Wednesday Words Poetry Challenge: Safe and Cold (Synonyms Only)

Image contains: me, smiling.This feature was created by Collene Chesebro. The words this week are “safe” and “cold.” In the following, I used “chilly” and “free from harm.” You can click the Play button below the Tanka to hear me read it. Here it is.

On a chilly night,
I am warm, free from harm, snug.
A bug on a rug
wouldn’t be nearly as warm
or feel peace or contentment.



My Books


My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome


My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

Guest Post: I am Soul–Virtual Blog Tour

Today, I’m pleased to introduce Yecheilyah, who will tell us about her life and her latest book and share one of her poems. You’ll find all her author links at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!



Yecheilyah (e-SEE-li-yah, affectionately nicknamed EC) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet and lives in Marietta, Georgia, with her wonderful husband. She has been writing poetry since she was twelve years old and joined the UMOJA Poetry Society in high school where she learned to perfect her craft. In 2010, at twenty-three years old, Yecheilyah published her first collection of poetry and in 2014, founded Literary Korner Publishing and The PBS blog where she enjoys helping other authors through her blog interviews and book reviews. The PBS Blog has been named among Reedsy’s Best Book Review blogs of 2017 and 2018 and has helped many authors in their writing journeys. I am Soul is her fourth collection of poetry.



I do not entirely agree
with the actions of my ancestors.
Cannot say with a straight face
that I would have stood there
in the crossfire of oppression, falling
while being bitten by dogs,
while being spit on.
Not without a straight face will I say
that I would have been there
to ask my oppressors their permission
to walk down their streets.

But I was not there
And me not being there leads me to do nothing
but honor their legacy in humility.
I do not know the taste of their humiliation
as closely as they experienced it.
My young palate is a prejudiced mixture
of what I’ve seen in footage and read in books.
I did not feel the lash
or salt in between their wounds.
Know nothing of the seasoning
of stripped identity
of throats closing in on tongues.

I know only of gentle waters.
The kind that bathes, and cooks and quenches the thirst.
I know nothing of the kind that pierces
the skin on contact.
I do not know because I was not there.
But I can write
like Baldwin did,
As a witness
I can write the stories
and un-fairytale the tragedy
of being colored.
To make alive again
a history left virtually unknown,
Because I was not there,
Not when Moses died or Malcolm was slain,
But I can write,
articulating the suffering
of the now silent.


Fun Facts about Yecheilyah

    She loves to laugh, and her favorite comedy TV show is Blackish.
    She is originally from Chicago, Illinois.
    She’s been married to her husband eight years, together for eleven years.
    She believes eggs make everything better.
    She is a twin.
    She is addicted to reading and new notebooks.
    Her favorite dessert is ice cream.


I am Soul is now available on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Scribd and The Medu Bookstore at Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta.
Universal Amazon Link

Universal Link to other Retailers

Greenbriar Mall
The Medu Bookstore
2841 Greenbriar Pkwy SW
Atlanta, GA 30331
Author Website:
Amazon Author Central:


Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.


A Winter Poem Revisited

I posted this in July of 2012, but since it’s Groundhog Day, and I don’t have any more brilliant ideas, I decided this poem was worth a second look. It was published in Emerging Voices in 2012, and I’ve made some revisions since then. You can read the original here. It’s not as cold now as when I first wrote the poem so I look back on that day with gratitude. Click this link to hear me read it.






At a quarter to nine in the morning, it’s seventeen below.

Waiting for a ride, I stand inside the kitchen door.

Sunlight shimmers on frosted glass.

I rub with gloved hand but make no dent,

hear the car pull into the driveway—

its tires crunch on frozen snow.




“I don’t have the heat on yet,”

she says when I get in the car.

“It needs to warm up first.”

I don’t complain–

walking would be a lot worse.

In the YMCA locker room, my nose runs.




Water exercise class in progress,

“North to Alaska” plays on the stereo.

Why would I want to go there? I’m cold enough—

as water’s warmth surrounds me,

I move across the pool–

my mind unfreezes, opens.




Driving home isn’t so bad.

The car has absorbed the winter sun’s warmth.

When I get home, the temperature is four degrees above.




The groundhog did not see his shadow today.

Will there be an early spring?

The late afternoon temperature has risen to twelve above,

feels like twelve below.


Abbie J. Taylor 010Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

Front Book Cover - We Shall OvercomeWe Shall Overcome

Cover: How to Build a Better Mousetrap by Abbie Johnson TaylorHow to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

Order from Amazon