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5d · 48
She got him all wrong, the strong
arms gone to brittle.
Clay is troubled to form the
impression.  And longer the
art of your dented and salted

For nothing like a walk in the
boneyard of the cheap motel
of her imagination.  

You are Rant and Ruin.  The
Remains crust and smoke
Tomorrow of her old age is
the rat trails of her poetry

I know this because she told it
to the murk and creep of your
deteriorating smoke.  The last
**** was unimaginable.

Run far and away from the
wrinkled visage of memory.
You are red and ruins in a
slot of yesterday.

Today runs through her like
wine and bread.  The table
is set for never again your
chair is broken silt.

Caroline Shank
Mar 13 · 48

There is no forever for me
The pulse of death stopped
and I am limping, I am
stammering.   You took
forever from my catalog.

Tomorrow issues from out of
a cauldron.  There are no voices
in the wilderness.  St Paul
come to me. I am short of
goodness and love.

Teach me oh Lord to skip
stones across the Jordan.
I will drink tea in a mug with
your name on it.

Brown is the color of my true
love's hair.  My white hair
shapes the Ganges on
your chest.  I told you I

would write.

Tomorrow's fortunes feature
you in some farther


I awake from this deep dream
of sleep Abou

Where there is no wind, for
tomorrow never ever


Forever and ever
(Saecula saeculorem.)

Caroline Shank
There's an elephant in the room.
(Don't you ******* hate cliches)
It's growing around the furniture
up and over the years of careful


I can't pretend at last.  You need
to ride the carnival behemoth
out of here so we can breathe.
The pink lady waits for her


I want to go to that place where
emotions are colored and the
candy is not cotton. Where the
taste of chocolate rides my


Another dime in the juke box
please.  The circus is pulling
out and all the cliches mount
up to the wedding of Miss


Nothing else makes


Caroline Shank
Mar 8 · 67
Okay Country green and faire,
the rival feathers of America,
the soft shells of Siesta Key
Beach, the roar of the freight
train as it turned belly up in
the anxiety of a post qualude

Marriage was the script of
the Land and grass the dress
the smaller stately Maples
wore spitefully as the red and
black Muscovy waddled up

looking for the crisps of bread
that Jim threw out every day.
The gospels of Sand Hills
displayed in the Red hills

The citizens of the Back Yard
smoked the tender joint while
I ran to the top of the hill, Jean.
The score my devastation wrote
on the billious worn sofa.  Green
toile soldiers armed with the
nets of armaments.

Toile was the pattern of my
tru loves coat.  Green were the
dresses flirtatiously spilling my

Then you lay my sorry self on the
deck of the ship Wisconsin.
My chair was missing and
we made clumsy love in
spite of the sway of the

Oh feature with me,
man of sorrows, to
the end of the play.
I will dance at the middle
and musk the top of my old

Bare my top and I will,
be the selfsame

sinner after all.

Caroline Shank
Mar 7 · 66
I Used My Last Chance
I used my last chance, a ride
on the solar system of emotions.
I fell off and sat for a minute
on the eyelash of memory.

The long rope of my only
last and forever temptation
unkind and undone.

It's not true.  It takes a minute
to unravel the sinue wrapped
around the idea of you.
Wrought around the music

is you struggling forever,
trying to unravel the speed
of memory.

The seed of yesterday,  The
bed of undoing.  Red and
ripped I cling to the
final appointment.

Tomorrow is the kaleidoscope
you feared. The colors
patterns solidify and the habits
reveal the dead solid center.

I surround myself with the
sunflower blanket. The
synapse of yesterday tugged

before I knew you.

and dragged
the moon's light mine.

Caroline Shank
Mar 2 · 65
The Mystery
The mystery is not so much the
deed Tom but why.  

Of course the karma of
my acquaintance celebrated the
dedication with which I floored
the pedal over the years.

No I didn't leave an opportunity
unvisited, a door unopened, a cup of coffee undrunk,
or a walk down the evening hours
to the music of possibilities
unsung.  I learned to rub the
consequences into my benefit
and gave my response to the

night air.

