Like Mona Lisa

Photo by Eric Terrade on Unsplash

How beautiful…….she sleeps,
gathering the early light
inward
like a sail filling with wind,
her face composing
its first smile
of the day:
little boat loaded
with last night’s dreams.

Like Mona Lisa,
whose fathomless eyes are a wake
from the little boat sailing
back and forth
from secret to secret
right in front of us, turning us
into a crowd of craning necks,
so much wanting
aboard.

Looking at a loved one sleeping was the impetus for this poem. It won second place in a contest by Pandora’s Collective and was published in 2012.

The Sleep Of Trees

Photo by Rowan Heuvel on Unsplash

Raindrops sparkling in the sun’s slow rise,
sprinkled like stars across the dark green leaves,
sky still heavy with the sleep of trees…

shouldered aside by dripping roofs,
the world they wake to –
is it all that they dreamed?

Another poem from the North Shore Magazine vault.

 

Two Poems Up At Taos Journal Of Poetry & Art

More good news! My poems “Always, In Returning” and “In The Cathedral” are now up at the lovely Taos Journal of Poetry & Art, along with many other beauties from writers I’ve long admired. Please do scroll through this Issue 10 to see what I mean! Many thanks to editors Cathy Strisik and Veronica Golos!

You can read them here: http://www.taosjournalofpoetry.com/always-in-returning/ – “In the Cathedral” is on the next page.

 

 

“Clear Night Over Treadwell Bay” – Nominated for Best of the Net 2017

Photo by Luca Baggio on Unsplash

A couple of hundred miles up the coast
two weeks into a summer of cruising
we end our day of fishing with a movie.
But the shouting and shooting carve sharp
initials into the tree-deep silence here,
so I step outside, right onto the glittering
dance floor of an olive-black sky
on a clear, good night. My mind whirls,

words falling far away, then my fears,
then even the best of the best in me, all
dwarfed by this lavish sprinkling of stars:
confetti of the gods, tossed long ago upon
a lifted veil—marrying me now to the
faintest glimmer of worlds beyond ours.
I gaze, it seems forever, a moth burning
to remember a dream wings can’t forget.

I am thrilled to have this poem nominated for the Best of the Net 2017 Anthology by editor Cristina Norcross of the Blue Heron Review, where it appeared July 2016!

Your Turn

Photo by Tim Golder on Unsplash

She was lost and late and frantic
when she pulled over to ask me
for directions. And so close!
A block the other way lay her destination.
Discouraged, she had turned off too soon.

Sometimes it happens that way.
And sometimes the road simply ends
and you know you’ve missed
the turn. But when it’s late
in life, and it’s your turn that
you’ve avoided or can’t find,
when it’s your appointment
with fate you think you’ve missed,
or when the path you’re on turns
out to really be someone else’s, say,
who lives there, in that neighbourhood,
who could help you?

None better than the yardless dog
at your heels, growing wilder,
more wolflike by the second,
those nips of dissatisfaction
ripping your good pants,
the barks of disapproval
stilling the nice hand
that would have fed it,
the sickening plunge of your stomach
as you realize this is all wrong,
making you run now, run for the life
you meant to live.

This too first appeared in North Shore Magazine.

 

 

Sometimes, A Heron

Photo by Gary Bendig on Unsplash

stands like a bearded yogi
in the willow-edged stream
that runs under the main road
an easy block from the sea,
waiting for his own kind
of traffic.

At that intersection
of necessity and desire,
it is no accident when
the still life breaks from
its green-daubed canvas
with the long, scissored plunge
of his beak, and swallows whole
and writhing, the little fish
that almost made it.

Sometimes, in the rivering
silence between two hearts,
I am stalked by
an elegant longing
and taken suddenly
by its gleaming need
to live.

And hope I do not
reach too slowly
into the sea-deep amber
light of its promise,
like these bare and slender
branches that have crept from
their tangled weep of shadows,
blossoms pending.

This first appeared in North Shore Magazine and is included in my chapbook “Stealing Eternity”.

Just in Time

“Just in Time”, Painting by Lenore Conacher

My poem “Just in Time”, inspired by this painting by Lenore Conacher, is now up at https://mockingheartreview.com/volume-2-issue-3/lynne-burnett/ with many other gems. Many thanks to editor Clare Martin for including it! Lenore Conacher was a Gibsons, BC artist whose work I had the good fortune to see firsthand and whose “Time” series led to a collaboration of sorts: 17 poems for 17 paintings!

More Haiku

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

 

daffodils:
a glory of suns
within hand’s reach

***

the arbutus twists
through shadows to catch the light,
shape leaves

***

pouring
from their long green stems:
one red, one white tulip

***

fogbank:
a lonely ridge of trees
has scaled the heavens

***

in a restaurant:
tables apart, blue eyes
feast on brown

***

downtown lunch hour:
all my faces
streaming by

***

How do you open the bottle
when you are
that which is poured?

These also appeared in North Shore Magazine many many moons ago.

Haiku Favourites

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

 

She bangs her son’s runners together,
turns them over.
Sand falls and falls.

***

roadside: all day,
teens in school uniforms
come, heap flowers

***

an old ladder
climbs a small embankment,
steps into the sky

***

in the glade’s cloaked silence
the shade-soaked song of
one bird plays

***

snapdragons clutched
by a rock wall:
mustard on an old man’s face

***

up from a cloud of gravel
peeks the half-moon
of a tire

***

opening the door:
a moth flutters in,
darkness too

***

the pen dips
into a small well of ink:
one by one, stars appear

***

Thought I’d change things up with a few haiku, first published in North Shore Magazine. I’ve missed writing them! More to come….