top of page

Thomas Vaultonburg

  • Instagram

Thomas L. Vaultonburg is the Poet-In-Residence at Maze Books in Rockford, Illinois, and one half of Wolf Twin Books with his creative partner Tre.

Visit them at:  





even the dog who

greets me with angry barking

did not bother today








leaves for my water,

a pen, your smile. Winter came

for the wrong poet





when daggers

of ice

slow even the bear's

mighty heart,

and winter's

lines of chaos

create a horizon

sharp as the blade

of a guillotine,

it is the ember

of your eyes

that will seduce

the dormant cinders

of my heart's hearth

to flame,

and you will know

I have gone

on ahead

to make a place

for us in

the squall.





The Gifted Program at Byron

Elementary School


Was two isolated makeshift cubicles

Shoved into one corner

Under a map of Antarctica where me

And Michael  Robinson

Studied humanity


Antarctica is the place where

Special people go,

 Ms. Stieglitz said


We spent the year alternately

Being President, Vice President

Ultimately declaring anarchy

Though the mordant precision

Of our isolated orbit

Assured nothing would ever be

Out of place


They fed us Animal Farm,

Rice crispy treats,

All the loneliness the "special"

Amongst us deserve as they learned

To make more and more elaborate

Dunce caps out of papier mache


You designed something I can't

Even pronounce, died last week-


Maybe you've gone back to Antarctica


I hear they need an Ambassador.



I am quiet

But not quieted,

Like the storm

Gathering its charge.


I am the kinetic

Rapt in the wings

While potential descants

Her aria of concordance,


The stream in

High concentration


  To break

    The savannah's

      Neglected thirst

J’ai Une Âme Solitaire


you, who knew

I was banished

from The Grove

sent a nightingale

to summon me,



you, who knew

there was no bottom

still dove for

a sunken treasure

only you saw


you, who knew

the lock that bound

me could not be opened

still brought keys

made of mercy

to unbind me


you, who was told

I was bete noire

even among shadows

assured me if I lept

the portal to

deliverance would appear.

bottom of page