I lie prone now reading on the
living room couch and ponder
the times.  An unseen vessel
pilots me from behind.  Hope is
when I sail her into the

long sought after meridian,

when the time
for poetry is over
and in the
afternoon I find your



Caroline Shank
Mar 1 · 57
Never Again
Never again.  Your voice like
thistles scrapes. It's tracks

Blood drains from the holes
dug by serrated edges.You
command the death of
Venus.  My throat expels
the vowels of the tirade
you unleashed.

To see, unleashed, the
ferocious silliness of
your torn words addressed
to the gods who long
before laughed at your

excavation of old bones
and misunderstandings.

Never again will you pillory
me, my torn lashings
in deep regret

for the years of meaning
now drawn closed like
curtains over a corpse.

One word bled from your
mouth, lifted me to my


I laughed.

Never again.

Caroline Shank
Feb 25 · 62
Number 1.
Number 1.

February 24, 2023

I am using this as an attempt to navigate the last years of my life.

Number 1. February 24, 2023

I have faintly seen and
     suffered my
blow into the next

(Oh, Yes I believe
            In Karma)

There are enough grains of
nosand now in charge of the
serious songs of our lives.

I digress

Or did I forget what I was
rattling on about.

I forget the how-to's.  I'm
on the road to Damascus.
My epiphanies are bright
shots for only a second.

I've lost direction.  The
compass of my life

There are roads to travel
People to see, loves
to find.

But to mix thinking

this Busy

Not until Now.

Caroline Shank
Feb 18 · 104
I am as close to death as can be
before the Throne of the Lord
lets me kneel before Him who
ordained that I should live such
a little life.

There will be no tomorrow, no
prayers before sleep tonight.
I am in thrall with my journey's
ending and I wait for the Great
Kindness to take this burden.

I am alone with only tears and
this pen to sign off before you
can call me back.

You would do that, you whose
memory outlasts wars and famine
and the last days of America.
I have touched you in private
places and feel the warmth of
you alive.

I am cold tonight.
I bring memories
to the fire of sighs.

I go tonight to the last
long longitude of my
existence and send
these bones sans



and regret

to your address of sorrow.

Caroline Shank
Feb 13 · 98
Your words are flung against
my heart.  In what little esteem
you hold me.  Wraith of
my poetry you know not the
soul invested in the words.

All critics are not so smart.
Your God driven determination
to divest from what I write
the soul behind the
runes, that lives.  

Back, my literary whip
snaps and I drive you
into the intellectual corner
from where you write your
own expert poetry, driven
by the analytics that serve

I will write my doggerel
that, to you, are the scraps
of an unaccomplished

Caroline Shank
Feb 12 · 96
How many times have I said
I love you?  Those words to
express that for which words
expire on uttering.  My hands
alone clasp the urgency of
this expression.

I reach for you.  Touch is
explicit.  Your heart responds,
and I am your song.  You
who never sang Sing now.

The feel of love is a reach to
the stage your heart has hidden


I am tactile over my self.

You no longer hear me  
as you have stepped away.
The hours have turned to
days, into years.  More
than 50.

Yet I move. One woman.
hasn't the  power to reach
for your booked and ragged

But I will go on because
something turns me that
way.  Like a spiral whose
Need is to turn toward
the sun.  

You illumine my life with
the memory that once you
touched me,
spelling the future
I declined so many

I cannot walk away.  This
strophe will not

the message is in my

stride, without
you now
I am chorus

to the


for the gods


Caroline Shank

Feb 10 · 98
The Jabberwock, Encore
I wonder if He can see you?
Is it all you believed?
Do you know now that
believing is the cracked

cement of your time
here.  It was not new.
Are the streets of gold
and are you walking in a
white gown?

Tomorrow I will write in your
journal of the Jabberwock.
You know him now, the painted
struts of glove and spats.
He tells me stories while your
world ends.

His bandersnatch is not
what you believed. Beware
the marble veins of his
indifference.  He says he will
En garde and you will fail.

