sometimes a friend takes your hand in the dark...

Song for Connie

The sun met the moon at the corner
           noon in thin air
Commotion you later
           choose to notice
Love shapes the heart
           that once was pieces
You take in hand
           the heart in mind
Your fate’s consistent
           alongside mine
Unless a mess
           your best guess
That is right, thanks, the intimate
           fact that you elect it
At corners, dressed or naked, with lips taste        
           full body, time thick or thin, fixated
Love, take heart
           as heart takes shape
And recognition
           ceases to be obscure
One line down the center
           another flying outward enters
Bill Berkson, "Song for Connie" from Portrait and Dream: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2009 by Bill Berkson.  Reprinted by permission of Coffee House Press.

The Starry Night

The Starry Night

by Anne Sexton

That does not keep me from having a terrible need of—shall I say the word—religion. Then I go out at night to paint the stars.Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother
The town does not exist
except where one black-haired tree slips
up like a drowned woman into the hot sky.
The town is silent. The night boils with eleven stars.   
Oh starry starry night! This is how
I want to die.

It moves. They are all alive.
Even the moon bulges in its orange irons   
to push children, like a god, from its eye.
The old unseen serpent swallows up the stars.   
Oh starry starry night! This is how   
I want to die:

into that rushing beast of the night,   
sucked up by that great dragon, to split   
from my life with no flag,
no belly,
no cry.


       A fairy tale by George Angel.    


"Melodio lay snoring in a ginger flower when it first sounded in the garden that morning. That is always the way with unexpected things. They rain down on you when you have your face upturned and are scarce aware of it. The child's laugh was a waste of music. As if someone had tipped over the cup of the sun just to see it run all over everything. Melodio swiftly jumped up onto the shoulder of the child to hear what it was thinking.
            "You startled me, playful girl," said Melodio to the big laughing child walking through the garden, who only just now had bothered to notice him, "and where has that nosey beagle of yours got to?"
            The child only sent another peal of laughter ringing through the clean transparent air. "Be a good girl now," went on Melodio, "give me my breakfast and I will reward you by telling you something about my days in town."
            The child obeyed, pinching the dew from a snapdragon's lips into the tiny mouth of the fairy. Melodio began, "As you know, I was not always a wild sprite. I used to be quite respectable and live in town like everyone else. And for a time I roomed with a marionette family that had fallen on hard times. Martin and Marion, those were their names, worked very hard, responding to every tug of every string just to keep their three children in pointed shoes and fresh paint."
            "Every morning Marion would sketch a new smile on Martin's face and they would put on their little red vests and go out to knock their wooden heads upon the world. But every day the strings would grow more slack and the people of the town would allow themselves to be less and less diverted. Pina, their eldest daughter, hated her strings, and begged me to help her cut them off. I resisted. I told her that without her strings she would be as defenceless as a wooden doll in an age of porcelain. Secretly However, I wanted to see them all without their strings, I wanted the strings to search in vain for the eye-holes of their shoulders and their knees, for the tensions to get lost and never become gestures and jokes."
            "One day Pina came up close to me, I could feel her sawdust breath on my eyelashes. She said she knew how we could cut her strings and it would be okay. She said I could give her my wings. She said that even though she was made of wood, my wings were strong and would carry her. I told her it was a bad idea. Even then I knew a fairy can never give its wings away. But there I was, tying with cherry stems my beautiful butterfly wings to her back. She asked me to give them a coat of lacquer, to make them look less strange, and I did that too. I guess I was a little in love with her." At this moment, Melodio saw Carlo, the child's rambunctious beagle, bounding over cypress bushes toward them.
            "Keep the beast away or I will not finish my story." The child looked sternly at the dog and Carlo stopped, barked, and leapt off in another direction. "And a sip would definitely ease the telling." The child splashed the contents of a brimming rose on the fairy's face, drenching his entire head and collar and shoulders. Melodio sneezed and continued, "The night came for Pina to be free, to try out her wings beneath the stars. The moon watched out of the corner of its eye as she rose. The points of light held the dark blue between them like a cloth in which to catch her. She rose like a sparkling dragonfly, and I could hear her giggling in the eaves. But then something went wrong. I could hear Pina breathing heavily with the effort of trying to stay in the air. I begged her to come down. But she refused to ever touch earth again, and beat her wings even harder. Finally, in exhaustion, she made one last tremendous push up into the sky, and for a moment it was as if she were another star glowing in the firmament, and she flew higher than all the strings in the world. Then, after a breath, down she came, like something falling, confused, a bundle. I heard her wooden body hit the tiles of the roof of one of the houses. For the next few days I could hear her moaning, and sometimes I thought I heard her calling my name. I tried to climb up to her on the tinkling of lunchtime bells and on the tolling of churchbells, but no tintinnabulation was strong enough to lift me where I wanted to be. And so I wept for days and nights. I wept so long that finally the birds came to drink my fairy tears. A lady turtle-dove said to me then, 'Why do you cry so, fairy child?'"
            "'I could not save her and I helped to cut her strings. It is my fault,' I replied"
            "'What a curious fairy to speak of fault,' said she. 'Pina is more beautiful without her strings. And if it comes to that, she has been saved, after a fashion.'"
            "'Please tell me how,' I said."
            "'Take my word for it,' she said. 'Her arm caresses the swollen belly of a lady sparrow, her cheek warms the eggs of a barn swallow, her small hands hold up the edge of a finch's nest. Don't worry. We that fly have Pina in safekeeping.'"
            "It was when the lady turtle-dove said this that I noticed the first buds on my shoulders sprouting the new leaves of my wings again." Here Melodio stopped talking. The air was still. The garden exuded the warmth of mid-morning.
            "Why are you looking at me that way?" Melodio said."  
                                                                                                                                   --George Angel

