Little Woman.

He looked at her and worried,

that he had judged incorrectly,

his heart afraid to confess.

She felt a little stirring

something was occuring.

He felt a tiny fear

and gave voice to his worry.

“I have nothing to give you, 

my hands are empty”

She smiled and with great knowing

placed her hands in his..

and whispered her hearts deep secret

“They are not empty now!”


I know defeat, 

I have fallen. 

I know pain, 

I have hurt.

I know fear, 

I have quivered.

I know loss, 

I have ached.

but with each feeling

comes a truth

that no dark day could measure

infinate lessons that create

a blinding light devine. 

I know joy, 

I have created.

I know passion, 

I have loved.

I know peace, 

I have rested.

I know faith, 

I have been blessed.

Winter walk..

I trace a pattern in the snow

with fingers cold but happy

I greet the light and squint my eyes

drawn by what delights me.

Catch a bit of cheer in  a cup

Jack Frost tweaks my nose

and I am enfolded gently

by flakes of gentle thought

that never ceases drifting

making smooth and clean

that which was rocky

and held away with mocking. 

Who can resist the winter snow

calling with a whisper?

Reminding of inner truth,

while the outer winds blow 

and quiver.

deep, long, true.

If I were given the right

I would claim your lips for mine

and whisper words sweet and fine

against those tender fellows.

If I were given promise

I’d hold those eyes quite closely

because I love them mostly

for the intelligence they reveal.

If I were given freely

I would wrap you quite securely

in arms that do not threaten

but free with tender knowing.

If I were given sweetly

I’d caress your cheeks completely

with whispers of happy friendship

and committed grace sublime.

Give without reservation

that which you fear to share

and I will return the trust

with  abiding love and care.

Finding peace

Breathe, just breathe

don’t stop to ponder

or your heart might just wander

into a place most vulnerable

and emeshed in shadow.

don’t stop to wonder

about the doubt you’re under

taking dainty steps of focus

blowing cobwebs from your mind.

lie down and picture

a life without a fixture

a cold water tap

turned decisively off

as a shadow dogs those steps.

Lean back and trust

in beams that will not bust

though a heart may fall to dust

it is never once forgotten.

Breathe, Just breathe

silent companion

he walks silently beside me

offering bits of conversation

as we amble our way among the trees

asking them for their stories

as they offer up their leaves

for souvenirs. 

he looks me over contemplating

the things he longs to say

but is uncertain of speaking.

I watch his gaze travel

the things he finds intriquing

making my thinking blossom

into thoughts all of my own.

We share a smile of understanding

uncluttered, undemanding,

just two souls at rest and walking

along the sundrenched path.

I reach out and cup his palm 

pretend I am simply handing

him a clever leaf

when secretly, I am wanting

to feel the warmth of his palm

for just a moment

contact with something precious

and illusive in it’s beauty.

his love is a quiet whisper

as he walks beside me daily

a ghost who speaks hushed insight

and endless pockets of gentleness.

Play me rhythm

I get the blues

so I turn on the blues

a little jazz runs it’s fingers over my spine

and I shudder under its deep emotion

making my heart throb

and beat

while drifting silent

with my eyes closed

so that sleep may take me

into effervecent playgrounds

with wonderous luscious music

that spins my heart

like a top

that doesn’t stop

until it is truly contented.

ask not. see not.

ask me not who I am

for I just might answer

and most do not have that much patience.


ask me not why I act this way

for I just may show you

and most are to dignified to join me.


ask me not why I am smiling

for I just may love you

and most are to uncertain to accept


ask me not why, for I may cry

in trying to make you see me

only those who know can know


ask me not, unless you’re sure

you want to take a lesson

in being someone slightly tilted.


Shoulders braced for silence
hair embracing back
wondering as I ponder
what is this thing they lack?

Zippered lips so funny.
Twisted bulge of fat.
Like a sweeping river,
my brain sits like a hat.

Timers on a pedestal,
falling upside down.
Why do I often chuckle,
while you can only frown?

Wrinkled knees delight me.
Miles of healthy skin.
Why does this heart remind me,
of who I have always been?

You see a man who is aging,
who has but little time to stay,
while I see someone with a twinkle,
a gentle mind at play.

Who is right among you,
who is truer still,
you who see what has ended,
or I who see a need to fill?

I embrace you gently,
enfold you in my power,
in this way I make you free,
opening like a flower.

G.M. Palmer interview

September 3, 2008
G.M. Palmer
Check out Michael’s magazine here

1) What is the name of your Poetry blog? Why did you choose this particular name?

Strong Verse. The name of the blog comes from the poetry magazine I edit — Orson Scott Card (the publisher) and I picked Strong Verse as a name because we wanted to focus on poetry that is proud to be poetry — that is clear and resonant and, of course, strong.

2) When did you first start writing, what made you feel the need to express yourself in this way?

I first started writing poetry when I was fifteen. I stole an eleventh-grade literature book that someone left in my high school hallway. I remember reading Prufrock, In a Station of the Metro, Erat Hora, The River Merchant’s Wife, and Blackberrying and being changed. Before I found that book I was just a smart kid who wanted to teach or be a biologist. After I read those poems, I was a poet.

3) What types of poems do you find yourself writing most? Do you have a recurring type?

I began to be drawn to form in the late 1990s. Since working with some urban slam poets around 2002 I’ve written exclusively in meter. I’m not bound to rhyme, although it has its uses, but there is really no excuse for not having metrics in a poem — if you want your poetry to sound good out loud (and all poetry should), rhythm is the way to go.

4) What kind of work are you most drawn to reading yourself? Do you find yourself reading work similar to your own, or completely different?

