Colleen Keller Breuning Poet and Photographer

Colleen Keller Breuning is a poet and photographer who was born and raised in Maryland. She currently resides in Purcellville, Virginia with her husband and cats, Tommy and Jordan. Her poetry, short stories and photography have been published in a variety of print and online magazines during the past decade. Her first poetry book, Shadows of My Father, was a tribute to her father and published in 2011. She is currently working on her second book of poetry, along with assorted photography projects. She participates in several online writing groups. In addition to poetry and photography, she loves nature, music, cats and wine (not necessarily in that order).

"Shadows of My Father" is available for purchase at:

My Wordpress site:
My Blogspot site:

Fine Art America:

Beyond the Clouds

Pinpoint lights dot black velvet fields above,
Eyes travel north and wish upon a star.
The intellect seeks while the heart finds love
Beyond mountains of despair, near and far.

Long shadows of night tumble into day,
An unrelenting quest for inner peace.
Though darkness fades to muted shades of grey,
I look beyond the clouds for my release.

Hot summer rain beats down upon my face,
Melting anxieties away like ice.
Your words resonate, filling me with grace;
Their seeds of hope as plump as grains of rice.

Your image has faded, my tears have dried…
Forever I shall carry you inside.

Colleen Keller Breuning © 2017

Diamond in the Rough

High in the mountains, on the brink
Traversing the slippery slope
Headfirst, into the deep abyss
Searching for those lost rays of hope.

River of rain, river of pain
I’m praying for the hurt to fade
Ready for truth, ready for change
Ready to quit this masquerade.

I’m just a diamond in the rough
A black and shiny piece of coal
Lying here among the fault lines
Waiting, waiting to be made whole.

Strip off the mask, show your colors
Black or white, all I ever knew.
The world seemed to burn crimson red,
But you have shown me shades of blue.

Wash me in your crystal waters
Where tides of serenity flow.
Shine the white light upon my skin
And watch me sparkle, watch me glow.

I’m just a diamond in the rough,
A black and shiny piece of coal
Lying here among the fault lines
Waiting, waiting to be made whole.

Colleen Keller Breuning © 2017

Nightshade Oblivion

Sundown falls in shades of purple
its shadows dancing across the wall
the sound of silence speaks in muted whispers
flickering like a candle in the wind…

Lost in the confines of my mind
in between the hollow spaces
of yesterday and tomorrow
moments where unspoken dreams wallow…

Our spirits once fused in a blaze of glory
its raging fire burned, white hot rapture
now cold embers buried in the snow
for nothing seems to lasts forever...

Wounded hearts bleed like crushed grapes
time in a bottle, boxed vintage wine
your essence lingers on my tastebuds
indelibly branded deep within my soul….

But bent and broken wings will mend
as defiant moon repents its mortal sins
and angry zephyr howls its proclamations
stirring up the nightshade of this empty room…

where I shall wait for you.

Colleen Keller Breuning © 2017

The Apologist

For all the heartbreak in the world
for stone cold tears that come unfurled
for all the clouds in Kenyan skies
I’m willing to apologize.

The three ring circus comes to town
with nuclear threats raining down
for dying sun that does not rise
I’m willing to apologize.

No spring tulips, no harvest wine
no fields to sow, the fault is mine
for every seed of hope that dies
I’m willing to apologize.

For all the heartbreak in the world
I’m willing to apologize.

Colleen Keller Breuning © 2017

Until the Orioles Come Home

They come so softly in the night
gold feathers trailing to the ground
taking refuge in maple’s arms
silent, alighting without sound.

Long journey through the winter cold
silvery moon to guide the pain
rest here until the darkness fades
until the passing of the rain.

Pink light peeks over mountain ridge
rise up now, kiss the sun hello
diving deep into summer’s bliss
floating any way the wind blows.

Delicate wings sail white silk clouds
and tender waves of whisper blue
painted colors of the rainbow
the sky infused with brilliant hues.

One last trace of ruby and flame
into the long nights we shall roam
knowing my heart can never rest
until the orioles come home.