Turn Your Eyes Away

Turn your eyes away from the mark you left on me, be happy and be free.

The Manor Garden

The fountains are dry and the roses over.
Incense of death. Your day approaches.
The pears fatten like little buddhas.
A blue mist is dragging the lake.

You move through the era of fishes,
The smug centuries of the pig-
Head, toe and finger
Come clear of the shadow. History

Nourishes these broken flutings,
These crowns of acanthus,
And the crow settles her garments.
You inherit white heather, a bee's wing,

Two suicides, the family wolves,
Hours of blankness. Some hard stars
Already yellow the heavens.
The spider on its own string

Crosses the lake. The worms
Quit their usual habitations.
The small birds converge, converge
With their gifts to a difficult borning. 

by Sylvia Plath

a letter

pathological romance of a fictional woman

This is lulu affectionately named after an obsession for Louise Brooks in the late eighties, used for light study while learning photography in the early nineties.  She was made of fiberglass and plaster, the faint drip falling from her lip was from her moonlighting days as a Halloween witch, a slight trickle of blood fashioned from a red shade of nail polish in which she seduced young children to her lovingly.  For all her portraits and illusions of womanhood she failed to be true.

This is a letter to a real woman who was loved.  Who's to say if the love was real it was felt that much is certain.  It was written on a Friday evening by the author Gustave Flaubert to Louise Colet in 1846:

