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About Literature / Professional Core Member Mel FinefrockFemale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 9 Years
2 Month Core Membership
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Failure to Maintain Control of Vehicle
I'm coming to a fork
in the road less traveled,
and I know I'm running
out of time.
I can feel my wheels
tractionless in the mire.
And my only thought
is to keep hold of
the rattling handlebars
known as my mind.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 6 4
In first grade, I scratched
into the siding
of my white bookshelf.
My parents were dismayed,
but apart from the aesthetic,
I had no explanation
nor any friends
who bore that name.
Little did I know
what it would come to mean--
that, decades later, my blue ballpoint
would alchemize
and become
your voice on the phone
or the year
of joy and growth and tragedy
we've shared since.
And though my penmanship
is feeble as ever, I find
I still like the look of it
as I etch your name again
into my heart.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 10 1
Though the museum had closed,
the jumbo xylophones
on its front lawn
beckoned still.
Of us four, she was
the most learned in music,
so she took the lead,
weaving effortlessly
between melody and harmony
as she pounded
into those bars.
This morning, her heart
stopped marking time,
making our four-four march
a three-four waltz
far too soon.
It's strange
to think that night
was only weeks ago,
but even through the rush of tears,
I can still hear
her very quintessence
in our motley song,
note by clanging note.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 11 9
Both balls
are in your court.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 6 1
She hung the moon.
But one day, I woke up
to find it clear out of orbit,
and the tides she always sang about
had ebbed
until the ocean became
a desert.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 7 3
Mohs 10.0
They say my time to shine
will come, that diamonds
are formed under pressure.
What they don't say
is how long it takes
before their slow, seismic ejection
brings them to light.
Yet here am I,
a carbon-based life form,
ever suspended
in the dark.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 9 3
Between the Lines
"I don't care what kind of car you put me in," the caller said of rental. "I just don't want a red one. I had a bad experience with a red car once."
My heart went out to her as images of what must have happened flooded my mind. Had a police officer pulled her over because he spotted her paint job and then the color of her skin? Had a sweet kiss with her date turned to something more before she was ready? Whatever it was, I looked back on my own traumas and understood the vulnerability behind what would seem to most like a simple request.
"Yes, ma'am," I said, "that's completely understandable. I'm sure we can arrange something."
I wished then that we weren't separated by so many miles. But in that moment, as we forged a connection beyond the confines of customer service, I hope she felt my love trickling down the telephone line.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 48 22
If you have one, you don't share it;
if you share it, you don't have it.
But what if you need to share it?
What will they do when they have it?
Will they guard it, understand it,
disregard or disbelieve it?
Is the greater risk to keep it
or, Pandora, to release it?
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 11 1
Square One
"You did what you had to," she said. "The way I see it ... you have cancer, you cut it out."
I paused. Reflected. She was right. But the metaphor was extended as I lovingly remembered a friend who fought and fought.
"It's not guaranteed remission," I countered. "Sometimes chemo itself kills you."
And there were my fears laid bare before us. My chances of survival might have been slim if I'd allowed this toxic person to remain a part of my life. But the act of cutting her out, the delay in my decision to do so, the very nature of who she was to me or rather who she should have been from the start--those factors also seemed damaging.
All I knew was I had to start somewhere.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 5 1
Little did they know
that mousy girl
was a squeaky wheel.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 5 0
your high horse
will buck.
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 7 2
Anatomy of a Goodbye
there was the misunderstanding
in a moment of need.
You felt
like an imposition
and shared less of yourself
moving forward,
but busy as she was,
she noticed your withdrawal.
there was the misunderstanding
when she assumed the worst,
as if she'd forgotten
who you were,
what you stood for,
and what you meant to her.
For the sake of preservation,
together you compromised
and tried to mend
the jagged lips of that wound,
but it was never the same.
Over time,
you unfollowed the posts
that showed her surrounded
and left you alone.
You shelved any reminders
of your friendship
so they'd be within reach
but out of the way.
That summer you wrote, despite knowing
she could never
bear to read your words,
about cutting down trees
that in previous poems
had stood tall.
This summer,
she wrote about another friend
who refused to hear her side
and turned her pain against her.
You felt for her,
but you couldn't help thinking
she'd missed the parallel.
You left quietly,
jagged lips sealed and
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 6 1
I. Contrast
Standing unused
in the hospital room
is a fan that reads
"Labor and Delivery."
They've declared hospice,
and I feel faint.
II. Found Poetry
Sister told me once
that she's no poet,
but when she walks in
off-shift, her presence
commands the room
as she gets right to work
with the Yankauer--
something no nurse tried before.
Grandpa Jack speaks
for the first time today
thanks to her,
his corny jokes
like a sonnet.
III. Cubism
His wife asks
if he'll open
his pretty blue eyes for her.
I never knew their color.
I remember
his soft Virginia drawl
as I touch
a foot, a knee, a stubbled cheek,
a hand that gripped
weakly on Sunday,
fiercely on Wednesday,
and not at all today,
curled instead
beneath his football-themed fleece throw.
IV. B-Side
I, the hospice minstrel,
take him today
on a bike ride in the sun,
first to the ocean
and then the mountains.
I sing for the family, too,
urging them
to hold each other tightly
in this season
of letting go.
He hasn't spoken in days,
but when the l
:iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 6 5
WSPD 7/7 by hopeburnsblue WSPD 7/7 :iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 1 1 WSPD 6/7 by hopeburnsblue WSPD 6/7 :iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 2 0 WSPD 5/7 by hopeburnsblue WSPD 5/7 :iconhopeburnsblue:hopeburnsblue 3 1

