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!
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.
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
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
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,
This first appeared in North Shore Magazine and is included in my chapbook “Stealing Eternity”.
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!
It has taken many years of being married
to agreement, years of being divorced
from the he in the she of me,
to finally agree it’s alright to disagree,
alright to make a difference of opinion serve,
spreading it between us like a table,
pulling up a chair and leaning on it,
knowing it will take our weight, it will
take our words, brewed just like coffee
and downed to the last strong drop before
we get up, lovers again neighbourly.
Which is why I praise the kitchen table,
the generous block of polished wood
that holds us at its ends, the salt and pepper
in the middle, ready to be shaken over
this altar to our various hungers,
to which we bring the meat
of our accomplishments, thankful
for the click and clack of the other’s cutlery,
for the filled plate we can empty,
squeezing the grape, the lemon, glass raised,
the tang lingering, livening our tongues.
This poem first appeared in my chapbook, “Stealing Eternity”.
Snowflakes feathering the trail
below the highway. A young
fellow, toqued and sweatered,
strides out of the woods
where he has been camping
for some time. Now on a search
for empty cans and bottles,
he asks me what I think
of last night’s news (which I,
watching American Idol, missed).
He tells me Iran warned the United
States it would feel the pain
if tough measures were imposed
against the Islamic Republic
for its nuclear program,
and ponders aloud the grave
possibility of a third world war
before drifting away,
back into his solitary life
which, like mine, lives
inside a bigger story
that is always ripe for change.
He knows the Earth he wants
to inherit, having made his
living room into a grove
of trees meadowed with stars,
stars loved more than priests
for their enduring benediction
of light, their twinkling
testaments of hope.
Trees whose raised roots
rope roughly into pews.
The ground that knows
no names, but keeps
a footprint. Wind
that is a window.
The darkness humming
with a billion unheard voices
when a different congregation
is invited in.
This poem was first published by New Verse News in 2006 and then by New Millennium Writings as an Honorable Mention in 2012.