Amy Randall, When Sparks Flew

You Can’t Have It All

But you can have a wet nose
pressing your hand while
sitting its furry body on your foot,
reminding you that you are not
the only one hungry.

You can have tiny fingers
pet you like a dog
while your daughter whispers,
“Don’t worry, Mama.
It will be OK.”

You can have the sound
of acorns underfoot and the
satisfaction of their destruction
cracking the silence of
empty October sidewalk.

You can climb the neighbors’
tree and attack your friends
with pricker bombs
before getting lost in the
woods you know so well.

And when adulthood fails you,
you can sneak off to
one of the parks you
have known for decades
& swing
higher and higher
until you can breathe again.

Lighthouse Nightlight


Even after cleaning
dust still lingers
around the seams
where gray metal
holds together
shiny pieces
of snow white and
country blue glass.
I remember
the frayed cord,
when sparks flew
from the socket.


It belonged in Grammy’s room
on top of the brown wooden dresser
in front of the busy floral wallpaper—
golden shag carpet soft
beneath bare feet.
Grammy’s bathroom was
a beachy shrine,
but this lighthouse
had migrated to the bedroom.
I didn’t know Grammies
need a nightlight too.


I find your voice
in the sea breeze,
see your eyes
somewhere between
cerulean and azure,
in the blue rooftop.
Waves crash with
the same rhythm
every night
even though
you are gone.

Bipolar Musings on Love

“If you want to be loved, be lovable.” — Ovid

I add an extra scoop of sugar
to each cup of Earl Grey.
Used to be 2, now I like 3.
I need all the sweetness I can get.
I was supposed to be made
of sugar and spice
but lately I feel more like
a cocktail full of bitters.

I am drawn to light and
make my living harnessing its power
but darkness and shadows
play an equal role
when crafting images
with my camera.

Some days
I feel the universe within me—
bits of shattered stars
to create the world as I know it—
I waver between
a powerful hope and
demons of complacence—
unable to love enough
to drown all hate.

Haiku 13

my trigger finger
the hand that holds my pencil
fuck you arthritis

Baggage Handler ‘Inadvertently’ Falls Asleep
In Cargo Hold Of Plane, Flies to Chicago

‘Inadvertently’ falls asleep
is one way to say it.
“Passed out like a rockstar”
is choice number two.

Sure I had a few drinks
but if your job was
heaving bags
for people traveling toward
the lights of Chicago and New York
in their smart suits and wingtips
while you live in busted sneakers
on the concrete tarmac
in Kansas City—
you’d probably need a drink too.

Sure Fatz sang about
going to Kansas City
but Mr Domino did not
sing about staying there—
certainly not the
one in Missouri.
What sense
does it make to name
a Missouri town
Kansas City?

Sure Chicago sounds
of wonderful wealth and wind
but all I saw were men in blue
who did not seem
that happy to see me.

Sure they said ‘suspended,’
but I know what that means.
They fly me back to Kansas City
and I search for a new job.

Perhaps I could be a bartender;
help other people
to fly away.

Amy Randall was born in Connecticut then raised in South Carolina from the age of three. She is a graduate of Winthrop University with a BA in Art and a minor in English. As a resident of upstate South Carolina, she is an enthusiastic participant and leader of poetry workshops in her community. She makes her living as a commercial photographer specializing in photography of people, places, and events. When not writing or taking photos, she loves spending time outdoors with her 9-year-old daughter Maggie, and her husband Chris.

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