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448 · Nov 2019
I Cannot Rival
.

I cannot rival your blue eyes
Or the whirling
winds of your infinite skies.  

Windworn leaves tumble at
your step.  Winter turns to
summer where you are.

Walk to me slowly that I may
savor the trail you leave on
your way to my page.

I write you into time.  I hear
the bells ripple.
I have seen you travel in dreams.  

You leave me always wanting
you more than there is air above
me or ground below.

Stay where I am for now.
Use me with love.
Your song.

Caroline Shank
11.19.1 9
385 · Dec 2019
Summer
The stream trickled on
the frog jumped in to cool off
the branch creaked with loss

Caroline Shank
359 · Nov 2019
Thanksgiving
So long ago.    
I was always older than you.
You were stronger than I.
It was Summer, you rolled
joints in the kitchen.  I
waited in the other room.

Other rooms, other tales.
I remember the night
we walked to the tavern.
I wrote poems while you
played pool.  I wore red,
you touched my
hand.  I didn't know you,
stranded on the brink of
midnight, waiting for me
to end the song.  

You left me in the rain,
toeing the brush of your
dense backyard.  I called,
my voice thrown in the
rain, the wind's song
tortured with the sound
of tears.

This Thanksgiving.
I will drink alone,
long ago yesterdays,
linger to
tomorrow.

Caroline Shank
343 · Dec 2019
Miracles
She is not gone. You have not
lost her.  She is transformed
into shine and glow and into
star stuff.  You are part of her
in some way that glistens in
the Universe.

Death is only a segment of the
cycle of which you are the
best part.  Her laugh rings
around you. Her love
transfigures you.  Listen.

The tinkling of star songs is
for you.  The sparkle in your
eye is her. Be aware that
death is a tap over your
shoulder, a smile in your
mind.

You have touched a miracle
of which you are a player.  There
is no way into tomorrow.  Today is the way to love her forever.

Today is always.

Caroline Shank
298 · Oct 2019
In My Dream
We have ridden camels
in the Kalahari,
Flew Eagles over Canada,
walked across the Niagra.

We have boated up the
Nile and pierced the
catacombs of Rome.
We made love by the
red rock in Australia.

Our adventures overlap
memory.
We've spun the Sun and
tossed the moon,
walked on coals,
groomed gorillas and
climbed to Lhasa.

We were married in Tibet,
among the Chinese stalls,
made our way to India
and slept with tigers.

The planet swings
as we kiss, and spins
to the rhythm of Joy.


Caroline Shank
190 · Dec 2019
Country Music
To my toes.  To the tap tap
tapping of my toes.   I beat to the
rhythm of Willie and Conway.
I don't look like Dolly but
I know she knows me.

My moods swing to the bars
and guitars.  I am under the
swing of stars looking for
the song under the melody.

I want you Loving me Was Easier
than Anything you have Ever
Done Before. I want you to
Lay Me Down.  I Will Always
Love You.

Country music sings to my longing
for you to whom I come with
my strings on a song. I stand
here, tears fall, longing for you
to come and take me to the
limit.

Dance with me.  Swing me around
the moon.  Believe in me.  I am
the first it was to call you to
the floor. I am your Slow Hand.

Caroline Shank
Purely experimental. Let me know what you really think.  Thanks
190 · 3d
The Music Plays
The music plays

on down the years.  


Her tears fall

run


a weep of 

years sweep


eras


written on pages

old memories


the stationery bold

with sorrow.


He loved her not

to lose her but


he never knew

the mind around


her prayer


for his memories 

refrain.


Her songs


are blowing 


spores


to the wind.




Caroline Shank
Experimental for me
189 · Dec 2019
Spring
clouds form  cold north winds
roll in  we run toward spring
slide  you warm in me
176 · Oct 2019
Panic Attack
Tomorrow creeps, no wait the
Bard already used that line.
Let me say that tomorrow slings
it's way into me. It's like an
arrow from the Promised Land.
Tomorrow whips across me. I
wipe the sweat of it with
a damp hand.

Panic wets me like rain.  It
waits for tomorrow which,
collides with today and my
fists ball in terror.  Sleep
never soothes this breast,
it barely makes it in the front
door.

