Friday, May 16, 2014


—Poems and Photos by Martie Odell Ingebretsen, Sacramento


Long after the edges
of the newspaper
innocent and open on the table
had become scalloped then curled

The silver handle of a curling iron
lay on its side resting
its arrow pointing
with heavy meaning to "on"
still hot

A stairway curved up into the blue
of a still humming wind
and a lonely toilet bowl
patiently waited
the leaf falling like a dancer
into its opening

Soot clung to the chimney
of a family that was waiting
to light their first fire
on Christmas Eve



I have tried to write through the dim light of smoke
of something other than fire
something other than the sound of flame
but my spark ignites dry ideas
and so absorbed  

like timber and brush
waiting through the long night
for artificial tears
now I hear the drone
of the coming of a bird
all twirl of wing
filled and refilled with hope

outside I see how snow falls
just like these slate pieces of mountain pass
a piece of pine tree now flutters with air
then lands on one of the garden’s tomatoes
and the dry bark of the manzanita now floats
in a swimming pool     pulled towards the rapids
of a filtering machine
a backwash of mountain brush now smoky air
belched and groaning with the weight of so much fuel
comes to such an end
as helplessly I paint a hose onto my green canvas

 Walking Stick

THE ASHES FALL UP (with thoughts of my daughter whose ashes were scattered years before this fire in the same area)

the sky is humming with flying vessels
they coat the creases where the sycamore waved
a sky now nestles with soot of tinder
the air is full of your remains

they say at night a fire lays down
it has lain down for days
ashes surround a small green thing that starts
then two and I think oh how I miss you
your sweet swollen brown eyes
filled now with ash and blown around

this wind takes it all and makes a fire again
the sky is the color of a tomb
and from the room the moan is calling
to the moon
where oh where is the pretty place
where tears could weep clean
and fall without making prints on face

I have left you so many times
pushing you from my womb the first
oh how you voiced my minutes then
with lines that were so simply made of love began

when will I be through with missing you

The ashes fall up
I breathe them in and wipe them from my eyes
before I realize they could be you



I’m wild with the wet side
of a weather map
trussed up and rolled
with leaves

The sheets melt around me
in a singular glory
taking the grime from the lock
that held back the racing

The night is lit with magic dark
and even the edge crumbles
purple and full of fire
lost in the giving

I am meeting it in every room
like a cookie without a child
the sexy inside of a skinless plum
it is oh so sweet


I heard aluminum crash
against the spill of morning
and awake the desperate air
singing like lightning
it curled against time
and startled the trees

I was rain then
desperate for fire
filling the clouds until they were dark
riding the wind from the sea
listening to the spirit swift and keening
opening me

Awake now within the light
a crow is calling to another
and the trees have talking leaves
cool their fingers now release
the hold and twirl
the smoke is gone within this air

Against the spill of morning
the clouds are clouds in truth darkening
they move across the blue of sky
and in the gathering of time coming
there is a promise and a thank you



A candle has been lit
in the horizon
and now Maple Creek is on fire

in its darkling waters darting eyes
circle the rock looking for jewels
as cascading sparks hit the dust of sleep
and bedeck the air to scarlet

The sky that was in silence waiting
opens with sound across the trees
and in the marsh grass
one eye closed
the frog is silent watching

Inside the room
her eyes dream drenched
she sees the creeping of light
beneath the door
that slowly steals across the room
to touch the crystal in the window
with a rainbow of emergence

and she stalls her shivering
within the waiting arms of wool
to tiptoe across the porch
and heave the weight of sleep
into the fragrant air

Barefoot into the damp
she goes clutching the collector
for to make a memory so sweet click
within the camera’s eye
is all that’s needed.

A candle has been lit
in the horizon
and now Maple Creek is on fire.


Today's LittleNip:

Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. 

― Carl Sandburg


—Medusa, with thanks to Martie Odell Ingebretsen for today's Kitchen fare, and to the WTF contributors who read at Luna's last night. If you're a contributor who didn't get a copy, write to me at and I'll send you one. Copies of WTF may also be obtained at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sac.