Archives for posts with tag: home

by Joan McNerney

Recipe for Chaos:

begin with winter weather (snowbanks everywhere)
add the never-ending quarantine (must use brand name Corona virus)
beat thoroughly a naturally lazy person (who could that be?)
heat to a simmer over a small apartment (a large closet)

How to Create Chaos:

Whenever I turn around my place
becomes an enemy zone.
The sink clangs with pans as
crumbs line up battle ready
while slimy cucumbers groan.

Drum rolls of toilet paper
terrorize bathroom cabinets.
Masses of unwashed clothing
huddle in the bedroom retreating
past stained, sticky floors.

Camouflaged by dishes…documents…
dental floss…my couch collapses.
Outraged pages of books unbind
themselves in wars of words.

Everything spins ever faster
e x p a n d i n g         increasing
shredding      disintegrating.
Wish I could move into a picture perfect
House & Garden duplex forever
and leave this mess immediately.

PAINTING: Ashes by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1981).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The above recipe is for Chaos, a perennial problem in the Northeast, where the expression “spring cleaning” originates.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan McNerney’s poetry is found in many literary magazines, such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days, as well as in four Bright Hills Press anthologies, several editions of the Poppy Road Review, and numerous Spectrum Publications. She has four Best of the Net nominations. Her latest title, The Muse In Miniature, is available on and

Norcross Front Door
by Cristina M. R. Norcross

Joy usually escapes our sunflower adorned doorway,
like the floating fragrance of
freshly baked bread.
Our door welcomes the new day,
the postman,
the morning breeze,
and the sound of red-winged blackbirds singing.
Now we are told not to come and go.
Our doors are meant to close out
the virus, the world, the air itself.
We wander in our cocooned state
with books and hot tea,
from room to room.
No longer free to roam the town
and sit on benches,
the closed door policy
feels as foreign as the germs
we are meant to block out.
My window to nature becomes
the back porch.
I let the sweetness of fresh air in
through the screened door.
Our cat inhales the ancient scent of trees,
the wondrous green grass,
and the smoky wafting of grills being fired up.
I sit facing the quiet expanse of the marshland—
welcoming nature.
The doorway to my mind is always open.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When I thought about doorways for this prompt, I imagined the way energy flows through my house. The relaxed, easy way sunshine kisses sunshine from the front door to the back door, off of the kitchen. Due to the current sheltering at home guidelines for COVID-19, I’ve noticed that I am even more careful about closing doors. Our backyard has become a haven for quiet contemplation. Thankful for these moments of fresh air and hearing nature’s music.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cristina M. R. Norcross was the editor of the online poetry journal, Blue Heron Review (2013-2020) and is the author of eight poetry collections. Her latest book is Beauty in the Broken Places (Kelsay Books, 2019). Other recent collections include Amnesia and Awakenings (Local Gems Press, 2016) and Still Life Stories (Kelsay Books, 2016). Her poems have been published, or are forthcoming, in The Ekphrastic Review, Visual Verse, Red Cedar, Your Daily Poem, Right Hand Pointing, and Pirene’s Fountain, among others.  Her work also appears in numerous print anthologies. She is the co-founder of Random Acts of Poetry and Art Day (celebrated annually on Feb. 20th).  Visit her at

My future in DIY
by Steven Deutsch

I will be that guy.
I swear it.
The one that people call
when the whoosis is stuck
or when that whatchamacallit —
the one that’s been in the family
since before the big bang —
the one that used to start right up,
just lies there like the family cat.

I will be the one
to choose the proper saw
or awl or maul.
To distinguish wrenches from wenches
and know the proper hex
in English or in metric.

You will all be proud to know me —
to plead for me to place
my calibrated finger on the leaky pipe — just so
and stop the second sacred flood like that.
Someday, you will watch in awe
as I slip a stripped screw
from its sheath as simply
as I butter bread.
I will undo superglue!

Someday soon
I swear it,
I will be the one to strip the paint
from grandma’s rocker
with my right hand, while with my left
I stain the weathered fence
that surrounds Chicago.
I will be that guy on HGTV —
the one who smiles despite the two-ton tool belt,
the one that wears the John Deere cap
well-seasoned with his honest sweat and WD-40.
The one with the goofy grin of complete competence.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The poem was born out of our recent bathroom remodel and repair, which has taken just under 11 years and is nearing completion (I think).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Steven Deutsch, a semi-retired practitioner of fluid mechanics as applied to mechanical hearts and valves, lives a quiet life in State College, Pennsylvania, with his artist wife Karen.  He has published poetry and short fiction — most recently with Silver Birch Press.