I breathe deeply, or try to.
What will help is greatly
misunderstood.  A prescription
for today to stop tomorrow.
Which will slam me to the
floor anyway.

I shake myself awake.  

It is always today.
I stumble on.

Caroline Shank
173 · Nov 2019
It's When Tears Dry Up
It's when the tears dry up,
when the arms are no longer
feeling the loss, when unkissed
the days end that sorrow becomes
memory only and the flat back
of yesterday loses color.

Try harder to replace the moments
strangely forgotten, to remember
the trust, to relive.  Wrapped in memories that once slayed
the dragons of doubt only to
find the pieces of a life unloved
after all in simple shards incapable
of stinging that the ends of
believing are achieved.

This ceases to be a cause for
fear, this lost labor at last
unexpected but tired with
unstrain and blurred with
yesterday's tears.

To lose is always a shock.
To cease to be moved
is a thud in the soul of time.


Caroline Shank
121 · 21h
Some Things
Some things are tough.

Some roads are rough.

Some horses are rode

hard and some are

put down wet.


Some lives succeed.

Some lives don't.

Some people strive.

Some people won't.


Some people give up.

Some people slow down.

Some people love.

Some people don't.


Some say the sky is blue.

Some see the colored hue.

I saw Heaven beyond the pale.

clouds, and I saw you.


I saw you in Paradise.

I saw in each other's 

eyes love

in your rainbowed arms. 



Caroline Shank
Are there too many cliches?
120 · Nov 2019
Panic Attack
Tomorrow creeps, no wait the
Bard already used that line.
Let me say that tomorrow slings
it's way into me. It's like an
arrow from the Promised Land.
Tomorrow whips across me. I
wipe the sweat of it with
a damp hand.

Panic wets me like rain.  It
waits for tomorrow which,
collides with today and my
fists ball in terror.  Sleep
never soothes this breast,
it barely makes it in the front
door.

I breathe deeply, or try to.
What will help is greatly
misunderstood.  A prescription
for today to stop tomorrow.
Which will slam me to the
floor anyway.

I shake myself awake.  

It is always today.
I stumble on.

Caroline Shank
10.27.19
115 · Jan 2
Now What?
Now what? You might well

ask. After the halcyon days

in Florida? After the debt

of childbearing?  After the

years of budgets?  Now what?


Back in the cold, the kids

grown, the still unsettled

finances?  I'm old and faded.


What happens to this

country song that is 

my life?  I am going to 

dance.  Still hold out my 

card to you.


The dance we have left

is slower, but the music

still travels up my spine.

Yes that's what.  I 

save the last dance

for you. 


It's just the way I roll.


Caroline Shank

1.2.20
114 · Oct 2019
Karma
Karma brought me here.
I meditated long enough
to realize the sun beyond
the gloom.
I found in the **** heaps of
a life only crippled a piece
of light.

Karma is a whisper.
caught and warm.
It is the song
through which I dance.


Caroline Shank
100 · Nov 2019
Blue Lawn Chair
(I've seen fire and I've seen rain.
No wait that's been used.
I always knew someday you'd walk through my door… no not that either.)

I walk downtown and there
you are.  I watch your long
unseen smile catch you
unaware when you see me.

There are fragments of that
smile in the shop window.
You reach to catch
my hand.

My memory flickers with the
walklight.  Four seconds to
caution.  Three, two, 1, I run
slowly to your waiting arms.

I float, no wait, I glide to
the other side of the street.
Trust is flung aside, the
movement of air on my face
brushes the air on your
face through the sunlit
afternoon.  

I am a ripened Autumn leaf.  
I slide into the present
moment aware at last
I am a dreamer in a blue
lawn chair.

Caroline Shank
99 · Dec 2019
In My Life
"In My Life" yes she well remembers
you in the Summer of her 28th
year.  She has never seen the likes
of her since then.

She scans the air for red sunsets, for sandy beaches, for tears in the
fabric of time itself.  

You go now.  Her reverie is hers alone.  She shares herself with
no one.  At last she remembers
"In My Life" . The song repeats
and she dances around with you
in the dust of her old age.

