painting by Elizabeth Desiree Torbet
Here is a wonderful villanelle from the Irish poet Mary O’Donoghue:
MY DAUGHTER IN WINTER COSTUME
after John Storrs’ sculpture (1922)
She is sealed like a bomb in her anorak.
Her face is flushed fruit under the hood.
She’s already moving away. I want to call her back.
At nine in the morning the sky is blue-black.
I think of hard falls, split lips, her blood.
But she’s sealed like a bomb in her anorak,
and shouting to friends on the tarmac,
a yardful of children, a tide,a flood
already moving away. I want to call her back,
I’m faint, suddenly starved with the lack
of her,and determined that she should
know, all sealed like a bomb in her anorak.
Grip the wheel. Radio on.The yakety-yak
of today’s talking heads on How to Be Good.
The morning is moving away. I want to call her back.
This is what it’s like to be left slack,
the cord frayed like I knew it would.
She is sealed like a bomb in her anorak,
already moved away, and I can’t call her back.
© 2011, Mary O’Donoghue From: Shine On: Irish Writers for Shine Publisher: Dedalus Press, Dublin, 2011, 978-1-906614-47-8
Master of Calamarca, Angel with Arquebus
Here’s a poem by Emily Dickinson:
THE PAST is such a curious creature,
To look her in the face
A transport may reward us,
Or a disgrace.
Unarmed if any meet her, 5
I charge him, fly!
Her rusty ammunition
Might yet reply!
photo by Lydia McClintock
Here are the lyrics to a song by Jan Harmon. It is sung as a round, and was recorded by Libana:
Winter calls a clear horizon
Like the sea calls to the port
Like the sky calls to the desert
Like the love calls to the heart.
Here is a poem I wrote fourteen years ago:
Stray page found in the bottom of the trunk
Brittle yellow paper
rattles in my hand.
Song about the roadway
tarnished by the land
where heat meets sand;
I cannot find the shaper.
Writing’s like a window
roiling with dull sheen.
Watching at the threshold,
child I might have been
bends her back to glean
footmarks from the shadow.
Woodworker and learner
scallop, shred and shrink
sawdust, resin, russet,
weary eyes that blink,
leading me to think
better of the sterner.
Stumbling on the shaper,
not the one I seek,
sharpens breath to shorter,
eyebrows rise to peak,
gulping as I speak
words from yellowed paper.
I am a dog lover, but this really happened at the home of a friend who was dog-sitting.
It was so ludicrous, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry:
I didn’t know the
old and blind as he was,
would bite me. And not on my heel, but
He gnawed with his sharp canines
on that thin skin barely
covering the veins and tendons.
So few nerves there
that at first I thought
he was just sniffing me
in a calm speculative way.
Then the shock of pain and blood!
So sorry I wore loafers,
And right at April’s end,
when I yearned to crunch along
in the woods.
Now it commands my attention
with reproachful throbbing.
Here’s a poem by Adrienne Rich:
If I’ve reached for your lines ( I have)
like letters from the dead that stir the nerves
Dowsed you for a springhead
to water my thirst
Dug into my compost skeletons and petals
you surely meant to catch the light:
At work in my wormeaten wormwood-raftered
have I a plea?
If I’ve touched your finger
with a ravenous tongue
licked from your palm a rift of salt
If I’ve dreamt or thought you
a pack of blood fresh-drawn
hanging darkred from a hook
higher than my heart
( you who understand transfusion)
where else should I appeal?
A pilot light lies low
while the gas jets sleep
( a cat getting toed from stove
Into nocturnal ice)
language uncommon and agile as truth
melts down the most intractable silence
A lighthouse keeper’s ethics:
you tend for all or none
For this you might set your furniture on fire
a this we have blundered over
as if the lamp could be shut off at will
Rescue denied for some
and still a lighthouse be.
A potpourri of emotions
To Every Thing There Is A Season
.....and nurturing my soul
Reading, writing, and ruling on the written word
Encouraging Words from Page and Stage
food for the body; food for the soul
connecting the dots of my life
The Greater Garden of Nature
About fantastical places and other stuff
Consult the genius of the place
Enjoy the good things in life ~ you can always clean tomorrow!
Living the second part of the sentence
Random thoughts, life lessons, hopes and dreams
we do what we like and we like what we do
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. - Saint Augustine
Life in progress