You will, to the ground, bleed
in your reminisces, as he
walks into the water to wash
your lies with ***** soap.

Beware the stance of shaking
legs, the bleat of strangled sheep.
He cannot see you in your
personhood for he would
crumble into mad bad shoes
and slither away to your
last poet's rhyme.

Snicker Snack.

Caroline Shank
Feb 8 · 144
The End of the Line
I've started walking with a cane.
I'm like an old broken soldier.
Under the sofa are parts that do
not fit in rusty sockets.  New
loops and strings cannot


I missed muster again and
got the letter.

I am
not required
at table

any more.

I spend my days twirling parts
left over from first rounds.
My springs boing hollow
and I don't
see well at night.

What will happen
that I have
seen the moment
of my greatness

(I can still
quote Eliot.)

I want you more to
more than move me,
you starting my gears
and I overflow with


Your attention goes

no longer

see my any
at all.

Caroline Shank
Feb 4 · 1.3k
The Empty Bed
There are things
I did not do.

I did not  touch

died. Without
a sound.

Your soft brown eyes pierced me.
I saw you go in the quiet
way you did everything.
I knew you were gone
but not before I
knew sadly, silently
could not hold
you in a final


Closeness had run out
so long ago,

though we loved until the end,

bereft of speech,
as we we were bereft of

I bowed to your
blank stare.

I would have died for
you if I could have.  

but I could not
save you from
this destiny

with the Father




Caroline Shank
Jan 31 · 325
Your not so slender form stands
in the bedroom door. You yawn.
I remember you before the
drugs took you to the ends
of my life.

Old now, the reckless
times are gone. Still you try,
hanging onto the threads of
yesterday.  Tangents of

You strive to steer your
way through the long sleep,
the crash after
the burning addiction gets
you. You climb into
tomorrow like a crawl
Into infancy

and you tell me it's all
right Mom.

Caroline Shank
Jan 29 · 64
No Matter What
No matter what I will celebrate
the deterioration of my body.
I will forget the sacks of my neck.
The scarfs flesh burdens will
       not remind me that I have
six minutes to escape and that
I will fail.

No matter what you see look
closer.  I am only a ticking
clock away from myself
you knew then. I look to the
        calendar, truths that
my mother knew, the due
date is ordained.

I don't delay the search for
company, I am sitting on the
edge of my genetic map, Henry,
waiting for my skin to turn
tan, as it always did, every
summer. No matter what.

I am not gentle.  I am a kick
away from screaming. The
lies of every soap manufacturer
are written in my old face.
And I don't like it.
         I want to be loved
again, to rise in the warm
morning singing.

To be alone at the cracked end
of the sidewalk is to be tempted
over again as I was at twenty
seven. The last real estate is
sold to the younger woman.
          The light skin of my
youth is pasted on his memory.
I would no longer
           be of interest to him.

The tomorrows of then have
passed and I am in the window.
The mirror is not true, it sees
me old and alone as the last
            line of the play.

No matter what I want to
remember the suntan on my
ripe body
but gone. No matter what
I cry to be remembered
in a life of gone by


Caroline Shank
Jan 29 · 117
The Sound of the Sax
The voice, the bell-yellow
voice of the sax plays on.
Under the mind like a layer
of canvas lie the brushes
and strokes, the arms and legs
of memory.  The arrival on the
skin of sound is the moment
of love.  The unfurling of
the pallette.

You say, listen, the wail of
breath on brass is mine.  No,
it is yours.  The voice, no
longer alone, even when
unaccompanied, falls from
the blues of evenings or the
reds of afternoons, approaches
with footprints in sand.  We
are castled in music, our
colors unfurled.

Our fingers on the keys.  We
see the archetype of design in
the sound of the sax, the
movement in the fabric of
stripes.  The sound’s colors
draw us to each other.
Listen.  The wail of breath
on brass is everywhere.

This has gone through several iterations.
Jan 28 · 104
Did I Help You
Did I help you at all, those long
months of clawed pain?  Were
you my soul search and did I fail?

The reach beyond the cuffs of
poetry.  Did you tell me so I
would pull out of some bag of
broken metaphors
a salve for your aching limbs
swollen with unheard prayers?

You lost your balance and fell
against my sorrow.  Did you
mean to throw me out that
night you pushed all the
furniture against the door.

I ran my irritation along the
upside down days of your
disease.  The sleepless in
the living room chair was not
enough.  I took your frail limbs
to myself when you did not see.

Did you smile that ghastly smile
to scare me? Or then I did not
exist in your dementia.
I was so ill myself that I couldn't
climb the ladder of your need

Did you die alone in that room
of helpful people and did you
see me frightened and alone?
I could not watch you in your
emptiness, your shell of lonliness.

I am still crying for the memory
is in my soul of your departure.

Caroline Shank
Jan 23 · 141
Fire in the Sky
There is fire in the sky, the
green mountain frames a
landscape of contradiction.

Alert now, here there, birds
must fly behind the hot winds.
The sounds abound over the
landscape.  It was 4:00 of a
June afternoon. You called

to stop my journey. The  warmth
of a June afternoon lay like silt
on the place where we made love
only yesterday.

Goodbye to the birds and beasts
who sadly left home for the
last time.

I will remember the heat, the
touch, and the memory of
before ever you touched

my hair.

Caroline Shank
Written for a contest with a plume of fire rising up
Jan 21 · 170
I have tears still Un fallen from
my eyes.  They ambush me.
Your birth the
unexpected star of my
life.  Your full face, my
glowing reflection.

Early twirling years in
yellow plaid and a brown
horse named coffee cakes,
dancing on my lap.

You turned to leave me in
the middle of the afternoon.
Eons ago to my heart's ache.

I rock in old clothes on a
winter afternoon.  Your
lost Angel faces me.  I
did wrong.  I cried for
your beauty.

Lord of little girls forgive
me. I run after the early
years, pray for another
moment's innocence.

Turn me away from these
falling tears. Bring me
another time I may

not forget.

Caroline Shank
Jan 21 · 1.0k
I could be dead by tomorrow,
wrapped in the comfort of
silence. Spread out on the
floor of yesterday.  I loved
you so many years ago there
is a calm scrape on the days

I turn myself in for being
ridiculous.  " Do I dare to
eat a peach? ". I cross the
sandpaths of memory and
kick the castles yesterday
left.  No tomorrow for us.

I, like Prufrock, dizzingly
look for the summer night,
walk unsteady in my old
age lest I die to finally

and forget.

Caroline Shank
Jan 18 · 81
Tonight is soft, the Wisconsin
winter's chill is tame and I am
practicing for queen of today.

I am lit inside.  Determined,
I breathe.  My familiar scorn
is put away. I walk the city's
street remembering, the
calming soft breathing.

Tonight is almost over and i
approach tomorrow in silence.
I walk some more in the

chilly drizzle. So soft the shadows
smile back from the store windows.
There are no don't walk signals.

The neon sign in Maxwell's flags
me, lures me inside.
I walk on.  I want to reach the
seventh block.  It's a good
number.  I stop at the gate,
a small park.  I pass it by.

My serenity is a soul sculpture.
No longer a passage in some
one's book. I author me.

Thanks to the moments of
shared caring.

I walk on enthrall of the soft
winds that bring me home.

I am returning to MySelf.

Caroline Shank
Jan 16 · 146
Bard of My Reading
Bard of my reading, no less
the trail to my heart's desire.
Singing in the crevices of
memory I love you.

Ode to the bark and green
you awaken the song.
Sing to me in the spaces
between rhyme and

I wait to hold the source
of song, the poem of
you driven to the page
to lap the signs of
tomorrow like evanescent
cotton when spilled in
the wind of your

Tomorrow the nascent verse
will spill like water on flowers.
Grow to the top dear Poet,
ride the board of memories

which sing in the lines of
your experience.

Teach me, Sweet Jesus, to

Caroline Shank
Jan 13 · 131
What is Happening to Me
What is happening to me is
Irrefutable loss. The end of
my days, the vestiges of
an unpaved life.