You are gone a long time.
The only thing is,  
the music
remained.

Caroline Shank
95 · Dec 2019
You Breathe in My Heart
You breathe in my heart a
song so sweet that I
swing on a cloud.  You
dance me around the
daylight and lay with me
during the night of dreams.

I will be on the side of your
red pleasure as you call
to me to be blessed by the
flavor of goodness.

We swing on a star.
You make me glad to run
with you, the wind, and
our song.

Together we fly over
mountains and lakes.
We grasp the promise
of tomorrow.

We are in the tumble
and the flight of wind
upward.

We are unflappable. Together.
we lay upon each other's heart
a solumn moment. The eternal
fabric of time.



Caroline Shank
95 · Nov 2019
Destiny
There is in the wind a name
so strong, so implacable as
to pass through the strongest
resistance.

There are in the sky arms so
warm they capture the prayers
of everyone.  The nuances of
language are known as a
thought blown to Heaven.

There is a star for each person
that outshines even the brightest
glow.  

Stars are born on the cusp of
love.  There is the whirl and twirl
of cosmic dust which brings
names to things.  

Your name was sprinkled on me
before the beginning of
the bang from which cosmic
destiny emerged.

It is only through the dancing
of dust that we find
each other covered in the
molecules from which
we are all born.  Through
which we will incarnate
together forever.

It is the cosmic dance, said
Maude, that "there are all
kinds of observable differences"
which makes every moment
ineffably perfect. Every encounter
unique.  We are all there ever
was or will be.  A swirl of magic
wrapped around us.  

We are all borne on the breeze.

Caroline Shank
94 · Nov 2019
Angels
Not everyone believes in Angels
but I do.  Sweet singing below
hearing, at the heart of feeling.
Angels are wide white lace
that enfold me in my deepest
sorrow and my highest joy.  

I trust the whirl and whoosh
of them. I catch sight of them
on the side of my eye when
I am not even looking

Angels announced the coming
of Jesus and His going.
They whispered to me the day
my children were born.

I see Angels in the look of loved
ones.  They flutter above my
every day and lay me down
to sleep at night.

I see Angels in the corridor.
sweetly singing homecoming
to patients and embracing
Angels sylphing through me
as I work.

And in our sorrow Angels hold
our faces where tears fall.  Angels
kiss our souls with love and gently
bring us home.

Caroline Shank
89 · Jan 8
Long Ago
Long ago, miles and miles
ago,  you'd think I'd have
forgotten.  I remember so
many things.

I've learned that a tree down
still remembers its first leaf.
That the moon remembers
its first sunset.  I've learned
to understand then, that the
first beating of your
existence on my heart
remembers you.

Send me a signal that I
may see the first fragments
of your hand in mine,
the first dance in the
dark, the first look
we knew as always.

Let me not go without
one signal that you knew,
once, the colors of my
name you whispered
on my skin that night
you said goodbye.

The years have frailed me,
but not so much that I
could not relive that
sole and singular summer.

Caroline Shank
83 · Dec 2019
Midnight Slouches
Midnight slouches to
A Manger in a cold straw
barn where He is born.

Caroline Shank
79 · Jan 1
New Year 2020
It's New Year again

Winter brings another flavor

to my lonely heart.


Caroline Shank

12.31.19
he is still asleep

she watches television

another day starts



Caroline Shank
69 · Jan 9
Yeats
things fall apart a  
rusty wheel that man invented
crawls to Bethlehem.

Caroline Shank
68 · Nov 2019
Christmas
Christmas is not going to perform
for me again this year.  Not going to send me to the five and dime for
shreds of tinfoil or hooks of candy.

Song sung blue over the white
and drifting snow.  I remain
dans la grotte.  Why?  You might
ask.  Tomorrow the Wise Men
start their slouch
toward Bethlehem,
unencumbered by gifts.

Joy is not running through
me.  Starlite, star bright,
I wish you would come
home tonight.

Far away you send sorrow.
I package it in used boxes.
I will sit for twelve days and
twelve nights.  Alone.

I will *******
another Christmas and
count to forty.  It's what
I do.  I am blistered with
the wait.  

