June 5, 2021 Saturday Poetry Prompt: out of doors

I am Mercury rising in the east,
A distant, dim brother, I set your watery home to frost,
where all awaken to a shadow where the dawn once was.

I blacken your pupils to strain, to stroke a blind swipe,
Lonely, wan light of Luna is sun’s masquerading trope,
marauding across your blurry, restless dream scape.

I leave you flailing for a port in a West that never comes,
Fine strains of webs, and their silky anchor lines,
glimmer in your hair, sticky on your lashes.

I am the Dark Matter, who absconds with veiny love,
tucked away in black folds…


May 19, 2021 Wednesday Prose Prompt: Effulgence of Art

To celebrate the new year, we fled the bustle of Houston for a hundred-acre ranch in Carmine, Texas…that’s “kar-MEEN” for those of you not in the know.

We ate chocolaty pot brownies and warmed our bellies with Yellow Rose whiskey. We used words when needed and lay quietly around gentle fires. It was four days of color and peace with five of us big people, and six-year-old Brayden.

He had a neon green electric guitar. I taught him a few chords, he on the hearth and me on an ottoman, a brief interlude with the Child Mind. …


Revealing the Roots and Behaviors of Addiction

I was in Africa for ten weeks before I realized how far I had traveled from home — Dryuary Day 15

When you see the Southern Cross for the first time
You understand now why you came this way.
’Cause the truth you might be runnin’ from is so small
But it’s as big as the promise, the promise of a coming day.

Southern Cross, Crosby, Stills and Nash, 1982

It’s easy to feel far away from home, but the strangeness of new constellations set my compass with undeniable evidence that, this time, I had really wandered out.

It’s Day 15! The half way mark. I’m 48.3% through the month. The last few days I’ve been jittery. Today, I am nauseous…


GiaB writing prompt #20: animalia

What it’s really like to ride a camel across the desert

Sahel is Arabic for coast. The Sahel refers to the region of Africa just south of the Sahara, thus, it is the coast of the Sahara Desert. It’s a bit unearthly to imagine the dry sands of the Sahel lapping gently onto the third largest desert in the world after the Antarctic and Arctic.

At the close of my Peace Corps service in Burkina Faso, a group of us decided to say goodbye to our home of over a year by doing the most touristy tour in the country.


prose poetry

The photographs are proof that my body is in America. I want to pick one up and gaze at it until I start to fade away, get jerked awake and sigh soft, blue billows of relief in my old, broken bed up against the cracked plaster walls of my home in Lebanon…teetering high over the Mediterranean. Perhaps, this is all only a dream.

Though on a raft at sea, my phone rings, so I know I am here, in an erstwhile homeland, suspended just inches from the ground, in the loathsome West, that icebound cardinal caked in gridlines, bluster, one-way…


iT Can be difficult to take that first leap! So glad you did and that we all now have the opportunity to read your writing Johannes!


Dodoitsu and Rondelet for Mother’s Day

A dodoitsu is a micropoem with four lines and a 7–7–7–5 syllabic count. I wrote this dodoitsu reflecting on the seven months that I’ve been separated from my kids. Without Facebook Messenger, I would not have survived.

Fathoming separation,
Great, impossible distance,
Babies mine blowing kisses,
Telling jokes online.

Of course, the rondelet is a steep challenge that nonetheless renders beautiful verse. I wrote this one for ma belle mère, my husband’s mom and the Teta of our children, who passed in January from COVID-19. Our home in Lebanon is surrounded by her roses.

Tea roses climb
Meander high where she…


May 12 Wednesday Prose Prompt: Revelatory

I am a trapped free spirit. I fear the version of me that is untethered, and thus chose a strong figure as a husband. He grounds me. Sometimes, I feel smothered, but in our recent forced separation, I find myself going from daily tears to a sort of elation. Then, the elation deflates, and I am enveloped in panic.

“Ok,” he said in February. “You are not coming back to Lebanon (ever). Make plans to look for a job. Get an apartment. We will talk further when I can come.”

“When can you come?” I pleaded. …

Josie Elbiry

2x Top Writer “This Happened to Me”. Creative nonfiction, short fiction and poetry. Thank you for reading.

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