I honestly don’t know what prompted this poem. It just kind of happened. I took a handful of lines from a Facebook post I’d made in a writing group when I had a headache and was feeling depressed and I turned them into this:

Annie Louise Twitchell
You will remember a half whisper of me
when you see a single rosebud on the dust shrub
growing in the parking lot median and
when you see a forgotten ice cream cone melting
across the sidewalk at the park and
when the wind blows just so and plays with her hair.
And you will never quite be able to forget me.

And for that, I am sorry.

(And after spending twenty minutes wrestling with the formatting, I quit. If the fonts aren’t all the same, whatever. I’ll try harder next time, but I’m tired.)

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Their Hands

Their Hands
Annie Louise Twitchell
The dirt crumbles
through her thin pale fingers
staining them
a warm comforting brown
as she covers over the seeds
and lets them lie in sun-soaked
earth to swell and bud.
Sweat rolls down his arms
as he raises the axe high
and swings the shining metal head
down – force, thud – through
the ash log and splits cleanly in two
then quarters
then eighths.
Warm water running in the sink,
she stands to wash the dirt away.
He pins her between cool counter
and his own warm chest and cups
her hands in his, pouring the water
over them and washing clean,
soap suds fragrant and white,
water warm and soothing.
I love gardening. I have a little corner of the yard where nobody ever goes but me, and in this corner, I have a twenty five foot tall apple tree that grew wild and I found and adopted. The apples she gives are large, and very juicy, although when pressed their juice is somewhat weak. The best cider is from the neighbor’s apple tree, which has smaller and somewhat drier apples, mixed with the cider from my tree. Then there is a good deal of sweet, slightly tart cider. It’s amazing. 
Also with my apple tree, I have lilies of the valley, irises, Jack in the Pulpit, a lovely tangle of wild roses, dandelions, and a few other wild plants. I tried to plant violets there but this particular kind of violet, anyway, seems to thrive best in really poor soil. Because this corner of the yard was never really touched until I got around to it, years and years of leaf mold and rotten apples, along with earth worms and other creatures, have worked their magic and the soil is very rich and moist and dark. So the violets don’t grow some well. 
Anyway, I came up with the above poem last week (or maybe it was the week before) on the way home from the dentist. There’s some really cool rock formations on the way to Rangeley, and while driving along them on the S-curves, I had an image just pop into my head. Then when I got home I went and threw some glitter around and came up with the poem. Titling it was awkward and I’m still not sure what I think of it, but, I can’t come up with anything better at the moment. Probably in six months I’ll just randomly yell out sometimes in the middle of dinner and that will be the title. 
Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

An Unwanted Gift

Sometimes I really don’t know if I like Pinterest after all.

Because sometimes I get pictures like these.

And every so often one comes around that just shatters something inside. 

The above was one of those pictures. Even without reading the caption. I just stared at it for a while and then started typing. I don’t remember how long I typed before coming up with the following poem:

An Unwanted Gift
Annie Louise Twitchell

You said I could have your bicycle

when you didn’t need it anymore.
Well, they called you to go away
and you left it chained to the tree,
the one we built a wobbly house in.
I couldn’t find the key to unlock it.
Mum said I’d have to wait until you
came home, so I waited.
I waited for so long.
All that came home was a letter that
made Mum scream,
made Dad cry.

Afterwards, they said I could cut

the chain and have the bicycle.
But I didn’t want it anymore.
I just wanted my big brother to
stop playing games and come home,
come back up the driveway and —
and you never came home.

Your bicycle is still there.
The tree has grown around it and
sometimes I wonder if those two wheels
could lift the tree, the house, and me
and carry us all away to wherever
that war took you. And maybe
I could say I miss you,
and I love you,
and why couldn’t you come home?

I just remember stopping after some time and reading over what I had written and feeling completely devastated. And the funny thing was that I almost didn’t mind. 

I have spent more time crying over that poem. I started practicing reading it out loud to my cat. The first couple (dozen) times I couldn’t even read the whole thing without crying. 

Finally I got a bit disgusted – I’m an easily emotional person and I was afraid I was overreacting or something. So I printed out a copy and gave it to my mom. (This time I did remember to tell her it was a sad poem.) 

Apparently I wasn’t really overreacting…

I mailed it in to Webster Library’s Annual Poetry Contest and kept practicing. I wanted to be able to read it out loud if I got the chance, without completely losing it. Finally I got so I could read it through several times in a row without breaking down into tears.

Then was the tricky part. If I made my mother, who is not an easy person to make cry, cry when she read my poem, how on earth I was going to survive reading to an audience? I start crying when I see other people crying!

Well, luckily for me, my oldest brother and my sister in law were up for dinner and so I just kind of decided to read it out loud to the whole family. I managed it alright, caught almost all of the right twists I wanted to, didn’t start bawling, and I didn’t get stage fright. deep breath

And then last week I got sick and didn’t do much with any of my writing for a couple days. I finished making lunch or something like that and wobbled back into the living room to take a nap on the couch, and picked up my tablet to see if I had gotten a reply about a silly question (not the knife question, a different one) from my friend, and found the notification that

I won

second place Adult Category

with my poem.

