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About Literature / Professional Core Member Mel Finefrock27/Female/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 9 Years
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Don't step on a crack.
You'll break your mother's back
or tread on the lone flower
that grows there.
I was and am
and always will be
that flower,
and scattered in the wind,
but every time,
I skim the pavement
for another valley
and bloom again.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 10 0
White-knuckling the edge,
she stuck out her neck to smell
a waterlily.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 8 0
Light Play
I remember
housebound afternoons
when sunshine cascaded
from window to carpet
and fashioned a stage.
My sister and I
would row some days
through pristine waters
or leap across canyons
teeming with lava.
We were children of the light,
and the sun was our muse;
we basked in its warmth
and the ability to see it still
until shadows grew long
and our eyes grew tired
and the curtains drew our fun
to a close.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 6 6
My lover paused on hearing
the frantic wingbeats
of a house sparrow
trapped in the hallway,
remarkably unharmed
though it crashed into walls
in a blind terror.
Several times, he failed
to capture it;
whenever he approached,
it fled,
fearing the help
it wanted.
He opened the gate
to set it free;
it demurred, leaning
against the garbage can,
then took flight at last.
I am that sparrow.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 6 0
As I Am
I. Medium
You ask me to put my words
to music, as if something is
I didn't know
I must sing
in order to be heard.
Tell me, do you cluck your tongue
at a painting
because you felt the artist
should have sculpted it instead?
II. Voice
In college, a classmate
pronounced my use
of first-person narrative
as self-centered.
I didn't know
that I had to bring in
the proverbial you
in order for people
to relate.
While it's true
I write through the lens
of experience, I'm not blind
to the world around me,
and anyway, I've heard it said
you can't always assume
that the poet is the speaker.
III. Risk
A professor cautioned
that as a writer, I can't possibly
please every audience.
After all, there is nothing new
under the sun.
Love poems are cliche,
but sex and violence sell;
sad poems are cliche,
but bad news sells--
and on down the line
until poets' quest
for originality
saturates the genre
and abstraction
for the sake of abstraction
becomes itself cliche.
IV. Other
Last I checked, poetic
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 8 1
He says the fireflies
are out again tonight.
I can see them
in memory only,
but I haven't far to go
before I'm walking at last
among the stars.
I've been wandering
the paths of myself
in search of light.
I've grown weary,
clumsily striking flint on steel
in hopes of rekindling
love and health and purpose.
But I can't help wondering
if friction was the wrong approach.
is a difficult study
for mere humans,
and yet fireflies glow
simply by breathing.
Eyes closed,
I breathe a silent wish
upon constellations grounded.
Somehow, I sense
the fireflies can hear me
and that I haven't far to go
before I find my spark.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 10 9
There's no legend
on the map to healing.
You simply
fumble your way
through its maze-like corridors
until you learn to recognize
landmarks: when your lover holds you
and you realize it's been years
since you last flinched;
when your name sounds
less like a curse
and more like a caress;
when your silence thaws
and crystalline words
drip from your very pores.
But healing takes time.
This is not the race
against time.
This is not the race
against others' expectations
of where you "should" be.
After all, cycles were never meant
to be linear.
Like rain to runoff
to river to ocean
to thundercloud and back,
grief can reasonably
repeat itself.
Denial and anger
and bargain
and depression
often sing rounds
before acceptance brings
an end to the requiem,
allowing the birth
of a new song.
So when they ask you
why you haven't managed
to move past it yet,
remember you are a student
whose task is learning
to move with it;
and when they say
your past should not define you,
remember while it's true
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 8 7
Butterfly, emerge!
Sunlit scales in unblind eyes
gild your prism wings
like the blue sky come to life
as you brace for your first flight.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 10 3
Note to Self
Oft I find
I am at once
deer and arrow.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 14 0
Naming What Is
Permanence is ephemeral.
I learned this
when I carved a name
into tree bark once.
I won't do it again.
Even the tallest trees
can succumb to an axe
or wither to ash
with a single lightning flash.
Like Proginoskes,
I am a Namer,
but as a poet,
my weakness
is my need for a medium
and the bravery
to name what is.
It doesn't seem fitting
to chisel a name in marble;
I'm not sure I'm strong enough
to leave a mark.
But suppose I freed the angel—
would she take flight
without so much as a glance
over her winged shoulder?
If discovered,
a message in a bottle
could be mistaken
for a mere speck of debris
drifting aimlessly
in polluted waters,
but ashore,
it would surely be
if etched instead
in hourglass sand.
I can't write a name
in the sky;
the stars are unreachable,
the kind of Braille
that would sear my fingertips.
Your name
feels safe in my mouth,
but if I let it out—
if I get up the nerve
to tell someone I love them—
it isn't always
what they
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 6 2
Ferry Ride by hopeburnsblue Ferry Ride :iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 5 2
On Keeping Love Alive
Even months shy
of twenty-eight,
it's never too late
to have those firsts.
For instance,
today's kiss on the bleachers
never happened before
because we were high school sweethearts
in different towns.
In loving him
I have learned
to be a child again--
sometimes even for the first time.
I go
wherever the wind blows,
following my nose
onto a path
wreathed in trees
and heady honeysuckle.
He plucks a blossom
and feeds me
its nectar.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 6 4
Salt and Jasmine
from drugstore to joyride
and pause.
Hands clasped, we sit in park
with the windows open
to surfside lullabies.
I find myself
in a sea of silver,
but I'm not the kind of lost
Tad Williams writes about;
my wandering comes of
I am light particles and soundwaves--
forming, deforming, reforming--
like television static,
only softer.
How can the ocean
be one voice
and a whole choir?
How, in whispering,
can it also roar?
It's nice, for once,
to let the world just
slow down,
to separate ourselves
from the pressures of running
tirelessly against its axis.
But we can't sit much longer
or the milk will spoil.
Walking to the condo,
I am caressed
by carissa blossoms,
who seem in prayer
lest I forget again
to live in the moment.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 9 0
He Seeks Seashells by hopeburnsblue He Seeks Seashells :iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 13 3 Hope Realized by hopeburnsblue Hope Realized :iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 191 11
Tracking Not Available
Wind slowly covers
our footprints in the sand,
nature's own hourglass.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 8 1


