Friday, January 13, 2017

Sara Teasdale Spoke to Me

Sara Teasdale Spoke to Me

She said nature.

She said love.

She said pick up the damn spoon
      and stir.
Your thoughts are thick on the bottom
      of the pot.
Stop running from the emptiness.

Walk in.

Fill it.


It's been nearly a year since I posted a poem. I don't think I've written more than three in all of 2016. It was a year of deep emotional pain, a quagmire of change I found nearly impossible to wade through. As many of you do, I'm sure, I frequently use poetry as a tool for processing such things, but I couldn't.
It was a frightening thing for me.
Last night, I was mourning a bit and I listened to a audio book of Sara Teasdale's poetry. It was so beautiful. Hearing it read was a balm to me. She gave me courage to write again.
Here is my offering.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Time Turning

Before I tasted Plath
and before Anne Sexton made forty
look like the perfect age,
there were fairies.

They hid in the grasses
and wove flowers in my hair
with their tiny wicked finger.
They pulled down clouds from the sky.

There was magic in music.
Lyrics, iridescent bubbles of thought,
forced air into my lungs
and my vision transmuted to color.

Do you remember the fairies?
They crowned me their queen.
You knelt, green, at my feet,
and I, flushed pink, kissed your brow.

Before rain streaked the horizon,
melting the snow drops,
sparklers arrived, lit and lustrous,
in the mailbox.

They turned to jewels,
dropped in my ribs' repository.
I never see them anymore.
I don't care to, but they changed me.

Returning to the fairies, however-
I can't forget the scent, then.
It trips me on a lonely sidewalk
and teases in crowded passageways.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Untitled (1975-1998)

There was a softness in the curves of your face
Nose lips chin brow
Even that impish smirk
Softened the blow of your insular soul.
Did I even know you at all?

In knew, intimately, your car's contents1993
Primus Chili Peppers Nirvana
Listened to murmurings
Against the girl attached like Velcro
To your grungeflannel shirt.

My mother's voice sounded the knell
Shot Toby dad dead 
I don't remember our last
I remember sitting by the sink, knowing this.

There are things you'll never know
Hashtags downloads smart phones
That would have made you laugh.
Such a soft laugh, that held secrets
Drawing my mouth into a smile.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Hand-quilting in America

We are linked, my sisters.
Spools of simple thread bounce down the stairs of time.
I see the tiny stitches made from that same rocking motion.
We have callouses that withstand fire.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Next to Me

There is a wall next to me.
It grows. 
It crumbles. 
Tendrils of green find their way through the gaps, 
Hope's Breath blooms. 

Some days, I forget it's there. 
Breezes fly through this valley
as in days disappeared. 
The mighty oak's branches rub against the stone.

Some days, the wall is the last anchor I have to you.
I lean, back sore, neck twisted
For there is depth below
That cannot be ignored which I must suck from the soil.

Some days, this wall is everything I fear
And other times it hides all I cannot face. 


So, this what it feels like. 
Not every day,
But in the slick-sweat stickiness of this moment
Or that. 
You dare to peek in the keyhole 
Of Pandora's black box
And as with an accident causing disruption on the road
It is an effort to pull your eyes away
From the disaster inside. 

The mind plays with architecture:
Bridge the gap,
Building walls,
A door closing. 
I stand in the doorway
While my foundation shudders around me. 
I don't know where I should stand. 
And after this moment...
What then? Where do I build?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


I don't always carry my load
in this community of humans.
I can't. My grip falters.
I fall over my laces. I lose a shoe.

Somehow it seems as though I could put one foot after another foot after another foot
But it's as though you asked me to ascend a wall of this house.
The air gets heavy.
I can't breathe.

Today, someone held my heart in their hands
Working and working,
And with the skill of an artist encased it crystalline webbing,
Making precious, the fibrous pulsing inside.

I performed near-miracles yesterday,
Flicking problems away like displaced ants,
But the universe craves balance, you see,
And the winner's platform is pulled away and I fall.