Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Ode to SCI

My eyes settle on boundless green
Sunlight dancing on clouds
A place to rest
These heavy bones
Cheers and laughter
Bubbling all around
Every turn, a friendly face
Hugging and laughing
The local lingo, a crisp twang
Shouts of shock, surprise, triumph
Late nights
We are young again
© 2019 Amber Keating, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Anywhere but in Between

It's been a while since I've posted here, so I thought I'd get back to it.  I participated in National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) again this year.  Though I didn't write every day that month, I did write a lot. I'm trying to re-commit to regular writing practice, whether poetry or journaling. It really helps me organize my thoughts and sort through what I'm feeling. So here's to continuing to practice that which is good for us.  Here is one of my favorite poems from my NaPoWriMo experience, about the most important album in my life:

25 years later
These lyrics are still
Heart tears deepest joy
Healing what my mouth
Cannot find right words for
Always searching
I was still in high school then
My final year
[I need a raincoat]
If I had known what was coming 
Maybe I could have...
Little protection from
The storm to come
[She must be tired of something]
How did they know
Arranging truth 
To fledgling power
I listened late
Portable CD player
Humming beside pillow
Carried delicately across
College campuses
One of clipped wings
Then thrust into freedom
[And I'm not ready for this sort of thing]
Life has a hunger that doesn't wait
Ready or not, here I come
Falling and flying and flailing 
Learning in sun soaked salty air
I still remember my toes in sand
When I need some earthly connection
21st century, L.A. became home
It was [August & Everything After] that year 
Album title matching song 
Released two and a half decades later
Knowing now to the core
[I belong anywhere but in between]
What I only guessed before
He's a big part of that
Adam & company, sure, but
I mean my partner in
Heart tears deepest joy
He loves this album, too
We planned a trip to a concert
That didn't happen
[It's the heart that matters more]
He recently made a playlist
Studio and live versions blended 
Still laughing these years later
How we found a dive bar
Beer and fried ravioli 
Because Adam was sick
[Mr. Jones and me / look into the future]
© 2019 Amber Keating, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


The prompt for this was to write about a person/group/quality you feel  prejudiced towards. Interesting how in exploring my prejudice, I find empathy for the people who I experience as judging me. It's uncomfortable to look at myself that deeply, so that empathy isn't exactly reflected in this poem. Anyhow here it is, my prejudice.

I don't even know you
Pretty sure I don't want to
The way you argue without
Truly seeing me
I should know better than
To read any comments
But I don't know
Better I scroll and once
Again I'm drawn in
Smoke precedes your
Burning fury
I am the moth
Who cannot resist
Tempted by the promise
Of light then routinely
Rejected    angry    ashamed
How can you function
In that vitriol
How has your burning heart
Not consumed
You fancy yourself a servant
Of some holy master and mission
Emerging unscathed
From an overlord's fiery pit
That halo shines bright in your mind
But in mine it's tarnished
A fire of your own design
Destroying everyone in your wake
©Amber Keating, 04.24.18

Monday, April 16, 2018


I have so many questions
When I hear numbers like this
Is it possible even to count one
Million of anything?
Or 10 or 100,
What does that look like?
How long would it take
To count this high?
A million heart beats
A million tears
A million hours
Worked or slept or dreamt
The American Dream
Nothing more than a lie
The multi-millionaires
Use to fill their coffers
They say our city belongs
To the angels
But perhaps it's more
Accurate to say it
Belongs to the banks
Even a million
Angels can't help us now
Millions of people carving
Out meaningful lives
With millions of pennies
Digging in the dirt
Finding simple treasures
While some shriveled white man
Pores over our lives
Replaced by numbers
Guarding the gate between
Us and property
©Amber Keating, 04.16.18

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Nature's New Coat

Fire and fruit and rusty hinges
Of a long forgotten gate
Treasure hiding there
Crinkling leaves
To be raked with disdain
But later joyous dancing
Verdant forests fading
And holding in patterns
Between crimson and gold
Some would say they're dying
But it's only transformation
So I sit and enjoy zesty, juicy, 
spritzing in my face
Sweet and tart
Musky aroma of life
Meeting death in mystery
And ponder what's beyond
This corroded door
© Amber Keating, 04.08.18

Saturday, April 7, 2018


Soft rays floating through a skylight
Hum of commentary in background
Fleece so soft and warm
Light dancing off eyelashes
This scene in negative
Another part of the whole
Raging for family wounds
Bloody broken heart
Cracking open at innocent song
Endless well of tears and fierce hope
Love is complicated
© Amber Keating, 04.07.18

Friday, April 6, 2018

How a King Bed Saved my Marriage

A nightmare to sleep next to, my grandma said
Most kids are, but eventually grow out of it?
My psyche is the shipwrecked shores of Aruba
So much debris still, anchored and rusting
Forever waiting to enchant and terrify
Each night, I am swashbuckling ghosts along these haunted decks
Mayhem, plunder, seeking
Treasure and revenge among every shadow
Brutal adventure
Back in reality, the only one beseiged
Is my sleepless husband
Knee, elbow, toenail, hipbone
So many cruel edges thrown about
Shivering of limbs
Discord coming not from creaking timbers
But from my very own beak
Parrot screeching squawking
As if I don't talk enough in daylight
My nightstand a collection of torture devices
One pulls my tongue out
Another blocks all nasal transmission
There's even a facial strap to hold it all together
My dream time version of an eye patch
It's a wonder I sleep as well as I do
© Amber Keating, 04.06.18

Ode to SCI

My eyes settle on boundless green Sunlight dancing on clouds A place to rest These heavy bones Cheers and laughter Bubbling all aroun...