Always coming home

Turned away from gated garden closing time in Old Town
Sunday afternoon we went toward the water to wander

Bridges over and underpasses trains cars bicycles geese
Passengers ambulators whir of wheels on grated steel
Concrete echoes always coming home

Bridgetown February in the city of roses under naked branched
Cherry blossom trees calyxed working waiting for Spring

Lonely long distance watchers of inner and outer space sitting upon
Park benches stair steps lost in the labyrinth of the body of the
City’s mind spirit soul always coming home

Stereo screech tone poem of steel on steel train wheel
Turning on tracks cars coupled pushing pulling clunking clacking
Rubber on the road truck wheels rumbling jack brakes grumbling traffic
Melting into evening geese and crow song underfoot overhead always coming home

Twenty-first century Dharma bum encampment two small boats green canoe blue rubber raft
Pulled ashore nestled on the rocks between walkways and highways river and sky
Pristinely tattered tidy tents gentle sweet smoke fire flicker barely visible amid
Well built wall a circular cairn of salvaged stones always coming home

All is well and unwell a swell amongst graffiti proclamations written on
Walks and walls calling out to Heaven evidence left of
Struggle to Be
Always coming home

Redeem Yourself in Christ Our Savior
All Cops Are Bastards Protect Trans Youth
Women Life Freedom
Say Their Names
Make Love

Always Coming Home

Truth Soup

I used to be the type who 

would never betray the truth by speaking it

now truth soup keeps pouring out of me

Last night standing over my mother’s soup pot 

I remembered again 

that I don’t have to punish myself 

for feeling sad

And some quiet voice of knowing visited 

a whispered warmth 

that I would awaken this morning 

on the surface of the earth again 



poured back into this body 

(like the opposite of knowing I’m going to wake up hungover)

It probably helped to name a few things 

that hadn’t been named in a while 

Named by breath, named by words 

named by following the tight river of pain down the right arm out this estuary of fingertips

Remembering the last time we remembered this

Named by violent storm clouds

undulating against euphoria 

recasting the spiral 



Getting caught and uncaught 

hooked and unhooked 

over and over again 

Let’s write together on The Untamed Page

Join me for eight Sundays of shared, facilitated writing practice on the untamed page.

Sundays, April 9 – May 28 2023

9:30-11 AM PDT (via Zoom) 

$200-$120 suggested sliding scale

No one turned away for lack of funds


email me at with the subject line Untamed Page

you can pay for the class via these two methods: 

Venmo: username @calyxmikalina

Paypal: Mikalina Kirkpatrick

what we’ll do:

I’ll read a poem out loud twice.

Just sit and listen. Relax into it, let the words wash over you. I’ll offer some jump-off lines and additional short prompts and then you’ll get to hear the poem again, listening for what comes up for you, hearing your first lines hit the page.

Then we’ll write together for ten minutes.

keeping our hands moving the entire time, letting go of the idea of getting it right and getting curious about what’s actually here. What’s waiting to be said, discovered, remembered, revealed within us. allowing ourselves to write, as a couple of my teachers say, “the worst shit in the world” to make space for the truth that’s ready to come forward.

After we write we will each read out loud.

one by one, listening to each other without commentary or feedback, just presence and witness. We offer gratitude hands or sparkle fingers when each writer is finished reading and we’re off to the next writer. And yes, you can always take a pass reading out loud.

We’ll do this three times.

three short poetry-prompted write and read alouds over the hour and a half of our time together.

Then we’ll sign off until we again the. That’s it. That’s the practice. Wanna see what happens when a bunch of queer fatties get together and do this? I do. (It’s magic.Magic happens)

about this writing practice:

​This practice is a great way to “crack open” the writing mind. It’s a way to set yourself free from the inner critic; to get to know yourself better as a writer, and as a human being. It feels good — even when it feels kinda bad. ​​When we do this practice in a group, we become a community, a circle, witnesses to each other.

