Friday, July 7, 2017

Welcome to Kim D. Bailey and S. Liam Spradlin!

This evening I'd like to post some engaging, heartfelt poems by a poetic power couple, Kim D. Bailey and S. Liam Spradlin.

Walnut Street Bridge

Why build a bridge?
Beams and planks fastened
together with iron rods.
A motionless frame stretched
like an accordion far
across a once empty space.
A Bridge -that has the same ending
for me as it does the old man
with a cane, as unshapely as his knees.
Why build a bridge?
a suspension of sorts stapled in the sky,
a long esophagus
swallowing its admirers who
dare to leave the safety called Land.
Where mankind is supposed to walk.
What if we were to be content
just being by the waters,
not over them?  I feel the entire bridge
give under the weight of each 
step I take. While I drawback my breath
as nearby reflections lean across the water.
My eyes capture the serenity of the moment
Like the mockingbird catches the wind.
I envision my reflection
seized by the waters below. Then I
am reminded how easily I am moved
by the smallest ripple.
Some boards where I now
stand have begun to rot.
I wonder how many hurried ankles
have twisted when a high heel gets stuck.
How many children have explored
these planks with tender and precarious
fingers, only to stand up crying
when a splinter is all they find.
I think about the few souls that have
unsettled the even surface below.
Were they overwhelmed with sadness?
Like the rhythm of a coiled anchor,
heaved overboard, slapping a corroded and
slippery chain all the way down.
I came here tonight to walk.
To walk across a bridge.
A bridge purposefully placed to take me
from one destination to another.
But I worry what I find will
be no different from what I left.
I sit down on a bench that
is not made for the curve
of my spine. I begin to
write without thinking. What
is holding me now? Is it the air? Or is it
my belief that something
solid hangs under me?
I cannot miss the cracks in this bridge,
they are everywhere I step.
If I could leap over these cracks then
I could leap over the bridge.
But I can't leap, I can barely jump.
The waters below carry drowned secrets
Misplaced by water and time.
Here great river. Here is a quarter.
Take me downstream till I sink.
Bury me in the mud, or inside
an old shoe that a young fisherman
will swear is a catfish. Let him
keep the quarter for his efforts.
I need to be moving now. My
fear of heights keeps me an
arm’s distance from the rail.
I am a little more than halfway across
and I want to turn around.
Why not build bridges on land?
Oh—but we do. Over streets
and highways, railroad tracks
and anything else
that may slow us down.
Whoever invented bridges
solved the world's problems.
So why can't we build bridges
over hunger, fear, hate, intolerance,
injustice, inequality, disease, pain,
prejudice, terrorism, and all things evil?
Why can't we go back to 1970
and float on that that round piece of vinyl?
Thank you, Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel
For building a Bridge Over Troubled Waters
You saved my sisters (every night)
Thank You, Naomi and Wynonna Judd
they built a bridge in the country.
“between your heart and mine.”
And yes Wynonna, I do believe it's time.
I am nearly to the end now
where a homeless lady rests, expecting my change.
Nearby, a mother and her daughter
stop to look for a phone or camera.
The young girl wipes her fingertips
on the frills of her dress.
she is eating plain potato chips.
Maybe we do need bridges after all.

S. Liam Spradlin

Steps in the Night

She Walks
won't talk
At my Talk
High heels click
Cracks in the sidewalk missed
She walks
on my name
Written in Chalk
Down a dirty sidewalk

Her shadow falls
on the Graffiti walls
Lights along the bank dance
Where’s my chance
Ain't no belt
on my button fly pants
I scream
At the back of her head
Her ears are dead

Her stare
In the moonlit air
She don't care
What’s fair
tailor made to share
Ain't no shame
When I'm to blame
Last seconds
of my Last Game

Her collar turned up so high
Keeps the world out...
Ain't no shout from the crowd
in a 12-round bout
Till a right hook connects
Above the neck
Lights out

The mat is cold
I'm climbing the ropes
Playing the crowd
while all my hatters
keep wondering how
I look down at my feet
I'm back on concrete

She's disappeared
I hide in fear
I ain't scared of the dark-
But I am the spark
A willow cries
From the pain inside
is two-person wide
I tried

To mask the pain
In my brain
Like a bullet train
with no breaks
Rolling on my veins
Inside my heart
Tunnels Dark
She stops and starts

On Time
Never late
Don't hesitate
Like a bull outta the gate
She crushes the ground
with the moves she makes
My heart ducks
Eight Seconds
Is long enough

She goes
Distance grows
and I don't know
if the change
on the ground
from my pocket holes
Will be enough
To buy my soul

S. Liam Spradlin

Woman at the Well

I don’t want to be the woman at the well,
walking so far to fetch water
for a man who won’t make me his wife.

I don’t want to be that woman
who was taken time and time again
only to be coldly cast aside.

I don’t want to be the woman who sees a man
and does not recognize him
as the Savior, the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

I want to be the woman who takes his hand
and knows in Him
there is everlasting life.

I don’t want to carry this weight on my shoulders
all the pain of those who came
and walked right out my door.

I just want to drink the living water
the kind that fills me up
and keeps me coming back for more.

I don’t want to be the woman at the well
desperately drawing day by day
from an empty place.

I don’t want to throw pennies
in a fountain, well or spring,
hoping my love will finally show his face.

