Cave Without A Name

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Here’s another of my poems included in the wonderful anthology “Through Layered Limestone”, edited by d. ellis phelps and available for purchase from Amazon here

I’m honoured to be in the company of Robert Okaji and Stephanie L. Harper, and many others who know the Texas Hill country well.

Willowy Rose and Chrysanthemum

At a table, over wine, two women
bent their heads toward each other
(willowy rose and chrysanthemum),
hushed words drifting down
upon two hands entwined
above the gift of a ring,
as steadily they leaned
into the garden
that chose them,

young stems glorying
in the bud of a caress, full bloom
of love upon their faces, and we,
a table of husbands and wives,
were as helpless as them
to turn our heads away
from such a graceful rain of light,
so firm a reach of roots
across forbidden ground.

This much older poem recently found the perfect home in the anthology “Smitten – This Is What Love Looks Like”, a hefty volume of over 300 poems, edited by Candice L. Daquin and Hallelujah R. Huston and available for purchase on Kindle and Amazon here

 

 

 

 

Joy Is A Liquid

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Painting by Lenore Conacher

Call joy a liquid detergent, washing
the worst away, and it becomes
my soul’s iodine, deterring a dark night.

Of all the emotions, it’s the ruby
that can’t be bought, the jam that’s
passed, spreading over my daily bread.

Call it love’s lava, as bold as a smear
of lipstick on a cheek, and it’s the wax
that seals us together, like an envelope its letter.

Call it a river, and it’s as necessary as blood,
branching from my heart into the body
of the world.

This is an older ekphrastic poem, inspired by the late artist Lenore Conacher’s painting “Joy Is A Liquid” and has now found a home in the 2019 Joan Ramseyer Memorial Poetry Anthology, edited by Brett Ramseyer, the theme of which was joy.

Nominated For A Pushcart Prize: One Sunday, Slow To Wake

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Photo by Zach Taiji on Unsplash

Let us grant that the pulsing rain wells
from a cavernous heart. Now the tulips

peering redly through my basement window
stoop slowly, nodding amid the blades of grass

as I curve to red yawns and the green stretch
of a lip, artfully shaping soundless appeals

to these guardian sentinels, this crimson grail
from which I drink and dream. Let us believe

there are upheavals in the dark: a bell ringing,
tears gathered in the urgent arch of my heart,

the congregation, at last, rising to sing.

I’m thrilled to share that this poem has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by editor Robert L. Penick of the print journal “Ristau: A Journal Of Being” where it first appeared in January of 2019! Oh happy day! Here’s what the Pushcart Prize is about.

 

 

“The Colour of Bruises” – Joint Winner of the Jack Grapes Poetry Prize!

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Photo by Janice Gill on Unsplash

I’m absolutely thrilled and honoured to have this particular poem considered a winner by contest judge Eric Morago! Each of three judges chose a winner and two finalists from a pool of 2000 individual poems. You can read my poem and the judge’s comments HERE

The other winning poems and links to them can be accessed from the main page here

 

Autumn Flow

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Photo by michael podger on Unsplash

The west windows of the house cannot open
far enough to hear the backyard river
but the one east window, by which I sleep,
lets every murmur in, brimming on the early
morning tide with night’s collected songs
and a wind for dreams to sail on, in red and
yellow and green boats, past the branches
of the only trees they know, to land on the
shores of an earth that needs them, my earth.

To go forth into the day
in the wide pull of that current,
belonging deeply to the world.

The chill of autumn is in the air today. Made me think of this poem, first published in North Shore Magazine way back in 2005!

Full Moon

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Photo by Sanni Sahil on Unsplash

O! Moon’s so full –
I could say it is an orgasm
of light

or the white climax of a line
that in its beginning
meets its end

or it is a tearless eye
that cannot close
its dark and heavy lid.

I could say it is a dead planet
thrust deep in our throats
but you might choke on that.

How about a window
through which we are beheld,
in which we see a shadow of ourselves:

look how, night after night,
the moon slowly pieces itself together
until, weeks later – and then briefly –

it is whole again,
as if it finally finds the answer
to an old, disturbing question

only to lose it
down the well of darkness
from which it came.

I think this is the only poem from my first chapbook “Stealing Eternity” that I haven’t yet posted on the blog.

I am back from a nourishing month on our coastal waterways, my favourite season upon us now – a time of great release and vibrant ripening. Autumnal blessings to all!