Night-Light

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Photo by Erik Witsoe on Unsplash

Look how the moon hangs
its luminous sign outside
the bedroom window: the man
with a grin is open for business!

But in your private dark, nothing
so grand – only the chest-warming
glow of a night-light never turned off:
being able to take one good deep
breath after another, and feel
your own durable heart pumping
steadily in unsteady times,
its rivers, rich with blessing,
coursing through a world
that knows the fierce
need of it.

Another older poem which first appeared in North Shore Magazine and then my chapbook “Stealing Eternity”.

The House Of Your Making

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Months now, of leaving and returning,
one birth soothing the long passage
of many griefs at an unexpected death,
your little red suitcase packed and unpacked
so often, it stands ready for the next trip
in a corner of the bedroom.

Months of fashioning a sturdy door
behind which is the home you remember,
opened and closed from a great distance,
a shell you can put your ear to
and be lifted back into a familiar sea.

But the home you remember is not
the home you return to: that mother left,
and was put like a book finally finished
to gather dust on a crowded shelf,
her absence easing a son into his own story.

You stand in the house of your making,
bereft. Once upon a time, you think.
And a dream that has slept for years
in the wide spaces beyond your words,
wakes up like a lion, the darkness roaring
with stars.

This poem concluded my first chapbook, “Stealing Eternity”, still available for purchase (directly from me). You can probably tell from the picture that my little red suitcase is looking a little the worse for wear 15 years later. A lot of stories (poems?) packed in there!

Woman In June

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Photo by v2osk on Unsplash

A woman walked by in a white silk dress
that had gathered, stem by fallen stem
a dozen deep-throated roses and
spread them, lollipop red
knee to bodice

a woman in June, high heels clicking
chamomile hair poured straight
over shoulders, her purse: the sheer
nodding happiness of a flowerbed
buzzing with tongues.

As it is now June and summer is upon us, here’s a poem from way back, first published in North Shore Magazine. 

Great Expectations

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My mother and I are like the hands of a clock –
she, the seconds that move my minute
and I, the minutes that move her hour.

I was born on her twenty-first birthday.

We are always walking hand in hand
between the astonished faces of
what’s to come and what has been.

This poem first appeared in North Shore Magazine (14 years ago!). Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, especially mine!

Poem Up At IthacaLit

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Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

My poem “From The Front Porch” is now live in the spring issue of IthacaLit

along with the other finalists in the 2018 Lauren K. Alleyne Difficult Fruit

Poetry Prize (which I won in 2016). I am thrilled and honoured to appear again

in this gorgeous journal. My deep thanks to editor Michele Lesko!

PS – If you go to the Home page, where she introduces the issue and poets,

there’s an opportunity to click on my picture to indicate a “like” in the shape

of a heart. But only if you like it!

7 Poems Up At “The Zen Space”

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BUSY TIME by Lenore Conacher

I’m happy to report I have 6 haiku and an ekphrastic poem, inspired by Lenore Conacher’s painting “Busy Time”, now up at The Zen Space. As you scroll through the Spring 2019 Showcase for my poems, please allow the other poems and photographs to take you somewhere quite wonderful… My deep thanks to editor Daniel Paul Marshall for asking for a few nutshells.

River At Night

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Photo by Sergey Pesterev on Unsplash

The river behind the house at night
has so much more of a voice
in the darkness, rushing
toward the ends of the earth as if
this is the journey of all journeys.

The world I was born into has hurried
me through forty-seven years, never
stopping to place me where I belong:
I want to lie firm and wondrous in the arms
of the river, a boulder of great faith.

Then when it hands me the moon
shimmering and full, and gathers
the rippling stars in close, I am part
of a circle of sisters, sharing stories,
named in their alphabet of light.

Ask me then about ecstasy,
and I will say it runs gleaming
through the secret universe
of my body, that it calls me
home.

An older poem, first published in North Shore Magazine, and included in my first chapbook “Stealing Eternity”. And since its writing, happy to say I found where I belong.