pen for pennies, d. ellis phelps

After another lengthy and exhausting conversation with a non-poetry lover about what I have been doing with my time lately; after many such discussions with the same person on this subject over time; after his misunderstanding again, again.

After receiving my copy of Animal Tales 2021, “an anthology of respectful poetry dedicated to the two and four-legged, furred and flying creatures, wild and domestic, that we all love,” an anthology edited by Spirt Thom of Austin, Texas and published by Tablerock Festival of Salado, Inc., Salado, Texas, an anthology whose profits are intended to support some worthy cause or another like caring for the local feral cat population or restoring a beloved local park fountain, has this year, according to the editor, only suffered “losses.”

I wrote:

There is an unseen presence we honor that gives the gifts...I can't stop pointing to the beauty..."

pen for pennies

ah! the losses of poetic aspiration
never outweigh the gains

yet many question
why     have you done this

why pen for pennies
when silver & gold can be found


what is gold      but metal
shiny cold for which souls are sold

why dig for value underground
when all around      these words hurling~

this beauty
image courtesy of Bernard Spragg, NZ via Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.

Many fine Texas poets are represented in Animal Tales including Don Mathis, Nancy Fierstien, Sandi Horton, Chris Billings, and me, alongside many poets from many states across the US and elsewhere! Here is my poem, washing my breakfast cup, with original music reprinted here with permission and originally published as the last monarch.

To support the Tablerock Festival’s efforts and to read some fine/fun poems honoring creature beings, purchase your copy of Animal Tales 2021 from Jackie Mills of Tablerock Festival for $10 US plus shipping here:

Namaste y’all!


  1. Hi! Your Animal Tales link at the end didn’t work 💗 Thought you’d want to know. Love you

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Bless you, D.! And Thom, too, for introducing me to Jackie Mills and the Tablerock Poets and all of the bountiful things one can find in Salado, TX! This year’s publication is one of the finest ones yet, and I’d love to see it enjoyed by more of the animal lovers in this great state.


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