Emily Benson


Emily Benson writes poems of humanity, longing, and nature. A former professional stage manager who now works in digital marketing, she has been writing poetry steadily through it all. She lives in Western New York with her husband, two sons, and their cat. 

Coming Soon!

MoonPark Review

Issue 27

March 19, 2024

The CryptoNaturalist Podcast

Episode 52: Mecha-Shrew

January 1, 2024

Backwards Trajectory

December 31, 2023

The Point

Snapshots by Jason Wilder

(writing inspired by found photos)

August 2023

Deep Wild Journal

Volume 5 - 2023

photo: author's own

Purchase Volume 5 here!

A Thin Slice of Anxiety

December 14, 2022

Literary Mama

Nov/Dec 2022

photo: bharath g s

Bulb Culture Collective

October 2022

image:  stock 

Lilac Magazine,  Issue 3: Moonlight

August 2022

cover image: "Underwater City" by Susan Solomon 


August’s last day

And turkey vultures ride

High blue thermals

In thick air that wavers

With heat distortion

The radiant song of cicadas

That have left their paper wrappers,

Their false eyes,

On the neighborhood trees

And are cacophonous

Do the monarchs notice the din?

click to read more

Gastropoda Lit Mag

May 2022

image:  stock 

Moss Puppy Magazine,  Issue 2: Puppy Love

Spring 2022

cover image: "Piece Me Together" by Arden Hunter 

Immersion; Raw

Brazos River Review, 

Issue 1

Spring 2022

cover image: "I Made a Wish" by Kelli Bonnickson


I turn the hot water on high

While outside the open window

Warm rain falls steadily

Redolent of hyacinth and spruce 

All the good green growing things 

The copper wind chimes sing gently 

And grackles caw to one another 

Like cartoon birds 

In the branches of the cherry tree

Making me smile

Water kisses the brick walk

Water kisses my bare breasts

I close my eyes and waver

Full of dreams 

Of rolling in the grass

My breath short from laughter

Lounging like a little lizard

On rocks hot from the sun 

Barton Creek

Warm as a bath

Pouring over sculpted stone

Heady and headlong 

In a mad rush to the Gulf

I was torn apart and reborn

Aching, old and young and 

Something wholly different 

Slim as a little fish and

I don’t know how to recapture 

That ineffable spark 

Though I begin again and again

I long for a wilder baptism

And swallow the urge

To go run in the rain  


How can I say that I miss you

When you have stolen my tongue

Placed it in your desk

With the Bakelite pencil I gave you

(Like your dead heroes

You prefer your words in lead)

The theft runs through me

Stinging thrice-severed flesh

Until my breath catches

Because the sky is black

And the snow glitters sharply

Beneath the streetlights

I remember my hands on the wheel

The milk jugs in the trunk

My gloves are off

And a bruise blooms blue

On my knuckles

For no reason I can recall

I’m afraid to take the highway 

The shadowed trees beside it

Too dark and wild

I might run off the road

Become a fox and crunch

The bones of little birds


Stacking strange hurts

Like a game with razorblades

They fall and cut

And I keep on pushing

Muscle warps and wefts

But nerves broken cannot reconnect

Numb under fingertips

That shouldn’t be out in this cold

Why am I sitting here freezing

On a Tuesday after dark

When there are creatures

That need to feed

When my soul is so hungry

When night spreads like an ink stain

And I am so far from home


Ayaskala Magazine

February, 2022

image:  publication produced 


Cool white cotton



Burial shroud

Older than my grandmother would have been

On her birthday next month

White as the whites of eyes

Soft as albumen 

Delicate pin tucks like

The fold of my baby’s ear when he was born 

Wrapped in layer after layer of white flannel

After they pricked him with a dozen needles

Pressed bottles of white un-milk 

Into my trembling hands as he wailed

Pale forehead scar from the brick corner

Divot on the eyelid from the wasp sting

Seams and pulls in the fabric

Clean as white rose petals 

Light as milkweed down 

I have been taken up and 

Let out 

Fall around myself in loose folds

I will wear it with flowers 

On May Day 

Lilac Magazine, Issue 1

December 2021

cover image: Brittany M. Reid


He wonders at this ceaseless longing

The thrill of possibilities in those silent hotel rooms

New eyes behind every door

He can almost feel the road beneath his feet

The staccato white lines of the highway flashing by

As he bends to brush her hair gently from her face

 “Sleep,” he whispers softly

Unwritten songs humming in his head as he tells her

He’ll be there when she wakes

But his heart tenses at the lie

He will be miles gone when she opens her eyes to the dawn

The wanderlust tied to his every nerve compels him

Chances and regrets rise before him like the moon

And he is gone again in the night

Thoughts on a Western Night

Standing before an open window

In this cool-flagged back room

The night breeze fragrant

With wet juniper and piñon

I am suddenly seized by the wild impulse

To run bare skinned through the desert

My lamp shines

Past the bright path of stones

Glistening in the dark

And I lean out

Feeling the warm rain on my shoulders

This night is made for escape

Running free in the damp sand valley below

The Daily Drunk Presents Marvelous Verses

November 2021

cover image: Derek Mainhart

Loki to Mjolnir

It is said

Only the worthy can lift you,

Wield you.

It’s understood that means

A certain lack of moral ambiguity.

