs have been published in Blue Heron Review.

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