One Day

Ashen, devastated; shock
slowly flooding his body,
although the day was warm,
his body iced in trepidation.

Twenty-eight years at the Mill,
that ruined his back, calloused
his hands, paid for a house, a
cottage; supported his family

 Rumors buzzed before, time
was running out there, always
it passed, another year, decent
life; till that day, his life ended

 He sat them down – told them.
A silence was broken when his
wife blew her nose, looking up,
blank incomprehension, tears

 They scattered, doors to rooms
closed behind each child, while
his wife stared straight ahead;
his truck pulled out of the yard

 Jobs didn’t fall from trees for a
blue collar man, trained to do
one thing, as months passed by;
skimpy meals and piling bills

 Sold the cottage at a loss, sold
his snow machines, sold his old
restored Harley; bought more time;
paid for a nightly case of twelve

 Children stay out all night long,
avoiding screaming, crying, the
dad they hardly knew anymore,
a mother who forgot how to smile

He lost his pride
He lost his house
He lost his family
He lost his life

Living in a room above a bar,
he remembers his family, he
considered traitors; then guzzled
from a bottle of liquid amnesia

 His only budget was how many
many nights, how many bottles he
could afford week to week since
his life ended, that day at the Mill.

©Brenda-Lee Ranta

Then (in memory of our lost ones)



Life. I had one. Then.

I forget how to be straight; in control of my body,
now my body controls my mind, I have to listen to it,
or it hurts, I shake, I puke, skin crawls like its infested.

Life. This is it. Now.
Morning thoughts about how to get my next fix, hit,
toke, smoke, drink, downer, upper, buzz; make me feel
alright, make me feel alive; till I feel dead and start again.

Life. People hate me. Now.
They see weakness, they see a loser, they see me as a
waste of skin; can’t trust me, maybe they can’t but I have
no way out, I can’t find the door but I feel their disgust.

Life. I am nobody. Now.
Self hatred till I make it stop, not thinking, thinking hurts,
better to float for a while, not dwell on my losses, don’t
count them anymore, go to my place with no thoughts.

Life. I want one. Someday.
Caught between life and death, thinking death wants to
grab me first; I see people having a life, I forget what its
like but I see them, doing normal shit, working, shopping.

Life. I had one. Then.
Before I got lost in the haze, before I stopped dreaming,
before I was afraid to feel; I knew real people, did things
that mattered, people loved me; I forget their faces.


©Brenda-Lee Ranta

Sacred Choice

He chose her to be his mother;
the essence of everything his
soul desired to experience in this life
resided in her
Within her womb he took his form,
above her womb was where he would dwell
for all eternity, the genesis; the nucleus
of mother love, is never conceived
of flesh
rather, borne in spite of it

©Brenda-Lee Ranta
photo Pixabay.comwoman-1922353_960_720


If I could, I would carry away
every one of your struggles
and pain in a wicker basket.
I would scald them, scrub them
clean in boiling water and lye
soap, then bleach them white
in the twelve o’clock sunlight

If I could, I would give you
words to speak, the language
that is trapped in you, behind
your beautiful smile, innocent
eyes; words that would sync
with your sweet hugs and angel
kisses.  I would give you words,

If I could, I would bring you
back to that day, unknown to
you, there would be no good-
bye, no final thoughts, bereft
of summation, bereft of a last
hugs, bereft of a mother’s final
kiss upon lips; his last smile

If I could, I would have been
your first everything, going
through time with you, alone;
championing you throughout
your life,  while I was still young
and beautiful, full of life; making
all your memories with you

If I could, I would have loved
myself more when I was in most
need of it, I would have valued
myself while I had my youth,
pursued my talents before I had
to learn to make compromises
with my fatigue and inspiration

If I could …
I would…


©Brenda-Lee Ranta


I shall not recite vespers or rote words
The Divine knows my heart before my
supplications be uttered out loud, the
Divine knows the sound of my soul,
in music and thanksgiving for all these
things given to me, guiding me gently
to the still waters of my true essence.

For what be the measure of my life;
agreements made before the advent
of my sojourn, softly calling to me in
Ohms, whispering what I came to do,
as we are each called to the service
of humanity; in the Divine, be strength,
be knowledge, never confined by flesh

Give thanksgiving in our purification’s
of soul and mind, give thanksgiving in
all things, such is our agreement to
live in this place and time, with its joys,
with its ills, with our errors, with each
correction, we rise, we soldier on, in
the search for our true perfection

Indeed, the divine knows the sound of
my soul, before my words leave my lips

Shanti, Shanti, Shanti, Dhimahi

©Brenda-Lee Ranta
photo Pixabay.comsilhouette-67195_960_720



Counting Stars

She could still be swooned by flowers,
candlelight; moonlight on her face
She could still dream, counting stars
on a cloudless night, moved by ballads,
words whispered into her ear, brow
kisses, hand in the small of her back

She was never impressed by money,
baubles, fast cars or glitzy panache
Treasures cleaved to her breast, the
wispy moments picked only for her;
in fidelity, faithfulness and loyalty,
when eyes see her alone, in a world
of many, felt sure was made for him

She could still be swooned by flowers;
head full of stars on a cloudless night,
where a woman remained a dreamer…

©Brenda-Lee Ranta

A Curious Thing

I submerge myself in water
a return to the womb
a curious thing is my bath
submerged in liquid hugs
after a long, arduous day

melody lines
in my mind
words float
in a boat
of creation

warm water turns tepid
in my secret womb
a curious thing is my bath
pruning my skin when I
tarry too long in the hug

I have sung
a complete
repertoire to
a ceiling fanbath-water-915589_960_720
in mental 

I regretfully pull out the plug
farewell to the womb
a curious thing is my bath
whirlpool of sucking sounds
pulls my art down a drain

I stand dripping, shivering;
waving my sad farewells

©Brenda-Lee Ranta 2017


One More Hand

There is no poker face
No time for bluffing
or faking them out;
reshuffling of the deck

There is no poker face
play the hand your dealt
whether you win or lose
That’s the game of life

Some days you win big
some are just another bust
change jingles in your pocket
or wadded up bills in elastic

You can draw another card
You can pass or walk away
Luck has nothing to do with it,
If you want to stay in the game.


©Brenda-Lee Ranta
card-1868267_960_720Photo courtesy of

Visibly Invisible


Unable to wash the sins from her flesh,
tainted by the stains, sullied by them;
marked as tattoos on a body that had
lost its way, sparring with her purity of

a mindless body; satiated cravings,
satiated greed, wanderlust winning,
snuffing out her sensibilities, closing
her mouth, bound, gagged; her body

deep inside her, in hidden spaces,
muffled voices live, inaudible to
anyone; her heart, silently bargains
for freedom, forever shackled by the

is there no one to hear her,
is there no one to save her,
is there a way to save herself?


©Brenda-Lee Ranta 2017
photo depression-72319_960_720


Spring Rains

I knew him as surely
as dry prairie soil
recognizes the rain
after a long drought

My body and mind
had thirsted for him;
soaking him up until
my soul was sated

His voice, soothing
balms, familiar as
the very sound of
my own exhalations

I folded myself into
him, this other self;
as his love restored
life to my dead places

©Brenda-Lee Ranta


Author Brenda-Lee Ranta – Cancer of Functionality

an excerpt from my book

Creative Talents Unleashed

I wish I could rip fear out of my chest;

surgical solution, like a tooth extraction

Immobilizing fear from nowhere,

gripping fear from everywhere

Reduced; a woman to child in seconds,

humiliated, my shaking hands are visible,

dry tongue pasted firmly to my palate,

thundering heart, breath shallow, thin,

ears abuzz, louder than fluorescent lighting,

racing thoughts of dread, trying to escape,

“where are the exits?” a self escape even

Houdini can’t accomplish; trapped inside

with yourself, wanting to simply vanish

immobilizing fear from nowhere

gripping fear from everywhere

Shame will come later, once the terror

leaves, begging it to leave; “please leave,”

how can I be so strong and withstand this;

how can I be so weak and allow this?

Proficient to inept in one fell swoop,

detesting myself, then forgiving myself,

damned dichotomy, cursed dichotomy,

this affliction, this condition, this raging

cancer of functionality; putrid anxiety!

Immobilizing fear…

View original post 233 more words


Every day is another drop in my bucket of life
I see my time waning with each passing day,
desiring to be seen or recalled as a ‘verb,’
never a noun; urgency to say it all
unspoken words in my tired heart
there is an urgency to get it right
leaving something of value behind

Every day is another drop in the sea of life
so many have travelled this road before,
desiring to be remembered as a verb,
never an adjective, lost desires within
to have left something tangible behind
in their children, their grandchildren,
in words spoken, deeds done, legacies

Remember me as deeply passionate
about the things that really matter
Remember me as unabashedly a woman;
proud to have been a meaningful lover,
a compassionate partner, a tender
mother, a gentle person, a forgiving
soul, remember me as a verb

Loved, cared……………


©Brenda-Lee Ranta


I heard a silence that was piercing
spoken in a look
his inflections
his movement
in body language
Reverberation, inaudible voice
it moved in me
it shook me
it excited me
in anticipation

Long held glances hold power
when given by the one I love
his silences can fill my head

with sweet sound

©Brenda-Lee Ranta

This was a piece inspired by an Inspiration call by Creative Talents Unleashed

A Kiss

I knew I loved him, with each conversation,
the park bench knew the gravity of emotion;
it weighed indelibly upon each wood plank,
that should have had our names carved there

He leaned against my car, a gentle breeze
fluttering the top of his hair, eyes shielded
from the sun, tall figure of a man, relaxed
figure, with a drawl when he spoke to me

My brain screamed silently, “don’t
watch my mouth form words – kiss
me, for the love of God, just kiss me!”
The silent scream, must have been heard
He leaned down, pausing inches from my
face, peering into my eyes with tenderness;
he met my mouth with his, until…

I was consumed
I was consumed

©Brenda-Lee Ranta

Beautiful Wisdom

Her veined hands, crooked fingers,
weaving white hair into a long braid,
coiling it neatly, securing it with a pin;
morning ritual for fifty years or more

Fingers ached now, skin creased, she
retained an ethereal beauty, purity of
an unpainted face, eyes glistening in
undefinable colours in the sunlight

Grandchildren saw her as beautiful,
love poured from her face with every
smile, retaining her dimples of youth,
undefined delicacy in each quiet step

Sharp minded, recalling vivid images,
which delighted all who knew her,
soft voice narrating tales of the past,
colourful images created by her words

Resplendent, her embroidered apron,
always her apparel, simplicity created
the image of her warmth, welcoming,
hiding her fatigue silently while ageing

She had always known love; seeking
it in all things, finding it easily in the
everyday things; seeking the goodness
in people; she held a cherished secret

to living life purely
to living life well
a gift to recall
long after she
was gone….

©Brenda-Lee Ranta

Soul Memory

In subtleties, in nuances,
your eyes rest upon me,
sharing space in time;  a
fervent searching for that
which eluded us so many
times before, when lovers
kisses touched our skin but
were left long forgotten;
till now,  your lips upon
my bare flesh, leave an
invisible mark, recognized
once more, by this once lonely

©Brenda-Lee Ranta


she realized
she was exactly
where she wanted to be

no expectation
life unfolding perfectly
angel wings and butterflies

easily forgotten
when the visceral arrives
acrid thoughts shall steal hope

opportunity appears
a miracle in each new sun
reminiscent of the wonder of birth

instinct to continue
survives within that reality
she realized she was meant for this

©Brenda-Lee Ranta


It is in the winter room
that she covers him with
her burning, menopausal
body; atrophying womb,
dead to procreation, birth
season ending, while her
longings spring anew at
sight of newborn infants;

recalling a swollen belly,
rolling as waves, back and
forth, a book perched upon
it, gleefully swept its tides

It is in the winter room
that silent inventories are
taken, appraising her body,
softened with each year, yet

she remains ardent, in spite
of her youth being eclipsed;
alive to lusty desires for her
lovers arousals, for her alone,

seen as beautiful, sensual, in
a candles dim light, on sultry
nights, her womb craving the
attentions of fervent delights

It is in the winter room
she succumbs to her past,
youth taken, wisdom given

In the winter room

she is enough

©Brenda-Lee Ranta


Strong Vessel

Wading in a sea of uncertainty;
such is life, never cognisant of
how deep the waters have risen
overnight, with arms too heavily
laden to swim or float upon them,
fatigued bodies become too heavy

Sinking as weights tied to bricks
of predilection, trepidation when
faced with unchartered waters,
wind direction ambiguous, pushed
or pulled within its tides of change,
what once believed, now waterlogged

Construct vessels strong enough
to withstand hurricane winds,
angry waves, churning waters; its
bitter whirlpools long to swallow
us up, dragging us down, down, to
join lost treasures on ocean floors

Construct vessels strong enough
to never be submerged or saturated.

©Brenda-Lee Ranta

An excerpt from “Allegories – a Thirst for Connection”



Image of a Man

The sky was slate grey
I blasted merciful heat
in my car, in a frigid wind
Lunch always spent at the park
regardless of weather; my retreat
in the midst of a work day

Warming my hands in front of
the air vent, I noticed him.
He was sitting on a park bench.
It was November, a vivid image.
A man in a nylon wind breaker,
in skimpy summer pants

Hands fumbling with a soda
bottle, fingers so cold, he struggled
to open it, blowing into his hands.
I looked at my lunch bag, a can of
tuna, a fork and a piece of cheese.
Nothing there to fill a belly.

Finally he managed to screw off
the cap. Cold soda going down
his throat, he wiped his mouth.
I sat there. Tears came from
nowhere; I felt so helpless.
I could see his breath in the air.

He looked up and caught my eye
Time stood still, in that moment.
My heart filled with compassion.
I emptied my purse onto my car
seat, looking frantically for money.
Nothing but plastic, not even change.

A gift card for my favourite coffee shop,
the one that was across from the park
I had forgotten about it for months
I took a full package of cigarettes,
the gift card; opening my car door,
I made my way towards him.

I didn’t speak, my throat was too
tight; handing him cigarettes and
a gift card; a paltry offering.
I patted his hand, wind chapped,
frozen hands. Walking away quickly,
back to my car; my heart ached.

I couldn’t eat that day, starting my
car; headed back to the office.
No one should live that way.
All afternoon, I took comfort in
an image of him warming his
hands on a cup of coffee

All afternoon, I imagined his
belly warm from a bowl of soup
and a sandwich. I assuaged guilt.
Laying in bed that night, I wondered
if he was sleeping someplace warm
and who would feed him tomorrow.

Who would feed his soul?


©Brenda-Lee Ranta



Where do the lonely go to fill themselves;
the diaphanous next door, across a table,
who plead supplications to empty room

sorrowed eyes. heavy sighs. silent cries.

Midnight fantasy, enigma of the ingénue,
who have never felt impassioned touch,
hearing the love ballads with deaf ears

sorrowed eyes. heavy sighs. silent cries.

Speak to themselves in bathroom mirrors,
by the light of a bare bulb, that casts harsh
light upon the bleakness of resignations

sorrowed eyes. heavy sighs. silent cries.

Do they hug their pillows in their sleep;
like a lover, made of duck feathers and
English cotton, absorbing their lusty tears

sorrowed eyes. heavy sighs. silent cries.

Lonely hearts pour themselves into motion
where thoughts have no time to dwell, till
night finds them again, beneath a bare bulb


sorrowed eyes. heavy sighs. silent cries.
©Brenda-Lee Ranta

See Me

See me

a woman’s face etched with a story,
it wasn’t there a year ago, each day
brings yet another crease, a visual
testament that time is having her
way with me, subtly, quietly, with
each smile, frown; with every tear
shed, every rumination, wearing
contrition publicly upon my visage

Ephemeral are the moments that
leave their remnants upon me, never
truly lost to my body, the vehicle
I reside in; to love, to value or to
disdain- this outer synopsis of who
I am to them, that see a physicality
that camouflages a young woman,
hidden away inside in my thoughts

See me

in my mind I am still cashmere on
gossamer wings; longings still reside
there, alive and fervent, difficult to
relinquish; my hand still clutching
the idealisms, its life, its very breath,
so I hold on tightly; even now, though
I keep notes to recall things I need
to do, succumbing to fleeting thought

My head upon my pillow, my hand
clutched in my lover’s hand each
night; please see past the softness
of my once firm body, please see
past the the lines around my eyes,
visualize me as a young cashmere
woman with gossamer wings, who
will flit about, singing the anthems

of my fading youth.
See me.

