Bad Witch Poet

A writer's palette are the pens, paper, and platform through which are painted our human foibles.

Upcoming events where you can find me and my poetry

September 10 at The Muse Writer's Center in Norfolk, Virginia: Women Writers Who Submit 1000-1200

September 16 at The MOCA in VIrginia Beach, Virginia: Women's Summit 0830-1200

October 22 at The Muse Writer's Center: The Mythos in Our Words one-day workshop 1000-1330

Purchase my recent poetry book,

Serving Sweet Tea, at

Wild Ponies

The green of the island and her jewelry-hued buildings wave at us from across the dozing bridge. Salty marsh stench pummels us from a cracked window, and the three of us bounce in our seats, safetybelts straining. As the lines of garish advertisements whiz past the windows on our left, we verbally trip over each other with our breathy exclamations.

BEST ice cream EVER.

I can’t wait to sink my teeth into one of those almond croissants.

Let’s try that pony tour this year.

Is that a new shop? We HAVE to check it out!

Remember those gushers from the candy shop?

Chincoteague stretches out her arms to us as we pull through the last red light at the tail of the meandering bridge. This place is where we preserve a part of our hearts from summer to summer. This is where we shake off the stress of each school year and let worry slip from us like our sweat sluices off in the campground’s pool.

On the right side of the main road lounges a coffee shop. Its front sunroom sags reassuringly, begging for me to tread its boards, silky cappuccino in hand as I browse the locally-sourced goods I pretend that I can afford. We see our favorite knick-knack shop farther down on the same side: not a single rocking chair seems to have wandered. To the left, at least two more food trucks have joined the foodie foray, jaunty signs gilded with beachy motifs. Suddenly, we see the garish water slide towering up ahead that signals our arrival.

The KOA is a Yogi Bear now, but the same cerulean pool calls out to us, the bounce pad tosses kids against a cloud-free sky, the coastal pines hug the perimeter. We check into our yellow bungalow, and I claim the top bunk in the front room as if I am the kid and my daughters are the parents. I want to sleep with the night view from the top window, tucked up like a child.

For this one week, it doesn’t matter that I’m a single mom on a teacher’s salary with twin daughters speeding into teenagers. It isn’t important that the girls’ dad has abandoned them for yet another girlfriend. It seems irrelevant that dangerous politics still burn through our country. This week we are wide-eyed children.

As night drops her cloak across the park, we follow the zigzagging roads through the property to the water’s edge, giggling at everything and nothing while the sounds of at least a hundred campers slither around us. At the water's edge, briny sulfur makes us wrinkle our noses, but we tiptoe out onto the wooden pier as it angles into the marsh. We sit cross-legged in a huddle, surprised the breeze is chilly here in mid-June. We fasten our eyes on the spiraling fairy-like light that angles from the Assateague lighthouse. We take turns making up outrageous stories until we are squirming from the sting of biting insects and jump up to race back to our cabin for more bug spray.

Later, I will be the last one to drift off. The top bunk is a hugely uncomfortable mistake, but I refuse to relinquish it. I smile as I think of our evening: the Pandora Gay Pride station I blasted on my cell phone which our neighbors may not have appreciated; our raucous game of laser tag that probably also did not endear us to the nearby glampers; building up the campfire with the popping of the pine cones we threw in for good measure while the blistering flames singed most of the marshmallows past edibility; the love the three of us share no matter our growing pains. Sleep eventually wormed its way behind my lids.

Since our first year in Chincoteague when they were seven, they have never wanted to ride bikes out to Assateague, but the next morning I force them to do it again for the fifth time. We race over the bridge, looping onto the bike trails to the left, veering back across the main road until we find the spot where we have always been lucky enough to see what everyone comes for spread out in the brush as if waiting for us.

We are lost in the moment, our limbs balancing the electric green rental bikes beneath us, the sun pelting us. We are mesmerized by the wild ponies across a jutting belt of blue swamp, their knees deep in scruffy greenery. We watch reverently as one mare, flanks scalloped with white, brown spots like biscuits across her back, tilts her nose toward us, leaves dangling comically from her lips. We marvel at the delicate grace of her red foal, a white slash across his rump with more white marks crawling up three of his dainty legs. He tosses his head and wickers at us.

The scene shifts focus as other tourists come and go and the ponies slowly retreat. Buzzing deer flies gather, so we turn, put our feet to the pedals, hold our hearts in our mouths, and marvel at the tang of the June air rolling down our backs and snatching at our ponytails as we head back to town.

What drives my writing...

I speak out sharply in my poetry by running my words over one another until they become weapons. As a professional educator, writing contemporary curriculum is the same as breathing. As a teacher of teenagers, writing mythologically inspired prose has become my passion. As an outspoken poet, writing words that will stab injustice and open minds is as necessary as breathing.

About me...

Lisa M. Kendrick lives in the heart of Norfolk, Virginia with her twin daughters. She has been teaching and writing high school English curriculum for twenty-five years; publishes a high school literary magazine; records a literature discussion series called LIT in TEN; writes poetry and fantasy; and records literature readings. She has most recently been published in River River, Otherworldly Women Press, Appalachian Heritage, Bacopa Literary Review, Wingless Dreamer, Green Writers Press, and Poets Choice.

The Requisite Resume

Skills (minimum of ten years experience per skill)

English and Creative Writing Educator, Copy Editing, Ghost Writing, Basic Graphic Design, Writing Workshop Coordinator, Published Poet, Forensic, Debate, and Drama Judge

Education (yearly certification requirements up-to-date)

(1990-1993) BA in Communications and Theater from Mississippi State University

(1999-2001) Educational curriculum licensure work from Old Dominion University

(2010-2012) Teaching English as a Second Language licensure from Regent University

Relevant Qualifications and Training

  • (2016-present) Published Poet in River River, Writer’s Block, Moonstone Arts, Soundings, Perspectives I and II, Sister Stories, and Red Weather: two chapbooks published in 2018: Witch and Grafted.

  • (2016-present) over twenty Poetry Dramatic Performances for WHRO, The Venue, The Muse, and various local festivals

  • (2013) WHRO Online Education- a collaborator for English 11 curriculum

  • (2010-2018) Forensics Coach for state-winning Great Bridge High School team

  • (2010-present) Publisher of Great Bridge High School’s Bridgetown Scroll

  • (2008-present) Teacher at Great Bridge High School for grades 10-12: English, speech, communications, creative writing, and journalism

  • (2008-present) Virginia Teaching Licensure for Secondary Education in English, Speech, Communications, History, and English as a Second Language

  • (2006 and 2000) Theater Department Head, Ryan Academy in Norfolk, VA