December 19, 2017

“Once Pink Youth” – Poetry by Hope Bolinger

“Once Pink Youth” – Poetry by Hope Bolinger

Drip Castles

Teardrops of North Carolina sand bite into

Pure pink skin,

The color of raw sunsets—of a conch’s innards—of a teething child’s gums.


A sunburnt fist

Plunges into a wan

Bucket full

Of sludgy sand.


The Atlantic water on top of the

Sunken soil sloshes like

Stomach acid.


Fistfuls of sopping slush

Form spires of mire, tilt(yards) of silt, ditches of grit—graves of gravel.


Alas, pure pink castles of

Muddied fancies



In a wave

Of briny ocean breakers

Dissolving into a stump of once-pink youth.


Snow Questions Spring

Yellowed school books say Spring

makes all fair beings grow,

do ashen teachers see

sun’s rays—sickles, shred Snow?

Sharp grass blades impale, sting?

No frail child, browning slush,

murky backwash from tires

muddied your thoughts. Infant

soft moss Spring desires—

newborn cries mean cold hush

for ice, whose weak veins crack,

burst under Spring’s green boot

Sickled I reap no grim

Your blood makes plant veins root

through my death, white to black

life springs

and hearkens back.



when you drown you

breathe air

when you breathe air you



underneath six feet of black

soil you thrive and live and give


but on six inches of cracked concrete

you recoil into a dried rubber band


Double Feature

When the lights fade on carpet walls, flats

fixed on sticky floor, salt peppers damp

fingers—popcorn permeates the squeaky seats.


When the sneakers of screaming tot strike

Against my pew, the few gentle scolds

of mild mother are drowned in screened tunes.


When the soft beam from glass hits the sharp

rhombus heart, pulseless story of mine

cuts, dissolves . . . as the feature unseats.


House Upon the Sand

The grains of sand escape me

when ocean tides lick my toes

in a dusty river of eternity.


Slushy veins scrape against my feet,

going where? God knows

the grains of sand escape me.


Like grandpa’s hourglass, wine glass for elderly

drops of burgundy down parched throat flows

in a dusty river of eternity.


And the primrose paintings in his library

next to yellowed almanacs and powdered prose

the grains of sand escape me.


Back at the beach, to set free

An alabaster jar, smooth stone abode,

in a dusty river of eternity


Ashes drop into waves burying

time and all of death’s throes

the grains of sand escape me

in a dusty river of eternity.


To Gather Together

To gather together in snow laden weather

nearby the bony oak tree,

smitten with mittens with stone bluish fingers

‘side wooden gazeebo with me.


Delighted Yule lights dance like cold glowworm ghosts

around the evergreen tree,

to gather together in snow laden weather

will no one dance now with me?






Hope Bolinger is a professional writing major at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. Over 100 of her works have been featured in publications such as Dancing with the Pen and The Echo. When she’s not writing, she spends time in the miserable state of Ohio with her fat cat Twix and her family.



  • JW James says:

    “your blood makes plant veins rot”…”in a dusty river of eternity”
    So many compelling lines like these, a subtle unease beneath the soil, the dusty river, in your blood beneath your very skin.
    Wonderful work, Hope!

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