"You tell me, my angel, that I  have not initiated you into my inner life, into my most secret thoughts.  Do you know what is most intimate, most hidden in my heart, and what is most authentically myself?  Two or three modest ideas about art, lovingly brooded over, that is all.  The greatest events of my life have been a few thoughts, a few books, certain sunsets on a beach at Trouville, and talks five or six hours long with a friend now married and lost to me.  I have always seen life differently from others, and the result has been that I've always isolated myself (but not sufficiently, alas!) in a state of harsh unsociability, with no exit.  I suffered so many humiliations, I shocked people and made them indignant, that  I long ago came to realize that in order to live in peace one must live alone and seal one's windows lest air of the world seep in.  in spite of myself I still retain something of this habit.  That is why I deliberately avoided the company of women for several years.  I wanted no hindrance to my innate moral precept.  I wanted no yoke, no influence.  In the end I no longer desired woman's company at all.  Stirrings of the flesh, throbbings of the heart, were absent from my life, and I was not even conscience of my sex.  As I told you, I had an overwhelming passion when I was little more than a child.  When it ended I decided to divide my life in two parts:  to put on one side my soul, which I reserved for Art, and on the other my body, which was to live as best I could.  Then you came along and upset all that.  So here I am, returning to a human existence!

You have awakened all that was slumbering, or perhaps decaying, within me!  I have been loved before,  and intensely,   though I'm one of those who are quickly forgotten and more apt to kindle emotion than to keep it alive.  The love I arouse is always that felt for something a little strange.  Love, after all, is only a superior kind of curiosity, an appetite for the unknown that makes you bare your breast and plunge headlong into the storm.  

As I said, I have been loved before but never the way you loved me; nor has there ever been between a woman and myself the bond that exists between us two.  I have never felt for any woman so deep a devotion, so irresistible an attraction; never has there been such complete communion.  Why do you keep saying that I love the tinselly, the showy, the flashy?  'Poet of form!'  That is the favourite term of abuse hurled by utilitarian's at true artists.  For my part, until someone comes along and separates for me the form and the substance of a given sentence, I shall continue to maintain that that distinction is meaningless.  Every beautiful thought has a beautiful form, and vice versa.  In the world of Art, beauty is a by-product of form. just as in our world temptation is a by-product of love.  Just as you cannot remove from  a physical body the qualities that constitute it - colour, extension, solidity - without reducing it to hollow abstraction, without destroying it, so you cannot remove the form from the Idea, because the Idea exists only by virtue of its form.  Imagine an idea that has no form - such a thing is as impossible as a form that expresses no idea.  Such are the stupidities on which criticism feeds.  Good stylist are reproached for neglecting the Idea, the moral goal; as though the goal of the doctor were not to heal, the goal of the painter to paint, the goal of the nightingale to sing, as though the goal of Art were not and foremost,  Beauty!"

YouInventedMe - Poet

between the moss lies my other side of  midnight

Sea of Tears

by `YouInventedMe in a collaboration with for Winds

"A sailboat drifting among humdrum doldrums
rocks silently through nighttime fire,
as the void hunger laps tenaciously at her sides.
She sees silhouettes and seizes the shadows.

She wears them like a second-skin;
her former self,
a secret spine.

You carved beauty into my eyes and
branded me a damn fool, but not since
then have you stopped staring at the diamonds
placed just out of reach.

Now, I am dark,
and buried deep,
proper pressure.
Only pure hypocrisy can ever
show me how not to be someone I
never really was, and truly be someone
I hate (to regret).

And now that the eastern horizon
is the only place I can go,
[and now that dusk is the only time I realize
just how much I pale in comparison
to the lucid black sea]
it’s time for us to leave.

You'll be down
below the carved earth
left by falling

I'll be waiting
on the echoes
of the evening."

For more literature by YouInventedMe  and for Winds please go to:

Above all...

just love
and be loved.