Random from Best Of

My grandfather was the strongest man I ever met. If you’ve ever seen someone on TV perform some superhuman feat of strength and thought that it wasn’t real, you’ve never met my grandfather. I have seen him rip a telephone book in half. He reached his full height of 6”4’ at the age of fourteen, and by the age of fifteen he had left school to work in the metal works. No one thought twice about it, because he was more than capable of the work and looked older than he was.
I am not strong. My joints frequently hurt, although I do not think I can convey to you how much of an understatement the word ‘hurt’ is in this situation. Most people didn’t understand why I didn’t run as long or as fast as the other children, or take delight in the frequent football scrimmages that almost all the boys I knew took such delight in. when I told them “I can’t, my legs ache,” they just told me to be strong.
My grandfather didn’t.
:iconcatharticdistraction:CatharticDistraction 248 48
The Ozymandias Principle (Sandbox Jenga)
Ginny always had a penchant for destroying things.
At the age of four, she was introduced to blocks (perhaps a devastating mistake on her preschool teacher’s part.) The brightly-colored wooden shapes held a certain fascination for her. While her classmates took a simple childish glee in building things up and knocking them down again, Ginny looked on their ways with disdain. She would carefully create an elaborate structure, and pull out all the key pieces until only a bare framework was left, shivering on the edge of collapse. Then she would tap on just one, or blow on it with her mouth, and the whole skeleton would come crumbling down.
Her parents often commented that if she had been born a decade or two earlier, she could have made a fortune by inventing Jenga. As it was, she was never very good at the game. She didn’t particularly like setting it all up- all she knew was that she had to build it before she could break it.
When she was seven, her Sunday school had a pi
:iconakrasiel:akrasiel 154 109
The Great Race
I crack my knuckles and touch the ground, stretching my calves the way Olympic runners do before a race. The gravel spikes at my palms; my muscles burn from the stretching. Jogging in place, I breathe in short bursts that form into clouds in the chilly air.
Max paces back and forth next to me, holding a clipboard and waving his pen like a conductor. My body is so full of electricity from the anticipation that I want to slap him as hard as I can just for the sake of letting go of the tension. Instead, I crack my knuckles again, making Max cringe in a satisfying way.
Shaking it off, Max checks his watch before pushing his glasses to the top of his head. “Four minutes,” he says, reading off the clipboard. “The race starts at the fifth period bell. That way, you won’t meet any teachers in the hallways who are running late, but there might be some girls still rushing to class after lunch.” He looks up, scrunching his eyebrows together. “Although I really
:iconguineveretogwen:GuinevereToGwen 119 72
Monsanto Cafe
He looked up from his chemistry notes to see her staring at him intently from across the table. She sat with her hands clasped around a cup of dandelion tea, eyebrows furrowed and lips frowning bright red over the white china rim.
“Do you ever stop and think,” she said, slowly and purposefully, “that you could have been a binder?”
He looked down at the binder in his hands. She’d been staring at his notes, not at him. “Sorry, what?” he said, slightly annoyed.
“Just think. Your body is made of billions of atoms. What was the probability those exact atoms would come together to make you?”
“Your point being?”
She sipped pensively at her tea. “Well, what if something had happened? The chances those atoms would get like this –” she jabbed a finger at him “– right here, right now, were amazingly small. One mishap and they could have become anything else. You could have been a dog, an asteroi
:iconmatrixwrath8:matrixwrath8 116 69
is the hush of the ocean,
the glossy paint on your car,
the gleam in your eyes.
It's the ruffle of parchment in the glove compartment
of your susurrating '57 Thunderbird
as we leave the last rumble of brontide behind
on a salt-crushed highway.
Traces of powdered sugar noses
and mint milkshake lips
were cold reminders
of warm nostalgic days
when summer could melt the tarmac
like my bones under your gaze.
:iconsilverinkblot:SilverInkblot 37 33
    I.                 Today I am Vanilla tea
                               on balmy days when the air is still
                               fresh with the scent of cicadas
                               and mown grass baked in the sun
                               clippings stuck to your feet as you
:iconaviswing:AvisWing 106 91
the croissant crumbles in my fingers
buttery flakes drift towards mismatched
and your lips are stained with
strawberry jam.
sleep clings to your eyes
like a shadow
and i watch you breathe, while
i trace your collarbone with
tired fingers.
we wake before the alarm
and count how many times the
neighbor's dog barks
before she finally lets him in.
your soft laugh blends perfectly into
the early morning sun.
your fingers trace the curve
of my spine
the old window rattles
in the wind
and i press my cold toes against your leg.
half asleep
i mumble how the faded, flowery wallpaper
looks pretty in the sun.
you tell me i look prettier.
i tickle your cheek with my eyelashes
and make my fingers do
ski jumps
off your nose
and wonder out loud why
the room smells like oranges
[you tell me you ate some
         for a midnight snack.]
:iconaprilwednesday:aprilwednesday 63 36
One Window
when the words undress
from earthly context,
we'll still talk, in breath
against all the many parts of us,
modulating eternity
in remembered resonance,
a language gone-silent
well before
this evolutionary star-chute
ever opened
and i sometimes fear
that we only know
one window
into each other
and i pray, that
when the berry-stain
