Free Verse Revolution · Honors · Poem · Poetry · Publication · Recognition/ Honor · Writing

Sunday Best: Light & Scars

It’s so nice to get recognition for your work! Thank you so much, Free Verse Revolution.

Dear Readers, please scroll down to the part on Scars.

(UPDATE: This poem is archived – the link no longer works – because FREE VERSE REVOLUTION has a new literary magazine. If you wish to access this link, let me know.)

Bagua · Poem · Poetry · Tai Chi · Writing

The Art of War: Enter the Dragon

The Art of War: Enter the Dragon

He sees me at a distance

from the Salvation Army.

The soft glow of my white hair,

my short stature and square hips,

a slight limp,

a slow stride,

I am an easy mark

to a desperate bully.

Mam! Mam!

Come here!

Come here!

It’s like he’s found his prize.

He doesn’t see these deep lines

tracing the fingerprints of my soul

on my small face.

Each mark, a scar,

a battle won.

I am no kitten!

Come HERE! He commands.

I hear shouts of dominance,

impatience and irritation.

Does he think I’ll cross to HIS side!?

I veer into the parking lot of a bank.



He is crossing the

street in pursuit of me!

Come HERE!

He demands

like he is calling the pigs.

I take to the ATM area

to get to Broadway.

He’s advancing!

Leave me alone! I yell.


He’s on my back.


Give me MONEY!

Leave me alone!


I do not cower to extortion.

My duty is to self!


He flashes the cigarette butt

burning into his fingers.

He shows his teeth,

planted cock-eyed

behind tense lips.

I show him my piercing eyes. The flames,

my shield, my sword.

I am no stranger to bullies.



I advance to his face.

My scars deepen as I scowl.

My spirit finds its gateway.

My light is charged.

He persists, speaking loudly

in another language, but not imploring.

He isn’t my tribe. He doesn’t know

the rules here.

I’ve read the Art of War.

Do not press a desperate

soul too hard,” says Sun Tzu.

However, I assess the enemy’s

slight build.

Should he touch me, I’ll advance

and strikehim under the jaw

with the root of my palm

and throw him into the ATM.  

His screams will be filmed.


He practically hits me

with his near-empty bottle of Dr. Pepper.

I see no tears or pleas

for pity. Only dominance

over an old lady.

Show your banners!

beat your drums!” exclaims Sun.

I glare at the offender

with the eyes of a dragon.

Don’t let my shape or size

deceive you,

I am a round stone

gaining momentum

down a steep slope.

I will sweep you away

into a chasm.

Still he demands money. His tone,

You, Woman, give me money!

NO! I yell.

Leave me ALONE!


Sun whispers, “On contentious ground,

attack not. Lure the enemy by

pretending to flee.

One moment. I suddenly nod my head.

I open my purse and the perpetrator

doesn’t grab it.

He thinks I’m getting money,

but I take out the phone.

Police! I yell, I’m calling the POLICE!

911!  POLICE!

I gather myself, my troops, and my honor.

I withdraw slowly, back onto Broadway,

my eyes always on my foe.

I wave my phone at him as a new saber.

The baying jackal curses

and retreats into the shadows.

Battle bleeds another scar.

Victory, purifying fire.

Harmony, restored.

Such is the art of war,”

nods the smiling Sage.

Revised 02/07/2020


©Barbara Harris Leonhard,

Image: Google search, Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Digital Art · Ekphrastic Poetry · Poem · Poetry · Writing

An Imperfect Bride

Let’s go! It’s time!


I’m still in my floral blue knit night

gown, plum-colored sweatshirt, &

baby doll slippers from Walmart!

No one will see you or care.

Not important.

An uncharged phone?

A half-packed purse?

Uncompleted morning duties?

I gather myself,

an imperfect bride,

for the trip.

I view trees in autumn attire ablaze

against a sky the color of my blue on white china

left unwashed in the sink.

The creeks & river have risen again,

meeting us along the road.

Muddy currents obscure clarity.

Mesmerized by the mystery,

I arrive at the bank

with dry lips the color of pallor.

In the stillness,

an ancient sycamore disrobes.

AutumnGoddesswallpaper (1)


©Barbara Harris Leonhard,

Image: and free wallpaper image on Google

Ekphrastic Poetry · Poem · Poetry · Writing



Royal honey is the blood of my womb,

lush creation, even messy havoc,

hungry for birth.

I am Kama.

My desire burns as the sun;

I breathe floral light,

savor the dusty bloom of your earth &

devour your elixir.

I enchant you with my dance & song:

          See me.

                 See me.

                       My heart is a comb

                             of many rooms

                                      gushing golden treasures.

          Dare to venture

                 into my mystery.

                       See me.

                               See me.

                                      I will gather you into me &

                                              transport you.

             I am Kama.

                     See me &

                            I will make you a God.


©Barbara Harris Leonhard,

Images: Pixabay