I just want to drink the living water
the kind that never runs dry
the kind that never leaves me thirsting for more,

or leaves me with these tears in my eyes.
I don’t want to be the woman at the well
I want to be the woman worth fighting for.

Kim D. Bailey
March 12, 2013

Remembering What I Never Had

Days used to run
stacked and covered with dust
like old books used
for decoration
instead of being read.

No stories were told,
no plots thickened.
Just shells for covers of
blank pages,
to hide the emptiness
bound within.

I never noticed them
until you came along
with words written on your heart.

That same heart
you placed upon
your torn and jagged sleeve
of a shirt you bought
at the thrift store.

While we walked, winding
zigging and zagging across streets
and bridges, connected
caressing and caressed,
by an unknown wind
blowing against wood
and steel,
wrapping us in its

I remember what I never had, but
I am not sorry.

I’ve found the lost piece of myself
here with you,
the part of me I longed for
and missed
something once lost
though I never knew
existed until
I looked into your eyes.

Kim D. Bailey

April 1, 2017

A Phoenix Rises from the Ash

I am the fire
torching all in my path
unforgiving undiscerning.
                Move or burn—
for my flames are fierce.
licking at old wounds
scorching those who
leave a scar.
Red, molten, lava,
Your guilt or
                no matter—
for at some time
you broke a
and that is all
that means anything

Kim D. Bailey
February 25, 2017

Meant to be Broken   
S. Liam Spradlin

Promises...those we make to ourselves.
Or maybe like the promises we make
To God. The ones we make
When we find ourselves
Overwhelmed by a situation
Of our own creative ignorance.
Promises. Like those drowned out in
Static words between cell phones.
Promises. That bring out the laughter
In senseless childhood friends.
Promises. Like dandelion seeds
Riding saddle to the April wind.
Promises. The ones we remember
Are the ones someone else spoke.
Promises. Cannot exist.
Like a proud drop of rain
Begging to be hidden away
In the desert’s crumbling veil.
Promises. Sound good.
Like our favorite song making a U-turn
Down on Cyclone Corner.
Promises. Shared among lovers
Like a thick mud shake and two straws.
Promises heard.

City Blocks
S. Liam Spradlin

This afternoon I walked downtown.
I followed the same path I first
Memorized by streetlights and
Building tops. Not stoplights
And street names. Today-
I walked looking down, or
Maybe looking in. As I walk
Thoughts pedal across my mind
Like the soft click of a plastic
Straw caught in the silver spokes.
Today I noticed the cracks in the
Sidewalk down on Main.
I imagine my heart looks
Very much the same…
Everything cracks
The faces I meet are only voices
Mingled among the cities
Constant rumble. All I
Can really hear is the cautious rhythm
Of my soles pressing against the
Concrete. Although I am not
Lost, I feel alone. A fast blast
From a car horn is not recognition,
Rather a rude interruption of my thoughts…
I go back to thinking of all the places you could
Never be. A confused waitress questions
My response… “Table for One.”
She leads me upstairs to
A window from which
The sun has already passed.
I sit down alone.
And you are there.


S. Liam Spradlin

 Soundlessly the massive steel beam swung outward
 High above the push of the city street.
 A single cable grasping the arm of a
 lonely crane positioned against the careless sky.
 My existence mingled with the normality of
 Strangers- whose footprints vanished into those  
 That followed. Between my hurried reflections, I found sanity
  In the convenience of a street vendor’s hot pretzels
  While swallowing the burn of impatient exhaust. A street
  corner musician sets an empty tip jar down
  on a torn speaker. I had been saving pennies
  since a child…I would keep them in empty peanut butter jars.
  I still remember mom cutting the bread in triangles.
  An empty cable swung carelessly High above the city street.
  I had been carrying the weight of the world Like a
  knapsack full of copper and steel. I wanted to be free
  from the confusion, But I stood... 
  Waiting on the Green Man.
S. Liam Spradlin writes poetry and nonfiction. He has been published in the 2017 annual edition of The Sequoyah Review, a literary journal published by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he is currently majoring in Sociology. He has also been previously published online and in print with the Scarlet Leaf Review. He lives in Fort Oglethorpe, GA with his partner, published author Kim D. Bailey. You may contact S. Liam via Facebook at Facebook/shan.spradlin

Kim D. Bailey, a 2017 Pushcart Prize Nominee, writes Women’s Fiction, short stories, poetry, non-fiction, and a weekly column for Five 2 One Magazine. She is poetry editor for Firefly Literary Magazine. She is editing a third novel and does freelance editorial work. She's published in several online literary journals and print magazines, podcasts, and has taught writing courses online. She currently lives in Fort Oglethorpe, GA with her partner and published poet, S. Liam Spradlin. You may connect with her at or Twitter @kimbaileydeal, Instagram @kimdbaileyauthor or her Facebook page


Tonight I thought I'd post the music of a self-taught pianist, Ryo Fukui.  Born in 1947, he is another musician who is eligible for the current contest.

"Autumn Leaves" is from his first album, Scenery:

You may prefer "Early Summer":

I'll finish with his "Bouncing with Bud":



  1. Marianne,

    Thank you so much! Shan and I are in awe of how beautifully you've displayed our collective work


    1. You're very welcome, Kim. Thank you and Shan for your outstanding poetry!