Cindy Rinne is an experimental storyteller and record-keeper of many cultures. She creates myths in narrative and personna poems using contemporary voices, ancient voices, and nature’s words. Her ethnopoetry is rich with texture and description. Cindy Rinne creates art and writes in San Bernardino, CA. She is an author with Michael Thomas Cooper of Speaking Through Sediment, (2015.) Her poem, “Mapping” was nominated for the Liakoura Award by Pirene’s Fountain. Cindy is a reader for “Tin Cannon” by PoetrIE. Cindy is a founding member and on the board of PoetrIE, an Inland Empire based literary community. Her work appeared or is forthcoming in Young Ravens Literary Review, Rose Red Review, Eternal Haunted Summer, The MOON Magazine, Dual Coast Magazine, Artemis Journal, Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, Pirene’s Fountain, The Poetry Bus (Ireland), ORANGELANDIA: The Literature of Inland Citrus Anthology, Phantom Kangaroo, Lyre, Lyre, Cactus Heart Press, The Wayfarer, Extinguished, Extinct Anthology by Twelve Winters Press, The Lake (England), Revolution House, Soundings Review, Linden Ave. Literary Journal, The Gap Toothed Madness, A Narrow Fellow, shuf poetry, Verse/Chorus: A Call and Response Anthology, Poetry Quarterly, The Prose-Poem Project, and others. She has a poetry manuscript, The Feather Ladder.



Perfume River Resident

Mai Ly’s toes squished mud at the river’s
edge. A memory flooded her senses.

No, Father, no, yells five-year-old Mai Ly.

It is time for you to learn to swim. Flap your arms and kick
your feet like I showed you, said Father.

             Gurgle              Sputter
Breath. No breath in water.
Flailing arms and legs –
a heavy weight dragging her down, drowning

                          Opening her eyes
she met the gaze,        eyes like quiet lanterns,
a bright maze filled with ancient tales.

Ly Dragon
             Water dragon             
                          The dragon in the river.

His eagle claws lifted her to shore.

Published in Words and Images Poetry, upcoming in Quiet Lantern (Turning Point press, March 2016)


A Leaf Prays

Shooting stars, meteors, eclipse
             direct Mai Ly’s journey in the moonlight heaviness.

Rivers, ocean, streams,         
             grant her safety as your lips breathe.

As Lac Long Quan, prince from the sea
             and Au Co, princess of the mountains

Joined in union beginning the lineage of the Vietnamese,
             may the mountains loom in protection over her.

Jade Emperor, guide Mai Ly in all directions –
             five cardinal points (center, east, west, north and south).

Ancestors, inspire her to perceive the five natural
             elements (earth, metal, water, fire, wood).

A leaf fell off the peach branch in Mai Ly’s altar
             and floated at the river’s edge.

Published in The Wayfarer, upcoming in Quiet Lantern (Turning Point press, March 2016)


Totem Guide

The ladder vibrated
Under The Feather
Keeper’s feet
Like hummingbird wings, like an avalanche.
His sweat mixed into a cloud
Of ice crystals. Afraid,
He called upon
Guardian Spirit –
Please help me
Reach the sun.
A black blur shifted
Just outside his
Sight. Giant raven
Flew higher.
Spread his wings,
Becoming the top
Rung of the ladder.

Climb up here on
My head.


Published in Mystic Nebula,



Cindy Rinne



2015 Cindy Rinne


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