When you come home I
will handstand myself
with joy.  It's been the
journey of my life to wait
for you. My face to the
Star, again.

Next Christmas I will celebrate
you.  Home from afar,
I will wrap myself in your
name.  You will open me.  

Please.

Caroline Shank
68 · Dec 2019
Autumn
autumn golds the leaves
the cool breeze stirs the summer's
winding song to winter
                                


Caroline Shank
Completes my seasons haiku cycle
67 · Jan 9
Prayer
Kyrie Eleison

on my old and fractured
existence. May I be
released from the slavery
of old loves that pit me, that
pock me with the dregs
of all those memories.

Christe Eleison

on my ignorance.  You
who loves as the birds fly,
wildly propogating life from the
grasses between the sidewalks.

Kyrie Eleison

on me as I find the way
home away from the dome
of my misgivings.
Make me a potion, carry
me for Your refraction.

I hold onto pain as a
refusal to my remolding
soul.  Model me to an
abundance of joy.

Caroline Shank
Not sure if this is a poem?
62 · Oct 2019
Tango Me Tonight
I dream too much.  I have an
imagination the size
of a planet.
I stay up all night, sleep
like a cat.  Watch movies
on the TV.

I sink and rise and
sink again. Dream
sporadically
of you.  

I think of
past loves.  
It's what getting

old does to me.  You are
the audience for my poems.  
Language is unspoken.
I doze until

Six A.M. when all
my senses call me
to beware.  The night
is hiding and my
thoughts fade into
daylight.

I am on the way
to yet another
dream.

You are the
music.

Tango me tonight?


Caroline Shank
61 · 2d
Time Goes By
I fumble with the days now,

humbly wonder the date, 

the time. Not you.  

You move with the 

alacrity of your age.  


I wrote on the

calendar when you were

babies.  I lost you

at six. Freud said so.


The chipped diaper pin 

that I still have.  The tape

of your first words I can no

longer play.  

Your rumpled memories, 

tumbled recollections.


I traipsed through 

the days of your 

childhoods, 

slowly moved

around the nights.  


Take me gently

through your lives.  


I am alone.


I nap everyday and wake

earlier than I would like to.


Go slowly

around my life.


I have seen my own

star streak 

and I am not 


afraid.



Caroline Shank
59 · Dec 2019
Why I Stay
Why should I stay?  I can
find no existential reason
to do so.

Family?  That is emotional
blackmail.  I cannot defy
their reason, but I can't
make sense of it.

I see worms in my soup,
snakes in my dresser
drawers.  Everywhere I
look there is putrefaction.

I am to be cremated.  My
Urn waits with it's label
already in place.

But! Hear the reasons
why I stay.  My God,
my soul's supporter is
not ready for me.  This
I believe.  That when it
is time for me to leave
the violence of this place
I will be shown the way.

This I believe.  That my
family is succour to my
pain and I am grateful
for them.  My children
are made of the same
stuff that gods are made
of. My grandchildren bloom
with my vision of purity.

The worms will not have
me as long as I have You
to listen.  You who are my
soul's radio.  I turn the
hymn of Your life on

and wait.

Caroline Shank
59 · Dec 2019
Winter
wind wraps around me
I breathe in the winter air
the cold ice crack snaps


Caroline Shank
58 · Oct 2019
Walking to Tipperary
The sky is blue, the water green,
the sand is white and the Seagulls squawk.

The squish between my toes is friendly.
Try as hard as I can I find
no joy.  

The children dash about and
mother's call.  The red
bathing suit of the toddler
shines and is beautiful.

The lovers on the blanket
kiss, oblivious to my gaze.

The sun is strong, the breeze
is glorious.  The lifeguard
watches the bathers from
a ladder high off the ground.

I walk, alone, along the shore
holding no one's hand.

The salt air is filled with the
smells of Sunday.

You are off to the wars and
I am walking to Tipperary.

Caroline Shank
10.18.19
54 · Nov 2019
Snow
Haiku.    Snow

Winter comes early
The leaves are not yet raked in
The snow covers all.
53 · 1d
Hey Alabama
Hey Alabama.  I drove through

you half my life ago.  You were

most green and gracious.  Blue

skies foamed clouds supine on

my skin.  A thin veil of fog an

unseen future away.


