Autumn Flow

michael-podger-z_d21Hg7CF0-unsplash
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!

The Cry No One Wants

wind-chimes-952844_1280
Image by robson melo bob from Pixabay

I walk past a house in Tahsis as a woman
leaves in a taxi. Her little boy stands
on the doorstep, crying loudly and long.
Another woman comes and quickly
guides her hand like a missile
to its defenceless target.
The hard slap sounds through the street,
startling my every cell.
He is pulled inside, crying more.

The cry no one wants keeps banging
on the walls of my heart.
It is my cry too. Weedlike,
its roots travel hauntingly deep,
able to crack apart a body
or rot into tumours. By snap,
by bloodsqueeze of tears, by a
howling good grip, it will
unearth the light and live!

I say live like a river,
loving the drag of its boulders:
shoulder the cries that come and
carry them gently over. The physical
heart is so little, even for us, now big,
that it hangs, unnoticed, from the upper
branches of the body – not a windchime
until pelted by raindrops
or shaken, glinting, in a glad wind.

Another poem from my earlier chapbook “Stealing Eternity”. Tahsis was a town we visited on a boating trip many years ago, located at the head of Tahsis Inlet in Nootka Sound.

I will be going away on our boat shortly, for about a month, so you might not hear much from me. I do have a poem coming out in Kissing Dynamite early in September (“Zoo”) – if internet service is available wherever I find myself then, I’ll update this blog with a link. Happy end of summer to everyone!

River At Night

sergey-pesterev-484555-unsplash
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.

Irresistible

“Bride Drowns While Modelling Wedding Gown Near Rawdon”
CTV News Montreal – Aug. 24, 2012

First a coquettish dip of toes in the shallows, then a saucy
wade, the mud bottom making it easy to balance.

The Oureau River glinting, hurrying out of sight. Just Maria
and the photographer, before she consigned the dress to a box.

What next but to lift her veil, unmoor a few minds?—
swim a little, where it was deeper…not knowing

how thirsty that dress was: how it would drink and drink
and drink, until its weight was unbearable,

no Houdini to hold open the elevator door long enough
to uncuff her from all the snug finery, the lacy squeeze

of her lungs, irresistible pull to the river’s bed.
How her heart surely sank before she did, gonging

regret and betrayal. Sounds like a Stephen King story—
a gown with vows of its own. No, the horror’s more

the slippery ease with which vanity slides under our skin,
looks in the mirror, one way or another does us in.

This is the title poem from my new chapbook – just out from Finishing Line Press hooray! https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/irresistible-by-lynne-burnett/. If you’d like a copy and don’t use this link and search instead, best to search the bookstore under the title “Irresistible”.

It is now also available on Amazon:   https://www.amazon.com/IRRESISTIBLE-Lynne-Burnett/dp/1635344425/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1523920109&sr=1-1&keywords=lynne+burnett . If you don’t use this link and search instead, it’s the opposite – there are so many books with “my” title, it’s best to search by my name.

Customer reviews are most welcome and greatly appreciated on both sites, should you be so inclined! Many thanks for reading, and more poems to come!

Face to Face

Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash

Mist trails the moon’s departure,
tracing an absence through
the precisely ordered landscape
to the brim of the water, edging
toward the face in the river,
circles it and slips away.

Like the moon, and by its light,
my face is a silver coin tossed
into a dark well and wished on,

its frame of long hair
a rippling shadow of leaves
pointing the way to a peace
I can only imagine,

the eyes seeing beyond
the ghostly grandmother
willows and elms,
beyond the standing flesh of me,

the mouth – the missing line
of a poem. I want to kiss it.

I am no Narcissus, but I cannot stop
looking at my shimmering other.
This liquid face has no age that matters,
no sex that specifically appeals.
It is a painter’s first brushstroke,
bold and horizonless.

I bend close and closer,
almost falling in.
More than my known face
I want that one –
a moon sailing
through rivering stars
on a bright path
home.

This poem was first published by the Pedestal Magazine and was
later included in my chapbook “Stealing Eternity”.

 

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”.