Insecure Wind 💨😂


Feel my cool breath

on your skin

I saw you were dewy

and needed it

Did you catch my little rustle of the leaves? 


Stroll under those

old oaks and notice  

I make sounds

just like the ocean

Shhhhhhhhhh, can you hear my artistry?


My gentle breeze flirts

with your curls

Yet I destroy whole cities

with my whirls

Can’t you see how soft and strooo...

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A Mom’s Promise


small curls so soft

fall in your eyes


sleepiest gaze

wide by surprise


tiny fingers

stretch out to me


short pudgy legs

kick aimlessly


the world is yours

grin-slobber line


should your heart break 

I’ll give you mine 



© Candice Reineke 2021



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New Year’s Fireworks and Your Snore

earsplitting pops and crackles reverberate off the river into our home

our cats dash under beds taking shelter amid the war zone 

I calmly explain it’s just the 2021 New Year’s fireworks fun

soon the explosive noises and jubilant celebrations will all be done

just as my words become truth your snore breaks into the night and shakes the earth beneath my sleep-deprived bum

our cats ...

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Cozy Haiku

my wife’s wisest gift

Swedish sweater socks wrap warm

wool around my feet



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Play It Cool

Play It Cool


ice cubes tumble

down the shoot

into glasses with a cling 


couples banter

servers scramble

you gently stir your drink


“Seat taken?”

a soft voice asks

your glass drips with condensation


she gestures to the bartender

one move pulls out the stool

for conversation 


“Uh, yes...I mean no!”

your head shakes 

your straw now...

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And so I thought 


once I felt seen

got praised, got a raise 

it would go away


once I de-stressed

got time off from my job

it would drift away


once I reached my goal

got rated “exceptional”

it would surely leave


once I felt proud

of all that I’ve achieved

it would bring reprieve 


And so I thought



© Candice Reineke 2020


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The Grammy goes to...


eager crickets sing in chorus

at the top of their lungs 


gusts rustle leaflets

in the string section of dwarf palms


nervous gnat raises his falsetto 

as high as he can


dragonfly’s baritone buzz

upstages her wingspan 


pileated woodpecker plays his pine 

keeping on the beat


tufted titmouse takes her tenor solo

melodic and neat



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Moment of Glory


God grabs a handful of reeds

to relieve an itch in his nose


lifts the emerald bundle to

inside his nostrils lined with gold 


scratches them up and down

‘til his ticklish urges subside


pulls the straws out half-dipped

like fence paint dripped and dried


their marshy roots dangle

in fish-scented air


God pushes’m back to the muck

swamp sti...

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Atlantic Beach “Public Parking”


chipped mint letters

flicker at Florida’s first coast


pearly tin sign

atop a tall weathered post


two “P” words compose

a minimalist statement 


crystals swirl across girls’

distant giggles on pavement 


fiery rust streaks 

from the top-center screw


faded cat sticker

smirks like a sleuth 


slots always taken 

in the mayhem of Ma...

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Lufituaeb er’uoy


let your index finger 

gently lift towards her

in one smooth motion


keep your eyes

fixed on hers

let your jitters simmer


open your hand

thumb pointing at your chin

fingers pointing up


roll your fingers across

the front of your face 

in clockwise fashion


like a carousel 

lightly turning

shadows to glimmers


end with your fing...

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Pink Lady


I’m 52 mg/dL and falling

I need you just as you are

Crisp like the night’s breath


Desperate to end this faint feeling 

I open the door

See the blush of your skin


Under the bright bulb 

I reach for you

Cold to the touch, round in my hand


I rush to the sink

Rinse you clean 

Dry your moist flesh and stem


I can’t wait any longer 

Crazed c...

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hypoglycemiaType 1 diabetic



cling-clangs against my brain

feign solutions but they’re all the same 


feasts for frantic fissions 

unbridled, undeniably out of 




the drug I’ve always craved

but can’t do a thing other than




did I say it wrong?

did they hear me right?


I’m sure of it 

So unsure of it


I may be wrong

maybe all is well



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Some drive in silence with their mind 

free as the thought patterns they find


Others drive with the crevasses of their soul bare 

to the “lucky” listener sitting there


Some drive with laser-focus, turning on a dime

constantly checking their arrival time


Others drive with beats blasting, casting glances 

hoping partners will join in their dances


Some driv...

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driveroad trip



Your screen goes black
The orgy of your show
Now done

The euphoria of empathy
Feeling your beloved characters 
All gone!

Foreshadowing that kept you on the edge
Clever plot that kept you clicking “Next”  
C’est fini!!

