Friday, June 5

Robin Walthery Allen in The Poet's Corner

Hey, Wranglers! Today we're doing something a little different -- we invited poet, Robin Walthery Allen to talk to us about her poetry and to share some with us. Robin holds a BA in Visual Communications Design from Purdue University with minors in Anthropology and Creative Writing. She continues to study how people process the world around them and communicate with one another through words and images. Please welcome Robin Walthery Allen to the Word Wranglers!

Thanks for having me on Word Wranglers today, I'm very happy to be here. I have been fortunate enough in my writing to have found a community of poets and artists. We call ourselves the Oatmeal Eaters after a Galway Kinnell poem and we’ve been meeting twice a month for about 8 years. I cannot say enough good things about finding a group with similar interests in order to share ideas and remain accountable for personal progress. Some of us have moved away from Indianapolis but we still support each other in creative pursuits.

I haven’t got the patience to read long poems, so when I write I offer up my own small moments to create a breath of space for someone else to feel they are not alone. I grew up reading the gentle cadence of A.A. Milne and Shel Silverstein, but it didn’t sink in until college that poems didn’t have to rhyme. Now I work towards combining a set of images with an abstract twist, like a short story or a novel that ends almost softly, without discernable closure.

She was chewing bees,
yellow and black bits
in her teeth, wings
sticking to the roof of her mouth. Despite
a hint of honey at the back of her throat
her brow was furrowed, stingers
on the tip of her tongue like
all the things she hadn’t said,
all the tiny angers

Stethoscope gleaming against blue oxford
“Moonburn,” he pronounced
as I stared bewildered at my phosphorescent shoulder.
“But,” I started, trailed off, rubbed gently
at my own skin, pearled surface flaking.
“I thought I was dreaming…”
perched naked on my rooftop, transfixed
by meteors across the night sky,
streaks of dying stars shimmering off the river
as the moon and I shared solace.
Did she think that I was flying when my fingers slipped
so that I fell through the branches of that maple, landed ground to chest
breathless, not even the first of many little deaths while my mother looked on.
That fledgling fallen from the nest is on her own.

Beetle, concrete poem
Recently I have been admiring the prose poems by David Shumate.

Two Prose Poems by David Shumate from the Indianapolis Public Library (

Oatmeal eaters with Galway Kinnell, Maine
The Poetry Archive – Eating Oatmeal by Galway Kinnell


  1. Robin, so glad to have you with us today! Your poetry is beautiful and so are you. Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Welcome, Robin--thanks so much for coming today. I love your poetry and enjoyed your post.