Mel Finefrock
Artist | Professional | Literature
United States
In addition to authoring Patchwork Poetry, Mel Finefrock frequents popular blogs including the Mighty, the Huffington Post, and elephant journal. She is also the basis for blind protagonist Janie Jansen in Melissa Foster's Touched by Love. Finefrock enjoys singing and playing guitar, and just about any cup of tea is her cup of tea.

Avatar courtesy of Heltinde
Literature author tag courtesy of lithium-cocoon
Profile picture courtesy of CorbeauTombe



I'm sorry to say it, but in order to get started on here again, I had to clear my notifications. Ugh!!!! I hate it, but maybe starting fresh will help a bit. So here's what I want you guys to do. Comment with a piece of recent writing that you're proud of, and then share a piece of someone else's writing from your favorites. I want to see what's been going on around here and show support where I can.

Let's see ... what's been happening? Honestly not a whole lot. Work, counseling, reading a crap ton, getting my health back in large part thanks to Plexus, trying to motivate myself to get back into music, writing things on occasion and entering a few contests ... a lot and yet not a lot at all. :) It hasn't been an easy few months (or really an easy few years), but I'm doing better all the time. I just also tend to be an introvert and either hit the trail or the elliptical or read with Jordan. Right now we're super obsessed with the Otherland series. Anyone read it? I wanna talk about it!

My Year in Writing: The Seventeen Things I Wrote in 2017

And YetGrief
is a boulder
on my chest.
is my lungs
for each breath.

Begin AgainRacing drums,
Asia's heartbeat,
in a moonless Texas sky
to hail the rooster's call;
lotus tea blooms
until my cup is

A Peaceful VibrationFor a cat as gray
as a stormy day,
you became the sun
in your reign
upon a window-sill thrown.
But just so you know, my queen,
you never did camouflage
with my hot pink throw,
except for the feel
of fur on fleece.
Three-fourths of my pillow
was a small price to pay
for your dreamcatcher services,
and every minute spent
awake before my alarm
was worth my being
your personal jungle gym.
I miss
your nightly front-door greetings,
your comforting presence
in my lap,
your artful monologues.
Although you were
in my home for a season,
you’ll be in my heart
for a lifetime.
Thank you for being
a peaceful vibration,
a silver lining,
a gift.

Empathy in Seven SentencesYou know how fighting so hard to be brave can sometimes turn into being hardened by hardship? Well, when it all fell apart, I finally called my dad crying.
"It would be unfair," he said, his voice clear as day, "for me to claim I fully understand everything you're going through. Because I don't. But I see you, and you have my heart."
Those words broke my own heart, then melted it like alchemy, then rebuilt it piece by puzzle piece. And when it all finally came back together, Jason's healing name was the first to be imprinted on it.

Circle of LifeIrony:
ravens converge on roadkill,
nearly become it.

GambleSome days I persist;
others, I exist
with a tacit acceptance,
a reluctant signature
to renew my lease on life,
that maybe one day
it'll all change,
that it's not true, what they say
about renters
throwing their money

Star StuffLet's say
the future isn't
written in the stars
like Braille, piercing
a celestial canvas
just beyond my reach.
Even if
this cosmic game of marbles
amounts to nothing,
I find
the movements of the Universe
are still
My hope burns blue,
and I will dive into
Spica's cerulean depths
every time.