Without you I sank into the
mire.  The mundane years
show in a thick neck.  My
shoes are unpatched and
where the buckles were

are scars from the uncaring.

My neck reaches now to find
the last vestiges of my over

The lane I have walked on
has no line but a footfall
indentation of a size 8
shorn shoe.

No to the voices calling
you.  I wrap my scarf
around the memory,
young and death defying
important and the now
journey for naught.

Caroline Shank
1.15 2023

Jan 11 · 123
She Wrote Again
She Wrote Again

She wrote again. I found her
letters, looking for the storm
of him.  The wind knocked
red hair, the black boots left
outside the door.  I read that

he left on a Sunday, walked
away without his trademark
whistle trailing Oh Shenandoah
behind him.  

The dim days followed.  She
asked everyone, where he was,
his blue eyes a DNA call away
from her.  There was no

She had no speech left and
the nurses were glad to be
rid of the man in the picture
on her broken table, broken
between the war years and

She glanced backwards in
her dementia.  The rough
hewn Sundays, the lost
afternoons.  Her disappearances
not the less tiresome, were

She wrote letters over the same
paper, shop worn stationery,
over and over.

When she stopped it was on a
sunny afternoon.  No one knew
she left for the day before his
kiss became goodbye, with a
smile of relief.  

Caroline Shank
Jan 11 · 138
I'm tired she said as she drifted
away to the sky of someone
else's blues. The sun of pure
understanding regaled her
until her sentence ended.
Oh God of desperate climes

rescue her before the clifs
of lost dreams win and
she dies in her dreams.

Caroline Shank
Dec 2022 · 125
Mary Looked Up
Caroline Shank Dec 2022
Mary looked up to see tears
on Joseph's cheeks. She.
was exhausted.  The trip that
ended in the birth of her baby
was a flight out of Egypt

Tomorrow she would be in
quarantine. The contamination
of her body must be resolved.

Theirs was a strict following.
Her blood must never touch
hallowed ground.

The baby boy slept, unaware
of the Laws.  

Mary felt the sweat of her labor
dry stiffly around her forehead.
The World would wait.

Jesus's was the singular cry.
The long last breath of Hope
sweet on her face.  The
foreshadow of someone's
salvation loosed.

Mary sank into sleep
safe that she and the
baby could begin the
long journey to Calvary.

Did she know the last
of a mother's desperate
clinging to the moment?
Jesus smiled at her.
Mary brought light into
darkness, fuel into a cold
night and a will of

determination to sound
the Corridor to

Magic reenactment of

Religions signification.

Mary rested with her baby
for oh so short


Caroline Shank
Dec 2022 · 206
Ode to Leonard
Caroline Shank Dec 2022
I have seen the marble arch
and was not afraid.  The
comeliness of it's curved
surface paused me. Your
song whispered of birds

felting by, of fallen kings and

I have time on my hands to
listen. Hallelujah.  For my
steadfastness in love has left


I swore to all the kings in the
Bible. I offered my skinned
knees, for solace that I was heard.


There are cracks in my head,
my ankles are shackled.  No
music but a laugh echoed
side to side.  

I will go down to the river to
find God.  Your repertoire
is complete.

Why a monk Leonard? The
music of the ages was written
without your melody and
I sank beneath the river
like a stone.

But you're not there.  Your
music sustains me.  I walk
out, wet and cold.  


I am redeemed from the
nightmare.  I step on your
music as a soft petal.

I am for a moment, relished
and shriven.  


Caroline Shank
Dec 2022 · 142
Daughter of My life
Caroline Shank Dec 2022
Daughter of my life you are
still so fragile.  

I wait for the phone call that
will come any minute

Someone come and help me.
I grieve for your childhood. The
weather of our lives before
storms drove me underground.

You did your head to the
storm thing. Face forward to the
landscape of your reality.

I, underground, hid your self
against me.  I rode the waves
of your addictions.

To this Winter day I have only
the remnants left of your
early years. A few pictures,
a stuffed animal named Coffee.

