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About Literature / Hobbyist Ashleigh32/Female/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 13 Years
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Newest Deviations

Pleasure Defined
His:     A popular carnival game -
Hammer down, bell rung.
Hers:    A pot of water...
Rolling to a boil.
Yours:   A well-deserved scratch
Of the constant itch.
Mine:    A fist,
:iconmcclelland:McClelland 0 3
I ask you to take a piece of me
and hold it up to the light
like a prism
or press your nose against the glass.
I say hold a moth to my eyelashes
and watch it flutter with my breath,
or barge inside this dark room
and grope for my hand.
I want you to swim
across the channel of my cheekbones
creating a rosy blush stroke by stroke.
But all you want to do
is place me in a petrie dish
and examine the patterns of my voice.
You begin stabbing me with pliers
to find out if I really bleed.
:iconmcclelland:McClelland 1 0
In my dream I'm drowning. I'm being held
Down by weights tied to my ankles. I can't seem
To sink all the way to the bottom; I feel a constant pull.
The water is murky, its thickness all around me.
A discarded boot kicks me in the face –
And I wake.
If you could feel this pain inside,
It's from the drinks we drank last night.
:iconmcclelland:McClelland 1 2
An Explanation
On Sundays I kill time.
I murder the minutes, I poison the hours
And slice open every second's throat.
It's still alive, but barely breathing.
And I think,
Why the fuck is this day taking so long?
He left me on a Wednesday.
I remember how the door shut quietly, even with
My eyes closed, like it was a surprise.
Like he'd be there when I opened them.
And I'm telling you,
Don't take pity - it's my own fault.
By next Friday I'll stop pretending.
I'll undress, rip off every inch of skin
He's ever touched, and choke down
The horse-pill of Rejection when I'm done.
And I believe,
This is the first part of giving up.
:iconmcclelland:McClelland 5 11
On Disappointment
Out on the porch, my mother sat in an Adirondack chair, smoking
her first cigarette in ten years. The air was hazy and discolored.
Her wedding ring spun on the table, gathering fallen ashes.
I was on the floor, knees tucked up under my chin, poking sticks
down the cracks. She spoke of lies and imagined bliss.
She tucked her hair behind her ear and sighed.
I listened as my mother explained the complexity of love.
Last night he drove just over the state border. I sat in the car,
feet up on the dashboard, singing with the radio. He looked at me
like he had a secret. He was the sage and I was the fool.
So there we were, lying together on the moth-eaten bed of some sleazy motel,
naked and not touching. The drink machine hummed outside, the gnats
gathered toward the flickering light.
And I know that I was warned, still it was not what I hoped.
:iconmcclelland:McClelland 194 55
May First
I’ve no desire to braid the arrival of summer.
I have never worn flowers in my hair, seeds waltzing
on the breeze tickling my nose and teeth.
I never danced around a Maypole.
The spring ribbons hang down like willow branches
and never touch my fingertips.
I drink warm ale in the churchyard
and watch them weave sideways instead.
I wait for the holiday moon.
Because I worship bedposts,
bars made of maple and pine.
The sap covers my hands, ribbons glued
to my chest and my arms and my neck.
I dance some sort of rumba on hot, short breaths
tap my toes to a wicker heartbeat.
I think: wouldn’t Freyr be proud of me?
I think: do German tongues taste divine?
:iconmcclelland:McClelland 9 7
Lobotomy for Beginners
It wasn’t the windowless room,
the edges of the walls mixing with harsh light
while waiting for the doctor’s knock.
Or the sweat-leather straps and buckles braided into her hair.
It wasn’t the operating utensils on the steel tray,
the scalpel that looked more like a butter knife
and the drill plugged in, lying on the floor.
Or even the way the doctor complimented her posture,
as if a stiff chin was more valuable than a working brain.
And it wasn’t the taste of copper that filled her mouth
before she closed her eyes, not wanting to see
him squint at the black dot sketched
in the center of her forehead
before picking at it like a tender scab.
It was the way she sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,”
forcing words out after each prod of the ice pick, soft lips flinching
until the tool garbled her song to silence
and the surgery finally stopped.