I slowly crossed your planet,

picked flowers on the verge.

I remember the heat.  The red

hair of summer curled against

the day.  Nights vibrated, a gong

gone mild.  Soft, resonating, still

resonating.  I breathed air in

like smoke, holding it inside

for long seconds, a question

waiting for its answer.


Long years have veined miles,

mapped time.  I am blued with

thinking of it.


Hey Alabama.

I remember.  Your highways

still, so sweet.  You travel

soft as sleep.

Caroline Shank
48 · Dec 2019
Christmas Morning
You wake in the morning
all alone.  There stillness is
like a quiet stone skipping
through thought.  You leave
the remnants of a life led
with noise and clamor at
the ends of yesterday.

There is time yet to resume.
Now is perfection.  For
a brief moment you are
all that is or ever will be.

Then sound begins to
penetrate the soul of
day and you fear the
reverie will not repeat
so you drink in the
remains of a moment
so fragile and evanescent
you fear the peace will
not come to you again.

The days are full of clang
and bother. You hang on
to the dawn, remember
the instance of salvation
is a wafer of  time.

Caroline Shank
47 · Nov 2019
The Close of the Bazaar
In this circus of the mind,
you are the dreamraker, the
seller by the booth of riches.
You are the daylight’s yellows
and the blue stratum of sleep.
We knew each other in the
shadowless angle of noon,
bartered minutes, collected
seaside the shells of
poetry.  You opened the door of
tents.  The edges of the sand’s
various galleries collapsed
into rivers, opened into books.
You are the sheik of araby, the
dream-maker, the purples
mornings brush in the eyes
of wise men.

Dreams surrounded the day’s
median.  Time was, red was the
color of afternoons pressed
against us.  Now the tents
move nearer the water than
you.  The past is covered
canvas, the future is the wet
unbroken fabric of beach.

The bazaar closes, tents fold,
pictures painted on the moon’s
memory move on.  You and I
walk to the uncut littoral,
carve footprints in the cool
green silence, the first morning
of the world.

Caroline Shank
47 · Nov 2019
Colors
I don't think you know about
the stain above the line of my
sight.  The colors that keep changing with each breathing,
the syllables that won't stay still.

There is a blot on my brain
that smears thoughts into a
puddle.  Did you ever see
yellow reach out like a
tentacle?  It grabs whatever
it can find.  Red is next, a
little less demanding but
still impenetrable.  

It's the blue that can ****.
Uncontained it flows over
my mind like a silent wave.

I can't show you because
I don't know the magic
phrase that makes the
inkblot go away.

Is it in the rainbow when God
said we are alone now?  I
flay in the flow of the thought
that we got on the boat in
the first place.

You cannot see what I hide,
from even myself.  You may
hold me, and if you can, find
the color of safety.

Caroline Shank
44 · Jan 4
When I Die
When I die I will not notice
you by the book in the room
where my ashes lie.  You
never took up space in my
life as I lived it, for you.

When I die I will not see
you not weeping for me
as you stand by the shelf
that has my name written
on it, too soon.

I will lie over you, invisible,
a scatter of memories
you won't recall.  You
left me to live without the
musk of your once,
love.

I will whisp around your
beating heart. You will realize
me in a moment.

You reach out for me,
the air, the stillness, the
forlorn echo of a
memory.



Caroline Shank
44 · Nov 2019
Sadness
I cried when Rozy died.  Great
clutches of gulps.  The next two
deaths left me undone.  No tears
left in my account.  We are all
but flashes of light by Buddha.
We are bubbles in a summer
sky.

I have used up my allotment
of sorrows and the emptiness
of my soul is deep and quiet.
Hear fellow wanderers you are
not alone.

Among the stands of people
whose silence is felt to be
flannel resolution I am to tell
you to wait for sorrows too
incredible to be bourne.
You are in the company of
dryness, of desolation.

