Image by Bethany Rhode

Over the Weathered Fence

Over the Weathered Fence By Bethany Rohde An orange-lit cloud— glowing center, dissolving edges ******* A writer from the great state of Washington, Bethany Rohde received her BA in English Studies from Western Washington University. You can read her poetry at and on her blog,

Image by Carlos Sillero via

You can’t make weak coffee stronger

Every family has its truisms, its set of unquestioned stock phrases that represent the full weight of universal truth and, at the same time, mean nothing. One of ours is: “You can make strong coffee weaker, but you can’t make weak coffee stronger.” This is important, as my mother will tell you as a reminder…


An abundance to see

Kelly Belmonte is an author of two books of poetry, “Spare Buttons” and “Three Ways Of Searching”. We are delighted to showcase a selection of her poems, seasonally apt, and welcome her to ALTARWORK as our October 2015 Writer Of The Month. Have a look between the lines. There is an abundance to see. Jason Ramsey,…

Image by Becka Choat

The Poet’s Prayer, at Harvest-Time

The Poet’s Prayer, at Harvest-Time I have planted neither field nor orchard. My seeds are words. I have sown them, here in this small home-plot, and any that were left I have flung to the wind. You alone, O Lord, know where they have scattered, whether they have taken root, what fruit they have borne.…


Wonder Woman and the Three-Ring Circus

Our wandering band of merry muses will weigh in this month at All Nine on the topic of “harvest.” Yes, it is seasonally apt, but for me this is a time when the alternative meanings resonate more deeply. Note: Harvest noun 4. a supply of anything gathered at maturity and stored: a harvest of wheat. 5. the result or consequence of any act, process, or event: The journey yielded a harvest of wonderful memories. (excerpt from Here in these definitions you…

Image by Holly Ordway

A Ballade in Praise of Tea

Malcolm Guite recently wrote a delightful ballade, in the style of Chesterton and Belloc, in praise of pipe-smoking. I commented that although I approve of pipe-smoking, I don’t myself smoke, so for me, the equivalent would be a nice cup of tea. Malcolm, of course, promptly challenged me to write a Ballade about Tea. Challenge…

Image by Becka Choat

A Pleasant Interlude

Both June and August this year were fraught with personal storms for me, but in July I was granted a blessedly peaceful and pleasant interlude. Here are a few word-snapshots of that time. Packing the car on Independence Day, setting out, tentatively hopeful. Hot day. Cool water rushing over bare feet. Pure and simple bliss.…