It was a couple more hours before I was able to take my nap because I got so excited at the news, I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t even lie quietly very well. I would like to formally apologize to anyone who got overwhelmed by me messaging them in a feverish excitement because I won.

I did make it down to the library with my dad to read my poem. For a while I wasn’t sure I would be well enough to go, which I was really upset about because I’d put so much blood and sweat and tears into that poem. I didn’t do as well as I expected I would, although apparently the video camera didn’t pick up my shaky hands, and I guess my reading worked alright. 

And a shout out to the fabulous Connie Jean for making me the sketch at the top. I’d tried several different things for a cover image and that is my favourite.

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

‘Unwanted Gift Sketch’ by Connie Jean


Annie Louise Twitchell
Thin sheets of paper,
wood fibers
pasted together.
Black lines,
fine as baby’s hair
curious shapes
The marks
mean something,
a word,
an idea.
in trees,
my ideas
go on
longer than me.
but told
without speaking.
Held imprisoned
on the leaves
made from
long dead trees.
Aching to be released,
let fly
above the inked
and sing aloud
to the sun
the stories they were
made to tell.
Tied down
on the white sheets
so I can read them
and let them
fly in my mind.
I don’t remember what prompted this poem. I think I had a headache/migraine and was, as I often do when there is an angry troll pounding on the inside of my skull, pondering impossiblities. Words are seriously weird things. Like, I’m sitting here typing the thoughts in my head, and you’re sitting there reading and (hopefully, although this is Annie we’re talking about) understanding them. It’s just… weird. Really, really weird.
Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Maine Maple Sunday, Mud Season, and Poetry Contests

I am late.

I am not a wizard, therefore it is not surprising.

I meant to do a new blog post on Sunday. Sunday was Easter. I was baking a ham and helping drain the flooded basement.

I meant to do one on Monday. Monday didn’t happen this week, not entirely sure why. I think maybe someone stole it or something.

I meant to do one on Tuesday. Tuesday was crazy, as usual.

I meant to do one on Wednesday. I didn’t do much of anything on Wednesday, until after 9pm, at which point I went for a run.

It is now Thursday and I am finally making a new blog post.


I mailed in my poems for the National Poetry Month contests I’m doing this year. We shall see. *cue first photo*

I spent time with my cat. Actually, my cat spent time with me. *cue second photo*
Some of my family and I went to Maine Maple Sunday, on Saturday. I love maple season. I love it when I drink so much maple sap that I start talking Old Entish. I love it when we make our own syrup and get to climb on the woodshed roof and roast hot dogs over the smokestack. And smores with cinnamon graham crackers and Reese’s peanut butter cups are amazing. But we didn’t make syrup this year, so I settled for inhaling as much hot sticky steam as I could at the two farms we visited. It was a lovely day, as the chickens were discussing while they lounged in a sunbeam. *cue third photo*
I am doing Camp NaNo this year, which starts tomorrow, so we shall see how that goes.

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Love Song

This is the other poem I mentioned the other day. I won my local library’s poetry contest with this one. I’m really looking forward to writing some more poetry for this year’s contest. Now I’m competing in the adult category, gulp.

Love Song
Annie Louise Twitchell

I could write you a love song
to tell how much I care,
or we could count the stars
strewn across the evening sky.
We could find the constellations,
each one painting a picture,
and wish upon a shooting star.

I could write you a love song
to tell how much I care,
or I could keep you safe
from the demons inside.
I could stay with you
through the hardest times,
if only you will let me.

I could write you a love song
to tell how much I care,
or we could watch the moon
rise serenely into the starry sky.
Then when she sets we could
sleep the night away in peace,
without the fear of being alone.

I could write you a love song
to tell how much I care,
or sit with you during the
sunrise of a brand new day.
We could watch the world
wake up, and resume the
chaos and busyness of life.

I would write you a love song
to tell how much I care,
but I can’t express myself
with any words I’ve found.
I can only show you,
and trust that is enough.
I can only show you, dear one.

Is that enough?

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell


Annie Louise Twitchell

The early morning mist rises
from the surface of the lake.
The dawn light is reflected
on the smooth, glassy waters.
The mountains across the lake
seem to be blazing with fire
as the rays of new sunlight
fall across the high peaks.

A loon calls; another answers.
A light breeze picks up,
the treetops begin rustling.
I push open the door,
go down onto the lawn.
The dew is thick and cold on
my bare feet. On the dock I sit,
my feet dangling in the water.

I hear a low rustle behind me.
Turning slowly around, I search
for the source of the sound.
There! A little chipmunk
is running through the grass,
his cheeks enormous with seeds.
He disappears under the porch.
In the tree above me a squirrel scolds.

A sunfish stops to nibble at my toes.
Squealing, I splash him away.
I go up from the water
along the road for a walk.
Under the whispering boughs of the
woodland trees I find something
precious, something I find each
morning but lose again during the day.

