New Poems from Karen R. Sanderson


Karen Sanderson’s exuberant first collection of poetry, No Boundaries, celebrates her love of family and small town life. From memoir styled free verse to elegant haiku and snappy lymerics, the poet shines a light on the bonds dearest to us all.

Strong single mothers and brave soldier sons come close to the reader’s heart with Sanderson’s gritty and humorous poems.

Here are two of my favorite selections from her new book of poems, published November 15, 2016, in paperback with her own original illustrations. Please join me in congratulating the author on her first poetry publication!

No Boundaries: A Collection of Poetry

Book Excerpt, courtesy of Karen R. Sanderson


The Trade

Inspired by Kristi P-L, USAF, Iraq 2009-2010


She packed up her comfy jeans

and laying-around T-shirts

She shrugged into a heavy canvas uniform,

now her second skin

Boxed up her peep-toe high heels and sandals

and stacked them away

Now all she’s got are dusty high-top boots

with heavy tread

No delicate black eyeliner around lovely hazel eyes

Just smudges of purple, her badges of fatigue

No long showers here

Just unshaved legs so she looks like

the rest of the troops

Forget salon haircuts with mousse or gel

In marches a permanent helmet-head hairdo

She strains to remember how lovely

that last manicure felt

Handling weapons with broken, scraggy fingernails, unpolished and blunt

Velvety cosmetic powder abandoned at home

She wears the Iraqi desert upon her face

Late night chat-fests with friends

of her choosing,

No more

Now, it’s early morning wake-up and drill

No delicate sparkling pendants around her neck

Just a dull metal chain with tags

that identify her blood type

While mother’s comforting shoulder

and soothing touch wait at home

She learns combat strategies and

how to react to roadside bombs

Instead of cradling a tiny baby

She crawls into a burdened flak jacket

that hides her girlish figure

She rolls out with a loaded M4 and a 9mm Beretta.


Lonely Art


Heavy paper leans against the stack

Neglected pieces rest on their friends.


Colors mix and talk amongst themselves

Pencil, charcoal, oil, and water.


They have their own ideas about where

To drip and display themselves.


They want to dress up and hang out

To be admired, matted, and framed.


Discarded loneliness, they look forward

To the artist’s next visit.


So they have new pieces

With whom to talk and confer.

– Karen R. Sanderson

To read more poems from No Boundaries, here’s the link to buy her new book in print:

About the Poet



Karen R. Sanderson was raised by a mother who wanted to be an English teacher and who worked for Merriam-Webster as a proofreader and an aunt who could complete the Sunday New York Times crossword in a day. Their favorite expression was, “Look it up!”

Karen is an editor and proofreader, blogger, poet, writer, and a fabulous grandma. She completed writing coursework through UCLA and the University of New Mexico. Her short stories have been featured in The Rose & Thorn Journal, Every Child is Entitled to Innocence anthology, Valley Living Magazine,, and

Karen is currently pursuing a degree at Minot State University and Lake Region State College in Interpreting and Sign Language Studies.


Connect with Karen Sanderson on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ and on her blog at

Contact via email at



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