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Renee Podunovich is a licensed professional counselor, poet, author, and freelance writer living in the SW U.S. Four Corners Region ReneePodunovichPoet.com

levity in the letting go — prose poetry

Long Shadows photo by Renee Podunovich

Late summer, the light is still in charge. If you are a sunflower, simply follow the path of the sun. Soon shadow will be cast upon you.

It doesn’t matter. For now, you are still outside that sable silhouette spreading.

In early evenings Venus and Spica dance together along the searing seam of the western horizon. This is the time of long shadows that cast our bodies slender and lumbering like sleeping silhouettes over the fading landscape.

Shadow selves — dark invisible — inner contours — momentary shapeshift captured in sunset light. …


the wilderness of transformation— poetry

Jennifer Hudson Fine Art Photography

pumps this smash-heart.
blood-grief a locomotive turned butterfly.
a fleeting life with delicate wings and steel mechanics.
animated fully by the imminence of endings.

cut by sharp stopping.
I opened a new chamber accidentally
inside the tender tissues of this idiotic and misbehaved organ.

suddenly left alone.

vulnerability is liquid and evaporation;
impossible to hold in either state
despite the desire for permanence —
the necessity of flight and distance.

the taking away, missing, loss
is the air that I breathe over and over again.
with fins, I swim in that atmosphere, or slither —
a snake diving in banks of winter…


truth in disorder — poetry prompt: distortions

Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash

She believes in messages. Stars as images. Mud of the sky. She rounds the corner. Dust motes & chinoiserie. Little ding of the elevator metals. Pullies in the past tense. Lifted.

Ocular oracle. The same positions. The move and the return. Scraps or morsels. Decks of cards pulled. Charts of lines; progressions. Chanting and decantation. Secondhand shimmies. The simmered light.

If a pattern — it remains elusive. She is fire and lingering firelight. She is quite untalented at predictions. Still, I want to believe her. Incessant need for meaning. …


Free verse poem about disappearing into space

Ursa Major Constellation by Brian Colley on Behance.net

In the palm of the new moon
a new rhythm begins —
soul notes spiraling
around the central downbeat
of my heartbeat,
how her stellar dark heart presents
the opportunity to disappear along with it —

So that I am just the breeze and the stars,
the earth humming and the cricket chants,
the slow-motion of planetary rotation
rocking me into dream drift
diaphanous dissipating drowning

And all of nature echoes inside
the empty space of my skin,
where the light of celestial bodies,
perhaps now invisible to themselves,
is still bright for thousands of years
over immense distances,
reaches me as star rain ricochet ringing…


a heart colored free verse poem

Light Bathing photo by Renee Podunovich

there is an elusive shade of yellow
I am always trying to describe —
it exists somewhere on a spectrum:
palest blonde to white absolute

the center of chamomile flowers;
tisane of calm
swallowtails midair in forests’ breath;
flaxen winged breezes
the full moon reflected in puddles;
illuminated lantern rounded

it’s not buttercream, goldenrod, or yarrow;
it’s almost, but not entirely or exactly honey
the undertone beneath the chartreuse
of lichen strung from ponderosa limbs;
light inside of Paris-green

it’s most akin to the color of my favorite silk purse
with its long, braided cord and decorative tassels;
glinting threads of Jonquil


A poem about rejected writing

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

I. “It’s just not a good fit.”

Are they talking about bathing suits? I know that feeling —
this one has horizontal stripes and my hips look as wide
as a horizon of sea viewed from shore on a clear day.
and this one — so ill-fitting that it will surely slip and slide out of place
at the slightest provocation or gentlest caress of waves.
No one wants to be in an unfitted get-up. It looks very bad
and everyone knows it.

II. “We can’t publish all of the work we receive.”

I imagine the poor editor, kept up at night by compunction. “We regret,” he wrote a hundred times just yesterday, “we are unable to…


The moment is not past tense — a prose poem

Photo by xx liu on Unsplash

Running full speed into sunset then dusk, the road seems friendly, caressed by humid night air, then pockets of coolness. Fireflies. the vague outlines of homes, shrubs, side-streets, of the hopes and dreams and plans we tend like seeds — some will never sprout.

Here, in the heart of darkness, orbiting the center of things that didn’t work out: disappointments, betrayals, misunderstandings, unfinished business, loss of big dreams — it is not the burned-out or still burning heart, rather a smooth and loving obsidian that beckons, invites the unknowing of the small self that will always exist in the past…


getting to the heart of the matter — a prose poem

“Displaying that quintessential feminine quality of cutting through abstract theories and ossified intellectual constructs, she ignored all traditional approaches and went straight to the heart of the matter.”

-Vicki MacKenzie speaking about Tenzin Palmo in the biography Cave in the Snow

Photo by Saffu on Unsplash

the hat she was given doesn’t fit. the knit shrunk on hot wash. wool now boiled into a cap that won’t even suit a Magpie. she pulls it off her head.

suddenly. cool air picks up hair like each strand is a string of a kite now dancing with static electricity and gnosis. …


don’t let the world capture your beauty — free verse poetry

Collage by Renee Podunovich

in the alabaster samsara
I found the teardrop you left behind, luminescing
in the vaulted hollow of waking-dreaming projections,
metastasized to infinity and evaporation —
placed upon my curious thirst, now
the ocean that moved through you moved
earth into canyons, swells in me, salt in cells,
mineral bones and crystalline skin

left with remnants, glimpses, the transitory
always translated by the melting mouth of reason,
sounded on power&control&dominance
the ever-need for meaning — you must quiet the extra voices,
those outside the ring of your intuition, reach into back pockets
untarnished, find your fleece, that untamed gold-leaf,
despite the tyranny — how we are really…

Renee Podunovich

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