One morning I looked in the mirror and
I was no longer there
I contorted my face
as if that could help
nothing waved back
light-headedness rose behind my eyes like water
I walked into my bedroom and sat on my unmade bed
the mattress was flat
the dent, my dent, was gone
I hauled myself up and walked to the kitchen
I noticed that I was now absent from every photograph
a seat came up and caught me
minutes passed and I sat, unable to move
I thought I saw my reflection in a window
but it was a robin, landing on a fencepost
I stared at it and it stared back
I believed it stared back
I swear that it stared back
it flew away
Walls can move
they can close in on people
cutting them off
replacing their air
my walls don’t close in
they move away
leaving only empty space behind them
New Year’s Eve. The worst night of the year.
Twinkling lights, clinking glasses.
I don’t care.
It is hot and there are too many people.
My face finally rebels and will no longer smile.
My laugh, despite my efforts, is hollow.
We count down and bells ring.
One day becomes another.
Everything stays the same.
Duty done I take advantage of the noise and slip away.
I emerge into a side street, dark, cold and quiet.
I smile at the falling snow.
Before walking away, I close my eyes and look upward.
The snow falls on my face.
Each flake on my cheek a cold kiss unrealised.
sometimes too slowly
more quickly in your orbit
I put my shoulder against the world
and pushed again
there were cracks, creaks
Then, there you were
I do not remember the first moment I saw you
or our first words together
I only remember
that you were there
that everything was different
and I was a raindrop running down your face
Her beauty had fallen from her like dust
it lay on the front and shoulders of her navy velvet coat
she seemed dressed for a different occasion
maybe she cared for me once
now, to care for herself
was beyond her
her eyes, fearful and empty
her hair, white water spun into a ball
pull the pin and it flowed down her back
for a moment, it was alive and then
like her, it was still
EVERYTHING IN TIME
I purchase a train ticket from a lady with a red dress
I discover that my apple is rotten
only after my third bite
I see the blood on my six-year-old knee before
I feel the pain
I notice tears in my father’s eyes as he tries to refuse my gift
I lose a little of myself to a job I hate
trampolining I fly for just a moment
I find impossible love in rockpools
under her fingernails
freewheeling down sunny hills faster than the wind
we are time
time comes and takes and gives and never cares
Hot black rubber on yellow dirt
the car, filled with everyone I have ever known
voices loud. So many. Noise.
I push them aside and hear only the dirt, the dust,
crunch beneath us.
Our new SnakePal Steve Denehan from The Emerald Isle is back with us today with some more of his fine poetry, and he has also sent some photos of his daughter, Robin. About the photos, he says, “One is of Robin and our cat, Boots, walking toward the Bog Of Allen which is the biggest bog in Ireland and is located just behind our home [see below]. One is of Robin painting a gate at our house. The last one is a painting of Robin's that she did a little while back.” And then, of course, there's the fine artwork that Steve himself did. Thanks, Steve (and Robin!).
Local poets are reminded that tonight at 5pm, Poetry Off-the-Shelves read-around will take place at El Dorado County Library on Fair Lane in Placerville. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about this and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.
Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back