Some recently published poems

I recently had a poem published. So, I’ve decided to post that, and some of the others published in the last few months. Lately, I’ve been fooling around with 5-7-5 poems – like Haikus – but not confined to nature subjects. That’s been a lot of fun – like writing 140-character poems shown below.


Last Chance
My last chance
for a hug
and the words,
I love you
died with him
as he walked down the hall,
into his dark room,
and forever out of my sight.

One Afternoon
We turned left on 24th Street, driving slowly
as the narrow road wound up and up.
There was a light rainfall,
just enough to sprinkle our windshield,
but not enough to put our wipers on.
The hills were bright green, like technicolor,
and flecked with dark green clumps of trees
and patches of mustard.
When the sun appeared,
they had an iridescence
like mounds of emerald chips.

Soon we were in wine country
outside of Paso Robles, with rows
and rows of budding vines surrounding us.
We parked at the winery furthest out
and were shocked by the chill wind –
a reminder that we were only half way
between winter’s cold and the warmth of spring.
Still, we sat on the patio, sipping deep red wine
and watching the blades of grass sway with the gusts
as birds like sentinels chirped their songs.
We found another not so twisty way back down.
By the time we arrived at our inn,
it had turned dark and cold.

Underarm Dingle-Dangle
Semi-inflated balloons
hang under my upper arms.
My friend June used to call this
flapping-in-the-wind phenomena
kimono arms, or, to get right to the point,
underarm dingle-dangle.
They resist every try
to firm them up. I can’t bear heavy weights,
and sissy little three-pounders do no good.
Yet I do my puny triceps and biceps moves
at least three times a week anyway.
I’ve exercised like a fiend
most of my life: playing tennis, running,
practicing Pilates and Yoga,
and now walking miles
along the ocean.
My obsession keeps me sane –
it saved my life and
out of the psych ward after my son died –
and trim enough to defy
those who called me fatso
when I was a little girl.
No, I can’t get rid of the dingle-dangle –
I won’t it cut off
as once suggested.
Nor will I expose it in public
wearing halter and tank tops
and strapless gowns.
But I can suck it into
a tight-fitting long-sleeved tee.

140 Character or Less Poems

Autumn Isolation
I like that as the trees rustle outside,
stripping in the sunlight,
I can’t hear their sway
I can’t hear their song.

Riding the Waves
Hummingbirds are skinny-dipping
in my garden pool,
bouncing off the fountain,
surfing the surrounding leaves.

Since He Left His Toothbrush
He recited Byron’s words
“yet we’ll go no more a roving
by the light of the moon”
as a final fare thee well,
but she knew he’d be back.


  1. Hi Madeline,
    I came across this Jan post of yours because I’ve been dabbling in poetry myself lately while revising my next novel for publication. Writing/revising my poems is relaxing for me and such a different experience from finalizing a lengthy manuscript. It’s sort of freeing!

    You mentioned that the poems you’ve shared here were published but did not mention where. Was wondering where you submit your poems first, then next, etc.? I’m toying with the idea of doing so, but I’m not as interested in literary journals as I am in publications that have a wide readership. In other words I want my poems to be read, and hopefully enjoyed. 🙂
    Kas Sartori

    • Madeline Sharples says

      Hi, Kas,
      Don’t we all want our poems to be read, though easier said than done. I’ve have great luck in getting my poems published in the Story Circle Network’s bi-monthly journals (the True Words section) and yearly anthology. I am, however, always looking for other opportunities. I receive a daily email listing creative writing opportunities:, which might be a good place for you to look. I also get possibilities word of mouth, about e.g., Porter Gulch Review, In the Words of Womyn International, and Vine Leaves that recently published my poems. I have not, I’m sorry to say, tried The New Yorker. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be published there?
      Anyway, I hope that gives you an idea where to start. I wish you huge luck in getting your poems published.
      I agree, writing and revising poems is relaxing. Writing poetry is my favorite thing to write.

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