Tentative Futures

Greg Spalenka Divinus : Tentative Futures : You try to forgive words their push and pull. In the garden, the cherry tree has sprouted buds, each one enveloping a heartbeat. You lean against the trunk, listening to the hum under its bark, remembering what it was like to carry that same echo deep in the... Continue Reading →

Alter Ego

Rainbow in Pully, August 1, 2018   Alter Ego : I didn’t know what she was: that brittle, reed-like, human-like riddle. A paper whisper. A burn. She made an ark for a language the color of loneliness. Words rushed to her. So did the clouds. It was hard to watch her drown in the rain,... Continue Reading →

Conversation

Vincent van Gogh Rain   Conversation : It’s frivolous, this rain, with its unreasonable claims on our silence. You stalk the hallway, I crush tears in my fist. I’ve taken to rearranging books on the shelf, first alphabetically, then by the year of a writer’s death. Orphan books. I seem to love them more this... Continue Reading →

Fear

Edvard Munch The Scream :   Fear : It never goes away, it only diminishes, thins out like a bookmark you forget in one of the books you now rarely read. Then you find it while dusting one day. It springs out voluptuous, huge—this bosomy aunt who always arrives out of nowhere to stay, suitcases... Continue Reading →

Déjà vu

Nikolay Nikolayevich Ge, “What is Truth?” Christ and Pilate, 1890. Image from Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia : Déjà vu "No matter what comes into the house, a letter, today’s paper, you are convinced you have already seen it.” ~ Rosmarie Waldrop "The Almost Audible Passing of Time" : Nouns drop from their perches, seeking a less... Continue Reading →

Orchids

Image courtesy of The Orchid Column : Orchids : My nights are now full of dark coats buttoned up on emptiness. Black shoes carrying nothing walk out the door each morning. I wake up to layers of bricks around my body, each day one more layer, the cat already howling on top of my head—... Continue Reading →

Of Guilt

Blankets cover Swiss glacier in vain effort to halt icemelt Courtesy of phys.org : Of Guilt : You leave what you know. Your faithful companion follows you into the heart of the forest, where ferns obscure the light, where you fall asleep on wet ground, blind roots crawling over your legs toward your mouth. You... Continue Reading →

The Lion

Leonard Myburgh Airbrushed Lion Courtesy of lonehillart.com :   The Lion : Every angel is terrifying.                         ~ Rilke He comes in the dark, breaks doors, muscles his way through windows. His wings wrap around my heart like sin. His words run through my... Continue Reading →

Spectator

Gerard Gauci Scene from "Armide" at the Palace of Versailles Image courtesy of operaatelier.com :   Spectator : I’ll always be part of an audience— not the worst crowd to melt in, though observers are often portrayed as distant, uninvolved. I, too, am an observer. I watch the plot thicken and flare up toward denouement, and... Continue Reading →

The Photograph

Winter sky over Lausanne, Switzerland   :   The Photograph : It doesn’t matter what we should have argued about. Talking was something we couldn't or wouldn't do. We walked through a meadow instead, you slightly ahead and I taking pictures of things I wanted to remember, including that bloody sunset. The flowers parted before... Continue Reading →

The Mirror

Image courtesy of kreuzberged.com : The Mirror : You lie here wide-eyed as if the icon on the wall came alive—the small hand of the woman in red robes resting on your forehead. I wish I could be happy. Tomorrow the squirm in my blood will seem insignificant. The window checkers the bedspread. Meandering sleighs of... Continue Reading →

The Road

Dan Thomsett Snow in Minster   The Road : Just above the road there was this pale hand waving at me. Dust and ashes rose in the sun, The trees seemed to be in winter. Their long, crooked limbs poked into my eyes. I stepped on patches of ice. It could have been cotton, hardened... Continue Reading →

Talcfundi

Photo courtesy of Flickr Talcfundi : Talcfundi likes to close windows. When it rains outside he shuts them tight. He keeps the sun in a bottle under his bed. This is the time he pulls out the cork. He lets his prisoner slam its body on wooden shutters. When it snows, Talcfundi shuts the windows... Continue Reading →

The Last Ferryboat

William Turner Study of Sea and Sky     The Last Ferryboat : It barged into the river headfirst. She worried how deep it was there, at the shore, how likely to survive. It was dark and crisp on the water, with a strong wind. Later, she tried to remember the color of the sky... Continue Reading →

On Beauty

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.org “Beauty like that is strength. […] One could turn the world upside down with beauty like that.” ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky “The Idiot” This page is dedicated to the work of human spirit: the things that feed our soul, keep us warm, make us grow. A brooding bird will often pluck its own... Continue Reading →

Learning from the Swallow

Image courtesy of  www.stevegettle.com A good part of my childhood was spent in my grandmother’s village, where I grew up believing that the mud nests the swallows built under our eaves brought us good luck. More swallow nests meant better luck. I remember the joy when yet another swallow family would choose to raise its young under... Continue Reading →

Beyond the Threshold

  If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. ~ William Blake My neighbors are temporarily storing a barn door in the hallway of our apartment building. It’s intricately carved, iron-studded, worn by wind, rain, the hands of several generations of farmers. I dare not ask why... Continue Reading →

Roots and Moss

Photo by Tim Laman Speaking for the Trees : This page is an homage to things in nature that nourish a poet’s imagination: the roots and moss of poetry that contemplates, accepts, and embraces. So where does one start mapping this nest? Where does the glossary of tangible symbols that permeate a poet’s work begin?... Continue Reading →

Pebbles and Sand

Image courtesy of www.littleterns.org Poets throughout history have turned to animal and mineral being to express their own because from that storehouse a larger vocabulary of being, particularity, and wisdom can emerge. ~ Jane Hirshfield “Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry” Some poems are pebbles and some are sand. This sounds like the beginning of... Continue Reading →

Impetus and Inertia

Photo source: https://selinabocas.rezdy.com/182561/bat-cave-tour I've always wondered what brings a work of art into being. The creative process is a mysterious one and I approach it with trepidation. There have been times when it seized me and tossed me around like a giant wave—and I've come to define those instances as moments of true inspiration. But most... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2017

NaPoWriMo, the National Poetry Writing Month, begins in three days. Nothing like a deadline to light a fire under the caboose. Thirty poems in thirty days is no joke, but someone's gotta do it. This clayandbranches site has been a mere shadow of a thought for over a year. I may yet reach the conclusion that turning it into... Continue Reading →

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