and birdprint
of our glass
shifts in new sunlight,
that the same miracles
will still shine through
still find, in you,
some remnant
surface receptor
that remembers me as yours,
a dog between states
sleeping topwarm
in curtain-crack sunbeams,
cool-calm against
the bare boards below me,
this me, as yours,
is more than love,
it's the peace love lives to be
:iconblackbowfin:BlackBowfin 21 19
The Artist
She talked to rocks, asking them if they’d be happy
To leave their home for her newest installation piece
She cried sometimes for no reason other than
She felt like having a good cry
Her house was covered in her students’ drawings
She said the best art was produced from innocence
She went mad once, and painted canvas after canvas
In furious strokes of black
The soft blue world of youth at last faded, she grew old
People shook their heads when they saw her
And whispered “poor dear” under their breath
But she was never poor
Her love for everything and everyone never died
It was swept in all directions like a summer breeze
Making people smile without knowing why
But the river rocks know
:iconbark:Bark 89 92
May life whisper
joy through your veins
before lidding your eyes.
:iconhaphazardmelody:haphazardmelody 127 49
Heat Advisory
We are an air-mass thunderstorm at the height
of an Indian summer -- a cloudburst colliding
into a cyclone, raising the temperature of any
who wander through our sweaty inversion.
I soar above the earth buoyed on your thermals,
straight into a clap of thunder conceived by
lightning fever. A roiling heatwave travels
across our connection, evaporating the atmosphere
surrounding the eye of our storm. Your humid
breath wisps over the thermodynamics of my skin,
pushing cumulonimbus up the drought in my spine.
Muggy kisses trail down my body like volcanic ash,
a haze blurring the lines between our hurricanes.
And as the barometer spikes, my heartbeat quickens;
I am sucked into the vortex of your tropical storm.
:iconlion-essrampant:lion-essrampant 116 121
Cyclical love
I see a beginning and an end
clasped within the lines of your palms, echoing
in the ripples of your irises;
I remember the apricot april morning
stumbling over your outstretched legs
in the park which I had never seen as
anything more than a cut-through, but
my life changed course and the park
became a destination and I still don’t know
when I noticed that I was waking up
twenty minutes earlier just to
talk to you before work, just to hear
your lilting voice flow through my ears and
fill my mouth with ideas;
And I remember the dew drops kissing my feet
when you convinced me that it was practically illegal
to wear shoes in june and I watched as
the grass pressed hatched patterns into your skin
and for a moment I wished that they were my fingers
holding you in eternal summer lawns, swan choruses,
whirring rollerskates, the smell of peach blossoms;
And I remember you blooming and shedding
the remnants of your cocoon as you pointed out
made-up constellations littering a swelling augu
:iconcomatose-comet:comatose-comet 154 66
Ghost in the Machine
There were days
Melissa measured
her happiness in brightness,
when she would hold
her hands over her eyes
and the cracks of sunlight,
like old paint on drywall,
would shine through
to let her know exactly
who it was that held her.
Who is it?
And at that moment of recognition
Melissa felt…
...she felt okay.
More than photons
reflecting off of totem shells,
humanity is conch-cradled
in her dusk where light perception
is limited to the moon, where blind
is a swear word and an oath
dependent on a circadian
arcade: she is blind
and going blinder.
she allows herself a curfew
to blow out the lantern
and sing without color
for the first time.
you rely on a perfect balance—
trusting the sunshine to smile
on your bare arms at eight a.m.,
two p.m., half-past six and ticking on,
letting the moon comfort you
as patchwork clouds shawl over
midnight's studded shoulders,
leaving behind aspects of life:
natural, mundane, mechanical,
and self-made doubts.
Don't fo
:iconnichrysalis:Nichrysalis 47 38
People got tired of hearing me talk about Thomas because he had blue eyes and dark hair and could read Shakespeare without stuttering
I told everyone he was arrogant and aggravating when he was really just shy
But I liked him because his girlfriend broke up with him over facebook even though he put his arm around her and held her hand in the halls
I didn’t like him because he made out with that girl at that party even though he didn’t have any feelings for her (although she didn’t have feelings for him either)
But God, he was beautiful
He spoke like the president and wrote like the poet
I asked him if he hated me once when we were supposed to be talking about Impressionism and he didn’t say anything but gave me this long strange look like there was no straightforward answer to that question
I guess it was true for me too because I didn’t hate him and didn’t like him but I enjoyed watching him stand awkwardly next to me as he struggled to think of som
:iconguineveretogwen:GuinevereToGwen 27 15
We work together
Not like peas in a pod
But like sunbeams on water
And everything sinks to the bottom
With time
But fortunately
Not everything
:iconhaphazardmelody:haphazardmelody 34 38
Some Wonderful
When I browse the index of
"things they never told me,"
I like to rest my fingertip on
"seemingly insignificant moments
tend to matter most."
I'm ignoring all the formal portraits
for the candids.
You admiring the cobblestones
(we thought they were originals)
in the old end of Boston,
picking out what houses were made
of colonial brick,
and which weren't.
Kissing my shoulder
as I tried to write,
which kidnapped my words
but I couldn't be angry.
Your expression when
you caught me sneaking a snapshot
at the restaurant
that you didn't want saved,
(or sent to your mother.)
While I can still remember
exactly what you wore
the first time we met,
it dulls in comparison
to these stills
in moving color.
:iconcallerofcrows:callerofcrows 23 17