God will send you to your
knees in the Great Relief
of terrible sorrow.  Then
you will begin again.  You
will be safe, inevitably, in
the silence and quiet
contemplation that those of
us who have passed dispair
find in every day things.  

Then death Will Have No
Dominion and tears WILL
flow and water your fertile
communion.

And I? I sit alone
and quietly
reflect.  


Caroline Shank
42 · Jan 1
The End of My Youth
I am the mother of my

youth.  I cry in places 

no one knows. 


It was the sunline to

Alabama that made

all the difference. 


I closed the 70's with

a bang. 


Today 

I enter this

decade mute.


My white hair falls

to the floor, my bent

back bent by the years.


I knew it would

end like this: 


alone,


by the tree. 



Caroline Shank

1.1.20
42 · Dec 2019
Loss
It was in the early spring, as
I was just waking up, I realized
that the day had lost its colors
and I was blinded by the loss.

There were shades of gray,
many tones of dun and some
paler lights where sunlight
tried to pierce my eyes, to
no avail.

I mentioned this to you as I
turned to face the empty pillow.
You were gone and nothing
I could do would bring you
and the pallet of colors
settling back in place.

I walk the city streets
unidentified.  I am unseen
in my gray dress.  There may
be activity but there is no
sound.  I float like a ghost
past your house.   I remember
when we lived there, before
the catastrophe.  

You asked me if I loved
you and I, rendered mute
by the enormity of your
request, could not mumble,
though I longed to shout
YES YES YES.  You took
me for a fool in my unthroated
response.  I became a ghost
then doomed to walk the
city's streets, a ghost of
unforgiven silence.

There is no one at home
today.  I lie supine in
my sorrow, in the bleak
gray, and all my tomorrows
crawl flatly to my grave.

Oh do not be tricked and
think me abused for my
vocabulary.  But think
of me unbounded by
the light.  Extinguished
by the loss of a sentence.


Caroline Shank
42 · Oct 2019
Everywoman
I studied a little mythology, some Jung, a tad Freud.  I've read Durrell and Robertson Davies among other things.  I am in tangles over
myself.

My Id  is full of archetypes.  My
Ego is aware of my upside down
Superego.  My parents were
Very ******* up. It's no wonder
I lick my fingers before I eat
the soup.  It's the Golden Bowl
thing.  I think that's it.

I am populated with fantasies.
I can fly around the sun w/o
melting, visit Grandma and slay
dragons before lunch.

I save my children from the
Gorgons around them and
clean their faces when they
are done.  It's a hero thing.

I can ****** Poseidon when I
feel like it but that ****** trident
undoes me everytime.

I was your Anima when I was
younger now I am your crone.
I could never get Siggy to
realize that.  It was in a coke
cookie moment I gave my
soul to Shakespeare and
died old and unrepent.

It is in mythology that
you love me. Only me
and Forever.

I am Everywoman.


Caroline Shank
42 · Dec 2019
The Wise Men
the candles are lit
the wisemen travel abroad
I bow to midnight

The desert is cold
this December night across
the moon's path to Him

there is joy in the
air the angels sing out loud
sing a choir breathing

thank the Lord of my
salvation.  I have little
to give the one I love.

but He has raised my
heart to His acknowledge
He will be here soon.

three men arrive at
a stable door with gifts for
the Son of God cries

out loud love will win
and I am handed the night
the whole world rejoiced


Caroline Shank
41 · Dec 2019
Sisyphus
Write what I know?  I am pocked with
chunks of broken moments.
Bits fall to the ground, trip me.
The terrain of my youth is a
moonscape.  I know what I know in
the craters of this place.

Born on the darkside and thirsty I was
cold.  I found the sun later when I
was tumbled out the door of my
Mother’s leaking house.  Her screams
had become tentacles of maniacal
music.  Or do not call it music for
if you had heard it you would not dance.

I am old now.  The view from my landing
is filled with sunlight and children,
“There are children in the leaves,
laughing excitedly”.  
I am rescued from this debris on
occasion.

When she is quiet,
I sweep her under the porch
where she lies drunk and unlaughing.
I do not let her out.  Yet she
steers me.  Her corpse loud
in her ***** nightdress.  

