What the Sirens Say

What the Sirens Say
Annie Louise Twitchell

She is a comet,
blasting through the universe
that is her own self,
at speeds I cannot comprehend.

She is the moon,
her force swelling the ocean tides
and making sea glass
from broken beer bottles.

She is Ulysses,
tying herself to the mast
because she does not want to die
but how
how can she resist the chance to hear
what the sirens say?

Copyright 2017 by Annie Louise Twitchell


Annie Louise Twitchell

All she wanted
was a hand to hold

as she jumped off the cliff

until she learned that maybe

jumping off the cliff was really just

the metaphor for taking a step

all by herself

without a hand to hold.

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Shower of Tears

Shower of Tears
Annie Louise Twitchell
shampoo still stings the same as it did when I was seven
but the difference is that when I was seven
I cried at the soap in my eyes but
now I don’t have to be near the shower
for my eyes to cry and I like showers
now because I can cry and no one
can tell if it’s because my world is slowly crumbling around me

if it’s because I got soap in my eyes
Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell


Annie Louise Twitchell

She is an oak tree,
standing firm when others
are tossed in the storms.

She is a thunderstorm,
sharp and biting when she needs,
but bringing a rainbow after.

She is the summer night sky,
deep and velvet and unfathomable
but brilliant with starlight.

Most important,

Oak trees are a very particular sort of beastie. Oak trees have a tap root – a long, thick, central root that goes quite deep. This anchors them down. I don’t know how it continues to develop as the tree matures, but when I was little and weeding oak sprouts out of my flower bed (thank you ever so much, Jeremiah Gray Squirrel), the bottom part of the oak sprout, the tap root, was as long or longer than the top part with leaves and bark and stuff. It was so fascinating!

(Quick note, I’ve started a Facebook page, so go check that out: facebook.com/AnnieLouiseTwitchell)
Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

9/11 – We Remember

And Daddy
Annie Louise Twitchell

They say he’s a hero now but
they don’t understand that he
was always a hero to me. All
I know is that my daddy’s gone
and he’s not ever coming home
and Mommy cries herself to
sleep each night -she got rid of
their big bed and has a little one
like me now so she doesn’t have
an empty space where he ought to be.
And our dog waits at the door
every morning for a walk and
he never gets it and he gives up
after a while and lies down
under the kitchen table and licks
my bare feet when I sit down to
eat my breakfast.
I miss my daddy’s morning kisses,
three of them all lined up in a row,
as he gets me apple juice in
my pink cup with black stripes
– a pink zebra.
I miss running with him and
pretending to get tired and
getting him to carry me all
the way home on his shoulders.
I miss stopping for ice cream
every Saturday on the way home
from the dump and I miss soap wars
while he and Mommy do the dishes
and I miss Mommy laughing.
She doesn’t laugh anymore, and I wish she could.

There’s so many ‘ands’ now
but there’s one that’s missing:
me and Mommy
and Daddy.

Today marks the fifteenth anniversary since 9/11. I had this poem show up in my head a few days ago and it dawned on me yesterday that it would be rather appropriate for today. 
We remember. This poem is for the men and women who lost their lives fifteen years ago today, and especially for the ones who lost their lives to try and save others. Those people who died, not just in the immediate attack but in the aftermath and rescue, they weren’t just names and numbers, they were people like those I live every day of my life around. They had lives and families and children and parents and spouses. And those were left to try and carry on as best as one can after such a loss. 
They each had a story to tell and we don’t necessarily know much about it except the ending. And for that ending, for what they did in service to other people just like them and just like you and me, I’ll always be grateful. We need heroes. And we need to not forget that heroes aren’t always the ones we hear about, the big names and the great heroic acts, but that heroes are often the guy next door, the woman down the street, the police officer on the side of the road. 

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell
Image credits to original artists


Rather appropriate for back to school, don’t you think?

Annie Louise Twitchell
I have a new pencil.
A friendly, blue pencil,
with a nice sharp tip.
My pencil writes well.
Fine lines begin to fill
my paper, telling stories
about dragons,
and love.
My pencil is tired now.
The bright blue paint
is chipped,
from months of being
carried in my book bag.
The eraser is worn to a stub
from the labor of removing
my thoughts.
It’s almost too short to be held
in my hand.
I don’t want to give it up
and let it go –
the letters and words
it formed for me
are important.
They mean something.
But it’s only a tool,
to convey my thoughts
so others can understand them.
The work of my pencil is done.
I have a new pencil.
A friendly green pencil,
with a nice sharp tip.
Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Dream Baby

Okay. This is me, warning you all, that this might make you cry. I’m sorry. I cried while writing it, on the interstate on the way to Bangor. I was wearing sunglasses so I don’t think I disturbed anyone. But still. I’ve warned you. You might cry.