Here in the woods on the edge of water
I find peace, serenity, grace,
more than can ever be found
in places men have built,
but that can be so easily touched
in the cathedral of towering trees.
One feels small here, but it is good.
You do not need to be important,
you just need to be.

I spent a couple summers at New England Frontier Camp on Kezar Lake, which was one of National Geographic’s Top Ten Most Beautiful Lakes… in the world. It’s a boys’ camp and I broke all the rules for girls – I liked spiders and I was fascinated by snakes and frogs are neat and I was the person who removed wasps from the dining hall. Sorry, guys. I’m just kind of good at being different. I was my parents’ fourth child. I was a girl and I had hair. After three bald boys I was definitely different.

How you ever met a Northern Water Snake? I found one, sunning herself on a rock. I stopped reading and watched her instead, so intently that one of the staff members had to come ask what was going on. She got scared by the intrusion and slithered off the rock into the lake, and swam about ten yards to hide in some rocks,


I really do like snakes, so that was super cool. At another point, the same snake was on the boat ramp and they needed her moved. I offered, if they got me leather gloves, but no one believed me. They figured it out themselves.

Anyway, I wrote the above poem last March for the Rockland Public Library Poetry Contest 2015. I won second place for the teen category. It was one of my first dozen poems, and I wrote it just a few weeks after finishing my poetry class. I was flabbergasted to get the email that said ‘Oh hey, just so you know, you won second prize, wanna come to Rockland and read your poem to us?’

So it was worded more formally than that, but whatever. I went to Rockland with most of my family. I read my poem (while a Monarch swarm of butterflies invaded my stomach) to a fairly large audience. I was told by one of the older poets that she liked my reading best.

Also I got a pretty piece of paper. And about $100 worth of poetry books.

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell
Image from New England Frontier Camp Facebook Page

Home of My Heart

Home of My Heart
Annie Louise Twitchell

Walk in the woods with me,
and let me sing to you the song of my heart.
Walk in the woods with me
and let your heart free from the aches
and burdens of the world outside.
Walk in the woods with me
and listen in awed silence
to the longing notes from the brook,
running in her course as she has for decades.
Walk in the woods with me
and watch as the startled deer flies away
white bobtail flashing behind her,
spotted fawn close at her heels.
Walk in the woods with me
and see the red squirrel climbing
his oak tree, scolding us the whole time.
Walk in the woods with me,
This is where I belong,
where my wild and restless soul
finds comfort and peace.
This is where the weights of the world
slide unnoticed from my shoulders,
where I raise my arms to the spreading
trees and let my soul free.
This is where I am just
Walk in the woods with me.
It’s not just an offer for a
chance to breathe clear air,
it’s an offer to let you
see the truest me
that there is,
to let you see me
bare and exposed.
All the shattered pieces
of my soul come together here,
and if I stay in the wild long enough,
I will become whole
and brave enough to live outside again.
Walk in the woods with me,

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Witches and Cream

Witches and Cream
Annie Louise Twitchell

The wind howls and
rattles the bare branches
of the dead pine tree.
In the pale milky light
shining down from the moon
I see a black cat, perched
high in the tree.
Her yellow eyes stare
venomously down,
as she threatens to unleash
the storms of darkness.
In terror I shine my lamp
upwards, hoping that the light
with drive away this–
dainty gray tabby with golden eyes,
hiding up the tree and
playing at scares.
She scrambles down, purring,
quite happy to be done
and come home now.

I, apparently, have a pretty good witch’s cackle when I put my mind to it. This information was given me by a slightly more knowledgeable source than the thirteen year old boy who informed me that I was the scariest woman he had ever met. It was, in fact, given to me by a source who excels at evil laughs. (Muahahahaha!!) It is appropriate, therefore, that my cat has a pretty good witching attitude herself, when she puts her mind to it. This evening she was running wild and being spooky, and I managed to get a picture of her doing so, which reminded me of the poem above that I wrote a couple months ago. Now, as I am writing this, she has stopped trying to nestle between me and the laptop and is instead sitting beside me, looking forlorn and waiting for me to be done so we can go watch a movie and she can have my lap, uncontested. 

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

House of Books

I wrote the basics for this poem back in November while I was resting one afternoon, in between being stepped on by a horse and supper being ready.

Dedicated to my mother, who taught me that the greatest thing about books is what can happen when you share them.

House of Books
Annie Louise Twitchell
I made a house of books.
I built the walls up high;
I built a door of hardcovers
and tightly closed my eyes.
I made a house of books.
Like a hermit, lived inside.
All alone with the words
until I wanted to cry.
I made a house of books,
and opened up the door.
I opened up the windows
and opened up some more.
I took the books away,
and revealed something new.
I had a house already,
and in that house, was you.
We made a house of books,
lined the walls with shelves.
Put curtains on the windows,
made the words ourselves.

And a image copy because I love you guys and also because I got bored the other day and decided to have some fun with Paint, OpenOffice, and Snipping Tool.
Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell