The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Terri Guillemets
Archives — 2023

This page is the archive of my public writings and journals from 2023 — the good, the bad, the active and the retired. Some entries were originally untitled with a title added later. Anything that has been modified since original publication, even if just the title or one piece of punctuation, is marked with a 'revised' note. —tg

after a lifetime of doing almost nothing
but collecting words, now — here i am
finding that my life has become all about
that which cannot be expressed in words —
after a half-life of a burning desire to write
in order to find myself, suddenly i've found
an even more impassioned desire to write
by leaving that moulten shell behind, and
in this moment i know — silence is poetry
when the poet has nothing more to say

      TITLE:  Silence in the poet
      DATE:  2023 Jan 2

Silence is poetry

when the poet
has nothing more to say

      TITLE:  Silence in the poet
      DATE:  2023 Jan 2

January sundown —
I go out hoping for
spectacular colors
as we Arizonans are
accustomed to —

but tonight there is
just beautiful clear
simplicity of pale blue
sky with a streak of
soft alabaster clouds

it's okay, though —
I could never be
disappointed, with
this crisp cool air
and winter quiet —

I watch the edges
of tall palms wave
ever so gently —
and all else is still
save my beating heart

      TITLE:  Be still
      DATE:  2023 Jan 8
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα

reading in my cozy bed, ridiculously late
words begin to slur and rhymes, to blear
my eyelids fight me — like a heavyweight
goodnight, sweet sleepy zzzzzhakespeare

      TITLE:  Zzzzzhakespeare
      DATE:  2023 Jan 13

in this day and age
dealing with health insurance
worst disease of all

“All complaints about life today will be ignored unless they are submitted in the format of elegant haiku poetry.” —Dr. SunWolf

      TITLE:  $ick
      DATE:  2023 Jan 19
      NOTES:  senryu poem

she was wandering
completely lost —
yet on the path
the whole time

      TITLE:  Wondering
      DATE:  2023 Jan 20
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα


they say I am sensitive
and that I'm not tough —
enough.  but — I made
it this far — ain't I have?
amongst y'all, who are.

      TITLE:  Tough enough
      DATE:  2023 Feb 26

do not even need
to write poem about life
title says it all

      TITLE:  Threadbare chaos
      DATE:  2023 Mar 3
      NOTES:  senryu poem

Birds in the springtime —
daredevilish in their quest
songful in their survival —
weightless wings — heavy risk

      TITLE:  Fell swoop
      DATE:  2023 Mar 25
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα

my willpower has become
a fraction of what it was—
my sweet tooth is now
much greater than my resolve—
and the laboratory reports
that my blood glucose
no longer measures in
milligrams per deciliter—
but in sugar cubes squared

      TITLE:  Sugar shock
      DATE:  2023 Mar 26
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα

God completed my heart
then you finished it —
mortal combat style

      SOURCE:  freewriting typewriter poem
      DATE:  2023 Mar 26

Middle age is a heap of abandoned ideals.

      TITLE:  Lighten your load
      DATE:  2023 Mar 26
      AGE:  forty-freaking-nine


i feel like the real me
is in a bottle of beer
the beer inside is me
and inside i am beer

      TITLE:  Huzzah.
      SOURCE:  freewriting typewriter poem
      DATE:  2023 Jun 15
      STATUS:  tipsy

shards of memory
broken emotions —

is the fossil
of childhood —

growing up
many things —

      TITLE:  Fractal
      DATE:  2023 Jun 23

we can see the air
praying monk choking in orange
begging for clean breaths

      TITLE:  Phoenix skies
      DATE:  2023 Jun 23
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα
      NOTES:  senryu poem

lobotomy by sparrow beak
brain pecked full of dread
brimful society syrupy sweet
carelessness killing us dead
memoryvines creeping through
sockets of wasteland dreams

a humming vibration of stasis
stuck lid on boiling progress
jammed gears of regression—
a spinning orbiting rotation
would be movement at least

incessant click click click
of the going nowhere echoes
like fading robotic heartbeats
a constant why? why? why?
the most important question
that never even mattered
answerless, unanswerable

speedbumps of psychological
queries emerging like stones
in the body — stuck motion
mind eternally trying, failing
to write its story, click clack

bones, ligaments, thoughts
stutter sputter twitch to death
choking on ink overflowing
poems destined for somewhere
turned inward flooding nowhere

release my brain to infancy
for it is smothered with age

      TITLE:  Fixate
      DATE:  2023 Jul 11
      AGE:  forty-nine

but the science bears out
my catastrophic thinking

      TITLE:  CBT
      DATE:  2023 Jul 13
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα

our apocalypse
once in ultra slow motion
now on fast forward

      TITLE:  Accelerant
      DATE:  2023 Jul 13
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα
      NOTES:  climate change senryu

believing my wings were fragile and fractured
in my formidable forties, i abandoned flying—
approaching fifty, i know my wings are strong
they just cannot lift so many heavy anxieties—

      TITLE:  Liftoff
      DATE:  2023 Jul 13

Please don't let the heat
      melt all your hopes

Do not allow the world
      to enflame your anger

Keep a cool head and
      warmhearted spirit

Extinguish that cold-blooded
      scorched-earth temper

      TITLE:  Burned-out
      DATE:  2023 Jul 19
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα
      NOTES:  overnight low 97° F

the world we abuse
roasting us like marshmallows
in a fire we lit

      TITLE:  Inflame
      DATE:  2023 Jul 22
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα
      NOTES:  climate change senryu

watching birds splash in
morning-after rain puddles
cleanses my spirit

      TITLE:  Finally a bath!
      DATE:  2023 Jul 27
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα

phoenix monsoon storm
haboob isn't dirty word
it is dusty though

      TITLE:  Writing up a storm
      DATE:  2023 Jul 26
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα
      NOTES:  silly summer senryu

boom rustle tip tap
tippity clink rumble crack
whoosh whish shhh fade black

      TITLE:  Thunderstorm
      DATE:  2023 Jul 26
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα

monsoon winds tell tales
lightning dances thunder sings
rain is main event

      TITLE:  Opening night
      DATE:  2023 Jul 26
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα

a glance out into the night
you think you see a star
you get excited —
just another police helicopter
in the distance

