Archive for category Poetry

For Hannah, on Her Birthday

Today is my best friend from high school’s birthday. We weren’t in touch for many years, but we are once again. I believe I sent her a copy of this poem, but since then her house burned down, she moved numerous times, and possibly she forgot about this completely. Now that I’m looking at the published version, in Orphic Lute I remember being a little upset because part of what I considered both a dedication and part of the title was left off.  i am going to restore it here.

Hannah Dancing
                                     (for Bob)

He wanted to send her a rose
just one rose
to remind her of the bouquet
from ten years ago.
The feeling was there,
muted,
but there.

He’d love other women,
loved one now,
yet her buzzing,
the way she tossed her shortened locks,
that green myopic tease,
how she said, “Hello, Bob,”
brought a shadow
jolting back.

It wasn’t only that she was the first.
He’d cared more about the second girl,
written Lori a song;
Lori of the burning hair,
Lori of the sixty months,
Lori he’d loved and left.

He told his present love,
“All I felt
for Hannah and Lori–
I feel more than that for you–
but I can’t shake those images,

those silver bangle bracelet
images of her dancing,
raising her arms in the humid moonlight,
her breasts swaying in the night wind,
those images
imbedded in my mind
of Hannah dancing.

Although I can’t find a definitive history, Orphic Lute was published for almost 50 years, possibly until the time of the dominance of the Internet.

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On Finding Old Writings: Lost Love Poems

887299_391205761023088_140069575_o-1One of my writing friends polled those of us in our writing group about a piece she’d found on her computer. She didn’t think she’d written it, but none of us claimed it, either. Coming across published pieces you’d forgotten about is equally disconcerting. I’d completely forgotten about this particular piece which was published in Poetic Justice.

“Ice-god”

Dream with me…
we will meet
in winnowing moonrays
silent as distant suns.
You place your fingers on my cheek,
small cool touch,
needlepoint of starlight.
Your eyes like cloudless nights,
moonless wind,
like frost
freeze
my soul
into endless dreams
of you
looking away…

I did remember this next one since I often think of it when I’m picking berries. It was published in another little journal, The Yellow Butterfly.

Wild Berries

Stooping among brambles
I envision you holding women
for I know there have been many.
With each searing thorn
I wonder if you pause,
remember me

your first you said
and love you said

and like a bitter berry
curse the men
who’ve held me since.

(photo credit: Kathyrn Taylor, Feb 2014. Used with permission.)

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A Day Discussing Words

Today I was talking to my best friend from high school about a trip we took to Watkins Glen and Corning Glass Museum. There were six of us on that trip, plus her mother who was driving. My friend, Hannah, didn’t remember the details. I remember we were exchanging AFS students. I’d just hosted a Japanese girl for a week and it seems that we were picking up my classmate and potential AFS student, Dan Lloyd. But who the other exchangees were, I neither of us remember. Possibly I have those details wrong.

Later this morning I had a nice chat about writing, publishing, books, and characters with my hair stylist. In an hour my writing group is meeting. All in all, a day full of books, writing, and words.

I believe this was my first published poem, in the journal Voices International. It was inspired by the trip to Corning and someone else along on that trip.

In the Glassworks

Row on shimmering row of bottles
stood silent, glazed guard
while I dared not breathe
amidst the burnished vials and goblets.

Glintily he shadowed me,
grey-mirror eyes
shattering the fragile world around us
into multi-colored shards.

And I could feel the glass melt,
sense the heat
from the glass-blower’s torch,
and I could hear wind chimes
delicately tinkle
as from behind he sighed in my hair.

And in the dancing prism lights
he whispered,
voice thin as spun glass
and no one heard,
no one was witness
but the row on glimmering row of bottles.

April Cole

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Stonemen

We were speaking of dreams the other day and since I’d written about my “best” publication, I thought I’d copy out the actual poem. I’m also taking a two-week workshop and will have to devote time to that rather than my ramblings.It was written under an early pen name. (Kalliope, Volume 7, No. 2)

Stonemen
April Cole

In a dream I was taught by touching the walls of a cave

I would turn to stone,

not be noticed by the armies of the night.

Watching brown-shirted boys

wrap around blue-bloused girls,

blowing hot breath in their tangled hair,

I feel my fingers claw the clay.

I am sixteen.

Between arias

we eat Tandoori chicken

twine fingers to cislunar violins.

Intermezzo harp resonates

deep space darkness of the heart.

He licks saffron from my lips.

Natant, I become the liquid sky.

I am twenty one.

In the distance he is standing

silhouetted against brush blue hills.

I call and he runs towards the scarlet sun.

He is a rabbit hopping through reeds,

he is a bramble bush blowing down the fence row.

He tumbles and flies, tumbles and flies.

I am twenty four.

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