Wordy Wednesday: A Journey

Poem I wrote in November 2008

With eyes shining
You inform me that you are becoming a boat
–please leave a message at the beep–
The bomb shelter has flooded
And we’ve decided to paint our lips with
Your skin is a language I find trembling
(My tongue stutters in my mouth)
You are my thanksgiving in 8 words-
A treasure beneath the window pane-
A cracking
Becoming an oasis in the desert of
The water in my solar system
The touch of heat and the the spark of
Fire in the magnifying mirror
With burning leaves and
Direct sunlight and the moon
It’s winter and I love you.


Wordy Wednesday: Tu Me Manques


What terrified me the most was the way you started breaking promises as easily as throwing breadcrumbs to birds–tossed off, discarded crumbs of gluten that wouldn’t matter to a girl Iike me who has to spit out cold pizza when I forget AGAIN that I’m allergic. 

Old habits die hard. 

After 9 years of dependability you started small: 

“I’ll be there at 11.”

“I’ll call you later.”

“I’ll talk to you soon.”

This final promise a nail in the coffin of a friendship which may or may not still breathe. We forgot to check. Perhaps it’s a vampire and it will revive if we open the casket in a few months?

But, maybe it really was fragile and human all along. 

All humans have an expiration date. Like milk. 

I keep remembering your arms. I thought I had you memorized but still you’re fading away. I remember how fiercely you held me and lifted me into the air– your embrace a thing I could call into.

I remember trying to forget you in Italy. Rumpled white sheets, Gotye on the television. 
My boyfriend attempted to build a fort around me.

I remember Tom kissing my hand in the theater, lifting me into the air for Listerine kisses–his towering frame filling the doorway.
I have always sought out the safety of height.

But I always came back to you. You were my home. Not just an island in my ocean. A place where I could go when rains fell. 

My gutter. 

But, you don’t define me. Lack of you does not make me less whole. I thought you were my missing rib.I thought strings attached our hearts and that cutting those strings would leave me gaping open, bleeding internally.

But I’m still me. I’m still warm, my skin is still a healthy color. Curly-haired, blue-eyed, left-handed artist. Christian pagan, 5’2″, vibrant dancer, massage maven, world traveler, writer, yogi, cat woman. 

You wanted me to be Harley in love with a madman who never loved her back. But as I write I remember who I am. I remember how I feel. I remember what I’ve lost and what I’ve kept. I realize I don’t need to be afraid. 

In the morning I wake up sweating. Overnight the seasons have changed. 
&I am a little blast furnace. A little engine who can.

-written by Joy Boardman, March 10, 2016


Untitled Writer Prompt- Three Days Long


3 days long.
I’ve been holding my breath down here.
Avoiding the stench of these unsifted emotions that we just step over all the time like mounds of moldy wreckage in a hoarders house. Frightening and violent. We’ve been in denial for so long that I don’t even know what is real anymore.

I drag these piles with me everywhere I go. Last night I Googled: “when is it okay to let go?” And Google wasn’t feeling lucky so it turned up some file on cliff diving without a parachute. I think I will try to find away to apply my research.

Step one:
Get a running start.

Step two:
Don’t stop until you hit the bottom.

Step three and four:
Collect yourself again, and begin to walk in unknown territory, exposed, alone. You didn’t expect to survive so you’ve brought nothing with you. Become wild.

I think three days is too long to live without hearing your voice. I hum to myself as I walk along and my voice bounces off the canyon walls, keeping me company. I have learned how to survive a fall and when I make it home to you, I will no longer be afraid.

We will begin by gently touching each other’s mouths with rocks I found by the river. You’ll whisper that you never felt like you belonged here. I will smile with my crazy eyes and you’ll understand that I never felt safe anywhere until I was left to die.

-Joy Boardman, March 23, 2015

Joy Boardman

Massage Therapist and Collage Art Therapist

Planet Joy: Otherworldly Massages for Women, Planet-Friendly Collages for Everyone

Find me here:

[PlanetJoy’s Blog]

[PlanetJoy on Facebook]

[PlanetJoy on Pinterest]

Wordy Wednesday: “How To Brave Night” by Gregory Sherl

How To Brave Night

Love should come with four exclamation marks, not three.
My heart goes bird poem, bird poem, bronchitis, triceratops.
I was born a world with my lips into your chest.
I brought the dust to its settle. Never three-way with ghosts.
Slowly gorging in rhythm while burning down
wildfires—wonder how last names curve like highways.
The Age of Yelling Love & doing it wrong.
I believe we all came from passion, the last seconds
of ticking, the directness of locked doors. Say burnt coals walking
through feet. Falling in place, throw rocks
at everything. I think best while counting Eskimos.
Say the smell you make when you moan. Or, how an angel
eats macaroons. Even so, yesterday in your different hair,
attaching strings to clouds. Alone with wind. I came here
to tell you I have loved everything once.

(Gregory Sherl)

Wordy Wednesday: “Notes on a Candy Cane Tree” by Gregory Sherl

What did I think about before you touched my thigh? Let me say this: I’m going to touch you until my fingers fall off. If my fingers don’t fall off, I will hold your hand even if it’s sweaty. And let me say this: You are lovelier than clouds that look like lovely things. I have only loved a few times and the last time was when you rubbed my neck under the monkey bars. We weren’t much younger than we are now. I still have the same haircut. You still have only one dimple. It’s on your left cheek and it looks like you fell on a pebble. I love that it looks like you fell on a pebble. Let me say this: You taste like candy canes. There was a candy cane tree in my old neighborhood. My neighbor hung candy canes on the branches of the willow and I snatched them in the middle of the night. It was December when I rode my bike the quickest, like I was going somewhere to meet you. I like you more than the candy cane tree. Let me say this: I am uncomfortable in my own skin, so I hold your face. I hold your face and your hips but mostly your face. You have a lovely face. Let me say this: I love you like monsters like scaring little kids. I make a list of words I can use to diagram your body: petite, mellifluous, comely, milk, necessary. Please, forgive the humming; you see I rarely taste candy canes in March. When I don’t taste you I taste sweat. Not good sweat, mind you, sweaty sweat from the men’s locker room. Sometimes I taste pizza, but that’s only because I loved pizza first. Let me say this: My love for pizza was fleeting. I was young and naive and thought that extra toppings meant something. These are fine days because they end with you. Let me just say this: I’m going to kiss you until my lips fall off. If my lips don’t fall off, I will kiss up your spine until I run out of spine. Then I’ll start over.

Year in Review: Favorite Posts, Part 3

Here are some of my favorite posts from 2013. Click the links to check out the posts!


(click) Unfinished Goals 2013

(click) Completed Goals

(click) Why I don't date

(click) Mottos

(click) 20 Questions


(click) Disconnect

(click) Breaking Down

(click) Moon Reflected on the Ocean

(click) The gravity of inertia

(click) Find part one here!
(click) Part two!

Wordy Wednesday: Love by Roy Croft

I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.

I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light all the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite fare enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good,
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done if
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all.

Wordy Wednesday: Little Clown, My Heart by Sandra Cisneros


Little clown, my heart,
Spangled again and lopsided,
Handstands and Peking pirouettes,
Backflips snapping open like
A carpenter’s hinged ruler,

Little gimp-footed hurray,
Paper parasol of pleasures,
Fleshy undertongue of sorrows,
Sweet potato plant of my addictions,

Acapulco cliff-diver corazón,
Fine as an obsidian dagger,
Alley-oop and here we go
Into the froth, my life,
Into the flames!

Wordy Wednesday: Companion by Jo McDougall

When Grief came to visit,
she hung her skirts and jackets in my closet.
She claimed the only bath.

When I protested,
she assured me it would be
only for a little while.

Then she fell in love with the house,
repapered the rooms,
laid green carpet in the den.

She’s a good listener
and plays a mean game of Bridge.
Bust it’s been seven years.

Once, I ordered her outright to leave.
Days later
she came back, weeping.

I’d enjoyed my mornings,
coffee for one;
my solitary sunsets,
my Tolstoy and Molière.

I asked her in.


Wordy Wednesday: Sign by Marge Piercy

The first white hair could in my hand,
more wire than down.
Out of the bathroom mirror it glittered at me.
I plucked it, feeling thirty creep in my joints,
and found it silver. It does not melt.

My twentieth birthday lean as glass
spring vacation I stayed in the college town
twanging misery’s electric banjo offkey.
I wanted to inject love right into the veins
of my thigh and wake up visible:
to vibrate color
like the minerals in stones under black light.
My best friend went home without loaning me money.
Hunger was all of the time the taste of my mouth.

Now I am ripened and sag a little from my spine.
More than most I have been the same ragged self
in all colors of luck dripping and dry,
yet love has nested in me and gradually eaten
those sense organs I used to feel with.
I have eaten my hunger soft and my ghost grows stronger.

Gradually, I am turning to chalk,
to humus, to pages and pages of paper,
to fine silver wire like something a violin
could be strung with, or somebody garroted,
or current run through: silver truly,
this hair, shiny and purposeful as forceps
if I knew how to use it.

Wordy Wednesday: You Cant Have It All by Barbara Ras

But you can have the fig tree and its fat leaves like clown hands
gloved with green. You can have the touch of a single eleven-
year-old finger
on your cheek, waking you at one a.m. to say the hamster is back.
You can have the purr of the cat and the soulful look
of the black dog, the look that says, If I could bite
every sorrow until it fled, and when it is August,
you can have it August and abundantly so. You can have love,
though often it will be mysterious, like the white foam
that bubbles up at the top of the bean pot over the red kidneys
until you realize foam’s twin is blood.
You can have the skin at the center between a man’s legs,
so solid, so doll-like. You can have the life of the mind,
glowing occasionally in priestly vestments, never admitting
never stooping to bribe the sullen guard who’ll tell you
all roads narrow at the border.
You can speak a foreign language, sometimes,
and it can mean something. You can visit the marker on the
where your father wept openly. You can’t bring back the dead,
but you can have the words forgive and forget hold hands
as if they meant to spend a lifetime together. And you can be
for makeup, the way it kisses your face, half spice, half amnesia,
for Mozart, his many notes racing one another towards joy,
for towels
sucking up the drops on your clear skin, and for deeper thirsts,
for passion fruit, for saliva. You can have the dream,
the dream of Egypt, the horses of Egypt and you riding in the
hot sand.
You can have your grandfather sitting on the side of your bed,
at least for a little while, you can have clouds and letters, the leaping
of distances, and Indian food with yellow sauce like sunrise.
You can’t count on grace to pick you out of a crowd
but here is your friend to teach you how to high jump,
how to throw yourself over the bar, backwards,
until you learn about love, about sweet surrender,
and here are periwinkles, buses that kneel, farms in the mind
as real as Africa. And when adulthood fails you,
you can still summon the memory of the black swan on the pond
of your childhood, the rye bread with peanut butter and bananas
your grandmother gave you while the rest of the family slept.
There is the voice you can still summon at will, like your mother’s,
it will always whisper, you can’t have it all,
but there is this.


Wordy Wednesday: from Summer with Monika by Roger McGough


….Away from you
I feel a great emptiness
A gnawing loneliness

With you
I get that reassuring feeling
Of wanting to escape

photo by Laura Makabresku

Joy Boardman

Massage Therapist and Collage Art Therapist

Planet Joy: Otherworldly Massages for Women, Planet-Friendly Collages for Everyone

Find me here:

[PlanetJoy’s Blog]

[PlanetJoy’s Etsy Shop]

[PlanetJoy on Facebook]

[PlanetJoy on Pinterest]

Wordy Wednesday: Having a Coke with You by Frank O’Hara

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I am with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

    I look

at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together for the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse

    it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience

which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I’m telling you about it


Wordy Wednesday: Abandoned Sink, Poem by Joy Boardman


You belong to me
Or belonged….

How long is this invisible thread which transforms the time between us?

I thought we had an understanding
But I slide through your hands like water

Our friendship is a drain I fall into
Dark and damp

A dripping keeps me awake at night

You laugh like mold.

By Joy Boardman

Wordy Wednesday: Lover by Isobel Thrilling

Lover by Isobel Thrilling
I don’t just want
Your heart
I want your flesh,
Your skin
And blood and bones,
Your voice, your thoughts
Your pulse
And most of all your


Nothing is more criminal
Than love,
It steals hours from
The day,
Dreams from my head,
The sun
From the sky,

Perhaps it shone today,

I don’t recall,
I distilled all your words
And made my own climate.

Joy Boardman

Massage Therapist and Collage Art Therapist

Planet Joy: Otherworldly Massages for Women, Planet-Friendly Collages for Everyone

Find me here:

[PlanetJoy’s Blog]

[PlanetJoy’s Etsy Shop]

[PlanetJoy on Facebook]

[PlanetJoy on Pinterest]