Poem of the Month



I held life before me
in trembling hand.
it floated away
a big red balloon
and I, a teary-eyed child,
stood watching.

Winter's Kiss

The wind,
who was my summer friend,
now rails against me.
Winter's kiss is cruelly twisted,
burning in its coldness.
Winter's passion whips
through the abandoned months,
howling, then hesitating,
a guest loathing to leave.
Winter's kiss is seductive,
beautiful in its whiteness,
murderous under its innocence.
I felt winter's icy lips
brush mine.
And we bonded.
Now I know,
when the world is an inferno,
I'll live with winter inside me.
Winter's kiss is mine.

December's Song

A cold wind
brushes chilly fingers
across faces
and tugs on
tightened scarves.
Breathing sends
imitation smoke signals
Patches of ice
wait to snare
the unsuspecting,
and we slip
stand and fall again.
as hungry birds titter.
December's song is playing
and Winter's dance
has just begun.


There was something so profound
about us being in that field
on that frost-bitten night,
but only I sensed it.
You all laughed
and gazed in awe
at the cloudless midnight sky.
Only I couldn't look,
for the stars were so bright
they burned my eyes.
And I was afraid,
caught up in the intensity of it all.
With a genial voice,
a mocking echo of your own,
I urged us back to civilization.
Back to artificial lights and lives.
I tugged and pulled,
pushed and prodded,
until you were persuaded
tempted by the promise of another drink
and the warmth it offered.
As you danced on ahead
I slowly fell behind.
I watched your retreating backs in solitude
and wondered if you would miss me.
The ground was hard and frozen,
but I sunk to it anyhow,
overwhelmed by the rawness of my pain.
I cried profound tears
onto that profound ground
in that profound field
and was starting to understand,
to figure out why it was so profound...
But you returned
and swept me back into your folds,
ignoring my tear streaked face
and making me play 'happy-go-lucky' again.
Under your approving eyes
I smiled and laughed
and drank until I no longer cared who I was.
Where was the profoundness in this?

A Handful of Glass
(for Greg)

All summer
you gave your days away,
a pill popped here,
a little bit of fun dropped there.
Your friends encouraged you,
laughing, playing connect the dots
with the track marks on your arms.
And in the fading autumn sunlight
I watched you.
You were spinning wildly.
I called out
but my words fell
like dying leaves around you.
Your friends,
high on life and other,
danced rainbow patterns with you.
I couldn't join your circle.
Last night
I dreamt of you.
In this dream
I stood over your open grave.
Your friends were there,
they tossed porcelain rose petals
upon your casket, and laughed
as the petals broke.
Even now I'm afraid,
frightened your mad dance will end
and all you will have left
is a handful of glass.

A Morning Outing

Nothing was planned
on that late Autumn day that I left.
I awoke as usual
and stumbled blindly out of bed.
My morning coffee was bitter,
and no amount of sugar could sweeten it,
but I lingered over it anyhow.
I packed my suitcase quietly,
careful not to wake you.
Which I didn't,
not even when the door slammed shut behind me.
For once, walking down the tree lined street,
I failed to notice the beauty of the red-orange leaves.
Instead, I was centered on the beauty of my escape.
I imagined the early morning birds
were singing praise of my daring
as I started on my way.
One hour, two miles and two blisters later
I stood at the train station
watching the destination signs flash their messages.
The impact of my new found freedom
now stared me fully in the face.
I scarcely noticed the people pushing impatiently by me
as I tried to force myself to go forward.
It was no use.
I finally gave up and turned around.
Two hours later
I snuck back into the house,
hid my suitcase in the closet,
took off all of my clothes,
and crawled back into bed with you.
You turned over in your sleep and pulled me to you;
and as your body warmed mine
I drifted off to sleep
Safe and warm and home again.

Next time I'll go by car...

Playing In Your Shadow

I always stood in your shadow
outshone by everything you did.
While you reaped in the
fame and glory
I skulked about,
a paler reflection of you.
But, oh the fun I had.
You trapped yourself
in your image of perfection,
and while you had to
perform for your audience
your golden girl routine
I cavorted and leapt
in the darkness you threw.
Nobody noticed me
as I played the fool,
kicking my feet to the air.
And nobody cared
that I boke a few rules.
You were too busy playing Saint
to ever see that I was playing
in your shadow, and having
a better time than you.


I watched your reflection
as you stepped onto the train,
newspaper clutched in one hand,
briefcase in the other.
With rolled up sleeves
and loosened tie,
you sat two seats up and over
and briefcase on the floor,
opened your paper.
Whatever you were reading
made you smile,
deepening the laugh lines around your eyes.
and for a brief second,
I would have given everything
to hear you laugh.
Blushing faintly, I looked down,
then back up to your reflection.
You ran a hand through your dark, graying hair,
your smile now a frown.
Looking up from the paper,
you stared out the window for a moment
but I think you saw only the images in your mind.
Back to the paper,
you continued to read,
and I continued to watch
as you smiled, raised an eyebrow,
frowned, narrowed your eyes, smiled again.
I closed my eyes
and imagined your hands,
your mouth,
then stopped,
knowing at home,
someone waited.
The train reached my stop.
Walking past you,
my face neutral,
my heart beating faster than it had a right to,
I paused before I exited, and turned slightly
to take one last look at you.
Your dark brown eyes met mine
and as your mouth quirked into a grin
you winked.


Sad little girl,
Trying to keep something of herself
To herself.
She is hurt,
She has lived for everyone else
For so long she no longer knows
Who or what
She is.
And she is torn.
She let them root
Through her heart,
Take what they needed,
And leave her with scraps.
She knows
The scars don't show
But she closes her eyes
And feels them.
Fearful little girl.
She wants to take that first step
And leave them,
Yet there is comfort
In old hurts,
Safety in familiarity.
And she must choose:
Alone if she leaves,
Empty if she stays.
And she is torn.

For the Ocean

Midnight again finds me standing
At your edge,
Staring into your darkness.
Lights from distant boats
Twinkle on the horizon,
Like stars brought down to earth.
You filled my dreams last night,
With your crashing waves,
Now deceptively gentle.
When I awoke,
It took me a minute to realize
The saltwater on my face
Came only from my tears.
Without the sun
Your vastness seems starker.
I remove my jacket,
Toss it behind me,
And pull at my shirt.
As I step closer to you,
All I want is to fall into your darkness,
Let it cover my head.
But your waves say shush,
Shush, and push me back.
With a cry rawer than any seagull's
I turn and walk away.
Only in my sleep
Am I the Ocean's daughter.

Forest Walk

Forests and such have always fascinated me,
Dark and brooding,
With trails that twist and turn
Promising answers
Offering shelter in a cool, quiet way.
So it's no surprise
Sunday morning found me
Walking in your woods.
And I will admit
Your grandeur did impress me
But did not amaze me
I am city born and buildings are taller than you.
It's your little secret treasures
That I remember most.
A decaying leaf turned over
Reveals a tiny mushroom,
Prospering without the sun.
An opening in the trees
And flowers bloom,
Some things need the sun to survive.
A black and yellow spider
Weaves and rules his own kingdom,
Temporary though it may be.
For all of the beauty,
There is a darkness too.
The prettiest mushrooms are often the deadliest.
When I exit the woods
I find myself relieved.
Your beauty is compelling
But I am man made
And a stranger to your heart.

Calling the Corners

This woman talks to flowers.
Setting aside her spade,
She runs strong, capable fingers
Through rich, dark earth,
Letting it cover and soothe
The ragged red lines left by thorns.
Her gardening gloves lay unused behind her.
Dirt streaks on her face tell tales
Of tears she's wiped away.
And the roses, if they could talk,
Would tell even more.

This woman swims in oceans.
Drinking in the briny water,
She pushes herself against the current,
Stroke after stroke,
Until, exhausted,
She realizes she's never going to win,
And lets the waves float her back to shore
Like driftwood.
At night, her bed is the ocean
She tosses and turns in.

This woman dances in candlelight.
Spinning and twisting
Her callused feet weave patterns
Across the hardwood floor.
She burns brightly,
But only for herself.
If she suspects anyone is looking,
She banks the fires in her heart.
She knows all about burning
And being burnt.

This woman watches birds.
Standing at her back door,
She follows the giddy flight of a song sparrow
As it flits from tree to tree.
A slight breeze stirs,
Gently brushing her hair.
As she raises her arms,
Her lips slip into a smile.
Despite what other people tell her,
She knows she's going to fly soon.

Queen of Swords

Queen of Swords,
I am frozen,
Cold, unloving,
Denying my humanity,
My availability to pain.
Yet my truth hurts more than their lies.

Queen of Spades,
I am bitter,
Stoic, uncaring.
They call me frigid
Because even though they touch my body,
They never touch my soul.

Card of loathing,
I am twisted,
Cruel, unsocial.
I don't hide my ugliness
And still they come.
And oh they fear me, want to control me,
Can't understand me.
We are sadomasochists, everyone.

Card of deception,
I confuse them,
Hard, unfeeling.
They always grunt, pump and push,
I lay corpselike, dying, dying.
Rage builds slowly, fire spreading,
Forcing me to that point of no return.

Card of anger,
I betray them,
Hurt, unforgiving.
After too much, too long, my rage is free.
A smile twists my face
As red lines trail my nails down their backs.
They hiss as salt from their sweat burns, burns, burns.
We call this pleasure?

Card of sorrow
I am frightened,
Lost, unknowing.
My shell of strength was weakened
When I realized my control could be shaken.
They all wanted to make me scream,
But I knew that if I did, I would never stop.

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