Impulses of pettiness,


Of ambition (which has its costs)

Tamped down

Or, unbelievably,


Is not the striving to live with –

In spite of –

These feelings

A better goal?

To balance the desire to sin

Against the repercussions –

Is that not at least

As noble?

If not more so!

I stare into your solid, gleaming face

And I see my shortcomings,

My failures,


I see the lie at the heart of my question,

And I am answered. 

Rundelania, No. 10

November 2021

image:  Red Sunset on the Dnieper.Arkhip Kuindzhi, Russia, 1908;oil on canvas.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 

Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Issue 20

November 2021

cover image: Thomas Oscar Miles

Happy Birthday

You are a tree.

No, hear me out:

Created of earth and water

Alchemy of light and green

Your mother’s tenacity,

Artist’s eyes and hands

Bark, to be sure, from your father’s side

You reach toward the sun

You unfurl

Every year you grow a ring

I can hear them ringing

You are rooted

Alongside the eucalyptus

And the oaks you once leapt over

Golden grasses gather by your feet

And your branches call to fallen birds

To fawns born into the ferns from death

Life circling, renewing

With sharp milk teeth

And the softness of Grace

Oceans swell, storm-tossed,

And you offer yourself as timber

To build a coracle

Supple and strong

You shelter

You bend

You sway with the winds that shake us

And through it all

There runs a strain

Of infinitesimal sweetness

Ineffable beauty

The depths of stone and soil

The height of a light too bright to look at

Air too cold and clean to hold

Except in heartwood

Resonance from within your bole

Setting us all humming

Your warm and wild refrain

Paddler Press, Vol. 2 Roots & Wings

October 2021

image: author's own

I Lift My Chin

I lift my chin as I walk down the pier against wind that whips up the Earl Grey-with-a-splash-of-milk river into sharp fins. I lift my chin because I am sober; because my heels bounce up at every step, and the air smells like dry leaves and muddy water and late roses; because a gull stands stoically on the pilon six inches away as I walk by and does not fly off. It lifts its chin and I nod slightly, murmuring bird to acknowledge its boldness. I lift my chin because I feel pain in my hips, reminding me I’m human and alive, and my spine extends, my skull floating toward the clouds, my pubic bone yearning down toward the big brown rocks under the pier; because wavelets splash up the big brown rocks where loosestrife and scrub poplar and cobwebs cling; because an old fisherman pulls up a large perch in front of a small crowd and, at the end of the pier, the brown river and the blue-green shallows and the indigo lake all swirl together like paint on a palette.

On the way home, two men put up snow fencing along the beach with black Zip Ties. I lift my chin in greeting, ask that time already? That time already one of them says, acknowledging that, though the wind is still warm, soon it will try to suck the sand from the shore in great gusty frigid breaths. Soon it will freeze the waves into stiff peaks like meringue and push cold into every corner of me. Now, though, there are still roses in bloom; now honeysuckle perfumes the lot with the roll-off Dumpster across from the pizza place on the corner; now rose of Sharon bushes bloom blue whorls and the wind pushes soft white clouds so fast across the blue sky. We live, all together, in this liminal season, phase, era, breath – fish flopping in the bucket. Now I lift my chin to the wind, feigning bravery for what’s to come. 

The Dillydoun Review - Issue 9

October 2021

image: stock

Pastel Pastoral Issue 1.5 - Gothic

October 2021

image: stock

Wonderous World: Poems that Spark Magic, Other Worldly Women Press

July 2021

image: Evelyn May


In the darkness,

The expectant nothing,

The absence,

A seed germinates.

Alchemic spark imbuing energy

From godhead,

From stardust

Drawn in at the very beginning,

The first breath,

By collective hope,

Primordial imperative,

Chance or fate or force

Charging atoms, cells

Down in the earth,

Under the waves

Deep inside the warm place

Where fears and dreams lie in loops,

In links

Forged by a hundred thousand befores

Generations of fanfare and failures and fanaticism

Jumbled and rebuilt like a child’s block tower.

The flame within

A vigil for an end written from the start

Gold like autumn leaves

Green as new buds

Blood red

Black despair

Pale blue hope

And always such need

Pulsing and pushing, driving

A charge towards something,

Screaming from darkness to darkness

Rootstock bound to wind and rain

And the tidal pull of an inescapable satellite.

Reality that a cruel but brilliant imagination

Can whisper into illusion

Time, that insidious construct,

And all the unknowns and wish I didn’t knows,

The appalling disparity in shared experiences

Piling up,

Breeding doubt

Even in the curve beneath one’s feet


By that same mechanism

Fear is beaten back

With beauty



Art, another magic

Creations of the created giving freedom


Fulfilling a destiny of soul,

That alternate realm,

Meanings lost and found and lost again


Circles inside circles

Embracing the mysteries

And filling every single moment with wild love

The fire at the heart of truth

Blue River Review

July 2021

image: author's own

Moist Poetry Journal

June 2021

image: text art

Sad Girls Club Literary Blog

February 2021

image: stock

Five Minutes 

November 2020

image: stock


Grey clouds on a white sky

The black water throwing sparks

Negative image

Retina flare

Strange violence of living things

The ridges of ribs on the deer in the road

My thoughts burrowing

Down mouse trails

In the dark

It’s eat and be eaten


May 2020

image: Transitory Space, Don Valley 2 # 8, Color Photography, 2020 by Leah Oates