:iconmcclelland:McClelland 168 67
My Hit and Run
We slept in what had once been the barn,
wrapped up in our secrets like wool blankets
that chaffed our skin and left us suffocating.
You acted like the god of wine, plum stained
lips kissing my eyelids shut, whispering
lyrical crescendos of past nights spent dancing
under the rafters and of mêlée in the straw.
I pictured the old ivy scaling the silo
and the way the weeds circled my head,
a crude crown you made after dusk.
But I dress like the god of war, unpredictable
and short-tempered. I preferred the cob-webbed
corner, consorting with the owls instead of
matters of the heart.
I still remember your face when I told
you I burned down the barn. It resembled
the smell of a charred autumn breeze.
:iconmcclelland:McClelland 4 1
They say every woman is a piece of the moon,
but I want the sun.
Dear Apollo, explain to me why you gave up
clear mornings for the shadowy future.  
And I'll make you wish you hadn't burned a time before.
Because he's still sleeping, turned towards the window,
the thick blinds cracking with sunlight in the early dawn.
The navy sheets his royal dress, the rays his glory crown.
I wake up next to a god on Sunday morning,
hands still dirty from the night before.
But when I sleep, I dream of rhyming big words
Building them on top of each other, letting it touch the sky.
I rub up against them once in awhile to test their strength,
To see if they feel soft against my forehead.
And then I lose whatever I've found.
He says the forgetting defines me.
Once, in another life, I was a girl in Montana.
My face wasn't smooth and I carried a knife
strapped to my boot. I branded horses with a reverse K,
and carved hearts into bedposts.
I guess I felt a need to prepare for the real thing
:iconmcclelland:McClelland 183 63
A House Warming Gift
It wasn't easy
tracking through all the muck, the gunk
still stuck to my shoes,
sometimes trapping me in one position:
                    Legs parted, arms akimbo
in an awkward dance of affection.
We reached the foundation, smashed
the glass pane and walked in.
I climbed wooden stairs, unpainted,
stepping over wires and creeping around loose planks
unable to shift my gaze from one shadow
                   to the next.
There were so many doors, none with knobs
as I forced my way into empty rooms
and blank stares.
We discovered the master bath, untouched
porcelain tub and chrome fixtures.
It was there I left my mark, mud-caked sneakers
caressing the drain and frenching the faucets.
Like a neighborhood rite of passage,
:iconmcclelland:McClelland 1 0
When I was little, I liked sitting on my grandfather's lap,
head up and legs crossed at the knees,
carefully placing rubber bands around fingers
and feet. The elastics dangled off his skin
which dangled off his bones, the thin ones
wrapped around his ankles and toes.
I used every rubber band until
my grandfather became a spectacle,
the finest decoration in the living room.
My mother told me later how he never
let anyone else touch his hair but me, styled perfectly
in the morning, tousled and mussed by the afternoon.
And how we would never eat Vienna sausages
unless they were boiled in a saucepan,
foul-smelling and plump. He and I both enjoyed
the steam after every small bite.
It made sense to me then,
how little girls and their grandfathers play –
using wheelbarrows as buggies
or drinking hot coffee while sitting on stained
hardware benches. Each half wanting
to show the other off;
hoping that time would skip a beat for a half-second,
counting on the fact it never would.
:iconmcclelland:McClelland 1 3
After Cocktails
Old Bond movies and little girl dress-up
brought blue and brown together.
The muddiness created the opposite
effect one would guess.
Pretending was never so pleasing as
their casual conversation locking brass chains to wrists,
feeling cold metal against chapped skin -
wearing faults like purple hearts.
As if the emphasis was placed on the ceremony,
and not the deeds.
There were a lot of spoons bent that night
between introductions and infomercials, him seeing how
far he could reach. Her, squinting all the time.
It was just like Boston in February, but without
the hearts and thorns.
How could I have been so naïve,
dreaming of sunlight in the middle of tar-pitched skies,
like your foreign embrace could satisfy
my hunger for something familiar to hold onto?
Like awkwardness had a place
other than beside lampshades,
so easily within reach of the water glass
now haphazardly knocked to the floor.
Because a bruise is not a bruise
until it is pushed.
:iconmcclelland:McClelland 2 3
Starchild by McClelland
Mature content
Starchild :iconmcclelland:McClelland 1 0
The Times
Last night, while reading aloud the daily post
I stumbled upon an article that made
my daughter sit up straight.
"Why can't the troops come home yet?"
she asked, eyebrows furrowing
skin pinched in between her nose,
like an angry sneeze.
"Let's put the senators in Kevlar," my daughter scoffed.
The newspaper pointed its finger
towards corrupted politics,
greedy pretzel-choking pigs
or the incompetent Jesus freaks
but never a lack of democratic choice.
Perhaps the sting of the reports
swelled their ignorant brains,
pressed lips tight with silence.
My heart jumped out of its box,
moved from my ribcage to reside
in the pit of my stomach,
crowding the digesting stew.
Big black bars put over the faces of humanity –
Such injustices are fact turned fantasy,
the naïve romances I should be reading her
instead of the cold, sorrowful hogwash she prefers.
:iconmcclelland:McClelland 1 1
The Revival
There's a church down Route 87
that preaches every day dead language
to those half-dead already.
And at the end of October,
they hold a special service meant to scare
the New Word into our vivacious bodies,
the group of youngsters that still laugh
at words like "fanny" and "poodle,"
but who knew what sacrifice meant in the fourth grade.
It was there I kissed you best
on top of the building with bats.
Where your fingers gripped the side of the steeple,
the pastor's words steamed around us
rising past the bells and gargoyles,
and where I first learned how far I could fall.
:iconmcclelland:McClelland 3 6
Executive Dilemma
The floor gradually collapsed as soon as my feet slammed down,
Hurrying for the closest door frame.
"There's been too many natural disasters this year," was my first thought.
Bobby was there, though I don't know Bobby very well (or why he was there).
But he offered his hand, swollen knuckles caked in rustblood
And we struggled over the rubble. I pried an AK-47 out of a dead man's hand,
Gray with building dust and bad news –
Couldn't find the rest of his body to search for more ammo.
Bobby led me towards the elevator, doors already blasted off –
Lying against the wall like the janitor would fix them later. We climbed
The cable until my lungs shriveled into frozen peas. (Bobby said that
Was the best way to describe them). We reached the second top floor.
Reserved for CEOs and Corporate Hoes. I moved my gun from my back, now slippery
With sweat, to my side at the ready. Bobby tossed me paper clips,
"Use these later," he whispered. I pocketed some staples, too.
When Bobby turned the corner
:iconmcclelland:McClelland 0 2


if i am looking
or not, the leaves still cling to
this snow-lined maple
:iconcreightonwrites:creightonwrites 2 0
all these books
 I brought to read
   lying useless
     in a pile
       beside your hair
:iconcreightonwrites:creightonwrites 16 5
haiku series - march 2014
they don't know me,
so they wave --
little boys on a back road.
the spring floods --
turning up arrowheads
    again this year.
three brothers
in a winter meadow --
     young robins.
blue --
outside winter windows,
the evening snow.
the shift of ice
in the water jug.
flowers    --glowing--
in a blue glass bowl.
a late winter moon --
just ahead,
the road home.
happy enough--
an empty green bottle
floats down the swale.
the little girl with blonde hair--
she reaches out her hand
as she scampers away.
:iconcreightonwrites:creightonwrites 3 2
16 knocks on wood
the moon disappears every 28 days.
it wanes & waxes in fractions; it's smart
enough to not try everything at once.
i have been taught that every 7 years,
the cells in my body will die & be born again.
this means the moon will vanish & reappear 91 times
before i will have skin free of your fingerprints.
Proud Lake is located in Commerce, Michigan. at the crack of dawn,
you can find a boy with a gravel & honey voice casting fishing
lines into the abyss. you will wonder if he'll catch a good one.
time knows no boundaries;
just benevolence that doesn't always work out.
once, when i was 2 years old, i choked on the leaf of a mulberry tree.
not every seed bears good fruit.
sometimes, something is so beautiful that you can't breathe.
sometimes, you won't even try.
my palm is roughly the size of a nectarine.
in Chinese culture, nectarines symbolize mutation
and mutation is a change in structure.
i still don't know what my hands are trying to tell me.
a boy named Joshua tol
:iconlearningtobefree:learningtobefree 57 45
Libra Veneris
Venus– Goddess of air and light
Adorning colors of sunset hues
Of ivory, pink, and glowing blues
While she awaits the waxing night
To measure stars upon her scale
That judges beauty from each gem,
Each light to sit around the hem
Like cultured pearls upon her veil.
But Libra's house will never tilt
To sacrifice her pleasure dome
The palace that she calls her home
By chance to cause a rose to wilt.
Hoc quidem nunquam facies.
:iconjade-pandora:Jade-Pandora 34 47
Your Daughter has Sold Hundreds of Local Papers
But listen to me: I will tell you
how to love a bedspread;
a car seat; a sun dress
that you cleaned two months ago.
and should they find her
in the breast of a riverbank
or a cabinet,
I will tell you
facts about scavenger birds;
kettles, wakes and how to chair a committee
with a body on your desk,
as scavenger birds do.
:icongay-mountain:Gay-Mountain 197 80
the first day of spring
you are new in the way flowers are new:
brilliant green, soft purple,
the good smell of rain and soil.
let the miserable winter wind
chase its own tail for a while;
there’s something beautifulwonderfulmine
at the end of a sunlit driveway.
:iconindigo-mouse:indigo-mouse 119 23
Little Eggs
One green morning, our fat little faces
Look out the kitchen window and
Find a robin and her nest on our windowsill.
She carries baubles and trinkets—candy
Wrappers and foil—before her vivacious
Red breast and weaves them tenderly into her nest.
My mother, laughing, says
She’s dizzy with anticipation, painting ponies
And clouds on nursery walls.
Soon enough little blue eggs fill
The happy twigs and their gaudy trappings
And the robin settles—snug, waiting.
We, too, wait for spring miracles on the
Windowsill.  Weeks pass—she sits faithful—but
Eggs remain eggs.
Mother gets an odd pallor and avoids the
Kitchen window.  Sometimes I think she wants to
Chase the robin away, but understands she’s dear to us.
We want to give the robin our support—she’s
Like family, now—but wonder how long it
Takes for eggs to hatch.  Surely not this long?
“Sometimes things go wrong,”
Mother answers to our curiosity.
“Sometimes things
:icondeeforty-five:DeeForty-Five 156 110


  • Listening to: Claude Debussy - Clair De Lune
I'm thinking about beginning my new year's resolutions in February instead, and using the month of January to plan and prepare. However, I'm worried some of my goals cannot wait. Things are strange and desperate right now. Prolonging the inevitable isn't going to make me feel any better. Does today mark a new start? Hope with me.


Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
"I do it for the joy it brings.
Because I am a joyful girl...
I do it just because I want to." - Ani


Add a Comment:
beeswingblue Featured By Owner May 12, 2013   Writer
Thanks so much for faving "North Star" and for the watch. :heart:
McClelland Featured By Owner May 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome. Your work is remarkable.
beeswingblue Featured By Owner May 20, 2013   Writer
I really enjoyed reading through your work, as well.
McClelland Featured By Owner May 25, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. I feel the same about yours.
Braxton-T-Rutledge Featured By Owner May 12, 2013
Thank you.
McClelland Featured By Owner May 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
And thank you.
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2010  Professional General Artist
Hip five!


grats on your feature, lady :D
McClelland Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks. I'm happy that you liked it "first." Maybe you started the trend. =)
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015  Professional General Artist
I am kind of a trendsetter.
GenIshihara Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2010
Sadly, I have never added a writer to my watch list, but... I'm glad you are the first :)
McClelland Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Wow. That is such a compliment... thank you!
PollutedEssence Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2010
I look forward to your future works. Your words are so strong and intense. Vivid descriptions! I absolutely love your writing style-very inspiring.
mode-de-vie Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2010  Student Writer
Congratulations on your Daily Deviation! :) I've placed a link to it in the sidebar of my journal page.
McClelland Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks so much!
mode-de-vie Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2010  Student Writer
You're welcome! :)
Safwanish Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
You have a very wonderful gallery. I'm watching over ye nao. :paranoid:
b1gfan Featured By Owner May 10, 2008  Student Writer
You have such a wonderful gallery of work!
tinyplaidninja Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2008  Student Writer
Amazing poetry!
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