when you have forgotten Sunday: the love story

by Gwendolyn Brooks

—And when you have forgotten the bright bedclothes on a Wednesday and a Saturday,
And most especially when you have forgotten Sunday—
When you have forgotten Sunday halves in bed,
Or me sitting on the front-room radiator in the limping afternoon
Looking off down the long street
To nowhere,
Hugged by my plain old wrapper of no-expectation
And nothing-I-have-to-do and I’m-happy-why?
And if-Monday-never-had-to-come—
When you have forgotten that, I say,
And how you swore, if somebody beeped the bell,
And how my heart played hopscotch if the telephone rang;
And how we finally went in to Sunday dinner,
That is to say, went across the front room floor to the ink-spotted table in the southwest corner
To Sunday dinner, which was always chicken and noodles
Or chicken and rice
And salad and rye bread and tea
And chocolate chip cookies—
I say, when you have forgotten that,
When you have forgotten my little presentiment
That the war would be over before they got to you;
And how we finally undressed and whipped out the light and flowed into bed,
And lay loose-limbed for a moment in the week-end
Bright bedclothes,
Then gently folded into each other—
When you have, I say, forgotten all that,
Then you may tell,
Then I may believe
You have forgotten me well.


"I get magic
     (sometimes I get more
        than I bargain for)

but I don’t get

Numbers do worse
than humiliate
     or elude me

they don’t add up.

I am no algebra tart
by the meretricious music
      of the spheres.

My eyes and nose
never streamed
  with incontinent ecstasy
    through geometry classes
as my disastrous triangles
    collapsed in a cacophony
        around me.

Perhaps it’s a failing
          to grasp
             or even want
the utterly perfect number
        burning through my retina
like the utterly perfect  morning.

Instead I peer
        with nauseating vertigo
into the deep dark pitch
        of numbers
like an exhausted mammoth
        dangerously tottering
            on the edge
               of a bottomless mystery."

Written by Dorothy Porter.



Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou knowst thy estimate.
The Charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
My bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how do I hold thee but by thy granting,
And for that riches where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swerving.
Thy self thou gav’st, thy own worth then not knowing,
Or me, to whom thou gav’st is, else mistaking,
So thy great gift, upon misprision growing,
Comes home again, on better judgement making.
Thus have I had thee as a dream doth flatter:
In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.

by William Shakespeare



"The gate never opens. The window’s so high
That at first panoramas to her appear:
Rivers, blue arcs, embrace woods and flow by;
Red birds traverse the green, and slender deer.

She’s no idea of how life’s lived below;
It must be splendid, though, so long she’s pined.
She wants embraces, but where can kisses go
Save her own shoulder, round and cool and kind?"

© 1998, Erven J. Slauerhoff / K. Lekkerkerker / Uitgeverij Nijgh & Van Ditmar
From: Alle gedichten
Publisher: Nijgh & Van Ditmar, Amsterdam, 2005
ISBN: 90 388 6956 8

© Translation: 2007, Paul Vincent

The Stream's Secret

What thing unto mine ear
Wouldst thou convey,—what secret thing,
O wandering water ever whispering?
Surely thy speech shall be of her.
Thou water, O thou whispering wanderer,
What message dost thou bring?

Say, hath not Love leaned low
This hour beside thy far well-head,
And there through jealous hollowed fingers said
The thing that most I long to know—
Murmuring with curls all dabbled in thy flow
And washed lips rosy red?

He told it to thee there
Where thy voice hath a louder tone;
But where it welters to this little moan
His will decrees that I should hear.
Now speak: for with the silence is no fear,
And I am all alone.

Shall Time not still endow
One hour with life, and I and she
Slake in one kiss the thirst of memory?
Say, streams, lest Love should disavow
Thy service, and the bird upon the bough
Sing first to tell it me.

What whisperest thou? Nay, why
Name the dead hours? I mind them well.
Their ghosts in many darkened doorways dwell
With desolate eyes to know them by.
That hour must still be born ere it can die
Of that I'd have thee tell.

But hear, before thou speak!
Withhold, I pray, the vain behest
That while the maze hath still its bower for quest
My burning heart should cease to seek.
Be sure that Love ordained for souls more meek
His roadside dells of rest.

Stream, when this silver thread
In flood-time is a torrent brown,
May any bulwark bind thy foaming crown?
Shall not the waters surge and spread
And to the crannied boulders of their bed
Still shoot the dead drift down?

Let no rebuke find place
In speech of thine: or it shall prove
That thou dost ill expound the words of Love.
Even as thine eddy's rippling race
Would blur the perfect image of his face
I will have none thereof.

O learn and understand
That 'gainst the wrongs himself did wreak
Love sought her aid; until her shadowy cheek
And eyes beseeching gave command;
And compassed in her close compassionate hand
My heart must burn and speak.

For then at last we spoke
What eyes so oft had told to eyes
Through that long-lingering silence whose half-sighs
Alone the buried secret broke,
Which with snatched hands and lips' reverberate stroke
Then from the heart did rise.

But she is far away
Now; nor the hours of night grown hoar
Bring yet to me, long gazing from the door,
The wind-stirred robe of roseate gray
And rose-crown of the hour that leads the day
When we shall meet once more.

Dark as thy blinded wave
When brimming midnight floods the glen,—
Bright as the laughter of thy runnels when
The dawn yields all the light they crave;
Even so these hours to wound and that to save
Are sisters in Love's ken.

Oh sweet her bending grace
Then when I kneel beside her feet;
And sweet her eyes' o'erhanging heaven; and sweet
The gathering folds of her embrace;
And her fall'n hair at last shed round my face
When breaths and tears shall meet.

Beneath her sheltering hair,
In the warm silence near her breast,
Our kisses and our sobs shall sink to rest;
As in some still trance made aware
That day and night have wrought to fulness there
And Love has built our nest.

And as in the dim grove,
When the rains cease that hushed them long,
'Mid glistening boughs the song-birds wake to song,—
So from our hearts deep-shrined in love,
While the leaves throb beneath, around, above,
The quivering notes shall throng.

Till tenderest words found vain
Draw back to wonder mute and deep,
And closed lips in closed arms a silence keep,
Subdued by memory's circling strain,—
The wind-rapt sound that the wind brings again
While all the willows weep.

Then by her summoning art
Shall memory conjure back the sere
Autumnal Springs, from many a dying year
Born dead; and, bitter to the heart,
The very ways where now we walk apart
Who then shall cling so near.

And with each thought new-grown,
Some sweet caress or some sweet name
Low-breathed shall let me know her thought the same:
Making me rich with every tone
And touch of the dear heaven so long unknown
That filled my dreams with flame.

Pity and love shall burn
In her pressed cheek and cherishing hands;
And from the living spirit of love that stands
Between her lips to soothe and yearn,
Each separate breath shall clasp me round in turn
And loose my spirit's bands.

Oh passing sweet and dear,
Then when the worshipped form and face
Are felt at length in darkling close embrace;
Round which so oft the sun shone clear,
With mocking light and pitiless atmosphere,
In many an hour and place.

Ah me! with what proud growth
Shall that hour's thirsting race be run;
While, for each several sweetness still begun
Afresh, endures love's endless drouth;
Sweet hands, sweet hair, sweet cheeks, sweet eyes, sweet mouth,
Each singly wooed and won.

Yet most with the sweet soul
Shall love's espousals then be knit;
What time the governing cloud sheds peace from it
O'er tremulous wings that touch the goal,
And on the unmeasured height of Love's control
The lustral fires are lit.

Therefore, when breast and cheek
Now part, from long embraces free,—
Each on the other gazing shall but see
A self that has no need to speak:
All things unsought, yet nothing more to seek,—
One love in unity.

O water wandering past,—
Albeit to thee I speak this thing,
O water, thou that wanderest whispering,
Thou keep'st thy counsel to the last.
What spell upon thy bosom should Love cast,
Its secret thence to wring?

Nay, must thou hear the tale
Of the past days,—the heavy debt
Of life that obdurate time withholds,—ere yet
To win thine ear these prayers prevail,
And by thy voice Love's self with high All-hail
Yield up the amulet?

How should all this be told?—
All the sad sum of wayworn days,—
Heart's anguish in the impenetrable maze;
And on the waste uncoloured wold
The visible burthen of the sun grown cold
And the moon's labouring gaze?