When we do this practice together we agree to witness each others’ stories and processes without feedback while honoring each others’ story, autonomy, and dignity. What’s shared here stays here, what’s learned here leaves here. We agree to take care of ourselves using our self-care practices, support systems, and trusting our inner knowing.

This writing practice comes from a web of lineages of many writers. I’ve been fortunate to do this very practice of poetry prompted writing with Laurie Wagner of 27 Powers for six years. Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron are great matriarchs of this type of writing practice. I’ve taken a couple wonderful online workshops from Natalie, and have done versions of both of their writing practices on and off for years. All the writers I’ve written with over the years who told me to keep going, they are my forever teachers too.

a little about me:

I’m a white, nonbinary, neurodivergent, superfat, queer, misfit, foofy nanah weirdo. Disabled with tons of economic privilege, married to a super awesome cis man named Marshall who is my best friend, who supports my healing and creativity, who keeps me in house and home while celebrating and encouraging my freedom, and who still plays gin-rummy with me every day even though I usually win. We share our home with two cats; Pickle and Medeina who definitely embody their namesakes. I’m moving through healing and homecoming from intergenerational trauma, a lifetime of ensuing shenanigans, and chronic nervous system dysregulation. I love the woods, most shades of purple, time alone in my room, in my garden with my loved ones, and grocery shopping. I used to do a lot of activismy-healing stuff and then I had a nervous breakdown and these days I do a lot of artsy-fartsy-healing stuff.

I’ve been participating in this writing practice since 2013 and facilitating since 2020. With friends and strangers, paid and unpaid.  Any questions or concerns, or just want to chat and check in, let me know.

this is a love letter (please forgive me)

to inflammation underbelly heat and moisture
deepening under breasts back fat thigh rub
fupa belly hang concealing sex
fungal infections and funky smells
to self whose own imagined annihilation was a lullaby
(please forgive me) this is a love letter to becoming
fat belly beeswax witch
sacrament of loving the reviled
rituals of anointment
underbelly sacred cave
in a network of sacred caves
a way back to holding this body wholly
salvation to remember a self back into being


wander to become familiar with inhabitants of the scrubby pond
notice the persevering personality of shelf fungus
climbing the still-standing snag of used-to-be tree
circle the nest of thicket and bramble
pause at the slightly shifted pitter patter of yellows and browns
a season’s leavings
the way a path becomes is through the trodding
something, no, someone, some body passes this way regularly
unseen but leaving trace
a bend of branch, a discernible disruption in layers of decay
like ghosts traveling our synapses
circling, circling, to find their way out of the labyrinths of our minds

Washing dishes on a cold Tuesday morning 

The beauty of bowls stacked in the sink
last night’s soup still clinging
to the rims of nestled vessels

Cuppings of containment

Some formed by two hands in basements and garages
others in anonymized factories by machines
and people whose work no longer looks or feels
like craft

Last night four friends ate hot soup in the cold garage
both doors thrown open to the evening
still wary of breathing unventilated
shared air

Huddled on lawn furniture under blankets and hats
fairy lights strung from the rafters
among the rakes and bulbs
cardboard and buckets

Remembering back through the years
together and apart
before and after
afraid and secure
ruptured and repaired

Remembering and forgetting
and remembering again

Mercifully woven together with hot lentil soup
and salad grown in the backyard

This morning tiny shreds of carrots like confetti
floated to the surface as the bowls filled with warm water

Waiting to be wiped clean
and put away empty
ready for the next filling

It began

It began when your mother was born with the seed of you already in her body.

It began with mitochondria before we called them mitochondria.

Before we called anything anything at all.

It began when we began feeling roots under the ground.

It began when you first heard her say;

“I forgive you.

For what?

For all of it.”

It began in the forest. It began in the ocean.

It began in the heart of a long-dead star.

It began in your great-grandmother’s great grandmother’s kitchen.

It began with the unborn babies.

It began when you started having sex.

It began when you first started feeling unlovable;

alone, angry in your narrow bed, howling at the wall,

counting the cracks in the ceiling.

It began with a dysregulated nervous system.

It began with an exorcism.

It began with a monster in the closet,

under the bed, under the stairs, in the next room.

It began with the flip of a switch, the parting of the sea,

the burning of the witches and fairies and queers.

It began with the building of the first fortress,

the first storehouse, the first horde.

It began in the headwaters that can never be found.

It began in a watershed.

It began with a big bang. It began with an earthworm.

It began with a singer singing her first song.

It began with a soup pot and a wooden spoon.

It began with bones and thistles.

It began with surviving the longest winter.

It began with renaming mountains and stars.

It began with toes and fingers and perfect heartbreak.

It began with your mother dying.

It began with firetrucks, night terrors, fireflies.

It began with leaving in order to be able to stay.

It began with an inbreath.

It began. It began. It began.

I write

I write to tell the stories that have been hiding in my body since before I was born. I write to tell the stories that got stuck in my throat. I write to say the things I couldn’t let myself feel when my body was a silent electric song of danger, danger, remember this for later. I write because I swallowed the story of my life and fed its urgent hunger every night. I write myself out of the dark, digging my way down and back to the surface because someone remembers our life depends on it. I write myself back into the night garden to sit among the roots reaching up from below to say hello. I write to remember this body as the ground beneath and I look up from the page to remember the cedar tree as myself as well. I write because I came to worship the words on the page and the breathing of the trees as variations of the same song. I write to remember that the trees breathed us into being so we could sing the story of the universe to itself. I write to remember ourselves home.


Where I’m from 

after George Ella Lyons 

I’m from the family that doesn’t talk about it.
I’m from bruises under shirtsleeves
and secrets on the other side of darkened doorways.

Broken pyrex from Sunday dinner
curried shrimp and peas and shards of glass
swept up and put in the garbage
like it never happened.

I’m from speakeasies, poker games, and polka dancing.
Putting up pears in the fall and making cabbage rolls all winter long.
Where I’m from you better find something to do or I’ll find something for you.

I’m from woods thick with fallen leaves and dusty sunlight,
woodsmoke and bearded men with deer guns and beer cans
who might shoot your dog if she’s still outside at dusk.

I’m from the crazy quilt you find in the trunk of the attic;
bright and chaotic.
Dead relatives’ pajamas and overalls,
flannel and corduroy
stitched together with yarn.

Where I’m from, we’re all about second chances
because most of us didn’t know we were up the first time around.
Where I’m from ghosts walk among us
real as the stories we tell ourselves before going to sleep.

Where I’m from we’re trying to find peace,
in the corners we have retreated to.
Though no one is speaking
and most of us are dead.

Hunger, Need, and Desire showed up at my door

Wild and desperate eyes
I would not let her in
Over and over I found her under my bed
creeping down the stairs to my basement
I locked my door against her and shut the blinds
she took the door off the hinges
The forest vines followed her to my table
I shrugged and began making chicken and rice
A pigeon made a nest in the coals of my fire and dreamt

People showed up carrying bowls
Walls became the inside of a hollow tree
Root ceiling, earthen floor
Stone in the soup
The pot stays full

A child filled their bowl 
singing the prophecies of their generation
as they left my kitchen, 
I felt left behind,
not sure of my part

I followed to witness 
the creators of our universe walking in procession
dry earthen paths lined by trees 
raising hands to the forever sky
joyful dust rising among 
dancing, celebrating, stomping feet

Robes of gauzy ochre fabric loose over limbs
Wooden staff in human hand
the face of the night bird looking back at me
I have always loved a parade

“Look” said my young guide and pointed out
two mothers, a family, of brown skin and woven black hair 
each carrying one of their children high in their arms

This child is called life, they are the creators’ allowance
This one is death; they are the creators’ constant
Both of their children are gifts