AnniversaryI've always said
I was grateful
for the fall
that led to
your prodigal hospital visit
because, as you later confessed,
there was no time
to waste.
I found
rebuilding us
was as challenging
as relearning to walk,
but our efforts
were rewarded.
Three years later,
here we are,
trying to live
some approximation
of our dream,
and I'm wondering
where it went wrong.
This time, although
it's not life and death,
I sense
an imminent collapse.
Will you
rise to the occasion,
and will I

They Cut Down the RedwoodsTrees can love,
and we did.
I contemplate
our roots,
love knots threaded
to keep us standing tall.
Thus tethered,
we thought we were
but as seasons passed,
growing together
became growing apart.
When lightning struck,
we never fully
Despite our wounds,
we loomed larger; still,
winter gave way to
They cut down the redwoods.
We were mere stumps;
our roots clung
stubbornly to the earth,
to crack the foundation.
They had the last word
with their tools,
turning metal, air, and fire
against us
for the first time
in a living nightmare.
The rain wept,
her tear tracks rinsing
our ashes from the loam.
The following spring,
someone who grieved us
planted flowers on our grave.
Every year, she tills the soil
and turns up
pieces of bark,
paying homage
by helping
something else to grow.

What I Learned from a Tumbled QuartzI didn't ask for this life.
At first,
it was hard to say
whether I was freed
or taken prisoner
when they chiseled me from the earth,
where my family and I
worked together
to restore harmony.
But indeed, there is pain
in freeing oneself.
I was cut
in six different ways,
found myself
at rock bottom
of a barrel, tumbling
for days.
I now call to you
from the shelf:
I'm no straight shooter,
but don't confuse
my asymmetry
with a lack of direction.
I embrace
and refract the light
to amplify healing.
My scars have been smoothed
from jagged edges
to liquid clarity,
flowing in place
and shifting
from cool to warm
in your palm
while never slipping
through your fingers.
It's true,
I didn't ask for this life,
but I can see
you didn't either;
and I want to show you that,
though indeed there is pain
in freeing oneself,
the life you didn't ask for
can turn out to be

ThiefThough I wouldn't say
I've ever been fearless,
I used to walk
fast and unflinching.
I felt
safe in the knowledge
of my surroundings,
curtained though my eyes
may have been.
But that day,
I fell
down ...
Sometimes, I'm a survivor,
others, a victim,
but at the end of the day,
I suppose I'm both.
I dragged myself out
with minutes to spare,
but you shattered
more than just my leg;
pieces of me
were strewn between ballast and steel,
then trampled
as the train simply
out of the station.
is about more
than a surgeon's tools
weaving titanium
into networks of sinew and bone,
more than a tattoo gun
scratching poetry
into my right leg
to mirror the scars
on my left.
is about more
than months in a wheelchair,
months in therapy,
months of enlightenment
and grief
and reflecting
on how strange it is
who steps up in a crisis
and who steps back;
how some will point fingers
but some will lend a hand.
Three years later
and a few counties over,
I take a different trai

To ReturnI'm too young
to look back
in regret,
to forget
the feeling of freedom.
But despite my best efforts,
making a life for myself
became losing myself,
my voice,
my poetry,
to the rat race.
and love
and work and grief
have weighed me down;
I'm all stifled dreams
and watery smiles
and chafed vocal cords,
and I can scarcely
recognize myself.
I've missed the lightness
of gravity defied
on swings at the park,
of teacups-turned-ferries
to memories past,
of hopes burning blue,
of love that felt
So the other night,
in the spirit of revival,
I soared
on a kiddie swing
four hundred feet up--
a distance that, in my younger years,
I could run
in eighteen seconds,
despite fearing
obstacles unseen.
I've been
homesick for myself
for one and a half
turns of the Zodiac,
so it was fitting
that all I could see,
or rather couldn't,
was sky.
It was dark,
but I didn't mind;
I've grown less afraid
of blindness
than of my own darkness.
I sliced through the air
at thirty-five miles per hour;

DestinyRayleigh scattered, hatching
a robin's-egg dawn
on Rebecca's wedding day.
Her something blue
was the sky.

AirbendingTo me,
winter has always meant
keening winds
chasing short daylight
only to find
in cold shadow.
This year,
Texas summer days
seemed barely to give way
to crisp autumn
before the cold blew in.
Winter is coming,
but that could change;
Texas winters
are temperate
by comparison to most,
only a pendulum swing
from sunshine or sleet
at any moment.
I confess
I've never liked winter,
but I've resolved this year
to welcome it
with an open mind.
Winter will mean
the passing of time,
and the passing of time,
a hopeful milestone
toward healing.
I need a change of scene,
a change of heart,
a change of direction.
I need to feel something new,
and this coolness of skin and lung
is new, invigorating.
From their clumsy perch
on the wooden beam
between my patio
and my neighbors' balcony,
my wind chimes
don't get much airplay.
That's felt like me these days--
silenced by others
and self,
frozen still, song extinguished
amidst adversity.
But with this tentative
transition, Blue Norther reaches