The terrain of my old age is pitted
with the debris of this haunting.  She
unsings me, makes me lie in
craters from which I climb up
daily only to tumble back down,
to have to begin again
from the bottom each new **** day.

But I sing as I crawl. And
she does not like the sound of that.
38 · Dec 2019
Myths and Poetry
I want you to know things

I never had the strength

to tell you.  I am reminded of 

Zues, of the wisdom of 

Socrates, the guts of 

Anthony.


No, I have the soul of 

a chorister.  Back and forth,

strophe and antistrophe.

I wear the mask made

by decisions and revisions

that a minute

would reverse.


I repeat  to

myself the lines from

Eliot.  They give me 

fortitude to say the

unsayable.  You are

more wonderful than

a day at the warm,

sunred beach.


You tell me how you feel

and I dare to disbelieve

you.  I am upended

by the impossibility.

My throat is a naked 

slash.  My mind is

a tan tunnel.

I implode


at the possibility that

you are truly speaking.

That you measure me

by your kindness.


I will go first before

you realize that I am

the way the world ends.


I am a whimper in the room.

To you belongs my

hollow flesh.


I tear myself in half.

I begin the way up.

Charon sends me

to you whom the 

gods have released.



Caroline Shank
38 · Dec 2019
Twenty Seven
Hard to remember the events
of a life so differently lived.
So short a time, barely cut the
grass.  She was fabulous for
half a summer.  Like a lady
in a perfect hat.  She was
glossy.

For half a summer.

Her voice cleared.  Her body
flew about the air like a breeze.
Music played constantly.  Her
humming a decible over the
bees.  She sang.  She dripped
over the sunlight like honey.

When he left she became
wax.  Her life melted in the
rain.

Twenty seven gone to
long.  She wished, her
whole life, to be twenty
six forever.

Still she sits.  
Uncomprehending
Looks for the wet
where she opens her face.

Just walking nowhere,
Bound for a song
she hears daily.
Her tattered memory
drops with every step.

Caroline Shank
38 · Oct 2019
Prodigal
I am reminded of your face
when the wind blows over me,
when the sun's light shifts
to summer.

We knew each other
in the solstice of our
lives once.  You turned to
me and the light streamed.

Remember me in that light.
My hair not yet quite white.
Remember me in the
while of time.  I was the
wine in your glass's
reflection.  You were
the glass in my
Waterford world.

Run to me.  But know I am
fragile, still afraid.
You left me in the rain.
Come to me now
in the sun
of your returning.



Caroline Shank
37 · Oct 2019
The Cinder Path
The cinders under my bare feet
jabbed me in my hurry to the
beach.  The path down from
the street to Silver Lake was
short but painful.  I rushed
running to the shore.

I learned to swim from a wonderful
lifeguard.  From 1st to 2nd to 3rd
rock I spent the summer of my 10th year swimming in the freezing
spring fed lake.

I swam flat out like a fish.  
I listened for his whistle under
water.  Come up,  he summoned me to the top.  I shimmered like a
shook trout in my rainbow eagerness.

I was a pebble unknowing
that my fate washed me up on
the shore
the day I felt the first young
flung feelings of love.

I shot through the ends of
latency like a star.
I never felt it ringing.



Caroline Shank
37 · Dec 2019
Vines
You’ve spilled like sun on my
shoulders, like light through
a glass. Your face is in front
of me as I write.

I break through.
You are the weather
in which I have grown
so green.

The poems are fertile
vines growing out
through open windows.

You know me better
than I know
how to be.

Caroline Shank
37 · Dec 2019
The Thinker
Thought is always with you like a child
growing in your deepest spaces.  To think
is what you were born for.  You are alive
with questions that brood in your mind
unlimited possibilities.  What do you
read, you who are books?  You
press yourself.

Thought pounds within you.  Each beat
is a hundred years of knowledge.  You
were imprinted on intelligence.  Your
selective Mother.

Thought is always with you.  Lines of
poetry choose to be born through your
fingers like red drips on the page.  You
are in labor, the constant ache of
creation.

You were born in the dark, celestial,
implosion.  You enter through a door;
access to the deepest recess of
experience.

Caroline Shank
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