Posts tagged #Poetry

partition (n).


Is there room enough
for my loneliness here?
It hovers and trails me
and swallows me whole -

while you sit close to me
while we gather things to make a home
while I’m surrounded by all these people
while I am busy being loved -

what is it, this force that plucks me
from the bustle of belonging
and drops me into the cold?

duty (n).


I walk to work and wonder
what my job is, as in
there are the tasks I complete
as in
there are the words that spill out
that I must find a place for
as in
there are other lonely hearts
like my lonely heart
that are looking to find each other

I walk to work and wonder
about the yellow buds
tight in their cocoon
complete in their glory
perfect in their timing 
worried not by 
the concept of becoming
something greater than 
tiny flowers greeting me
as I walk to work. 

revert (v).


I think I thought I made
sense of it at the time,
and then I read it back
and it was in a voice 
that wasn’t my own. 

I think I thought I threw
it far enough away
that it wouldn’t come back
like the dog tracing his old walks
back to the porch on which
he takes his second afternoon nap.

I think I felt I found 
a way to explain it away,
and neatly,
the rehearsed speech
that tumbles like velvet,

burrow (v).


I don’t know any other way to love but
to go all the way into the depths of you,
into the caverns and past the barricades,
to dig for the place you keep
your sadnesses and your fluorescent dreams,
to turn the lights on at all hours
to find the bottom of your longing
and the corners of your disappointments.

I will burrow my love, blunt and abrasive
like I do with my limbs around your torso
at night when we sleep.

[Photo by Gillian Stevens]

origin (n).


Who made the stars and how
do they swing in the way they do,
soft and singing, spelling out
the mysteries that wrote us
into existing?  

You read aloud the story
and I’ve heard it before,
the one about the maker
and his garden
and the world he made up
to make himself a home.

[Photo by Jeff Spackman]

cite (v).


These are the landmarks
that mark time while I’m waiting
for the words to come:

I read this and that, I worry
I make a cup of tea
I go out
I try to sleep

I go back to the place
I was when I was
able to say
how I felt

I shut it out
and shut it down

I talk about small things
I try
I breathe through the ache
I clear my throat
I walk down to the water

I make a list
(like this list) 

I look about
I look away
I look ahead 

I tell myself
the things you say
when something’s lost.

kept (adj).


Do you love me yet or
have I let you? You keep
arriving to me, calling me back
from the muddy sea where
my mind has stayed.  

Do you love me yet or
have I let you? I keep
myself tucked away, hidden
in a half state, and half-
light, for fear you might
flinch with all of this
softness in the morning sun.

Do you love me yet or
have I let you? You keep
recounting your contentment
and I keep
finding ways to
fold myself away
like sheets folded
in a bulky chest.

dispatch (n).


I was envisioning sending out
a grand report of this glittery
new life I am supposed to be living but
everything has been quite prickly, like a
cranky wool sweater; I haven’t known
what to say. How do I tell you about
this city that smells like eucalyptus and
the lump in my throat that hasn’t
yet gone away, the people and their
heads full of codes and connections who
take scooters to work, the thrill of skipping
winter entirely, the growing list
of all the things I don’t know, and
the moments I catch myself thinking: when
is it going to start? And then
I have to point out: this is me, living.

How do I tell you about all of the questioning
and all of the awareness and
all of the unknowns that come with
trying to figure out how much the bus costs or where
to buy a decent sandwich, not to mention
all of the questioning and
all of the awareness and all
of the unknowns like why
did I come here and what
am I to do?

placement (n).


You are here
in this body that carries you,
the one you may battle or the one
you have made peace with,
in whatever folds and creases you curse or bless,
in the structure that holds and lifts you,
in the skin that blushes and shivers,
in the lungs that fill you with breath, you are here.

You are here
in the morning light, however it wakes you
in the day that unfolds at your feet
in all of the things you make happen and all of the things
that happen to you
in all of the places of wandering and intention,
in all of the stickiness and all of the clarity, you are here.  

You are here
in the gratitude that swells and in the waves of longing
in the things that you hope to keep and
in the things you wish to be different,
in the place you feel stuck and the
thoughts you wander to that give you flight, you are here.

fluent (adj).


I try to write and can’t, it’s stuck
below the rock in my stomach and
the pebbles that line my throat and
the sand that fills my head.

I look out to the trees for some kind of truth.
I look out to my neighbours walking and wonder
if they have more answers than I do.
I look down into my coffee cup and appreciate
its loyalty and powers. I look to my mother
and ask if I’m doing the right thing. I look to
my hands and ask them to write anyway.

locked (adj).


I worry I might get stuck in the place
that I go where the impossibilities
build a casing around me and the choir
of my doubt drowns out the sound of reason.

You catch it often, I get there in a flash
with the tilt of my head and the crease
in my brow and you say where did you go and
how can I get you back?

Keep calling, I want to be back
in the land of the living and back
in the golden hour of your love.

westward (adj).


In packing up I am thinking about
the things we take with us and
what we leave behind. What do
I take with me, these belongings
that have paid into my façade of
togetherness, the blankets that
have warmed me, the letters and
books that taught me to feel? 

I don’t recognize the wildness in me,
this woman who is unafraid of
setting it all on fire and skipping
town, I get giddy at times, what fun
to have just a bag and everything
that I carry with me in this itchy heart.