(Poem) Too Dark My Darling This Dementia by Phibby Venable

I meant to say good morningPhibby Mother pic.jpg

but a gray fox crossed my eyes

in a crazed gait toward nightfall

How could I sleep knowing

the day had been stolen

My eyes gritty with darkness

I walked all night to prove

it was really day

There was a banquet of delirium

and rivers of new wine spilling

into my youth

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Phibby Venable

Phibby Venable

View all posts by Phibby Venable.

Phibby Venable lives on the line separating the Blue Ridge and the Appalachian Mountains. She has authored six books of poetry, a book of short stories, and one novel. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, she works in animal rescue, human rights, and photography. She was awarded The Virginia Water Project Award, for helping low income families receive indoor plumbing and home repairs, and for working to drill wells & provide waterlines to small Appalachian communities. Nominated for the Virginia governor’s award for volunteer excellence.

(Poem) A Small Woman by Phibby Venable


Wildflowers by Phibby Venable

my eyes stray from the patient I am with
to the one in a chair across the hall
short, puffy, silent – alone, the nurse whispers
to a nurse nearby
a small woman with tousled steel colored curls
waiting for open heart surgery and blinking
occasionally at the wall
I can tell you she is too small, too alone,
too frightened in her chair, a monotone
of being alone
and the next day too – it’s the same
sitting in her chair by the door
now holding a heart pillow, being told to press,
cough and press,
and she does so, she stays alive –
maybe she wonders why – but still, so obedient
to the requests of the nurse
her eyes living in distant fields
that I long to fill
with gentle family and wildflowers

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(Poem) Invitation by Phibby Venable


Monica Woodard

I saw your sheets waving at a cloud
and knew you were home
Always inside canning something
you hope will bring you color in winter
A sterilized jar lid between your teeth
Your lips pursed into a grimace
that could have been a snarl
but only indicated a lack of enough hands

to boil, stir, pour, and cap

There is never enough time for anything
I saw that once in a fallen star
and in a wild night

when the wind blew the branches

into a straight out comb-back

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(Poem) Break Out Woman by Phibby Venable

PV break out woman with color

Art by Victor Hernández

I was framed and imprisoned for being a good woman.
I broke out when I found it was a lifetime sentence.
I want to write a raging man & not put a woman thru it
Most women are stronger than they seem
and weaker than they appear
Being bad is the only good thing most women have.
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(Book Announcement 3) She Rises: Why Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality by Helen Hwang

[Note: She Rises Vol 1 has been published June Solstice, 2015.]

She Rises Book Reviews include the following:

“There are many contributors with names you may be familiar with, such as Carol Christ, Starhawk, Barbara Daughter, Vicki Noble, Max Dashu. Other excellent contributors will be new to you, but you may find yourself looking for more of their work. I feel honored to be included in such illustrious company. The articles are short, so they can be read over a long time period….though you might find it hard to put the book down. I was touched by how often the names Mary Daly, Merlin Stone, Marija Gimbutas, and Monica Sjoo appeared in this volume, and it seemed to me that these early pioneers were also contributing through other women.

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(Equinox poem) I Thought The Morning Crowed by Phibby Venable with art by Maria Arias

Alex Arias roosterfinabcI thought the morning crowed
a long sad repetition
from behind the hills
but it later became a rooster –
so much smaller than his sound
I was born in the Spring
A small, brown radio played
on a corner shelf – my mother
danced her way through breakfast
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(Poem & Art) Power to Women, Jealous Jack by Phibby Venable with art by Victor Hernández

Victor's drawing for Jealous Jack

Art by Victor Hernández

Morning, and a chandelier of snow hangs heavy
over the tin of Jack’s barn.
He leans into the doorway, watching his house.
From here, he can see the chimney spew
the gray enthusiasm of a fresh fire.
Inside, she is pressing double handed
into the white bowl on the table.
Her hands squeeze,
knead and press,
into the soft dough.
He imagines it is the same softness
as his fist feels on her face

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