Colleen Keller Breuning © 2017

Amidst the Cherry Blossoms

As the sun sits high on its throne
pink rain falls in delicate petals
cherry blossoms scatter the joy
and the earth laughs in flowers.

The cool breeze blows lightly
    caressing our delicate white skin
           eliciting goosebumps and shivers
as we delight in the fruits of nature.

 Walking with you in the golden sunshine
                 hand in hand, hearts entwined
    oblivious to discord, we trip on gnarled roots
and down the rabbit hole we fall.

As night descends with blackened fears
        wrapping us with a cold shawl
             we look upward, pondering
the meaning of our existence.

But the distant light glows in radiant pulses          
       our salvation, our beacon of hope
             for when it is dark enough,
you can surely see the stars.

Come along with me, my love
      lift me up in light or dark,  
          dare to dream beneath the smiling moon
the unthinkable, the unimaginable….

…. do you dare?

Colleen Keller Breuning © 2017

Stars in the Southern Sky ~ A Quatern

There are stars in the southern sky
Smiling as the full moon floats by.
Hear my voice on the summer breeze,
Sweet songs drifting across the seas.

The world keeps spinning, do or die.
There are stars in the southern sky.
The candle flickers, growing old.
Starkness of winter blowing cold.

My days get shorter, wracked with pain
In this deluge of freezing rain.
There are stars in the southern sky,
Hidden by clouds as angels cry.

Watch as I defy gravity,
Set free from this purgatory.
And when I twinkle, you’ll know why
There are stars in the southern sky.

Colleen Keller Breuning © 2016
January 19, 2016

Written in memory of Glenn Frey of The Eagles… inspired by one of my favorite of their songs, “Seven Bridges Road.”


When January rolled in with black ice and frost,
Your salt and pepper strands fell on white sheets.
Like hot tears on my pillow, I let them slip away
And the bitter winds blew down an empty street.

Now you lie in wait far, far across the universe
As I sink into murky depths and come undone.
You are untouchable like a distant diamond sky,
Untouchable, but burning brighter than the sun.

But somehow, somewhere, the thaw had begun.
I watched the mockingbirds flash their wings
As the sultry foxes sauntered in verdant fields,
Savoring the essence of a lavender spring.

Sometimes I think hear your distant whisper,
Train whistles echoing in the winter night.
Sometimes I see the glint of your smile
Sparkling in the brilliant morning sunlight.

Untouchable in this realm, forever in my heart
I climbed down that rugged hill and let you go.
The snow shall fall, and we will meet once more
Somewhere, somehow…  I just know.

Colleen Keller Breuning © 2015
For my father...

Blue Blood and Rain

It was still September
        when the storm descended
                  the sun has left your eyes
you can see it fading fast…

Careless fingers fumble
            and break the brittle strings
      sharp notes spill asunder
                    emotions plunging deep…

Worries spin like windmills
          and spiral to the ground
              wipe away the silent tears
all through the night…

But only blue blood and rain
          can wash me out to sea
      keeping time out of mind
                  I light the candle for you…

Colleen Keller Breuning © 2016


Soft strains of Beethoven dance in the air.
The rain has passed, leaving cold sheen of dew.
A gentle Southern breeze ruffles my hair
As my deepest thoughts are turning to you.

Let us picnic under the moonlit skies,
Tasting blue twilight, a fine mellow wine.
Searching for beacons of fleeting fireflies,
You pull me closer, your lips upon mine.

My soul is in rapture, my heart on fire.
Stay with me forever, don’t ever leave.
I bequeath to you my hopes and desires,
For the more you dream, the more you achieve.

Joined in harmony, we sing our heartsong
Cresting pastorale refrains all night long.

Colleen Keller Breuning © 2016


  1. I am so honored, Jo!!!! Thank you so very much. You provide such a wonderful forum here for artists, so I am very grateful to you. Much love! <3

  2. Congrats! I'm so very proud of your accomplishments, and honored to have your friendship! <3 Leta


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