Three of my poems, Apostrophe, Spirit Song, and Green Vase, were recently shown as part of the National League of American Pen Women, Central Ohio Branch, traveling exhibition, Seasons of Our Lives. Seasons appeared in 2018 at The Works in Newark, Ohio, and at the Carnegie Gallery, Columbus Metropolitan Main Library, Columbus, Ohio. All three poems displayed were embellished in the margins with my collage work.

This one was a Poem of the Week, appearing on the National League of American Pen Women website.

Green Vase

by Brenda Layman


Bright morning balcony sun

Me, arranging flowers in the old green vase

That was my mother’s

Kept in a cabinet over the refrigerator

Where curious child hands

(mine) could not reach

Once filled with roses, an ardent tribute

Conquest token treasured

Beauty remembered

Lipstick-red as roses

Faded into something soft,

Nearly forgotten, out of focus and wrinkled

Like linen dresses in summer long ago

I fill the green vase with bright blossoms

Freesia, carnations, daisy mums and

Wildflowers from my garden

Red, purple, white, golden yellow

A bit of lavender for scent

I place into the vase which was a gift

From a long-forgotten man who

Had he more than roses to offer

Might have been

Father to some other daughter

Who may have had something of me in her soul

Would she have been standing here this morning

With fresh-cut flowers in her hands?





by Brenda Layman


Almost Autumn

Summer poised to yield

Harvest of first fruits already underway

Satisfaction of holding in one’s hand

Heft and hue of promise fulfilled

Firm flesh sweet juice and seeds for the future

This year is on the wane

The light has changed

It will never seem more golden

Than in these last sweet days

And though our joints may creak

As scarlet boughs

That toss and groan above us

And though your beard be gray

My love

When brilliant leaves begin their waltz

Upon the prophet wind

Let them find us dancing


Here is another of my poems that was selected by The National League of American Pen Women as Poem of the Week.

Spirit Song

by Brenda Layman


Nature does not sigh for loss

In littered leaves and soil

She keeps her own ones

Birthed in Spring’s warm blood

Fed on Summer’s bounty

Curled in fur, hidden in holes

Each day light lengthens, shadows bend

And rush before the wind

That breathes tomorrow’s promise

Underneath her quilt of gray and brown

Blanketed with snow

Seeds are sleeping

Soon to wake, as their parents once awoke

Softly green unfurl

Into her world of sun and rain

And everlasting life.