“Sad-sad wrapped in anxious-anxious,

wrapped in a slew of questions …”




Share the next installment in Marylen Grigas’s new poetry series, illustrated by Riley McAlpine-Barthold.  These elegant poems map the boundaries of home, body, illness, and love, boundaries also eloquently evoked in the line drawings.






Sad-sad wrapped in anxious-anxious,

wrapped in a slew of questions;


shrink-wrapped in a warped frame,

still wishing for connections …


Even with weather mild and kind,

even with new romantic dreams


and dimly lit rooms,

her mind recoils:


Not anchors, not answers,

not icons or echoes,


but just a thin strap

would do.


Stars above burn in their constellations,

Dog Star wrapped with a white dwarf;


white dwarf bound in gravity,

Dog Star the axis of it all,


even as every sad and limping thing

collapses and radiates.



Marylen Grigas is the author of  the poetry collection  Shift, out this fall from Nature’s Face publishers.  Her poems have recently been published in The New Yorker, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Circulo de Poesia. She lives in Vermont and works at an architectural stained glass studio.

Riley McAlpine-Barthold grew up in rural Vermont in a cabin without electricity or running water but with lots of time to draw.  After college, she moved to L.A., where she worked as an artist and painter.   Now back in Vermont, Riley continues to make art and is also a certified Bioenergy therapist.

Read what Marylen has to say about the series by clicking here.

Watch this space for new works appearing once or twice a week in September and October.