You regret your urge to binge
You mourn your loss
You self-soothe 

Then you wait 
And wait
For season two



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Before the Beans Grind


Before the beans grind

There is no joy

There is no life

It takes nine steps to walk the distance of five

Blinks forget to un-blink

Yawns overtake the soul

Your dreams abandoned you on Mars

But you haven’t noticed the red glow

There is no joy

There is no life

Before the beans grind


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Trash Day


Softly breathing warm in bed

The squeaking sound of a massive truck

Gently pulling you from your dreams

Its crane arm lifting bins at your neighbors

Two homes away









No bra, no shoes, pandas on your pajamas

Surely the garbageman won’t mind


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A Tweet Moved Me to Say

I will

play my harmonica haphazardly.

make a joke with no one to laugh but me.

improv a jazz song to my cat Curry.

take a photo of what’s right in front of me.

I am not a product.


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Did You Pack a Whistle?


You are not lost yet

You can still retrace more steps

Botched blazes be damned



© Candice Reineke 2019



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Florida Birthday Girl

You wake me early, with a kiss-scapade and your eyes bright like the morning light that snuck through onto my pillowcase.

You open my car door with a knowing grin, and I make ridiculous guesses, but you refuse to reveal your plans.

First, across the bridges of Jacksonville, to historic Avondale, where old-Florida gardens and old-money mansions show us their frills.

My first time at the Fox, a v...

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Atlantic BeachAvondalebirthdayFloridaJacksonvilleRiverside

Sea Oats Already Know

Beat, beat, beat

breathe in


My heart and lungs

they already know


Waves know just when

to bend


The crest crashes

when it feels high enough 


The seagull glides

by pulling on air


Sand crystals swirl

around half-buried twigs


Sea foam blows

down the body of the beach


Clouds rush

to reveal the warmth of September



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love poemoceansea oatsseagull

“Working” from Home

A working woman

Juggling tasks at my desk

Stealing glances out

Cardinal singing without restraint

Brilliant red matching his mood

Sun saturating her favorite leaves

Infinite hues and shades of green

Towering oaks protecting me

Deep with wisdom and rings of strength

Moss swaying ever so gently

Juggling nothing now

A smitten woman


©️ Candice Reineke 2019

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Delicacy of Truth

Me: (sigh) I feel less inspired than ever.


She: (gently) Love, the masses are not just sitting, waiting for you to blow their minds.


Me: (tasting truth) Right. So I should probably just sit, wait until I feel inspired?


She: (chuckles, grabs my pen, kisses me)



©️ Candice Reineke 2018

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All Hallow’s Eve, Then vs. Now

all hallow’s eve

what had you to offer us

on this moonlit-night long ago?


grand excitement in the air

glorious masks and homemade costumes 

galavanting in neighborhood streets


candies of all varieties 

carrying loads, spilling over

more mischief than we’d ever dream


all hallow’s eve

what have you to offer us

now that we’re grown?


still, excit...

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The Beast Does What Tyson Once Did

as hard as I fight

as far as Type-One technology has come

between jabs, he bites off part of your ear


it’s the diabolical nature of The Beast


constantly check my number

consistently count my carbs

carefully calculate my dose 


still, at times, I drop urgently low 

and my body, so bitter 

wants to surrender the KO


But again, I demand, “stand before t...

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blood sugarboxingdiabetesinsulinMike TysonType 1 diabetic

If Only You and Van Gogh Knew

If your art is good, as it feels in your bones

You will become known


Long after your ashes are sprinkled

And all of your senses are gone 


Particularly if you cut off your lobe

Or choose for yourself to end it all


Note scraps reveal queer love affairs

Poems show in the rubble of fallen walls


Fans will become obsessed

Frame you in the brightest light 


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artartistartistsfamepaintingspassionpoetryVincent Van Gogh

A Million Ordinaries

I’m ordinary and that’s ok

Extraordinary is made of

A million ordinaries anyway


I can feel Magnolia

Reflecting sheen 

From her glossy dark leaves


It’s early afternoon

Rays warm my left shoulder

My car window lets just enough in 


The faint rattle in my back seat

Plays a bridge

To the melody of my AC


The turns of my car, so familiar

The rout...

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birdsdriveflowershomeordinary thingstrees


I'll let my chicken wrap just rest 

here as I 

hear about your week.


Its peanut-curry crunch

silenced by your over-sized watch as

it tick tick ticks

against your silky, soft wrist.


I'll let myself forget what day it is

but remember how your 

jaw click click clicks

with every chew.


Servers might see it on my face.

Strangers maybe will, too.



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Notes in the Margins of a Lover’s Poem

Slightly runny yolks with sizzling edges

Komodo freshly brewed to bold perfection 

Heavenly scents waft through our place 

I oversleep; you don’t judge; instead, you

cook my eggs just the way I like them.

Slow dances in our socks on kitchen tiles

Bike rides under shady oaks for miles

Beach picnics, candlelit and sunset-kissed

The breeze blows out our candles; you try


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growing oldloveloversromance

Fuck Fear

"I'm scared," I begin.
I sit on edges of canyons
Run off sides of mountains
And jump out of planes
But I've yet to let you see
How my heart quickens
To the rhythm of your social justice diatribes
To the mischievous smile in your eyes 
To any part of you grazing any part of me.
If I don't die on some mountainside
I'll surely die from my silence.

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Pre-SocialMedia Times

A moment.

These days it's hard to have one
without feeling the need to share
every one with everyone.

Update it
       Tweet it
               Insta- it
                    'til we bleed.

How does this look?
         Who should we tag?
                 Where should we ping?

We've become factory workers
tasked with packaging our most worthy moments.

Keeping the extreme -
the happy
       the sad
             the a...

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facebookinstagramsocial mediatwitter

Lillie's Coffee Bar

It's a place that illuminates the freest forms of me

A few pumps on my pedals, turns of my handles, and I'm already there

Tall palms twirled in lights line the way to my imagination

Tiny bells ding against the glass door as I glide inside

Freshly roasted beans percolate through anticipation to perfection

Burlap coffee sacks hang as window shades

Handiwork of local artists accents the walls

Sandy scenes o...

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Swallow Silence

rest has been begging all afternoon

Soon soon soon, love.

finally home in my top-floor abode

the end of consciousness is near

I slip into coziness and turn up the stillness

Oh love, I'm finally here...

but no.

silence chokes

tranquility cracks

obnoxious noise intrudes

I feel teenybopper bass notes incessantly bulge up from the floor below

boom boom boom

then cling

then clatter

then unruly girly chatter

Why now?


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Crime of Comfort


It's morning again
                                   I'm trapped in.

Out of bed
                       into the same lie I roll.

I have no alibi
                            committing the sin

of deep-diving
                             this "cozy" 9-to-5.

"Take a ri...

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The Undies Moment


I glimpse your eyes fixed on me.


"Would you like to help me fold?"


"I thought you'd never ask."


© Candice Reineke 2014

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I Feel Fall

I'm in love.  

A soft breeze rustles the leaves on the trees just outside my window.  All is silent save the ocean roaring in the distance at a rhythm too lovely for words.  And the wooden clock in the corner holds his pace, savoring this time of night when his tick tick tick is finally heard.  It's dark now, all around, except some photos sliding in and out on my computer screen.  

I feel p...

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All I Want to Do is Write

Fight fight
Stay focused on the task at hand
All I want to do is write

Light light
From the window, gushing in
All I want to do is write

Tick tock
Time to shoot, edit, produce
All I want to do is write

Botch balk
No, get it done, make it smooth
All I want to do is write

Scream scream
Dare to break free
All I want to do is write

Stay leave
The choice is on me
All I want to do is write


© Candice Reineke 2014

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The Beach: My Remedy

it's just before sunset when loneliness creeps in

the beach is my remedy

the ocean will let me be sad
but only enough to shed a few tears,
never enough to let me drown

the wind invites me in when no one else has thought to
the lazy waves take their time rolling up

the toddlers mix mud, as their parents hold a conversation

the older couple holds hands like they're still in love

their golden retriever ba...

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Write Your Own Lines

speak up if you care even the slightest
stand up, cheer, do that whistle-thing you do
We only have one

tip your server triple your total
stick around to see her smile
We only have one

take a two-hour lunch to read poems on the beach
don't tell why, don't apologize
We only have one

look those you love straight in the eyes
let it be awkward until you crack, until they laugh
We only have one

hug generously those...

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Don't Put Me in Your Box

Don't put me in your box.  
I need to explore.

Don't assign a shape to me.  
I bet mine has never been drawn.

Save your doubts of me.  
I've spent enough of my own.

You hide from failure and from success,
Keen on risking nothing.

Know that fear won't rest until a nest
It's made inside your heart.

Don't put me in your box of inflexibility,
Where dreams behave, ideas refrain,

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Solitude Redeemed

Let Solitude redeem her name

and take you for a spree.


Fear tugs at you,

but splendor all around spilling out, sets you free.


Winding up a steep rocky trail

you pass a stranger in stride.


He knows where you're going –

around the mountain to glimpse what nature dares to confide.


All spans below you now, breathtakingly vulnerable,

beyond what eyes can f...

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T'hell with Haikus

Practice missed perfect.
Fat lady forgot to sing.
Doctor caught the flu.

Writers are rebels.
They forever cross the line.
T'hell with haikus.

This is poetry.
Not exactly an exam.
Simply a word fest.

Seven syllables
Neatly sandwiched between five?
Great, my pen can rest.


© Candice Reineke 2013

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When You're Low

When you're low
Happiness becomes giddiness
Annoyance becomes lividness
Sadness becomes despair

When you're low
Heart beats faster
A lack-of-sugar disaster
Sweat-soaked, even in cold air

When you're low
Brain goes to power save mode
But they know how to crack the code
And you're so glad they were there


© Candice Reineke 2013

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blood sugardiabetes


They love you to the core
Even on days they shouldn't
They are constant
They are comfort
They see who you've always been
So perhaps you struggle to show them who you've become
You love them to the core
Even on days you shouldn't


© Candice Reineke 2013

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