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Marguerite Keil Flanders

Marguerite Keil Flanders is a member of Ocean State Poets, an outreach group working to encourage poetry in every community in Rhode Island. She is part of an ongoing writing workshop that meets every other Saturday at the Men's Medium Security Prison in Cranston. 

Having worked as an environmental advocate in the field of Urban Forestry and served on her town's Conservation Commission, Margie is now putting creativity and imagination at the center of her life.

She plays violin in a small community string orchestra, and loves practicing in her studio, where she can watch the woods breathing from her windows. Her biggest, not so secret, passion is swimming in the ocean, which she does whenever she can, even in cold months with a wetsuit that makes her look like an alien.

Her work has appeared in Boston Review, Yankee Magazine, Nimrod International Journal, Comstock Review, Poetry East, The Main Street Rag and in other literary magazines.

Read Margie's insightful essay that appeared in the OPP April 2013 newsletter, Poetry: The Highway to Humility

( Here is a video recording of Margie's reading at North Kingstown library 4/3/2013 )

Margie's Origami micro-chapbooks & selected poems are available below.

Origami Micro-chapbook

Selected Poem(s)

Long Dark:  Poems of an Insomniac


{mooblock=Long Dark}

Last night I forgot to sleep,
closed my notebook, traced
a labyrinth on the blotter,
spilled nothing, broke
nothing, did not cry for my mother,
though the knot of my navel
grows raw and red,
as if untying.
This morning I wear her rings
as if I am an heiress. I knock a vase
off the shelf as if I'm not.
                     Her death still
makes me unable to lie down,
and even the return of light
is a gift I'm too ashamed to receive.
Marguerite Flanders © 2013


When Pearl Was Young - Vol. I



{mooblock=Mrs. Jackson, 3rd Grade}

Blue dress, she'll be nice;
Red dress, she'll be mean,
will glare and speak ice.
Her eyes will glint, she'll shame
the boy who can't sing on key.
Once she made fun of Pearl
for mispronouncing determined,
told her to repeat it for another teacher.
She laughed, the other teacher didn't.
Her eyes are stones. When she reads
from the black bible, Pearl makes her
grow smaller and smaller
until she disappears.
Marguerite Flanders © 2009


When Pearl Was Young - Vol. II


{mooblock=First Dream}

Pearl watches as Mommy's car
smashes into a chainlinked fence
and she breaks her neck.
Even Mommy can't convince her
it was just a dream.
To Pearl, not yet
is the same as already.
It's like her life started
in that dream, and will speed on
until it comes to pass.
And she knows it will,
knows there is no way
to keep Mommy safe.
Marguerite Flanders © 2010