A New Game

Brittle decks of cards break apart

The numbers mix with the letters

The suits weave into a muddy mass

Of red, black, white, and gray


The dice are chipped and forgotten

Number wore off to a faint hollow shadow

They roll off the table and shatter

Into fragments of fun now forgotten


There is a new game in this room

Everybody loses, except for angels

You breathe, you rise, you fall again

When you stop breathing, God wins


The dogs try to comfort with saliva

From tongues that cleaned their nether bits

Tails wag and hit the next person

They too fall all around the same time


You never know a year or an hour now

Your brain decays piece by damn piece

You only know you’re awake and that

The coffee’s too hot and the water’s too cold


Faces annoy you, even those you once knew

But they don’t matter now, there’s nothing there

You gasp and choke on your own spittle

Your life shuts down, and God wins again


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway




You let your blood spill into the wind

It splatters on your crisp green shirt

You don’t care, and keep screaming

Into the hollow, violent void of the storm


There once was a word to describe you

But you have transcended the craziness

Turning broken twigs and limbs into art

Never explaining, just a dribble of a smile


There once was a phrase, a key, a note

Sound and letters to form a tangled thought

None of that matters now; it broke apart

In a tornado where it was tossed and smashed


You lost your mind, and you lost your way

Peaches, they say, come home to us

Come to our fluorescent halls and hard beds

We will put the whirlwind back in your head


But they don’t know about the cuts or the belts

They don’t know the thunderstorm in your chest

Pills are an illusion, and talk is a waste of air

You stand alone, lean forward, and be blown away


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway

Deer Wisdom

My eyes blink from the well of teardrops.

I haven’t been here in so long.

I knocked myself off the pedestal;

I willingly bolted off the cliff.

I’m standing alone in my prairie,

Only wind and my heart guide me.

The sages stand silent, observing.

“You have it in yourself,” they say.

I have reached this far in my journey.

There are many paths in the corn fields;

Retreat to the trees or gallop across the road.

The deer feet carry me to shelter.

I must rest awhile, gather the strips of wisdom.

I feel naked and unstable, but like the fawn

I must quickly stand up again or hide in the shadows.

My soul reappears, and I now know the ways.


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway

Of a Candle

Prompt from here: https://sammiscribbles.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/weekend-writing-prompt-42-revelation/


Appealing of the lightened glow

Before the shadows engulfing it,

Candle takes its cue of separation,

Defiant with the darkness of the world.

Energy is effused and then spent

For a reminder of starlight and sunlight.

Guided by laws that bar no one,

Her approach is of care from a distance.

Inside she is all hollow yet bright,

Jewels of atoms and particles unite

Kindled by fiber she remains alight.


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway


Your legacy is in your retreat

Your hope is in your burning hands

You bring warmth to the shivering

You cradle the wounded with kindness


Yet there is steel in your sound

There are flames in your appointed feet

You dance and sparks hit the eyes

Of the angered and disappointed


There is only light in you now

A supernova with clouds of gas and dust

A spirit in the making a blanket of stars

Your glow dims, and many shine for you


May we find your creative fire

Echoing in the vastness of life

An ember of graciousness and courage

A remnant of blazing starlight sun


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway


Things in the Air

Intersections in the air

Trivialized by planes and balloons

Leftover from birthday parties

And travel in fake cloth suits


Another sky cracks on the horizon

Watching clouds battle wild dreams

And lofty egos with lightning

Piercing, rumbling in the muscles


Turning words over and over

Farmers work the fields for pennies

Lives are traded and expelled

From the circles of the unimpressed


Another trail of furtive petroleum

Darts into the leaden atmosphere

Heavy by its own intention

We find gravity as it pulls us down


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway

Where Are We?

Where are we

When the hand holds out to shake a foreign hand?

Where are we

When our lips spread and teeth flash graciously?

Where are we

When a child’s tears water our shoulder, or our chest?

Where are we

When we cradle a fragile head as it expels its last breath?

Where are we

When the feral animal snaps a piece of food from our fingers?

Where are we?

Some say we are in Heaven,

Some say we are in Paradise.

If it was Heaven would these needy beings not exist?

If it was Paradise would there still be suffering?

I say it is more than that.

It is the Universe, and we are the celestial

Stars made manifest.

So welcome Home.


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway


Nature and Man

What wonder is there

In a brick, a tower, or a tree?

What do we espy

In a blade of grass, or a stone?

We all have our stories

In stained windows and pillars.

Our hearts have been twisted

In steel, concrete, and rust.

Walk to the forest floor

With needles and opened cones.

We need dappled sunlight,

Calm corners and waterfalls.

Where do our judgments end?

With hot sand and salty water.

Where do we begin?

With deep oceans and looming mountains.

Our faults no longer lie

With gasoline and paper plates.

They all end in the dirt

Of freshly dug holes and silence.


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway



A Goldfish Feeling

My mind is a cloudy fishbowl.

Emotions jump in and out

Like goldfish, gasping for air.


We break the lines into marks.

Show this, but not that.

You can only do so much.


Then you drop into the unknown;

A gooey, shaky, frightened mass

Breathing in an alien atmosphere.


Do you die, or do you return?

Benevolence scoops you–

And look, a clean new bowl!


You are comfortable in your bubble.

The landmarks are still there.

As you peruse your surroundings


You see teeth above you.

A long piece of bleached wood

And now is a place to hide.


Be happy, little goldfish

With moving and surviving

This horrific, yet constant world.


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway





Dig Deeper Within

Dig deeper within


Hide from the playground

Hide in the office

Hide in the house, in the bedroom

Hide in the dark, in the corner


Dig deeper within


Search through the lovers

Search through the bullies

Run through the bystanders

Flee away from it all


Dig deeper within


Open up your heart

Feel the blood in your veins

Touch the wrinkled skin

Stare honestly into the eyes


Dig deeper within


Until you find the water

Until you find mountain air

Until you breathe and release

Until you cry in complete awe


Until you come to the core

Dig deeper within


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway