MPitS  Karen Lewis

Karen Lewis writes fiction, poetry and nonfiction. Some of her work has appeared in FACES, APPLESEEDS, and HIP MAMA. Her novel "Sign of the Swan" is being represented by the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Karen began working with California Poets in the Schools in 1996. Since then, she has led hundreds of workshops K-12th grade classrooms in Mendocino County. She offers students tools for creative writing, literacy, and imaginative problem solving.


School Poem

Two sea gulls in the wind
watching students write

One student in the classroom
watching seagulls fly

The sound of pencils against paper,
wings upon air.

~Karen Lewis 2003

Blue Dragonfly Place

Empty canyon, hidden stream
only quail calls and silence.
Then the voice of wind
awakening trees.
Alder leaves falling, where
Spider webs trap sunlight.

~Karen Lewis 2003



Beneath the Toyon

No one awake, only an owl
hidden in the forest.
Light returns, reveals mist
upon dry grasses.
Orange poppy bends away from the stream,
reaching for light.

~Karen Lewis, 2006


Prayer Necklace


There is no blue swimming pool in Baghdad,
only the silence of two rivers.


Nobody wants to swim there anymore.


Pleasure is warped, like the mahogany skin
of a boat trapped in sand, or like a bird's wing
stripped to the bone.


Stains: rust, charcoal, calligrapher's ink.
Do not forget blood. Memory.


Seed-song. Birds. Twenty children laughing.
The weapons truck grinds its steel gears
uphill, crushing one silver earring. One necklace
of prayer song.


It's really all about fire.


And flame. And rain.           


Sometimes, when fire enters wood
a louder breath escapes
more than molecules of air.


Shattered porcelain. Abandoned marble.
Bronze ears listen for salt
beneath the inland sea.


Your daughter cries from the volcano's
heart. A tree branch snags the soft
belly of a wild cat who will
devour your sons.


Do you remember that first taste
of milk? Warm breasts, your lost twin's
cry? The touch of his skin?


Twelve beads.
One prayer:

~Karen Lewis




SCHOOLS & COMMUNITY_________________________

California Poets In the Schools
The Comptche School
Dana Grey School
The Greenwood School
Mendocino Community High School
Mendocino Grammar School
Mendocino Middle School

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