Monday, February 28, 2011


Roman blown glass hydria from
Baelo Claudia (4th century CE)
from Wikipedia

Fit in my glittering ruby red shoes
I march like a matador - lure the bull;
incense the Taurus with cloak swirling – full,
faith in youth to suffer no fatal bruise.

Fit as glass slippers for dancing by twos;
I’m pestled in mortar, rapped in fine tulle.
Shapen and molten in fire – beautiful;
‘til midnight exposed the glassblower’s ruse.

I run down the shore ill fit for a race;
panting, lamenting, tripped up by the rush
of a broadband of waves beating full chase -
manic - I daily tempt them to drown us.
Faster, faster - but I fall on my face.
Listen! A wisp of silence - a soft hush.

I awake in a darkness snugly fit
in a Parson’s Cupboard over mantle -
an old pitcher hung by thumb latch handle,
kissed by the glassblower’s pipe on cracked lips.

Self-made wounds of agony I admit
in songs of sorrow and love’s canticle;
I long to hear the soft tap of sandal,
lift of door latch, my freedom to permit.

Release our bond of beauty with a beast!
Reveal a code to spring this prison door!
Recall the smith of glass, the holy priest.
Repair my lip so parched, by sun, and scorn -
Remember - that you need me at your feast;
Refit with kiss --- the Agonist forlorn ---

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine in Black and White

"Acephala", from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur (1904)

This photograph is a companion to the poem
"Love Hurts - A Valentine",
also published today
with a tattered old sepia photo
of my school days.

Love Hurts - A Valentine

A beat-up photograph of an assembly in 1955 in St. Mary's auditorium.
 It was on the top level, which – not then – but now overlooks a freeway.
I am there on the edge of a row.

Pretty maids row in a light cockleboat
Torn and battered as an old photograph
Tossed by a fury in up-and-downdraft,
Split by cockle shells, as silver bells gloat.
Hailstones pommel with layers we wrote.
Ice crystals, water drops dance then accrete.
Pine seed and savage in orchards who meet
Build walls of words meaning what to connote?
Mysteries we know we cannot deny.
To mirror we’re laced up in our tower
In hollow too hidden to tell a lie
Truth is an arrow piercing our bower
A danger to faith and to love’s long tie;
Contrary to love, emptiness, power.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011




Spell is cast by word alone
Contrivance left to us,
Ornaments of firmament
Up-ended into dust.

Three days raveling-
 minutes with a pen,
mouthful of words,
bite of light -

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Witch's hat chandelier has moved to a new home.
Below is an email received yesterday. It occured to me that there might be a future poem in it somewhere. 

To: Ann
From: Claire
Subject: Light

Hi Ann,

I hope you are enjoying this weather and the snow. I, however, am ready to move south. Doesn't have to be Florida - the Carolinas would be OK with me.

Many months ago, you offered me your witch’s hat dining room light when you got a new light fixture. I was wondering if it is still available and if you are still agreeable to giving it a new home?

Hi Claire,

Of course you can have it! It needs perhaps repainting. We weren’t sure what could be done with the interior of the cone since it is raw tin and somewhat rusted---. You might have an idea.

Snowbound here for the most part but that's ok with me. I really don't mind since I have no place I have to be. I hate worrying about Bill and everyone out driving around on the icy roads though.

Oak tree branches are coated with ice today. They look like sparkling glass with the sunlight shining through them at mid-day. They remind me of the glass reindeer my mother kept on her knick-knack shelves when I was a kid. Funny, just the other day I thought of a ceramic statue of "The Thinker", which I had made in college, and wondered where it had ended up. It once sat near the glass reindeer. Big memory day today---

Happy light day with a few dusty memories,


Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Do I dream?
Who speaks
in the soft breeze cooling
the fever of my ecstacy ?
Who has healed the agony
of pain in my porous bones,
bathed the salt of my tears
in this font of forgiveness?
Who has breached the
sands of separation,
to touch me in this lagoon?
presses my ragged
flesh into word.
I am real.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lying Exposed

Awake in a pool of light;
virgin torches circle round
a shallow lagoon exposed to
currents of our perception.

Stroked by shifting winds
the channel rushes through
barrier islands in ebb and
flow of the word.