April 4 – Melissa Huff

Welcome to National Poetry Month and Gyroscope Review’s month-long celebration of poets – and their diverse Writing Assistants. Enjoy the audio/video works by previous Gyroscope Review poets, and be sure to check out the Author and fun Writing Assistant Bio at the end of each NPM poet post. Don’t forget to tag the poet on Social Media and let them know you enjoyed their work!

Lesson in Aging

Lesson in Aging

I spread their colors 
across the counter—tulips
in hues of lemon, lilac,
plum and persimmon—
then scoop them up,
slake their thirst, let them
chatter to each other.
They tilt their heads, laugh
from their bellies, begin
to open themselves to life.
As they age, they widen
their scope, become more
generous, acquire a graceful
drape.  Their edges begin
to darken, turn inward
until, one by one, each
petal loosens its hold,
gives in to gravity,
across my counter—
curled flakes of color	,
still laughing.

First published in Gyroscope Review
in the Fall 2021 issue.

Putting My Mind Down for a Nap

Putting My Mind Down for a Nap

With a gentle
touch I take
my mind
by the hand
its frayed surface
it to breathe
from its belly
I can calm
its quivering.

I soften
my voice
to speak to it
tell my mind
I respect
its thoughtful
its ability
to process 
its initiative—even
its propensity
to go its own way—

but I need it
to disappear
for a while.
So I lay it
with care
on a padded surface
cover it
with a queen-size
down comforter
and tuck it in
all the while
a few bars of
James Taylor’s
You Can Close Your Eyes.

that I will soon
return to rescue it
I turn
from my mind
to notice
the newly open
space within
and watch
as it fills with light.

Published Spring 2021 by Persimmon Tree in 
Short Takes: Lights at the End of the Tunnel.


Writing Assistant BIO in poem form- see alternate bio below

Not Just Any Tea Mug
	with appreciation to Ceramica Mara

Like the others
it’s always waiting at morning’s first
intake of breath, inviting my hands
to the sturdy comfort of its thick handle—
a vessel empty of all but anticipation,
soon to be filled with warm aromatics
to scent the hours with bergamot.

Unlike the others
this one is covered in carved and painted
images that waken imagination,
faces and figures that bring to life
stories that flow over its surface,
open up possibilities, suggest
who or what I could be that day.

I could be
the woman whose face tilts upward
to welcome each beckoning moment.
I could be the dove surrounding that face,
leading her with wind-swept wings into virgin skies,
or perhaps that child-like face whose fears	
are enfolded in the safety of the woman’s hair.

I could be
those diamond-shaped stars that shimmer
at the ends of her long locks, lending
their light and effervescence to the day.
And maybe this morning I will be the serene moon
that hovers with a watchful stillness,
harbinger of the coming calm of evening.

–Melissa Huff

Note: This poem won first place in an Illinois State Poetry Society contest in the category of: 
“Any small item used daily.”

Alternate Writing Assistant Bio:
Crafted with love in Mexico, purchased with delight in the mountains of Colorado, I currently fulfill my calling in Illinois, where my evocative and ethereal images inspire a poet to let her own imagination run as freely as mine.

Don’t forget to read the Spring 2024 Issue of Gyroscope Review.

NPM 2024 Poets

April 1 – Cal Freeman

April 2 – Susanna Lang

April 3 – Marion Brown

April 4 – Melissa Huff