Mow Down

Published in Offshoots 12 — Writing from Geneva

I can see my little boy
squatting in his sandbox
with pine cone people
guarding stick forts
for an afternoon
in the shade
or
feeding chickadees
or
watching squirrels race
along the picket fence
that keeps out.

I see him – now –
hunched on red sofa
with game console in hand
splattering bodies of blood
for an afternoon
in the dark
and
feeding on ugliness
and

the chickadees go hungry
while squirrels race
along the picket fence
with slats missing.

Mother-Daughter Tankas

Published in Offshoots – Writing from Geneva. Mother to Daughter: Tanka poem to me from my mother, Eve Joanne Linger Hamblett Cassatt:

To Faraway Child at Christmas

Grandfather clock strikes
dinging through the silent house.
Faraway Child, know
in my heart I hold you closer,
perhaps, than when you were here.

Daughter to Mother: Tanka answer to my mother from me:

To Mother from my Garden in May

This morning, Mother,
I caught you hiding in my
white lilac bushes
slowly breathed in your absence.
Dewdrops trickled down my cheeks.

Everyday Haiku

Everyday Haiku
Everyday Haiku, were first published in Everyday Haiku: an Anthology(2014)

 

swiss snowflakes don’t fall
they alight on chosen sites
divine precision

*

it’s a bit like this —
stray thoughts wrap around my brain
squeeze out poetry

*

cows bow for thick licks
silver frosted field at dawn
grass popsicle treats

*

lounging on chaise longue
spring’s tender warmth envelops
growing going on

*

spring birds twerp off key
winter’s monotone silence
requires tuning

*

pitter patter quench
mud rows cup deep steeping wet
spring sips its field tea

*

forecast’s blunder slipped
mistook rain’s claim on the day
mist took advantage

*

forsythia star
light shooting through the bleakness
make a wish for spring

*

our liquid lips sipped
each other for that first kiss
we remain unquenched

*

wishes liquefied
she poured hope to dull edges
in the wineglasses

*

kitchen wreckage states
last night’s sworn testament in
dinner party dregs

 

The Morning After

Rock & Sling’s literary magazine created a special post-election USA 2016 issue, Vox,  which happens to include my poem, “The Morning After” written the day after the election.

So. It’s Nov. 9. I’ve got a plan.
I’m going to get a plump chicken.
Smear that sucker with loads of butter and watch it slow roast.
Then watch it cool.
I’ll pick it clean. And I mean right down through the sinew to the bone.
I’ll throw the carcass into a pot and watch it boil for a while.
I’ll scoop out the bones and watch the liquid reduce.
Once it’s down to gravy-material, I’ll add a bit of flour, stir, then drop after drop of milk and stir until smooth.
I’ll call Luna, my golden retriever, and fill another pot with water.
We’ll watch some potatoes boil for 20 minutes.
We’ll watch them cool.
Then I’ll pour the chicken gravy on the potatoes and give them to her.
I abhor chicken gravy but Luna adores it.

Hide and Seek at the Bataclan

Hide and Seek at the Bataclan, featured by The Society of Classical Poets (New York). Paris, 13 November 2015

The hiders: cheaters with suicide-belted access
to ethereal hiding places — traceless
but for grieving faces searching sidewalks.

The seekers: police, army, press corps, beloved
— my son in front of the TV. I try to shove
the new rules into our silent conversation.

The Bataclan echoes, Come out! Come out
wherever you are! but nobody can breakout
from their infinite hiding spots.

Us and them. We’re all entangled in
an eternal endgame. Nobody wins.
Together, we’re all it.

State of Grace

“State of Grace” was first published in  Offshoots 14 – Writing from Geneva (2017). The poem and my process for writing it were featured by National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) in April 2017.

State of Grace

It’s a bit like

that moment when you’re asleep but realize someone is
on the fire-escape trying to open your window
and you hear them freeze just before they jump off and run away

or when

your due date has passed and, while setting the table, your back muscles
decide to rise and finger their way forward, `round your ribs and
grip each other over your belly for that first whopping contraction,

or like that dripping August afternoon

in West Virginia when you were sweating out a game of checkers
on the front porch with Grandpa and you saw a way to beat him,
but couldn’t stand the thought of him losing so you goofed on purpose.

Yes, it’s like that, only this time, when it hits you,

it lowers your shoulders and drops your head because you’ve been up all night sorting out fifty years of stuff from your parents’ basement and you remember
where you hid that purple starred sparkly marble from your brother after that fight

and you know exactly what to do —

you make your way to the defunct freezer, fingertip the metal ice cube tray
still on the top shelf to the left where it’s always been and you feel for it —
tangible proof the past can become forgivably present

and you clasp that last piece of a smooth rounded past

in the palm of your hand and head for the stairs leading to the kitchen where you know your brother is sitting in his old spot at the table just staring into his old bowl of cold oatmeal he never eats and you plop that marble right into the thick of it.

by Elizabeth Boquet