You cannot come back to me.
Gone are your bounce and
the hugs around my waist.
Your tears that filled my brain
with helplessness.

You are all alone in this trap
of my mind.  The madness
slips through me.. Your tears
are but dry sand.

I want no tears to your
intentional desertion.
Silence to your pleas, and
old music before you



Caroline Shank
Dec 2022 · 113
I Pray
Caroline Shank Dec 2022
Help me make it through
Oh God of my unknowing
Brace MY name unto
even the farthest heartbeat.

The clocks dim.
I no longer hear the
Hand of years, the
children and the
getting. Minutes
bend the geography.

me to the

I lie

to Sleep

I pray.

Caroline Shank
Dec 2022 · 41
Caroline Shank Dec 2022
Reflections on a Wednesday
While waiting for an appointment,
I am **** bench numb uncomfortable.
I glimpse the yellow corn fields
out of the window…

I am sixteen.  The Autumn
of my last New York year.

Oh no, I am not dead like
the girl in the book I read.

I'm old and my youth
touches me.  I no longer
jump like a girl, but i

The traps and snares of
memory, alive among the
detritus of those years
dump into my basket
like fishy Fridays.  

We had a cat as
white and feral as
lightning. She would
lick the Friday platter.
We worried about the

But I digress.

The corn leans in, a
deliberate stretch
to hear the sounds I

I was a child of the 50s.
So long ago.  

The memories
are squashed

by the army
of commuters

who always
smote my


Caroline Shank
Caroline Shank Dec 2022
Your early inborn magic did not
fortell the whirls and winds
of the future.  The shine of
youth ended in turbulence.

Dismania, like fingers, touched,
you.  Ivy on brick, the tendrils
pierced.  Walls of
uncertainty nourished
and you, welcomed the


There were no tomorrows.

Pulling you through the
mirror of myself you tore


No Magi, not even
with gifts of surcease
brought by the force

of love
released you.

Still the running child
you crash into a future
whose spiders claw at you.

Tomorrow waits
by your addiction.

Reach into the future
all you want,

you cannot tear the
crawl of your destiny


Caroline Shank
Dec 2022 · 509
Morning has Broken
Caroline Shank Dec 2022
Morning has broken 🎶.  The song
of a single bird brings down night's
shadows, chimes the diurnal
trill of a new day.

The same shiny blue glare

Gathered moments.

Groceries for the soul.

Caroline Shank
Dec 2022 · 58
The Wind Cried
Caroline Shank Dec 2022
I. The wind blew.

The journey was rough.
They bent to avoid the
amber sand.

Joseph was fierce in his

Mary encircled the
Child. Tonight
would change
The World.

II. Bethlehem

Jesus CRIED, the
wind  stopped,

Light of the World


III.  Christmas.

journey of the Magi.

The storm burned in
the night  A voice
In the wilderness

Peace came briefly.


toward Bethlehem

Caroline Shank
Dec 2022 · 355
Emptied Emotion
Caroline Shank Dec 2022
He caught her thinking.  The
crossed legs signed

She'd bloomed and thought
that tonight was lost

to expectation.

He rested his memory
of her smoke filled

Nothing left emptied

Caroline Shank
It is my attempt at an Ekphrastic poem but I can't add a picture here
Dec 2022 · 138
They're All Dead
Caroline Shank Dec 2022
They're all dead, the men who
loved me in the backseat or
on the water bed.  Or not.
Or mostly.

Bless please the memory
of warm nights and street
lights.  The rock and
roll of hips blinded by
loves.  The music

of traffic going by.

The voices of love in
the night.  Rhythm
me now.

I loved the rhyme of hips,
the Song of
Throats rolling and

Ghosts who haunt me.
Let us pray.

Come to me tonight.
Rescue me from

long nights with the

Lamp's signal's

Flash incessant.

Caroline Shank
Dec 2022 · 105
The Skin of Time
Caroline Shank Dec 2022
You were young, on the
cliff of summer. Amazing stirring
possibilities.  Running in
the rain.  Stars hid.
Crepuscular love on
the brink of light.

