Christmas Lights

Photo by Arun Kuchibhotla on Unsplash

Children grown, two out of three gone,
we drag our feet putting outside lights up,
buying and decorating a tree.

We settle for the bushes, a whimsical snaking
of lit Smarties among leaves, get the smallest tree
nobody else wants. That stormy year

our street lost power as Christmas day turned
to evening, and we had a dozen hungry guests
roaming the house, bumping into things.

Because the gas stove had been cooking a turkey
for hours, it continued, and we cheered
the range burners could be lit with a match.

The two gas fireplaces burned more sedately—
fan flow interrupted—and of course there were
candles on the dining room table anyway.

My husband fired up a generator, plugged in
a lamp, stereo and the bulbous bush lights; orange
and yellow cords extended everywhere.

I imagined our neighbours gazing out
from dark windows at the bright cosmos
of our house, the raucous hum of

determination in the air. If Christmas
was all about seeing the light
in each other, it didn’t fail to surprise:

how happy it made me, having a reason
to move closer, peer and be peered at,
glimpse among flickering faces the child

I was before my heart got wrapped in
scar tissue, who once got a letter from Santa
saying he was on his way, and didn’t I

then on the eve of my seventh Christmas
see him tiptoe past my bedroom door!
I miss the girl who believing, saw.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Also, my chapbook “Irresistible” is still available for pre-orders until January 12, 2018. Since advance sales determine the pressrun, such purchases make a huge difference!
In the mood? Many thanks – you can reserve a copy here: 

https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/irresistible-by-lynne-burnett/

 

My New Poetry Chapbook!

Now available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press at https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/irresistible-by-lynne-burnett/
As the pressrun is determined by advance sales, reserving your copy between now and January 12, 2018 would make a huge difference! My book’s actual release date is March 9, 2018.

What they’re saying:

Lynne Burnett is astonishing. I cannot think of another poet who writes with more humanity. Wisdom is a word we seldom associate with poetry, but she reminds us that simply seeing the world the way it is can be a profoundly moral and life affirming act.  It’s what happens when compassion marries irony. The love child is this wondrous little book.” —D.G Geis, author Fire Sale (Tupelo Press/Leapfolio) and Mockumentary (Main Street Rag).

The poems inside Lynne Burnett’s chapbook live up to the collection title. Irresistible. Here is a poet demonstrating her considerable talents. There is much music and rhythm in these pages, and keen insight to the ebb and flow of relationships and heartbreak. I was particularly taken by the deft handling of the near miss in “Mute with Thanks.” And I was moved by the poignant stories in the title poem, “Irreplaceable” and “On Hearing That a Friend’s Husband Has Died in His Sleep.” Even the table of contents in this lovely book is a form of call and response. Her imagery and language resonated with me long after I finished reading. –Devi S. Laskar, Author of “Gas & Food, No Lodging” (Finishing Line Press, 2017) and “Anastasia Maps” (Finishing Line Press, 2018)

Lynne Burnett takes us deep into the world of what is, what isn’t and what might have been, of accidents and unplanned incidents “where we fall without falling,” and death rings “a bell that won’t stop singing of loss.” Love is coupled with death here, and life is “an unfinished dream.” Burnett pulls us into the flow of the inevitable, where we feel the unheard and hear the unmentioned in the in-between, with powerfully rendered, beautifully phrased and sonically perfect observations. Irresistible is just that – an irresistible, stunning debut. –Robert Okaji, author of From Every Moment a Second (Finishing Line Press, 2017)

Here is a sample poem from the book, with an audio recording:

GLASS SLIPPERS

Walking barefoot
across the dewy lawn,
the grass riotous with light
that began its journey toward her
over four billion years ago,
light that will burn five billion
years more after she’s gone,

like candle to candle lit
my pixie daughter’s a thirsty wick
for joy, sure any life glad to be
is all that matters,
and I want to tell her yes

while light is leading her heart
out its small window
of time, and blade by blade
from beaded grass her
own glass slippers made,
yes
before gravity weighs in.

Over the next couple of months I will continue to post samples.
Thank you to all who find my happy news “irresistible”!