Although I like “difficult poetry” like Pound’s Cantos, the poetry I most enjoy is more oceanic — open to all but full and deep. Dante, of course, is the exemplar but there are modern poets I love too — Notley’s Alette is a great run and I’m currently fascinated by the work of Gabriel Spera.

5) Have you ever been published? If so where, if not do you plan to submit your work at some point?

Chelsea, the Loch Raven Review, Roger, and Ezra.

6) Name the 3 poems you are most proud of writing, the ones that you personally cannot forget?

1779: Blood (a revolutionary war epic), Palm Sunday, and The Rest (both of which are at

7) Do you find that readers like different poems then your own favorites? Name your top 3 most read poems.

I’ve found “The Rest” cribbed on other folks’ websites, so I suppose that’s a popular one.

8 Do you also write short stories or pieces of literature? Which do you find yourself drawn to the most often?

I write a lot of narrative poetry but have exactly no talent at prose-writing.

9) Some poets are also active in other creative areas, what are some of you favorite non-poetry or literature activities?

I play the gee-tar and I sing (and have sung in Carnegie Hall — albeit as part of a choir). I would like to be a good 2-d artist but I am not.

10 Poets tend to have favorite poets they visit often, can you suggest someone readers might enjoy checking out?

Besides Dante, Eliot, and Plath? Like I said above, Gabriel Spera is just fantastic. I would also recommend David Mason, Jennifer Reeser, and Mary Oliver.

11) Many poets have different methods for their writing, some write on paper and then transmit to the blog, others type their work out in word and then transfer it. What is your
preferred writing method?

I write everything out longhand and then type it up. If it needs further editing, I print it out triple-spaced and edit longhand.

12) Poets are from all over the world, where do you hail from?

I am from North and Central Florida.

13) They say that to see the world with complete honesty one should look to comedians, artists and poets, what do you think emerges naturally from your work?

Honest stories.

14) Do you have one poem that you almost did not post due to it being so very personal? Did you post it after all? If so, please tell us about it.

“The Rest” is one of the only three poems that I’ve ever written in which I could be the speaker. But the poem that I almost didn’t post was Palm Sunday. Before the birth of my first child, I was terrified of the dangers inherent in childbirth. I sent Orson Scott Card the poem about a month before my daughter was born — he made me publish it because there was no way I could ever look at it again if something went wrong. Luckily everyone is still here and the poem is up on Strong Verse.

15) All poets have several words that come up over and over again, words or sentences that they just can’t help but use in their work. What are 3 of your absolute favorite words?

a, an, and the.

16) When I post my poems I have a habit of doing 3 at a time. Do you have a special ritual that you go through when preparing to write?

Not at all. It’s so rare that I have time to write that I have no time for rituals.

17) Name your 3 favorite historic poets. What about their work are you most drawn to? What about their work are you most inspired by?

Dante, Eliot, and Plath. Honesty of image, clarity of verse, strength of words.

18 If you were given the opportunity to get published and do book signings anywhere you wanted, what cities or countries would definitely be on your book tour?

The Italian Alps.

19) What style of poetry do you prefer? ( Freestyle, Rhyming, Haiku)

Longform metrical poetry. Traditional forms are great but not necessary.

20) Poets are often said to be eccentric, and I support that..please end this interview by creating 2 sentences poetic, strange or quietly profound..your choice.




G. M. Palmer

Editor, Strong Verse

pax et lux


he told her would take care of her

and offered her some jewelry

his hand possessively

placed upon her shoulder.


he called her baby

and patted her cheek

told her not to worry

her pretty little head

about such matters.


he glared in deep frustration

at other men who dared

look crossways or closer

at the one considered his.


and then one day

he called her up

and thought it all some error

the she did not answer

the ringing of the phone.

Portrait of a theory

Wicked his grin, that dazzles me
with the purity of his feeling
a spark, a flame, a clever quip
aimed delicately with subtle biting.

A pleasureable nip and slap
aimed affectionatly in places
that less brave men
would not dare to approach
with quite that daring glimmer,

executed with timing
that shows a secret wisdom
an unmeasurable intelligence.
That unrepressive diamond
from your ever searching eye

as I ponder, as I often do
the stupidity of other woman
who cannot see a rough gem
hiding in plain view. 

Wicked that grin that shines
from a photograph I see.
Shyly, he lifts his chin
and musters up the courage
to do and simply be.

Quiet strangers on a path..

I wait here with my faulty smile
my hands not quite clean and pure
my head tilted at an odd angle
from contemplating your navel.

I look and think of better vows
that unknowing people make
only to one day be glad
the loss is worth
the journey.

I see but one way out of here
with trembling lips and quiver
like an arrow I look straight
but shoot crookedly your way.

Speak in hushed voice
when you kiss me
for these are whispered prayers
sung by angels


Keeping an eye open for raindrops

to linger on my tongue

I tip my head and sweep my eye

ever for glimpse of sun.


I feel the wind on rooftops

the scenting of the sea

the wicked gust of rubber duck

there is no pleasing me.


I linger like a magpie

over silent thought

dusting off the chatter

to give a mournful cough


I sweep the world of cobwebs

that clutter up my brain

why is it I feel just fine

when clearly I am insane?

Walk Gently

Walk gently with this heart I love

walk softly while you wander

give it healthy bits of kiss

and simple joy to ponder

Give it messages of love

sent from the deepest level

shield it from the words that bite

and sympathy from the devil.

Tell a tale about the time

you found a blissful measure

treat it like the greatest gift

admire it like a treasure.

Walk gently with this heart I love

in all you do and see

for you must keep it safe and warm

until it comes home to me.