powder keg

Walking out

away from the drama

I do not care

do not care if you don’t understand mechanics

or physics

don’t care if you don’t want to listen

to someone trying to tell you

the powder keg

will blow

ill kempt

the keg is leaking

and all it needs is a spark


Walking away from the disfunction

that the world sees anyway

knows it’s there

but is curious to see for how long

it will last

Walking away from the ills and bills and bullshit

refusing to walk through the crap anymore

Still I am the fool for noticing

but I’ll keep my mouth shut

collect the paycheck



Something sparkles

noticing the feeble thread of powder burn

to its destination

and I walk away

Doesn’t matter

Don’t care


©2018 Louise Ann Stowell  – All Rights Reserved

Photo courtesy of Pixabay






ledge - poem - sutro

Crumbling with every draw

the ocean pounds the shore

taking little bits of iron, mortar, glass

robbing the past in the present

thoughts pounding in my head

dragging away blood, bone, futures, love

waiting on my staircase above

both hopeful and hopeless

for the final breach

knowing I belong

in this forbidden space

dangerous from age

perilous from the elements

my once hidden aerie

now slowly being nibbled away

like my heart

I have no power over the ruin of either

no more than I have power

over time, the sea, or you love

Lifting up my wings with the gulls

I sail over Sutro

to land in peace in the sea


© 2018 Louise Ann Stowell – All Rights Reserved.






Please Silence My Mind


She is working through it

a mental scrap book no one will see

collecting bits and pieces of her lives…past lovers…past holidays

wrapped in foiled papers and bows

years of giving and smiles

boxes of Christmas ornaments lying dormant

in a storage shed

No tree for them

No apartment or home

No time for Thanksgiving

But Halloween stayed on

she is living with ghosts

that will not be exorcised

replaying scenes or screwups decades old


bipolar butterfly

waiting for the Klonopin

to make the final transformation


© 2017 Louise Ann Stowell All Rights Reserved



Storm Drifted


This wild storm tonight won’t allow me to sleep. I have tossed and turned..a small boat on the sea. Thoughts colliding and crashing into stone cliffs tearing at my slumber. I drift aimlessly in the wind; rudderless. Searching for the safe haven of arms that will hold me in the dark night and guide me peacefully into shore.


©2017 Louise Ann Stowell  All Rights Reserved

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

The Stranger Beast

Lion tamer


No  something more

hard edged

biting that went beyond

a dry amusement

the stranger trotted out details of my life

in a circus act fashion

making sure the exciting bits

were painful

each bite taken

precise and deliberate

I had no choice but to whip

the little man with my own tongue lashing

getting the conversation under my control

well beaten and skulking back to his own cage

to lick his wounds

while I walked away

the victor.

©2017 Louise Ann Stowell All Rights Reserved

Photo is from  a piece of Victorian scrap





The sky had that taste and smell of snow

as it gets this close to Thanksgiving

Walking the trail at Mud Lake

there were few fisherman now

Only the rustle and hiss

of the wind through the cattails

Overhead the familiar que of a V began to emerge

as one goose after another joined its mate in the air

the reeds shuttering and shaking in their take off

 snow began to fall lightly

as if by their command

as they squeaked and honked passing overhead

Another year has fled with them

©2017 Louise Ann Stowell All Rights Reserved

Photo courtesy of Pixabay



Marchbank Park – Daly City 1967




Ka   thunk


The ball

Slapped the pavement

While white gulls

Circled overhead

Screaming obscenities

At the game


A girl walks past

The chain link fence

Sand crunching

Under the thick soles of heels

Legs and arms

Thin and tan

Ka Thunk

Swish-clink of metal

As the ball falls


Cat calls whistle

Mingling with cries

Of the gulls

The girls walks by

Down the hill

Past cypress tress

 green park lawn

horizontal line

Of Skyline Blvd

3 miles away

 blue flashing water beyond

Her eyes pick out the silhouette

Of the horse stables

Where she’d rather be

Riding than walking

A paper pirate skull

Shakes side to side

Staring down at her

As it dips in the breeze

The boy’s kite soars higher

Scaring no one but


He stops running

Black high tops

Slick with city water

And shards of green confetti

The air is sharp

With the tang of cut warming grass

©3/29/2015 LAS All Rights Reserved

No Absolution

calvary in chalk

I have been writing since 5 this morning. Unable to sleep, the poems, no, the emotions ran over in my mind ceaselessly. If I purge this, will it leave me alone? How many times do I have to purge it? It drones on and on as a nun over her rosary.  The beads break, spilling and where does it lead you?

There is a dark side to me…glittering, knife-edged…A thorn sticks in my finger the pain penetrates right to the brain. There are times when I am afraid of my thoughts…but fascinated of what my mind will conjure up for it’s own enjoyment or torture…
…the smell of snuffed out candles in the evening air and church confessions banging my head against the dark, on the wood confessional and the words of someone anonymous giving me meaningless absolution for sins I haven’t even thought of committing…..wouldn’t in a million years. And I wind up praying for absolution from love in my heart so intense and infinite… profound it leads me to God knows where and I ache for you.

And there lies my sin.

I count candles, and rain drops, and tears that were shed over trivialities and nonsense whose intense meaning in my past look absurd in the now. The tears over lost loved ones could fill oceans.  I keep counting them. Collecting scattered beads on the ground, something precious to be put away until I have the patience to re-string them and turn them into something truly beautiful.

The night is young and the spirit is believing in the wax and lighted string and wisps of smoke tangled up in prayers so intimate and unspoken aloud . The silence within me echoes up and the choir screams. The spirit boils.  And as always, I want what I cannot have.

sutro lion 2

Laying down at Sutro gate is a cement lion. He waits and watches the decades roll by with the fog from the Pacific Ocean. He is covered in sun, covered in dew, cloaked in rain. His roar is frozen. He is wise and aware of everything that has passed before him in the stream of traffic and time that has flowed down the hill over looking the ruins of ghosts and laughter and dancing in the dark to the orchestra after oysters and champagne. Dancing on the floors of a building that you can’t see above the ruins and the tunnel and the boom of the waves at high tide when the spirits run with your candle through the darkness and snuff it out on the rocks and water at the end of cave. Dancing with their ghost lights and dreaming of us as a fantasy in their mind.

Madness, you whisper.
Silence. So much is.

© 2003 LAS ALl Rights Reserved including Photography

San Francisco and How I Remember It

In the next few weeks and perhaps months, I will be writing stories from my childhood in the 1960’s and 70’s in San Francisco.  A lot of the people and places are gone.  Something has been nagging at me to get it on “paper” before they are lost forever.  So, in a moment I will be posting the first of the stories.  The names have been changed to protect the innocent and in some cases the guilty.  Some of these stories belong to my grandmother.  Some to friends that had passed away.

I hope you enjoy them.  Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

I will be compiling them into a book that will be for sale on Amazon.com

Thank you in advance.