Get it Out

Writing a poem

 

is exactly

 

like taking a shit.

 

You’ll just be sitting there,

 

working or

 

watching TV,

 

reading, whatever,

 

and suddenly,

 

it takes you over.

 

It becomes

 

the most important thing.

 

It is urgent.

 

Get it out, or

 

face the consequences.

 

 

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Stranded

Nothing ends here
in the rush of the bitter wind
over the snowdrifts.

I have forgotten
the last call of the birds
as they left.

The rocks are bare
and sleek with white ice.

I stare at the ring light of ice
around the sun every morning.

The stars at night are endless.

The letter to me
from the one before me
says the winter goes on forever
and that I must stay.

But I need only my breath
as it leaves my body.
I no longer need
the weight of the earth
to travel.

I will build a ship
from ice
and the black pebbles
along the frozen river.

– Copyright Kay Winter

Full Moon New Year

Blow the bells toward magic
oaken and tangled
in the dark rim of trees.

Chime songs frozen in air
over the last snow of the old year.

Slow this cold night
silver children
of the full moon.

Be new
at the still pond
Frozen.

Voices of regret and hope
carried by north wind
to your wept heart.

Darkness in your limbs.

But there, just there,
do you see?

Lights glance
across the ice,
through the passing
of one year,
toward another.

Copyright Kay Winter

All That Matters

People jump off ledges

 

high above the street.

 

Dogs get crushed by cars.

 

People kill people

 

with guns,

 

with knives,

 

with their bare hands.

 

Trains come off their rails and spill destruction

 

onto the morning commute.

 

Mom is screaming at her children.

 

Dad is in jail for selling you know what.

 

Your pilot is badly hung over.

 

You can be replaced at work.

 

Your poetry is god awful.

 

So is the music you listen to

 

and the movies you watch.

 

Your socks don’t match.

 

You have crumbs on your shirt.

 

You didn’t wash your hands.

 

Your teeth hurt.

 

You smell rank.

 

A beautiful bird crashes hard into the window.

 

The model can’t keep food down anymore.

 

She’s coughing blood.

 

The president is an asshole.

 

We’re all going to die.

 

The doctor killed his patient

 

because he checked Facebook

 

during open heart surgery.

 

Mom and Dad are divorced now.

 

The children hate them.

 

The house is on fire.

 

He drinks too much.

 

She’s crazy on drugs.

 

Rich, white men pass laws to make themselves richer.

 

Someone shoots one of them in the face.

 

The sky glows danger.

 

The best player on your team just shredded his knee.

 

You slip and fall down the basement stairs.

 

Your arm snaps like a pencil.

 

Your 2 year old drowns in the neighbors’ pool.

 

All of this is happening,

 

all day,

 

every day.

 

This is the world we live in.

 

But I don’t care about

 

any of it.

 

All that matters to me

 

is this tiny, gray kitten

 

peeking

 

out

 

from the patio door.

 

Escape

A door seldom opens in the late Tuesday clouds
Up here in the tower.

None of us have wings, for all our celestial perceptions.

I want to fall backwards out of this life
into the city.

I have a white bag filled with tissue paper.

I don’t mind leaving nothing behind.

Take me to the silver doors,
with one last look at my reflection,
I will escape clueless
into the alley,
befriended by a tortoiseshell cat.

I want to fall backwards out of this life.

There is a place that I will make waiting.
The sidewalk will crumble behind me.

I will no longer be the legs ascending the opera stairs
ahead of you, no longer the complacent shoulder.
No longer the pieces you think
you put together.

I have earned this small violence.

 

Copyright Kay Winter

You May Think You Understand

Now
There you are
I was wondering if you show up
But you always do
Eventually
Sometimes sooner
Sometimes later
But you always show up
Damn it
One time
One time
Could you
Would you
Not
Would you stay away
Leave me alone
For a day
Twelve hours even
So I could do something
Live a normal life
Even briefly

I guess not
You give no quarter
You take whenever you want
For however long you want
Days usually
Weeks
Sometimes months
And even a year
I have given you so much
I wish I knew what you have given me
Patience
Maybe
Understanding
Probably
Sleep
Definitely
Undone things
Oh yeah

You see
I don’t know how to separate you two anymore
Which came first
Pain
Or fatigue
Pain I think
Fatigue followed
By more of both

There is no way to explain
To people
Who don’t have either
Oh
I had a headache once
Take two of these and
And what
Take fourteen more
And still not feel better
I sprained my ankle once
Once
Walk on them every day
Get up on broken feet
Every day
Unfurl
Broken fingers
Every day
Use every bit of energy you have
To get out of bed
To go to the bathroom
And wonder
How do I feed myself today

Can I fake it through one more day
Can I lie to the world
One more day
Can I lie to me
And believe it
One more day
That I am fine
I will be fine
This is the day
I get better
But you don’t
Maybe a little
But it doesn’t last
Some days a lot
Just enough to give you hope
But it doesn’t last
If you just thought better thoughts
Said more than the million affirmations
You already said
You would be better

Then
You wonder
What you are doing wrong
People
Even your friends
Wonder what you are doing wrong
Your doctor wants to try one more thing
You don’t want to put on another twenty pounds
You will try one more thing
And hate the weight you put on
And think it is your fault
It is
Because you tried
One more thing

You may think you understand
But you can’t
Unless you have been here

Copyright 2017 Don MacLeod