Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Orbs and Heavenly Bodies

Christine Easterly
—Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—Christine Easterly, Sacramento

Mi hijo, you perfect me  
Nothing of you frightens me

In my wiser years,
I have climbed mountains,
    turned back to help others,
    created and built my own new life

Yet I can see you now as I didn’t before

You’re in the rye fields,
    or working harvest
You’re running and winning,
    and running (afraid)
    flat out, under the moon

No words can contain my love for you

But by the grace
— the amazing grace —
of time, and the tides,
I am bloomed

The very air is dancing me for bees



—Christine Easterly

When we had bunk beds
I’d drop down from the top,
lean over my sister
and open her eyelid
to see what her eye was doing
while she slept

The streetlights
– my backlighting –
were bright enough
to reveal me
if she woke

But I became skilled
at shielding her eyes
with my body,
so she slept

And I,
I dreamed
of what other mysteries
I might uncover in the nighttime—
the sleeping form
the orbs
the heavenly bodies


—Christine Easterly

One, my girl, burnished bright as a penny
the other, massive,
her bruiser brother—
dragged a tree trunk from the creek
the better to impress us with

The day we brought him home
she humped him around the front yard
til he flipped her
and left holes in her head

He dug out those rodents
large bags of blood,
teeth bared,
the two of them ripped the animals to pieces
without notice,
gamely braving the den, the cars,
the shouts of alarm
in the New Jersey woods

Six feet of snow covered our paths
our trails, their
windlassed tails
forging ever forward

 JoAnn Anglin translates Graciela Ramirez at the Shine Cafe
August 28, 2013
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

—Christine Easterly

It happens working
my fingers to the bone
knit stitch then purl
wool aworl

It happens working
circumference of flight
frog dug shrug breaststroke
until waning daylight

It happens working
my toes through the sand
rivulets, rivers, and sandbars unplanned
worlds away wasted
bridges now spanned

It happens working
mindfully slow
lost in the ether
letting full go

It happens working
in moment unplanned
I reach for and capture
the feel of your hand

It happens working
each day by 3:00
the bird sings
the gears grind
and I think of thee


—Christine Easterly

I don’t know you
And I’ve stopped being on the lookout
Heck, I wouldn’t even know what to prize

So here’s what I am

My body’s joy:
swimming in fjords, naked
flying without wings
hitting notes with harmonizing friends

My mind’s delight:
late-night philosophizing
games with my statistician uncle
reading (or writing) any unexpected turn of phrase

My soul’s food:
birdsong, whale song
my women, my men
each life I discover on the beach, in the woods
the smell of damp and fire, camping and stars

Of the world, these are my spaces:
Gabarone, Botswana
a water-carved open sphere of rock on New Zealand’s south island

Of my heart, these fill my eyes:
Larry’s Party
The Human Comedy

So that’s what I am
Take a bit
Ride along for a while
Shout from your passing car


Our thanks to today's contributors, and welcome to the Kitchen, Christine! Christine Easterly graduated from Miami University with a Master's in Technical and Scientific Communication. She has been writing poetry for 30 years and has begun reading at open mics in Sacramento. Christine was recently published in WTF?! This is her first feature. Christina will be reading with others at the National Kidney Foundation Benefit at the Shine Cafe on Sept. 18. See "More Than a Week Away" in the blue box (under the green box) at the right of this column for details.

Michelle Kunert has taken photos at two recent readings in Sacramento: Poetry With Legs at the Shine Cafe last Wednesday, and Red Fox Underground featuring at Sac. Poetry Center this past Monday. See Medusa's Facebook page for those photos, and thanks, Michelle!

Tonight the Poetry Night Reading Series in Davis will feature Bob Stanley, President of the Sac. Poetry Center and Poet Laureate Emeritus of Sacramento, plus open mic. That's 8pm at the John Natsoulas Gallery, 521 1st St., Davis. Host: Andy Jones.


Today's LittleNip:

Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.

—T.S. Eliot



Irene Lipshin reads with Red Fox Underground
Sac. Poetry Center, Sept. 2, 2013
—Photo by Michelle Kunert