My Music


Mel Finefrock
Artist | Professional | Literature
United States
In addition to authoring Patchwork Poetry, Mel Finefrock has received creative writing awards from the University of North Texas and the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities. Her work also appears in popular blogs such as HuffPost, elephant journal, and Conscious Style Guide. 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



212 deviations
18 deviations
22 deviations
167 deviations
Oops! :doh: I've never been so late seeing a DD. These past few weeks have been busy both in good and bad ways, so I just logged back on yesterday. Thank you, JessaMar, for featuring "Between the Lines"; I'm truly honored. :heart:

Journal History


Add a Comment:
UltimateOutlaw Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2019  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for the watch 💞
UltimateOutlaw Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2019  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the favorite 😍
PennedinWhite Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2019  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the watch, dear. :heart:
hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2019  Professional Writer
Of course! I thought I had before so had to fix that! Hope you're doing well.
PennedinWhite Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2019  Hobbyist Writer
I am. Busy as always, and trying to stay afloat, but getting there. :heart:
LadyLincoln Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2019  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for your recent :+fav:, dear.  Tiny Heart by socksyy
hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2019  Professional Writer
Of course, Jenene. :) Hope you're doing well. :huggle:
LadyLincoln Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2019  Hobbyist Writer
Tough day today aside, I am. :hug:
Crystal-Magic13 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2019  Hobbyist Writer
I just listened to your new song.
Love you girlie. <3
hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2019  Professional Writer
Love you back. Thanks for listening. :huggle:
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