I’ve been kicking around the idea to gather my poetry every once and a while all into the same place and (re)publish it here on the blog which makes it an easy reference. Many of the poems you’ll see here today are published over on Instagram, but I like the idea of gathering a large batch of my work. One day, I’ll release a poetry book for you. Not today, though. Not quite yet.
The following poems are collected from published work in the last year, as well as some unpublished. You can find most them in full over on my Instagram page if you’d like to read more!
cold calls – 22.12.31
There are few things that reach the soul quite like cold coffee, in an empty office.
The first touch upon your lips like ambrosia in the winter,
snowfall and sugared cream
To know that in this world you are part of something,
something big and bigger than you, or me,
It is a cloudy morning in the middle of July and I have just arrived, to brew my breakfast
If it were ten degrees warmer, you tell yourself, or if I had one more day of PTO
then life could begin, my vacation
A late evening with my wife on a couch we’ve not had the means to shampoo
since before we owned it
I start and end my day the same way, with a groggy yawn at my bedside.
Without concern for what might come when I leave my bedroom
a dawning moment so surreal
Picture perfect, softly jumping into my jeans.
I am becoming something big, and bigger than me.
It is a snowy morning at the end of June and I have so, so much to do.
Spending an evening waiting of coffee machines, and printers and calls and meetings
yearning for a moment of time to be myself
To fill my hours with meaning, I bide my time
staring at a thousand screens.
There are few things that reach the soul quite like a cold call, in a busy office
Striking me where I believed I was meant to be
in the part the always yearned for more
To be complete with three decades behind me, instead
I watch my coffee steaming.
any matter – 23.1.9
It is not the matter within the downpour
Or the way in which the laughing clouds do taunt
Be they breaking a wrist
the death of a dog
losing my job
or anything, under the sun, that haunts me
I am made of greater things, so then
Regardless of the day, the damage or the downpour
I have but only one way to go — Forward.
re-angry – 23.1.11
Have you ever been so angry you’ve burst into a haze of butterflies?
Scattered this way and that, splitting apart to land on different parts of the house
In the kitchen where the dishes aren’t done,
filled with mold from last Monday’s meal.
In the den where your couch is a kingdom
littered with hair and harrowing smells.
In the bedroom with socks and old shingles
from a fortress you’d forgone when it fell
In the office beside boxes their contents mingled
Do you think it was always this way?
Have you ever been so angry you’ve laid on the ground like a sloth?
Bundled tight in a blanket made of dog hair and dust bunnies, it’s home.
Not in a way that reminds you explicitly of joy
It would be easier to lie back in bed, but your bed you’ll get to
While you sleep, you dream – and when you dream
You aren’t demanded to do a thing.
There are no meetings to meet, no hours to fill.
no dishes to clean or
doors to answer.
It is peace, when you are angry.
Peace like you’ve never had before.
Have you ever been so angry you’ve stood in the down pouring rain?
Adamant you might never get to see it again?
Screaming with strained throat and gasping for air.
The water runs over you like you were never,
In the midst of a dream you’ve dreamed a million times
The water boils to blood into steam into vines that are
In the wake of a trip to the grocery store
with too many people and
too many things.
Too many mouths
And you scream.
Have you ever been so angry
breaking apart as you breathe, against the will of your heart.
If you scream, it comes back to earth and you become,
once more a butterfly.
And you think you can sing, but more often than not it feels like you’re dying.
Have you been so angry, you became a mountain?
beneath the burden of making some sense
or gaining it. –
Surrounded by worms, pushing forever and
When you thought you’d wake the world.
And you find yourself somewhere new,
unlike butterflies and
unlike sloths. but
Familiar to you all the same.
untitled – 2023, January
It is on the tip of my tongue at all times
Dancing against the part of my mind that refuses
To remember what
it was like alone, afraid, with soft edges and filled with vapor
Barely more than a cloud in my youth
a storm brewing inside of me with every bated breath.
I do not think I could know better if I tried
What it takes to move through summer unburdened
Without the memory
it is like carrying an armful of books and papers I didn’t write
But am expected to know the content of
a lesson never learned in decades on this rock, ashamed.
We are single celled organisms and the planet is a spinning host,
Threatening to pulls us from its skin and toss us into the dark fridge beyond
But it will not
just as I will not
Succumb to the things I’ve never understood
untitled – 2023, February
This mead tastes like every part of me is changing
In between one whole thing and another
The bones inside are shaking with the weight
Of something about a heart still undiscovered
untitled – 2023, February
Every spring I put my things in boxes
Meant to make it cleaner I want to organize
All the mean things I’ve ever said about myself
or anyone else
in regard – 23.2.14
There are simply not enough hours in a day
To accomplish that which the day requires
In regard to the way you have:
brought flowers from ashes
grown passion from placid
made sweet the sickly
And churned life within me
Even in stillness I have not the seconds
To recount the myriad of sentiments
In regard to the way I am:
diluted in my weakness
engrossed in my theatrics
obsessed about my shame
And barely worthy of your name
Yet we grow like vines upon a post
To grasp upon what matters most
In regard to the way we are:
crashing waves and sandy shores
burning lighthouses and broken ships
creeping moss and blooming orchids
And two halves of something whole
but whole enough our own
to make life a beautiful
harvest of dreams to reap
the seeds of love we’ve sown.
Thanks for stopping by to have a look at my poetry, you can find more over on my Instagram in between catalog posts like this one.
March is almost halfway through, and I’ll be cooking up more poetry and more fiction every day until my birthday! You don’t want to miss it.
Thank you for participating once more in the Lifeis+ celebration. I’ve got a lot to celebrate this time around so you’ll be hearing from me often. If you’d like to read more, you can check out me current fiction project Sisters of Westwinter & The Heart, Felt Series below!
If you’d like to support what I’m doing here, you can click either of the links below to be taken to ways you can help you (if you feel so inclined!)
I’ve recently started a Ko-fi Shop online where, if you would like to help support me as I continue to work on my various writing projects here and over on Vocal, I would be so, so appreciative.
As of the publication of this post, it’s a little barebones but I’m working on getting it spruced up! I’ll be linking it at the end of each of my posts going forward if you are interested in helping me keep my eyes open at all. Anything offered through Ko-fi will go directly back into the blog, or toward other projects I can’t afford at the time.
Regardless of your decision, thank you for being here. 🔺
A.T. Baines Ko-Fi
Mental Health Support
Consider donating to a charity with the intention of aiding those struggling with thoughts of Suicide, Self Harm or Depression.
Below I’ve listed a few charities and non-profit organizations you can donate to. if you’d like to support groups trying to make the world a little bit less sad.
If you don’t see your preferred charity here, pick one! Or go give someone’s dog a treat. Anything kind will work. ❤️
More from Me:
Breaking a Promise (My Favorite Flowers: 2)
In a garden somewhere, not quite here and not quite anywhere, there is a boy who has cried his eyes away.
Seeing Someone Learn (My Favorite Flowers: 1)
In a garden somewhere, not quite here and not quite anywhere, there’s a boy who is afraid of eyes.
SOW: Chapter Five, Part Five: A Single Spark
The Nail Ward, as they called it, was as miserable as it looked from the outside. The thousands of needles covering the floor and walls made it impossible to relax, and sleep was terribly out of the question. So Kerrick stood in the corner waiting, patiently, for the sunrise.