Still here? Okay. 

Dream Baby
Annie Louise Twitchell

I’m sorry I can’t stay, Mommy.

But this was my choice.

You needed me for this short time

and I am glad to be your baby.

And I know you want me forever,

but I can’t stay any longer.

I have to go back to Abba Father.

But you don’t have to be too sad

for me because He said

I could play at His feet

until you come see me again.

And I’ll be okay, Mommy,

I promise,

and you’ll be okay too, one day.

I love you, Mommy, so very very much.



Bye bye, Mommy, for a while…

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell


Annie Louise Twitchell



cutting through the water
my hands like a knife blade
forcing a path through





kicking, kicking,
breaking the surface again
water swirling
hair wet, pushed out of my face
sucking in a breath
climbing up
onto the raft




Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell
Image: Annie Louise Twitchell – Kezar Lake in Lovell Maine on the eve of a thunderstorm.


Annie Louise Twitchell

The dark shadow
of night falls
in a sudden rush
over my cottage.
Bright color and welcome song
cannot hold back the night.

Tonight the dark is
threatens to bury me
under the black expanse of the sky.
In the night I sit alone,
wishing for a whisper of comfort.

Would it not be better
to let the night run its course?
To let the new day shine clear?
Maybe it is best this way,
though I long for the dark
to be lifted, taken from me.

Then, in the rays of the new sun,
I see him coming towards me.
My friend,
come to spend the day with me,
to make our lonely nights
fade into pale memories.

I run to him, I will not
leave his side, the whole day long.
We delight in being alive, not alone –
it is being alone
that makes the night so dark,

makes it hurt so much.

This is one of my first poems that I was really happy with. I took a poetry class and the teacher asked us to write a metaphor. I chose pain, probably because I had a headache that day and was feeling pretty blue and depressed. I was happy with this because it evoked the emotions in myself that I was hoping to evoke in others. I have always felt frustrated at my inability to vocalize emotions – I start to explain why I feel sad and approximately 4.9 seconds into the explanation, I am a soggy puddle of tears. I wanted my poem to be able to talk because I can’t. Whether it worked on this one or not, I don’t know. It has worked on others that I’ve done since.
Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Two Souls Made One

Two Souls Made One
Annie Louise Twitchell

The first time I looked
into your eyes
I looked down to the
bottom of your soul
where your darkest
secrets and fears
slept, barely hidden
under a veil of tears.
I wanted to reach
into you
and pull the feeble shining
light of your heart
out of the darkness
and take you away
from the monsters
inside you,
but I was afraid.
Afraid to let you
see my monsters
and demons,
afraid I would hurt you.

I’m still afraid.

I want nothing more
than to be with you, and
together chase our demons
together make our lives
a little brighter,
a little sweeter.
I crave your touch
as you slip your
hand into mine,
the look on your face
as you tilt your head
towards me.
I need to hear your
breathing at night
when I wake up
from a nightmare
and know that you
are with me,
that we are not alone

I cannot offer you
diamonds and gold,
a palace,
the world,
but I can offer you
a friend.
I can offer you
a companion
who will listen,
who will care for you,
who understands the nightmares
and the demons,
who isn’t afraid to share grief
as well as love.
I can offer you my heart,
weak and broken as it is,
and maybe between the two of us,
we can become one whole being.
The demons will flee before us,
the darkness will have no power
over the light we have been given,
and we won’t have to be afraid anymore.

This was another one of those, sit down and start typing without looking at the screen to read the words.

I wrote it and then I didn’t show anyone for weeks or maybe months because every time I read it, I got this dull ache somewhere inside and I didn’t know why and I didn’t want to make anyone else ache or be sad or anything like that. (I really didn’t like making people sad, but I kind of keep doing it, at least now I don’t have a panic attack when it happens.)

It took a long time (over a year, I believe) for this one to be ready to be shared but it is now  – or maybe I am finally ready to share it, However that works. Anyway, enjoy!

Also, I got my typewrite fixed! New ink ribbons and a rubber band and it’s working nicely now.

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell