All copyright © 2003 remains with the authors.
All copyright © 2004 remains with the authors.

Deborah Russell

Big Dreams

she wants butterflys
and a window
and maybe
a shelf with a vase of flowers
painted on the wall,
above her sink,
in her small kitchen space
with a table
and two chairs
her room is a pink zoo
for soft fuzzy animals
frilly, fluffy, comfy and nice
her small white bed,
in the corner,
with pillows of big dreams

he wants sugar cubes,
carrots and apples,
small treats for Chauncey
he wants to ride
in the wind
with his new helmet
and riding boots, big enough
for his toes to wiggle
he has dreams to fish,
to ski, to run, jump,
climb and sail the seas
he wants to ride
in the big arena ~ outside
with butterflies and trees

Deborah Russell, Baltimore, Maryland - USA
12:02 am, Wednesday's agenda, 7/30/03


I Say

he asks
what are you wearing?

long pause...

i think...
should i lie?
if i tell the truth
will he think i am

what is wrong with
a fifteen year old
Alfred E. Newman tee shirt?

deep breath
think quick!

i say, i'm wearing
your smile

deborah russell,
baltimore, maryland usa


nothing new

the last sip of
the first cup
eight am
eight o'clock coffee
hazelnut breath
the heat rushes
greets me, at the door
behind the thud
of the daily - nothing new
suicide blasts in Rosh Haayin
two back - to - back
back to school?
i must remember
a larger backpack
for his first day
of middle high

Deborah Russell, Baltimore, MD, 8:20 am



This isn't a poem
it could be
I guess

I'm trying to find the website where
you swat mosquitos


Hello...tap, tap, tap...hello???

Is the mic on?

deborah russell, Baltimore, USA


Chasing Fireflies

The road, to the temples of Mount Hurago, was narrow, slowing climbing upward and flanked by magnificent trees. Trees, that seemed older, that seemed to hold tomes of history, within their branches and leaves.
These trees seemed more of everything than the trees of my urban neighborhood. My eyes were plunged, captivated and caught in the scattered light that found its way through the thickness. Small pleasing patches of yellow that illuminated the spirit with the same childish joy of chasing fireflies. I walked with a new born pace, in the place of centuries of soul seeking steps. All those, that had come, before me. Each step, was an anticipation, a discovery of things known and unknown. This is the way, I thought to myself. This is the way we should learn to live, as if the next step will open the gates of purpose and direction.

Mount Hurago ~
autumn sun captures
a willing prisoner

Deborah Russell
Baltimore, Maryland Wednesday, August 27, 2003
(Haibun, Reflections on Japan)



by god
this is going to be
a poem
even if
i have to
use a hammer!

one look around
this room tells me
i am overworked
and shurazhell
i need a hotline
to Merri-Maid

what the freak-n-hell
did i do with my notes?
they were here, right here -
a minute ago,
next to the incoming

holy crap
i'm screwed

Deborah Russell, Baltimore, 9/10/2003



from particles
borrowed forms
a poetic mind
a white poem snaps
perfected line
singes time
blind flames gather
a Phoenix of verbs
flip, snip, spin - leaves turn
the noun

Deborah Russell, 9-17-03 10:18 am
Baltimore, Maryland


Play Naked

this child in me is dying
i need to laugh and dance
with my hands flinging
in all directions
i want to be mad, crazy and wild
bark at the moon
and be sweet, coy and fresh
like young girls are
i need to be chased
through the house and up the stairs,
caught, tickled and laugh until i nearly cry
i want to fly to Jamacia tonight
play naked tomorrow, beneath the sun
i want to run through waves
with my best clothes on
write a name inside a heart in the sand
but not the one i let wash away

Deborah Russell
Baltimore, Maryland
September 24, 2003 9:32 pm



(Love Song For A Nomad)

parched vowels etch - petrify
rippling tessellations, living organisms
language rejoices, natural patterns
a harmony of small particles
apostrophes in space -
oasis's dots and dashes, commas in vastness
arid gestures of indigenous rhythm
lines shape, form nomadic genres
gentle reminders imprint sands
far removed from conversation
tie down that tiny tent
between oar strokes
the mid of sea and land
common ground
cool and refreshing, there,
touch the strident points
the smooth indifference

Deborah Russell
10:10 am
Baltimore, Maryland, USA


Verbs I Wish Were Dead

Calla lilies and crocus
late bloomers
a few brave mallards swim
cool depths
in alternating scapes
the memory in my head,
emerging, receding -
awakens senses
my tongue twists, strangles
chokes on words -
verbs, I wish were dead
ice crystals slow melt
into the path
winter leaves
addressing the past
I search for answers
to questions never asked

deborah russell
8:37 am,
Baltimore, Maryland, USA


packing this and that
(more than I should) and less
checking expiration dates
stacking neat piles of poems
running extra copies
in case,
don't want to repeat
the same mistakes
it's good to
keep marginal space
for creative endeavors
and doodles
snap, click... zip
I'm off to see the Wizard.

deborah russell
9:45 am Baltimore, Maryland


Through The Valley

In whispered sigh, the wind lifts a sleeve of cedar
The doves lift their voices and wings in sudden flight
In upsweeps of clouds, on the horizon, neither
Twilight nor dawn breaks away from the dark of night

The doves lift their voices and wings in sudden flight
An ambered light filters through the valley and trees
Twilight nor dawn breaks away from the dark of night
The memory lifts in a misty shape of leaves

An ambered light filters through the valley and trees Silence follows her dreams across mountainous land The memory lifts in a misty shape of leaves To form a melody in movements of her hand

Silence follows her dreams across mountainous land
Hope dispels in rivulets of image and peace
To form a melody in movements of her hand
When poetry comes quietly within the reach

Hope dispels in rivulets of image and peace
A red tail hawk circles in dreamscape atmosphere
When poetry comes quietly within the reach
One writes a new arousal in the eyes and ear

A red tail hawk circles in dreamscape atmosphere
In upsweeps of clouds, on the horizon, neither
One writes a new arousal in the eyes and ear
In whispered sigh, the wind lifts a sleeve of cedar

Deborah Russell, 8:55 am, 11-05-03
Baltimore, Maryland


Howard Street

'gotta dolla, gotta dolla?'
            she  wore
                 layers -
            dirt and stains and hungry pleas
                     she hung around, down,
               down on Howard Street
                       with a small child
                              and a scheme
                                 drips of yesterday's dream
                       suicidal things
                                suddenly blind
                ( me, like a wristwatch without time)

                                                  neither one of us
                                   can tell yesterday
                                         from today or tomorrow
                   'gotta dolla, gotta dolla?'

             over there,
        there's a one armed man
with graffiti on his feet, face and hand
             parched skin
wrapped like a drum around
             the tight throat of melody
war songs between soldiers
                         and long lost sons'
they peer out
              from peircing bloodshot eyes
my blade's serrated.

                'Hey you! Gotta dolla, gotta dolla?”

Deborah Russell
11-12-03 5:06 pm
Baltimore, Maryland USA


And Grow, For Anna

in St. Joe's eyes dart
did you call the priest
no response
hands cup Anna's head
so small -
my small hands
so much larger
not large as the pain
in her father's eyes
or the fears
of her new mother
the seizures are determined
our eyes focused today
tomorrow? next week?
the three of us, silently promise
to remain aware
to keep watchful
to love unconditionally
and grow, for Anna

Deborah Russell, 8:50am, 11-26-2003
Baltimore, Maryland
( four month old grand daughter)


Tangerines It's a philosophical thing.
He likes George Wasouff,
apricots and quatrains.
I like tangerines.
I could see where
he was coming from
but even he
doesn't remember recipes.
We wrote volumes with
a raised brow - a sideways glance.
Intense communication
that opened doors; some
stripped by weather,
webbed - musty like
a grandmother's cellar.
We laughed on the edge
of lightning, the languages
of fire and ice, writing lines
forged with interpretations
that desired more than probabilities,
less than conceived.

Deborah Russell, 12/17/03
Baltimore, Maryland USA


Deception - Organization and Execution

Light and sound masking - decoys and disguises behind large-area smoke screens, yeah deception, properly used, may well be the decisive element for determining victory or defeat on the poetic front, on the job and at home,from largest to the smallest, from town to country, from city to trailer park, to LA, Beverly Hills, San Antonio and sea to shining sea. Become deception conscious and also intelligence conscious, because in anyone's opinion accurate intelligence is absolutely crucial for conducting a successful deception operation. The importance of centralized planning can not be understated or overstated. Control in operations that involve camouflage, concealment and deception in a variety of situations and flavors contributes to many victories and is important and vital to modern day financial relationships. The measure of success of any deception should be incorporated into every tactical situation and training for the position to deceive must include extensive in-depth deception training which advocates the greater use of dummy positions. Intelligence is the enemy in the case of management and government. It is the crucial factor in deciding whether or not to initiate dummies or continue relations. The benefits of using guile are clearly and distinctly shown. This poem, this refrain contains a brief account of the "fog of battle" deception. A simple, yet effective, part of this program was the concealment of the fact that certain towns and strategic economic factors are vulnerable. As dummies entered these areas they were surprised, doe-eyed and easily led astray. There was an intelligence failure on the part of the dummies, but give credit to the original failure and incompetence of management. Their well-conceived and well executed deception operation, with its extraordinarily tight security measures, fooled entire families, schools, universities and nations. The use of electronic web warfare is to indicate that despite an improvement in monitoring capabilities, deception can still be effective and remains an important part of computer programming.This poem describes a successful deception operation conceived by a superior mega webmaster and carried out at the management level with the approval of higher, yet earthbound authority. The defenders were taken completely by surprise and a significant feature on the front was captivated by the intricate means employed by people with little more than a sixth grade reading level. The successful and repeated use of deception by the multi-plex of dummy management increased the need for developing further means of deception and secrecy. Electromagnetic radiation was employed for guidance and the need for electronic countermeasures increased in order to render poetic positions ineffective. What emerges is a picture of deception that is in need of a deception on this ever changing and ever expanding electronic battlefield. Theorists conclude that the most important means of achieving surprise is the carrying out of management operations that are based on the principles of activity, naturalness, diversity, and continuity. This poetry shows how this theory was put into practice with great success. Historical examples of successful deception of these various elements that are part of the over all deception-including secrecy, security, demonstration attacks, and feints are present in these elaborate operations. As the poems continued to manifest, methods were continually improved and the scale and diversity of deception steadily increased. For example, there was greater use of anonymity, security measures were tightened, management simulation was expanded and planning became more comprehensive. The successful use of these same tactics during the previous years, is of current significance under present-day conditions, and calls for the continued imaginative application of disguise, camouflage, concealment, and deception. By saving a small number of poets from defeat, and bringing victory to others,management is able to maintain control and the element of surprise. This short poem describes a successful ruse used by the frontal assault of management where fabricated positions of "importance" were "inadvertently" named and dropped where impressionable,young poets could retrieve the information. Eventually, the plans reached the general in command of dummy management. Because the plans fit in so well with their superior's beliefs about poetic intentions, he accepted them as true and arranged his defenses accordingly. When the poets carried out a flanking attack on the management, they achieved nothing but a slap on the wrist and the dummies again, won a major victory, even so, the poems became the means to present sonic and olfactory deception, concealment, and elevate dummy positions to executive status. Some modern poetry uses elements of darkness to cover covert movement and to create false impressions of morbidity and others used elements of archaic, romantic poems which evoke compassion and friendship. The conclusion is that great care must be exercised in making judgments about poetic intentions because even though management is working at a level which is "a slice short of a loaf" they are very good at creating false and endearing impressions.Information contained in this poem provides an insight into the types of fortifications that use certain methods of camouflage and concealment that have historically been proven effective. The actual deception plan is presented within and between the lines, accentuated with cadence and embellished with slight rhyme. There is no other reason for deception but financial gain. This poetic form gives a clear picture of how deceivers using the simple methods of camouflage are able to organize forces and allocate resources to conceal the true,display the false, and achieve surprise in the home, school and office. Camouflage capabilities promote the integration of and establishes guidance, policies, and responsibilities in the area of deception and, in doing so, presents a picture of what needs to be done to deceive poets effectively on the modern home front. The poem remains very detailed, with many diagrams, tables, and illustrations. The poem provides a good review of thinking on surprise and deception at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. It focuses on surprise, while concentrating all physical and mental energy on deception. The use of concealment, imitation, demonstration maneuvers, and disinformation is composed in detail. The difficulty of carrying out a counter deception operation is also explored. This poem discusses the deception measures used at each echelon and evaluates the influence of surprise on the outcome of a political action similar to the conservative campaign. This is an interesting poem, because the conflicting elements often used in democratic campaigns are carried out by force. This particular poem describes one of the finest historical examples of how an integrated, comprehensive deception plan contributed to success of management at the expense of all three levels of the majority of households world-wide, including the estimated worth of middle, lower middle to low income families. This poetry forms the definitive English-language source on the deceptive practices used by one of the most remarkable concealment operations in poetic history, including false radio nets, camouflaged publishing nets, underground editorial assembly areas, dummy defensive critique positions, deceptive specialized broadcasts and news reports. This stanza shows how deception and infiltration measures varied from front to front and back to back, East to West and North to South, depending to a great extent on mission, management, training, evaluation, time and money. Deception can play havoc with poets in gaining and maintaining the initiative and poetry must place greater emphasis on the use of this same deception at the ultimate operational level. To carry out tactical deception operations in various situations poetry is analyzed and poetic justice is learned and becomes evident and relative even to deception specialists, who in their now desperate need for a deception operation to appear completely authentic and viable to the operational level of all households through radio, newspaper and televised deceptions, mock-ups, decoys, and any other means realize constant defeat. Strategic surprise enables everyone to deceive even extremely security conscious people by well developed,plausible deception covers, and by practicing good camouflage control. As a result, some poets have been known to effectively conceal their massive preparations for the offensive and some have even caught their relatives by surprise. There are over forty different factors that influence deception efforts, such as the use of smoke or concealment in public, gathering in assembly areas like schools, playgrounds, restaurants, large hotels, cruise ships and shopping center parking lots. Numerous sources show the high degree of standards achieved by true poetic deception efforts are indeed, highly successful. Although some poets refuse to believe the over all deception has caused them any personal grief, it is known that deception has profited by hundreds of billions in US dollars mostly at their willingness to buy into elevated social status claims perpetrated by underground editorial assembly units. These poets practically fool themselves with their personal deception stories because the claims and social positions fit their preconceptions of success and notoriety.

Deborah Russell, 12/24/03
Baltimore, MD USA
Dedicated to Roddy:
Walter Hudson, Oct. 24, 1970 - Dec. 24, 2003
Time of Death: 5:05 am



a screech of sun

speeding tires of dawn

                    on the far distant edge of town
where woods become
                    thick, moist and warm

where something begins

                    begins to feel as if

God himself

                    has dipped his fingers deep

into the earth
                    a one-handed lunge
                         for humanity

Deborah Russell, 01-07-04
baltimore, maryland usa
10:36 am


a good friend's cold
her body moving into fragments
with the conjugation of the verb 'to be'

the familiar road
transformed into sliding white
where three miles of static traffic waits for the thaw

rain and snow
a clear sky bright stars
every surface now turned to glass ready to shatter

28th Jan 04
(A Snow Day - the first in my daughter's life. School cancelled and time to go sledging!)


You Make Coffee

He writes words -
in a nest of sanctuary
(inasmuch as he is the subject)

There are common occurences
between nouns

You make coffee, I read the daily

And it takes a modicum of skill
to determine the role of a pronoun
some act as a direct object,
some function as a subject

We link verbs; feel, touch and taste

Still, one must take time to recognize
the subject, as opposed to a noun
nearest the verb

deborah russell, Baltimore, MD
Feb 4, 04 (Actual time: 1:47am)


school daze?
his ski patrol sweatshirt
covers his cast...
the only one who laughs
is the teacher
in each class

Deborah Russell
Baltimore, Maryland USA



her email message - re: your submittal ...
she substitutes the word "ruse" with muse in my poem
said she "knows" i must have meant
"sail" instead of sails
i'm thinking staple gun
but she might think it's a compliment
rhyme could be the way to go...
sticky, gooey rhyme - flypaper gooey or sticky sweet
sweet, she'll eat my words like donuts

Deborah Russell - 8:45pm
Baltimore, Maryland USA


Morning Rituals

my own business

morning rituals...

suddenly it dawns

there is nothing
quite like
the morning rush
of your word play

deborah russell, baltimore, md
10:27 am . 03-10-04


Being Quite Green

not feeling myself
but the colour of elf
not being Irish, but
being quite green
a stomach virus
churn'd me ol' spleen
caused me to toss
most other things
hoping for good luck
in what the day brings
green eggs and ham
should do me fine
cause feelin' like yuck
makes very poor line
green eggs and ham
green eggs and ham
my break fast
of 48 hours? it am
so here's to you
at Poetryetc:
hope you won't get
this stomach upset!

Deborah Russell, 8:10 am 03-18-04
Baltimore, Maryland USA


Singing Bird

Love is
a singing bird
whose nest is
soft as silk
a phantom
of pignon and down
in the deep of night
I spoke with God
whose ear is
a circular silver sea
of upturned leaves
how clear the vision
came to me
and kissed my eyes

Deborah Russell, 03/24/04
Baltimore, MD USA - 11:20 am


The Window Screen

against the misty blue of juniper
magenta azaleas blaze
brushed in a single stroke
a flame of brilliant colour
each blossom curls,
unfurls in waves
the pink of them reflects
in the doorknob
of mother's house
a snail on the window screen
its silver sheen in a path of memory
my hand opens to grasp
and clings to childhood

Deborah Russell, Baltimore, MD USA
04-06-04 (daughter's 23'd birthday)


Early this morning
my daughter
phoned to ask,
"When did your hair
begin to turn grey?"
I lied.
After all, she is only
thirty three.

Deborah Russell, 04-15-04
Baltimore, Maryland USA 10 pm


So Close

A tight ball
small fists
I gather you
from the floor
in my arms
I have no answers
I wait to see your eyes
recognize me
pray, they do...
I hold you close,
your small body,
so close
It's a small death
for you and I
we will get beyond this
love will be stronger
because of this

Deborah Russell, 04-21-04
Baltimore, Maryland 11:00pm

(My granddaughter, another seizure)


the latest news
spews nasty views
all over my living room

seems the "conflict" is biblical...
an eye for an eye...

send the politicians
they've already lost their heads

Deborah Russell - 1:10pm
Baltimore, Maryland
May 12, 04


Passport To Sunrise

the desire
for sleep is lost

long nights
fill with intent

in the vision
above my bed
i write
infinite poems

i write a visa
to mysterious
a passport
to sunrise

in the cock's crow
my ink flows
in a strange sea
of unknown

Deborah Russell, June 2, 04 (morning)
Baltimore, Maryland


The Problem Is

the problem
with poetry editors is
they will scrap
a perfectly good metaphor
and try to make
literal sense

well, maybe
that's not the problem

the problem is
when it
sounds better
than the original
and for a few
nasty seconds
you wonder
which one of you
should take credit

Deborah Russell,
Baltimore, MD USA
9:54 am o6/16/o4



city streets -
beyond credits
and liner notes
the beat of a heart
is a drum rhythm
whip-rides, tides
that rise, fall
twist unexpectedly
we feel profound
even in the verses
of rocky movements
we dance
on the slippery
edge of time
looking for someone
or something to blame
to feel solace,
if not salvation
even from ourselves

Deborah Russell,
Baltimore, Maryland USA
06-23-04 - 1:26 pm

Poetryetc is a listserv relating to poetry and poetics which provides a forum for poets to debate their critical and creative work. The list has over the years run a number of projects for its members, of which Snapshots has been the most enduring.

Every Wednesday, Poetryetc members were invited to post short poems on any subject or in any form they chose. The idea was to make a poetic collage of instamatic “snaps” of that day that reflected the international membership of the list. The project has generated an astounding number of poems.

The first two runs, of six weeks each, and the first ten weeks of the third run, are archived at Wild Honey Press under Poetryetc Project. The rest - amounting in all to a run of a year - are archived here.

Poetryetc, like its affiliate Salt Publishing (, was founded by Australian poet John Kinsella. Salt is managed by Christopher Hamilton-Emery (, while Poetryetc is owned by Alison Croggon ( Poetryetc is now archived at and anyone interested can join from that url.

To contact the listowner: Alison Croggon

These pages are designed, maintained, and hosted by Rebecca Seiferle, the Editor of The Drunken Boat. To email.