Avalon

I. Via Casino

Sitting beneath the palms
eyes closed on a Sunday
legs stretched into sun
from my cotton skirt
like I wore the summer we met.

The languages walk past
The stone seat is cool
against my back.

I remember the warmth
of your shoulders
in the evening
your gentle fingers
saying Catarina, Catarina.

II. Avalon

Yesterday morning
I passed through the Old Town
without meaning to
on my way to the fish market.

I stopped below the building
where we had been together.

The plaster is crumbling
in the salt air, like us.

I dared to look at the shaded balcony
that hung out over the harbor,
saw again our drowsing at noon
the sun shimmering on the sea
behind us.

Oh, Pedro, Pedro,
let us throw our bones back
into the sea.

@Copyright Kay Winter

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Nonsense

I am the person who writes the nonsense into life.

The flower petals crumbling into sand.
Laugh if you will.

I am the person who writes the nonsense into life.
The corners waiting to be turned
Emptying to floods.

As much as life builds itself up and lays a path,
It wants these trippings.

It is not death, this nonsense.

These places where I fall down, fall into the flood, the flower fades from blue to purple bruised and crumbles into sand.
Where it all falls out beneath my feet.

You are longing for a story, Terrence.

But I am the person writes the nonsense into life.

The hard work of not falling asleep when you want to, when the moon falls through the window and glides down the wall.

Do you know, Terrence, the way to fall asleep then,
During the long night?

Do you still want a story, Terrence?

There is no heart of the matter.
No long, fated path.
No distant mountain we move toward.
No white peak to conquer.
No story that is anything but nonsense.

I am the person who writes the nonsense into life.

Does death even finish it?

Tell me, Terrence,
Do you know anyone who is dead who has seen the puzzle put together?

Try this, Terrence.
Try writing the nonsense into your own life.

You may find that you already have.

Tell me about the clouds that you watched
From the roof as it rained.
Your wet shirt.
The squelching of your shoes coming back
Down the stairs.

How you knew the ending.
How you knew the empty apartment you came down to.
How you sat in your wet clothes
And wrote the nonsense
Into the empty room.

– Copyright Kay Winter

contemplation

Don’t let people that don’t matter, matter too much.

Are you ever disappointed in yourself and you get down and just feel like crap, like mush, and like a loser. do you ever feel like whenever you seem to get one step ahead, you get pushed back about ten steps and then you have to start climbing again.  How about those thoughts in your head, the voices saying you’re not enough, you don’t compare to other people, what you’re doing is sub-par, you’re not making an impact, you’re wasting your time and your talents. Do you ever lie in bed at night, tossing and turning wondering what tomorrow will bring.  Will you be disappointed or will you be elated, will you be singing praises or melancholy.  This life is so unpredictable. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on it all, you are quickly washed away and taken out to sea, amongst the rubble, the waves, and the storms.  There is never a break.  There is never a moment that is 100% stillness and rest.  The world keeps on moving, keeps on keeping on, and it doesn’t get easier.  It is a hard realization that life is not a piece of cake.  That is why you have to savor the good moments and know or hope that the sad moments won’t last forever. You have to find the good in yourself and others and not become too bitter about the idiotic people around you.  You have to know that you’re doing the best that you can and give yourself credit for all that you are going through and all that you have been through, and where you are in this moment.  I guess it’s never to late to make a comeback, or to find yourself smiling for no reason.  The best moments are when you’re laughing, the real type of laughing that makes your belly hurt, and then you ask yourself why was I laughing in the first place.  It’s about surrounding yourself with people you love, and people that love you.  It’s about finding solace and inner peace.  It’s about losing yourself in the moment and then coming up for air and saying today isn’t so bad after all.  It’s about being grateful and thankful, finding time to be generous with yourself and giving yourself a break to just breathe.  Today might be dark, rainy, and dreary, but the sun still shines overhead and will one day come out to light up the world and your inner soul.

A Poem for Writing a Poem

Whatever comes to mind when
you see the word
Water.

Whatever comes to mind when
you write the word
Rain.

Whatever comes to mind when
the sign says
Go.

When the sign says
No Exit.

Whatever comes to mind when
you stand outside
as the evening falls early
in November.

When you wake just before first light.

When the summer sun on your neck
reminds you of
the last summer you saw her.

Whatever comes to mind when you think
about chocolate.

About coffee.
About whiskey.
About the small of his back.

Whatever comes to mind when
you write the word
Forever.

When you say the word
Never.

Whatever comes to mind
when you look down the long alley.

When the moon rolls above you
and the forsythia blooms as you sleep.

– Copyright Kay Winter

 

Readers: I’d love for you to take the
prompts in the poem and write your
responses (any, all) in the comments.
Do a simple list, write your own poem,
whatever you like!

 

Uncertain Weather

We met when we were uncertain weather
and unfound lucky pennies.

An uncertain season
of rain through sun,
and smooth gray clouds lingering
low in the sky.

I did one certain thing.

I left you behind.

You, not strong enough for what was coming.
(Or was it me, sparing myself
the trouble of you.)

The weather this winter
blows sleet
over the bare trees of the park
I see from my window
(my only).

Years ago, before I knew you,
before I had to think of you,
I spent a year of Novembers
waiting in that park,
reading The House of Seven Gables
by streetlight,
while crows circled high in the pale air.

Now, from this window,
(my only)
I see the same crows,
settling in the dark empty windows
of the chapel across the green.

I leave the window open
to let the sound of the wind
drown out the drip of time.

I ask this:

When my crow comes
and settles on the sill
and speaks my bright simple name,
let me step over,
from do, to having done, to being over it.

Copyright Kay Winter

Home

I remember bits of the movie we watched

when we were all home together
that last college summer:
the boy, the bicycle, the wide-headed creature
with long fingers.

Back at school,
each time I’d catch sight
of my recklessness in a mirror,
I’d mouth “phone home” to the reflection.

We did call home,
for years after that,
from dorms, bus stations,
scattered apartments,
gas stations off interstates:
I am coming Tuesday,
we are almost there,
I have two whole weeks,
can you come get me at six?

But gradually,
our visits became less frequent,
shorter, hurried.

I remember one later year,
the day or two after Christmas,
standing in the rain,
in front of the colored lights
in a hometown window,
no one left in town but me,
thinking of a distant desk by a window,
realizing that I had made my own home,
and there would be my returning.

Copyright Kay Winter

The Coin

Once more the dark figure
comes out of the evening shadows
at the edge of the woods
tossing his coin up,
letting it land in his palm,
and someone is gone.

The river flows,
bright in sun
dark in shadow.

He looks at the coin
and tosses it again.

The river flows
bright in sun
dark in shadow.

Did you see him,
the day you fell?
Did he fall beside you?

Or did he come before,
one of those winter nights
that I would awake
and see you at the window?
Was he there,
standing under the burgundy leaves of the maple
out of the streetlight’s circle
tossing his coin?

The river flows
bright in sun
dark in shadow.

I thought I saw you today
bending over the wild asters
but it was just a small movement of the willow branch
and a fluttter of startled sparrows.

The river flows
bright in sun
dark in shadow.

Copyright Kay Winter