      TITLE:  Big bright city
      DATE:  2023 Jul 29
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα

oh my gosh is that a star
in bright city sky?
nope! police helicopter

      TITLE:  City night
      DATE:  2023 Jul 29
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα
      NOTES:  senryu poem

full moon monsoon clouds
glow pale light through windy trees
parched leaves shadow dance

      TITLE:  It's a dry heat streak
      DATE:  2023 Jul 30
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα

freed pubescent girl
finally crawls out of time
into middle age

      TITLE:  Perimenopause
      DATE:  2023 Jul 30
      AGE:  forty-nine
      NOTES:  senryu poem

princess lightning reigned
it was a dark and stormy
knight to fall in love

      TITLE:  Storm story
      DATE:  2023 Jul 30
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα
      NOTES:  silly senryu

for the harsh heat wave
wet apologetic gift
from clouds to tree roots

      TITLE:  Monsoon love
      DATE:  2023 Jul 31
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα

now almonds are not vegan?
humans are deadly—
bee abuse must stop!
we are killing ourselves too.

      TITLE:  Sickening
      DATE:  2023 Jul 31

autumn leaves rustle
the tension out of me
on pleasant breezy days
sunlit gentle tree, i am
a ragdoll under your sway

      TITLE:  Entranced
      DATE:  2023 Aug 1
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα


America —
toxic profit
center of
the world

      TITLE:  $tate$  unIted
      DATE:  2023 Aug 10

it is raining!
no, not water
from clouds
but dead leaves
from july trees

scorched by
a brutal heat
too sunburnt
to evergreen
falling, fallen
brittle brown
leafy teardrops
raining down
the dry warm
forlorn face of
mother earth

      TITLE:  Ravish
      DATE:  2023 Aug 20
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα

in nature i am
water in the breeze
going with the flow

in society i thrash
every cell halting
resistance grows
i become boulder
thrown off cliffs
accelerating through
no choice of my own
landing hard
splitting open
shattering into
everything wrong

      TITLE:  Rippling
      DATE:  2023 Aug 20
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα

sunset casts shadows
yet we see only colors
and glorious light

      TITLE:  Westerly
      DATE:  2023 Aug 20
      AGE:  forty-nine
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα
      NOTES:  middle-age senryu

Don't judge this online book by its cover
Despite a retro look and tiny typography
It has better quotations than any other
And that's not a brag, it's true—literarily.

      TITLE:  The Quote Garden, 2023
      DATE:  2023 Aug 22

how the nighttime looks
during a power outage
is how night should look

      TITLE:  Dark thoughts
      DATE:  2023 Aug 31
      LOCATION:  PҺoenᎥᶍ ArᎥɀønα
      NOTES:  light pollution senryu

watching over the shoulder of patience
studying how he does his work

      TITLE:  Re-learning at 49
      DATE:  2023 Sep 3

i am naked and spinning
unmasked and repenting
wasn’t i just fourteen
mere unwound hours ago
i breathed, i sang
a lyric or two, loudly
in my quiet voice —
cycled through colors
found beautiful hues
my butterfly wings
cripplingly morphed
to chrysalis again
— reflect retread —
growing wisdom in my head
thrust out the blonde hair
and that all the new
is gray matters not —
focus is a summit reached
rock bottom at the top
perimenopausal paradox —
if someone would listen
if anyone would care
from up here or down there
the invisible i have become
could unhide everted —
but what has burned out
is not the heart soul
bones mind or gut but
only the brittle shell
of youth — falling apart
shedding and crumbling
finally wasting far away
leaving a glowing
blossom unsplayed —

      TITLE:  Fading in
      DATE:  2023 Sep 15
      AGE:  forty-nine

syl·​la·​bles in my life
i cannot utter anymore
with the grace of youth
i stutter with freedom
and slur in wild love
words that once made
sense now are blind
faith doesn’t see and
hope rarely speaks
i’ve never needed you
to spell it out for me
the echo of emptiness
calls out like the sea
ebbing flowing waving
crashing shoring up
a million tear drops
whisper gently into
the gossamer of years
winds blow away our
comforts of home in
a smoke of memories
lost childhood remains
both here and gone
audible and sadly silent
echoes of those poems
voice words that sound
exactly the same but mean
something entirely different

      TITLE:  Fading out
      DATE:  2023 Sep 15

pick out your fears
worries, anger, and hate
from the bag of stones you carry
and love, find yourself lifted by
the wings of featherweight faith

      TITLE:  Carrying
      DATE:  2023 Sep 15

age split a cherry
midlife is the pit
sweet and ripe surround

      TITLE:  Sweet life
      DATE:  2023 Sep 16

squeeze tight, dollars drip
lay off loyalty, tears drop
squeeze tighter, cents bleed

      TITLE:  Servicing shareholders
      DATE:  2023 Sep 21

currently i am about halfway through
doing the list of things i swore before
i would  never  ever  do when i got old

      TITLE:  Don’t-do-it list
      DATE:  2023 Sep 25
      AGE:  forty-nine

a poet’s job is to hurt
to feel — everything;
to suffer and bleed —
to hold it in; not heal
’til ink touches paper

      TITLE:  Angst-written
      DATE:  2023 Sep 27

Terri Guillemets
Archives — 2023

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