Alas! shall hope be nurs'd
On life's all-succouring breast in vain,
And made so perfect only to be slain?
Or shall not rather the sweet thirst
Even yet rejoice the heart with warmth dispers'd
And strength grown fair again?

Stands it not by the door!—
Love's Hour—Till she and I shall meet
With bodiless form and unapparent feet
That cast no shadow yet before,
Though round its head the dawn begins to pour
The breath that makes day sweet?

Its eyes invisible
Watch till the dial's thin-thrown shade
Be born,—yea, till the journeying line be laid
Upon the point that wakes the spell,
And there in lovelier light than tongue can tell
Its presence stands array'd.

Its soul remembers yet
Those sunless hours that passed it by;
And still it hears the night's disconsolate cry,
And feels the branches wringing wet
Cast on its brow, that may not once forget,
Dumb tears from the blind sky.

But oh! when now her foot
Draws near, for whose sake night and day
Were long in weary longing sighed away,—
The hour of Love, 'mid airs grown mute,
Shall sing beside the door, and Love's own lute
Thrill to the passionate lay.

Thou know'st, for Love has told
Within thine ear, O stream, how soon
That song shall lift its sweet appointed tune.
O tell me, for my lips are cold,
And in my veins the blood is waxing old
Even while I beg the boon.

So, in that hour of sighs
Assuaged, shall we beside this stone
Yield thanks for grace; while in thy mirror shown
The twofold image softly lies,
Until we kiss, and each in other's eyes
Is imaged all alone.

Still silent? Can no art
Of Love's then move thy pity? Nay,
To thee let nothing come that owns his sway:
Let happy lovers have no part
With thee; nor even so sad and poor a heart
As thou hast spurned to-day.

To-day? Lo! night is here.
The glen grows heavy with some veil
Risen from the earth or fall'n to make earth pale;
And all stands hushed to eye and ear,
Until the night-wind shake the shade like fear
And every covert quail.

Ah! by another wave
On other airs the hour must come
Which to thy heart, my love, shall call me home.
Between the lips of the low cave
Against that night the lapping waters lave,
And the dark lips are dumb.

But there Love's self doth stand,
And with Life's weary wings far flown,
And with Death's eyes that make the water moan,
Gathers the water in his hand:
And they that drink know nought of sky or land
But only love alone.

O soul-sequestered face
Far off,—O were that night but now!
So even beside that stream even I and thou
Through thirsting lips should draw Love's grace,
And in the zone of that supreme embrace
Bind aching breast and brow.

O water whispering
Still through the dark into mine ears,—
As with mine eyes, is it not now with hers?—
Mine eyes that add to thy cold spring,
Wan water, wandering water weltering,
This hidden tide of tears.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

the story of Lille

He went to sea for the day
He wanted to know what to say
When he's asked what he'd done
In the past to someone
That he loves endlessly
Now she's gone, so is he

I went to war every morning
I lost my way but now I'm following
What you said in my arms
What I read in the charms
That I love durably
Now it's dead and gone and I am free

I went to sleep for the daytime
I shut my eyes to the sunshine
Turned my head away from the noise
Bruise and drip decay of childish toys
That I loved arguably
All our labouring gone to seed

Went out to play for the evening
We wanted to hold onto the feeling
On the stretch in the sun
And our breathlessness as we run
To the beach endlessly
As the sun creeps up on the sea