Wet and loud you toked
a joint without me.  You
footed the soil.  Your
name became reckless.

Young is not the only way
your wet strings tore at
you. Screams from the
doorway dove into the
beds of dead flowers.

Many years spinning and
the muddy leftovers of
yesterday toe the mind,
eclipsing memory.

It is waiting that brought
you to this place.  Your
red hair under the
Summer sky shone.

The years after the caul
lie on your thoughts, reluctant
to uncover nascent

You inhale.

I write to bring home the
surreal sun on the skin
of time. Before

you left

Caroline Shank
Nov 2022 · 65
It Was Important
Caroline Shank Nov 2022
I was alive when it was important.
Being a woman before it was undone.
The glance across the room, the
air laden with innuendo.

The bartender who lit my cigarettes.
Rob was his name. We met one
evening over laughter.  The tail
end of the evening and an hour
across a stripe.

My dress a little two short, eyes
brimming with signals of which
no gentleman would  hold me
to account.  

It was important to be a woman
before the androgyny of manners
became the moment  that passed
me by.  

It was only important,
before you took me in your car,
awkward groping, visceral noises,
importance worn down to small
sounds, after.

It is not important to be anything
since I am past 75 years
of age and my  ways
are gone and


can't see me wildly

search your face



Caroline Shank
Nov 2022 · 88
But I Remember You
Caroline Shank Nov 2022
The fracture of illicit love
escape the seismic clash.
We enter into time.  A breech

butting of tomorrow into the
canal of forgetting, For who
can remember the slide of

We slipped like ice  
into the breaking curren'ts
urge to melt.   We canceled
the moment, repealed the
lesson. Stripped of

experience, we rushed into

love's last



Caroline Shank
Nov 2022 · 274
Caroline Shank Nov 2022
What have I to say to you?
whose world is a spinning
Inn?  I want to stay awhile
where you are the boatman
for lost and lonely waifs.

Treasure me with your song,
I will soothe you with my
sighs.  Sing boatman?

Bring me
to my knees.

Sounds are the oar
with which I stay


Caroline Shank
Nov 2022 · 55
The Morning After
Caroline Shank Nov 2022
Along the dun street
where her shoe's sad
heal broke,

the early summer morning
moving tic toc's.  Bruised from
your grip on the blue back
stained rip

as she left her purse on the

Tired, she was sun smudged.
Her maroon hair's curls lay
like small sea creatures,
ringlets of the aftermath.

The cataclysm of your
*******.  The quite
almost toppling from
Grace embraces shared
skin the color of


The blank side of


came with her soul's
cry of


Tired was the force that
finally chilled
the memory.

The climate still
Humid.   The garden

Caroline Shank
Nov 2022 · 90
Caroline Shank Nov 2022

I am tired of living
with your splayed try to
foist the spines of addiction

from me.  The weather
of your withdrawal is
unpredictable.  It talks
to the walls of silence
muted to the unfaithful.

Tomorrow is a deflated

You fall on your knees in
supplication to the god
of *******.  There lies
missed opportunity. There
is your unmade bed, cracks
of daylight

in the seams of
You, whom God made
is the unformed image
of life that lies on the

bed of unlove.

Caroline Shank
Nov 2022 · 731
I Will Drink Lonliness
Caroline Shank Nov 2022
I will drink loneliness in my
coffee. The sweet is turned to
sorrow, the cream is the stir
of tears.  

I will not last this.
The table was set when you
strode into darkness.

I will pin loneliness on the board.
The same letters unwrite.

Half a century is not enough
to unbelieve.  The scattered
seconded invitation is
laid green and turbulent.

I leave loneliness a song
to the unbeliever.

You fold my intention like
a glove broken in.

Winter is always the last
cry in the dark sound
under the stairs.

I leave the sounds of the
wheel under my
shoes, in Winter unsounds
tears that dry in eyes
of the unbeliever,

you, walk like steel cleats
over my poems.