For Better, for WorseI no longer write you poems,
I told you,
because I have little else
to say.
Perhaps because you felt
you didn't deserve them,
my florid words
fell before you,
my silent audience,
until I felt
I'd given pearls to swine.
I am
always and forever
on a limb for you,
like leaves in the wind.
Before long,
my stems will cease to cling,
and I will float away,
only to be trod upon.
I've written you
another poem after all,
but it speaks of
love without romance,
conversations half-finished,
and I hate
that it's so devoid of
Suddenly, words
tumble from your lips:
you don't mean to silence me;
it's just that you're a man
of few words.
I'm important to you.
You can see a future together.
You don't want to lose me.
But I find I am
less than moved
by these declarations;
the things I wanted to hear, I realize,
are late blooming,
and so this conversation
goes round and round.
The future I wanted
clashes with the one
I fear lies ahead,
without poetry
or passion
or progress.
And tho

Nevertheless, We've PersistedWe have survived
one year since the day
the clouds broke open
and chaos reigned.
But though the sun set
on an orange sky,
it did not set
in vain;
they said
resistance was futile,
but we said
it was human
and began to wade
through the wreckage
of a shattered glass everything,
rather than the shattered glass ceiling
we were hoping for.
We've been clawing our way out since,
going high when they've gone low
even as they've tugged
at our ankles
and we've feared
But there is much to be done;
though valiant, our efforts
haven't been without
Treading water can tax
even the strongest of hearts.
It is their memory
that propels us onward,
and it is their honor
we will defend.
One day,
we will reach the surface
and fill our lungs;
we will swim ashore
and feel grounded;
we will climb that mountain
to reach for the sky
as it dawns milky white
and the winds of change
blow softly again
at last.

Ritual As ResistanceThanksgiving week begins
with the Dakota pipeline oil spill--
the unsurprising backfire
of a white man's pipedream
for a land he thought was
This is how we thank
our native ancestors
for centuries of free rent;
though satellites won't show them,
tear tracks scar the plains
we marched them through,
chanting "love thy neighbor"
in their exile.
It is thanks to this
that I sometimes feel strange
ending calls at work
with "happy Thanksgiving,"
because my white ancestors took
of my native ancestors
and their giving nature,
thieving land and beast and body and
This story is timeless.
We keep repeating
these cycles of oppression
with blacks
and Muslims
and Latinos
and queers
and poor people
and disabled people
and anyone we feel is
I have created
a new tradition
to redefine Thanksgiving.
I will reconcile
my fractured bloodline,
made possible by stubborn love,
and honor diversity
with multiculturalism.
Tomorrow morning,
the Yixing pot
will overflow with Earl Grey;

Here's to 2018 being, hopefully, a better year for everyone. May we find healing, may we persist, may we resist, may we smile and laugh, may we learn and adventure, may we create beautiful things and savor beautiful moments, may we love and be loved, give and receive kindness.
  • Listening to: Jackson Lewis - Love You in a Different Way


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KittySib Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Lily's Rainbow BoxThanks for the llamaRainbow Flyer  
hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2018  Professional Writer
You're welcome. :meow:
LadyLincoln Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thank A4 by Alimera

I appreciate the recent collect on my work, dearheart. You're a gem, always.

hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2018  Professional Writer
Of course. :love:
mrsbadbugs Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2018  Student Digital Artist
:iconblinkthanksllamaplz: Thank you and you are welcome :) Awesome Sauce Sign by Mirz123
Crystal-Magic13 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
This was in my studies today, and it so reminded me of you.

:huggle: Love you!

"    Some things in our life are things we would not have chosen for ourselves. God doesn't always give us exactly what we want. But he has given us life, and he gives us what we need to become what he wants us to be. Helen Keller was a blind and deaf person who was a remarkable person and achieved great things. We'd all rather see and hear than be blind and deaf, and yet Helen Keller said, "I thank God for my handicaps. Through them I have found myself, my work and my God.” You may wonder why God has given certain blessing to others and not to you. But stop wishing you were someone else. God wanted Helen Keller to be Helen Keller, and he wants you to be you. He gives you everything you need to be the unique and special person he wants you to be. So stop focusing on what he hasn't given you, and start thanking him for what he has given you and for your relationship to him."
nightshade-keyblade Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2017  Hobbyist Writer

Happy Birthday, Mel. So sorry I missed it :heart:
hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2017  Professional Writer
Thank you, Skander. :huggle:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Happy Birthday my dear!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconyaayplz::party::iconballoonsplz::happybounce::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz:
hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2017  Professional Writer
Thank you, Eve. :iconsweethugplz:
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