-Lisa Hannigan

Elisabeth Bletsoe - Poet

The Separable Soul


like the memory of water
an interstitial filtrate
between stones, within speech

the weight of absence,
of meaning implicit in

these empty spaces

reading you in
reading between the lines
absorbing small shocks of recognition that
ripple back
from some projected future conflux;
sound-patterns skimming the surface like
the dreams of fish

my interoceptors resonant with
vast electrical slippage
down the sky,
avalanches of invisible lightning;
shifts in tectonic weather through which
I strive to detect your undersong
in each volution,

to discover your cipher that
I envisioned as
underwriting the disjuncted chancel, this
footprint of a drowned house,
the seagrass meadows
“dotted with pulpy creatures
a silvery & spangled radiance

threads of occluded syllables
that bind me to the locale by
“strange & injurious ties”
dissolve to
symbols like marks made by gulls in the sand

exploring the contextures of this
(a nail in the vertex)
the exquisite salting of wounds

with each word I spoke
I was becoming less the person
you imagined,
a second biography encrypted
beneath my skin:
as if I had left my heart behind in the wrong place

as if my lungs were too low and that something was growing out of my sides

as if I were in a cave of unknowing

as if a distance could be measured between hollow and holy

as if my chest were full of tears

as if my bubble were slowly bursting

as if there were a need for a lighthouse so we knew where we were

as if the third star were missing and I found it at the bottom of the bed

as if a light spiralled upward and opened my head; the dandruff of old snapshots showering down

as if on your own you really do hear voices in the tide

as if I were so isolated I could have walked into the lake

as if water swallows light

as if a central sadness coalesced in the sternum

as if the lights were switched off when I was halfway up the stairs

as if I were trapped between white sheets

as if there were something lodged in my throat like chalcedony

as if the air had twelve edges

as if my head felt hot like a bird with high fever

as if a pain formed in my face in the shape of a bill

as if I were to start a soul-journey of a thousand and one days

as if while painting the ceiling white the marriage felt like a mourning

as if the moon had assumed the fullerine structure of consciousness

as if my cream silk clothes were covered in a huge clot of blood

as if a baby with bulging eyes were trying to suckle through its beak

as if I had broken an egg in my hand; a tiny white bird detached from its yolk, breathing

as if this brackish lagoon were lipped by languages I was reluctant to translate

as if in a dream subsisting on eel-grass among Siberian refugees

as if I were cutting apart two fish that were joined at the tails

as if a stigmatic inflorescence sprang from my right palm

as if there were a pulsating code at the base of the spine

as if white mucus dribbled from one nostril

as if a series of cuts had formed on the high arch of the palate

as if the coles feminus were coated in pearl

as if I woke with the scrape of feathers between my legs

as if I were laying on folded wings

straying into the fault zone
as westerly cliffs of shear evolve
points of collapse;
your leave-taking abandoned me
poised on the brink of a conversation
for which I now dis(re)member the
scratches of light dissecting
the ridge of Corallian beds
once formed in clear shallows

suffering attrition, a trituration
becoming trite
detritus fetched up by the
overwash of storm-surge:
marine transgressions
inventing/reinventing my
as the beach rolls slowly
over itself
red & black chert, jasper, tourmalinised

locus of transitions
a constant state of mutagenesis;
dialogue perpetually rehearsed
but never spoken
tracing whole sentences
on the roof of my mouth with
my tongue
glossing over details that
you will neither read nor hear:

the inverse reflection of a tower cloud
in a drop of rain on a reed-blade,
a floating quill plastered
to the smoothness of stone,
defence-posts of small bunting territories;

the capriciousness of the revealed world

my cell plasma preserving
(it once was said)
a saline imprint of
that original sea

all things tending towards solution

“tiny cuspate spits of gravel, limestone slab
shells &
a little sand”

the residew be sparkelid

Abbotsbury swannery; Chesil and The Fleet

Poet's Note: Since the swan moves in the three elements of earth, water and air, it has been traditionally associated with shape-shifting, especially in the form of a young woman. Tales of the animal-wife as swan-maiden occur universally, telling of a lover lost when she resumes her original form. Usually this is due to the lover breaking a taboo or committing a misdemeanour through a lack of communication, whereupon she disappears silently back into her supernatural life. I am indebted to Jeremy Sherr’s Dynamis group for the homeopathic provings of Cygnus which provided a starting-point for this text."

© 2007, Elisabeth Bletsoe