Caroline Shank
Nov 2022 · 178
My Muse
Caroline Shank Nov 2022
was a dark haired Jewish
boy with curls like black
streamers around his face.

He danced me
on stockinged feet.
We Lindyed to the music
until all the girls were snapping
fingers and tapping toes.

It was a long time ago.
this boy was willing in
my life.  He gave me
flowers and songs,

dreamers and

Caroline Shank
Nov 2022 · 65
Caroline Shank Nov 2022
I will write

A new vocabulary carefully grown.
Words light with the scents of

you have to look for, create sounds so
elusive only in your freest moments
will you feel them passing through

beating gently between beats,
singing between notes,

sliding like
silk between that which you know
and that which you want.

Caroline Shank
A long time ago
Nov 2022 · 232
Feel the Change
Caroline Shank Nov 2022
Feel the change of the
Seasons.  The light in
streaks on your arm's
red hair.

The wind, on a good
day, God's embrace.

Feel the change of the
Seasons amber tossed
curls.  The whitening
pelt, earth's embrace.

The nearby squirel uneasily
counts her chestnuts.  She
reminds the tree of
riddles.  What? Nonsense.

The tree offers only comfort,
a remainder of the turn of
the shadow's dance into

Walk thru the Pillars of your
imagination, feel only the
seasons past and to come.

Feel the change
sweeping the
cooling light under into
that drains winter whispers

Stop the moment from
beginning its turn to and

away from the primordial
Image of

you in Summer's arms,

still willing.

Caroline Shank
Nov 2022 · 98
Caroline Shank Nov 2022
Everybody sings Hallelujah.  The
long song Leonard penned.

So many verses, so little we know.
Read the lyrics.

Life happens while poetry
is carved out of the soul of
dead beats.  We sing

the notes of no matter.

I read outhouse news on
the back words of

She went clear.  Who knew?
Seek the hymns and you
reap the elevation of the

Hallelujah is in the sharp
side of writing.  It found

you, inevitably, on my
kitchen chair. The song
is to you, I failed the


Caroline Shank
Nov 2022 · 152
Caroline Shank Nov 2022
I confess all my Sins.
But I cannot Atone to you in
your far away and never.

I lost you to Wind and Grace.
You were Silence when I
was Loud.   Always Polite
when I was Rude. No not
that only but say my Excursions
into Life were Alone.  You didn't
Ask.  I was not Infected with the
Desire to Tell.

Now you are Dead and i am
asked to Atone.  That I
Loved was the Death of my
Soul.  You did that.

I Cry now when you are
Gone.  I was not Kind as you
lay unfolded.  I loved you
in uncounted ways.  We
Touched the Edges of your
Dementia alone in the same

I Write this with your Kindness
to me like some Damoclean
Event about to Unfold.

Tomorrow will be the Currency
of my Poor attempts to


Death has worn me out.

I Write because i cannot
Speak.  Cry because i
cannot Forgive.  Life has
broken open the Capsule
of Reality.  

I am Fettered


Caroline Shank
Oct 2022 · 309
Caroline Shank Oct 2022
I.  She watched. Her
patience wrapped around
her like a shawl.

She saw him
touch the girl.

Then he was gone.

      II.  She will write
her poem now.
   III.  It is her dream.

IV.  This suggestion.

V. He arouses her

most intense


Caroline Shank
Oct 2022 · 92
Even the Birds are Silent
Caroline Shank Oct 2022
Even the birds are quiet,
This household of years.
The clocks rhythm is to
your heartbeat.

No one here knows the
secret of unbelonging
The jewel that is hidden
beneath my crying soul.

The incessant wait.
The door that squeaks your
name in a long mantra.

Do let me find the core of
you, the deep of your gone
ness.  The shine of the seat
of your soul is under the
tears of thin smiles and

When all along the door keeps
shutting.  The snap of the
lock is crash to my whispered
prayer.  Profound is to the
leaf on the wind as the dreams
of nights long silence.

Coping is a sign on the road
that says goodbye.
The turn in the plaid of
letting go.

The winds of possibilities
blow over me to the breeze


Caroline Shank
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