©Brenda-Lee Ranta

Paper on a Breeze

(a tale)

dressed in tatters,
frayed at the cuffs,
holes in the knees,
soles of her sneakers
no longer attached;
flopping down the street
like rubber castanets.
no Jimmy Choo
no Jones of New York,
she had never heard
of a label, or a designer.
she cut her own bangs
with sewing scissors,
pierced her ears with
a bar of soap and a
red hot straight pin.
it was good enough
for someone who knew
nothing else, ignorance
really was bliss to her.

she walked through
the park, head down,
appearing to people that
she was either sad or
in great contemplation
it was neither; she had
always walked with her
head down, never meeting
anyone’s gaze directly.
today she noticed a piece
of white paper blowing
in front of her, always a
foot step ahead, tumbling
on a breeze, tumbling
over and over again.
finally stepping on it,
she trapped it beneath
her castanet sneaker.
it was a lottery ticket.

numbers in a line, from
yesterday’s draw, so she
stuffed it in her pocket,
walked to the corner store.
the clerk ran it through.
alarms and bells rang out;
“you are a winner!” the
machine, a robotic voice,
piped over and over again.
she took back the ticket,
listened carefully to the
clerk, then leaving hastily.
a month later she became
intimately acquainted with
Jimmy Choo and Jones of
New York; her hair coiffed
by the best of the best, bobbles
on her fingers, wrists and toes,
buying everything on a whim

she walked through
the park, in all her finery
with her head still down
with her head still down

©Brenda-Lee Ranta

Aint No Blues (lyrics)

There aint no blues in rock and roll
There aint no blues in rock and roll

Letting go of my blue suede shoes
Want to hear some slow jazz tune

There aint no shame in rock and roll
There aint no pain in rock and roll

Play me something to make me swoon
I want to hear some slow sultry tune

Tickle the ivories, blow those horns
Sing it with soul, that mournful song
Steel guitars, drum brushed beats
Play something lusty, just for me

There aint no blues in rock and roll
There aint no blues in rock and roll

Play me something to make me swoon
I want to hear some slow sultry tune

There aint no shame, there aint no pain
Want to hear it again, want to hear it again

Play a rhythm like BB King
Want to hear it like Etta sings

Tickle the ivories, blow those horns
Sing it with soul, that mournful song
Steel guitars, drum brushed beats
Play something lusty, just for me

There aint no blues in rock and roll

©Brenda-Lee Ranta

5 Star Readers Favorite Review “Allegories – a Thirst for Connection”

I am thrilled!!!! I invite my readers to obtain your copy.. Love and Light!!

Creative Talents Unleashed


Book Review

Allegories: A Thirst for Connection by Brenda Lee Ranta is a collection of poems and verses about the guiding principles of life, and the two states of “being” that either hold people together or fragment them: a disconnection from people and a genuine connection with people. Allegories is written in a sensitive, introspective style and there is a clear distinction made between these two states. Basically, the book explores the essence of human existence and the fact that connections with other people and creatures around us sustain life and form the driving force in our existence. The first half of the book contains poems and prose about feelings of disconnection: these could come from feeling isolated or shunned, and the pain, guilt, shame, and suffering that go with it. The second half of the book talks about connections with others and is all about feeling accepted, loved, and…

View original post 353 more words

Worn Days

Pinching my face

cold wind, piercing

snow squeaking beneath boots

Longing for home

warmth, long held hugs

awaiting me behind the door

Fatigue weighs me

aching in bones, in my mind

craving solace, wanting serenity

Relief flooding the soul

falling in clean sheets, quilts

waiting arms, tangled legs, sleep

sweet bliss

sweet sleep

sweet nothing

dreams for tomorrow

will wait till tomorrow

on days well worn……


©Brenda-Lee Ranta

New Release Life Between The Words by Nolan P. Holloway Jr.

A new book by a wonderful author 🙂

Creative Talents Unleashed

Life Between the WordsForeword . . .

In his third book, Nolan P. Holloway Jr. struggles with and overcomes the human condition. His verse is filled with hope and determination and instills these qualities into the reader. Holloway Jr. faces adversity while overcoming his own slew of personal demons. His poems are both poignant and uplifting at the same time, as he inspires the reader to keep faith and keep moving forward. Holloway Jr. deals with loss and within this book, he pays tribute to his lost loved ones.

A recurring theme in this book is the moral and philosophical, “Duality” that all of humanity faces. A person of faith, Holloway Jr. traverses the empty streets of pain to find some clarity. This book is about a person of faith overcoming the harshness of reality and stepping through doorways that only love can truly open. “Life Between the Words” sets Holloway…

View original post 53 more words