#BlaPoWriMo: Under the night’s sky

Love Tanka #19

My love's skin is as
Black as the night's sky. I count
the stars in freckles,
the constellations in stripes—
his back a map to freedom.

© 2023 Nortina Simmons

Continue reading “#BlaPoWriMo: Under the night’s sky”

Bloganuary Day 13

Happy Friday the 13th, Bloganuary participants! No, I did not almost burn my apartment down this morning by forgetting a slice of cheese toast under the broiler in the oven. Today was a totally normal Friday… 😀

For today’s prompt, I couldn’t decide which poem I liked more, so I’m giving you a twofer.

What would you do with a billion US dollars?

A Billion Dollars? A Senryu

A billion dollars?
Is that before or after
taxes? Pay my bills.

© 2023 Nortina Simmons

A Billion Dollars? Love Tanka #18

Photo by Asad Photo Maldives on Pexels.com

A billion dollars?
I'd buy a resort island
for me and my love.
Sip mango lassi on the
beach—no visas required.

© 2023 Nortina Simmons

NoHoldsBarredPoetryWritingChallenge Day 29: Under the monkey bars

woman in white tank top and black and white striped shorts sitting on blue metal railings

Love Tanka #17

Remember when we
were young, playing on monkey
bars? You held me up
so I wouldn't slip, but I 
felt your eyes under my dress.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

NoHoldsBarredPoetryWritingChallenge Day 22: Pit stop

woman lying on bed

Love Tanka #16

Wake me up before
you go, fill my mug with smooth
dark roast. Dispatch calls.
What's the ETA? Stay—Blame
the COVID shipping delays.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

NoHoldsBarredPoetryWritingChallenge Day 13: Baby, come back

blurred taillights of car in rain

Love Tanka #15

In driving rain, your
voice pours through my car's speakers,
"Get home safe." Thunder 
rumbles, lightning flashes, I
ponder coming back to you.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

NoHoldsBarredPoetryWritingChallenge Day 9: Waiting

woman lying in sand touch the branch of a tiny tree with a single green leaf

Love Tanka #14

Waiting for lover's
return is like waiting for
rain when the river's 
dried—the fish flapping, gulping
air, echoes of my scorched heart.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

Autumn Lapse

Love Tanka #5

Sun sets an hour
early; wind pushes east, sends
fallen burgundy
leaves adrift. Wool scarf tightens
around neck; coffee cools in

Styrofoam cup—pumpkin spice.
Pumpkin patch picked; please, contest
winner, spice up this
love with cinnamon kisses.
My Rip Van Winkle slept the

Autumn away; wood
splinters fracture his cheekbones.
Frost-bitten lips, blue
like night’s sky when moon is full,
and I dream he’ll wake in Spring.

© 2015 Nortina Simmons

Originally published October 21, 2015

Insane asylum patient #13

She liked to set things on fire. The final victim, a young poet, secret admirer.

He wrote her a poem on parchment, slipped it under her door.

roses are red, like
the polish on your nails, like
the blood in my veins—
my heart beats for you as I
muster the courage to say...

“I love you,” he finished. He couldn’t help it, had to invite himself in to see her reaction.

“Would you like to burn?” she asked.

His pulse quickened. “Yes!”

She crumpled the paper, stuffed it in his mouth, struck a match, watched him light with passion.

© Nortina Simmons

tender, sweet

Love Tanka #12

I love you—it feels
archaic to say, because
people so often
are fickle in love. But your
kiss—tender, sweet—transcends time.

A Kiss in Your Pocket: Xerophilous (#AtoZChallenge #LovePoetry)


Run away with me—
to the arid, dry terrain—
hop on back of my
motorcycle, I will show
you the world they keep hidden

2019© Nortina Simmons

xerophilous (adj) – thriving in a very dry environment