She sang to the Lord with cymbals after Holofernes
was foiled by the hand of a woman

Holofernes symbolizes the rugged root of an invading army
and unwanted intimacy, she took the man seed

Judith is a private poet who railed and raged saying, “whosever fears
the Lord will see their enemies melt like wax”

No one would mistake her closed thighs for arrogance
the beauty of her countenance was her victory

Like Persephone, she took her offering to the Underworld
knowing the humility of supplicating on others’ leavings

The head fell into seeds planted beneath her tribe
grew healing from man-brokenness into wings and leaves

Renewal every year means virginity can be reclaimed
as it regrows a flourish ascending from the soul

Spring returns thus, so no man ever claimed her after the once
she planted renewal arriving in each bloom and regrown shoot

Judith found the truth as the flowers hoisted their lips to the sun
in the season of maidenhead with its thousand new blossoms.

©marywinslow 2017 all rights reserved. This is another one that I sent to Calyx and they've lost all trace of my submission and my very existence. I'm glad to be able to share it on HP.

I feel the cold bites, mittened children yell
they’re sewing sky flowers as they run with yellow or red kites
ocean makes that great space with tides that linger over the rocks
we fashion nothing like the clouds and feel small

As storms build up I walk a coastal trail
where ashes of an old beach fire left roasted pinecones littered
an Osprey flies up above the shore’s edge  
and as I read your book, I feel the restless melody in your poems

Tides flap and slop against sand the color of worn concrete
ocean’s spoiled lives permeate everything, my skin tastes sea salt gargle
gulls and passersby all watch the waves moving towards us

I’m lingering here for too long and return to my car
clicking heels behind me in the parking lot
the castanets of other lives with their importance
arouse such unpleasant thoughts, I walk back down to the beach
hurrying until I no longer hear their rhythm

But now the fog rolls in and the ground is covered with wings
all the doors are locked when the sky drops down like this
thunder knocks in the distance saying ‘“celebrate!”
its echoes wake the clouds, rain gives an answer with applause

on the threshold of storm I turn away from the ocean and look east
a forested mountainside crowded with fading painted houses abandoned
a single car on the road with headlights, we have hundreds of days of rain here

in other words, most people forget anything but rainy weather
the chill from Alaska reaches down only in gusts but snow is distant

This Sunday when Netarts bay is full of kayaks and fishing boats
Oceanside’s patch of beach is strewn with sea grass, people with their dogs
walk amongst shed crab shells, a lone restaurant opens selling coffee and pies
none of the people in rain slickers and hoodies move off as the rain falls

©marywinslow 2017 all rights reserved. I submitted this one to Calyx magazine in October. They've apparently lost my submission and all record of my existence. I'm glad to be able to share it here.
  Dec 2017 Mary Winslow
Jeff Stier

Every moment in time
is delicate
ready to shatter

Every moment in time
is soon lost
and seldom found

I live in a moth-built cocoon
moss in my ears
deluded into thinking
I will soon be the butterfly
I once was

But in this life
it will never be
unless the ocean
loses its argument
against the land

Unless the moon
says no more
to the sun

So in that spirit I hold out my hands
for the next blessing
receive it dutifully
and with a gratitude deeper than music

Here to chime
until my time
like bells in the wind.

Mary Winslow Dec 2017

A living ball of white plastic twine
its bulb of body conscious
slim head pointed down towards the floor
chaos of legs whirling
knees bend inwards and go slack
like a flower opening and closing
a shimmering life
the size of my kneecap

hanging from a thread of silk
spider as a puppet
marionette legs
flailing as they play empty notes in space
haggling without gravity

mused into waking they paw at the air
smoothing the surface
of imagination

making and unmaking
an invisible tapestry

all these careless maids
whatever their purpose might be
whatever heartbreak is
the encroaching ends of their creations
meticulous in movement only
when the sewing
commences

In the morning
all the magic has worn off
the spider is a tiny brownish
common cellar spider
a miniature Daddy Longlegs
just the hull of what
was massive
and sentient
in the night

©Mary Winslow 2017 all rights reserved
Mary Winslow Dec 2017

Angels make the bouquets 
I see as I thumb through this Chagall book
life is served on a bed of blue sky
aspirations made of soft shells 
like molting crabs 
these flowers bloom risking penury 
to offer a glimpse of eternity 

make themselves windows of the blooming tree 
a prism in a subjective room 
they chose their lives in alternative 
and reflect themselves as canals of rainbows 

I sip a glass of wine and ponder this page
the museums of silken selves the artist left for us
Chagall painted old age so devoid of color 
and vitality 
because he knew as we age
we empty our imaginations
into the angels
who then arrive
holding flowers
for the young

©mary winslow 2017 all rights reserved
  Dec 2017 Mary Winslow
Liz Balise

One of those north face nights
cloudless, dreamless
thousands of feet up and clinging
Wedged
between cold and moonlit— still

Red digits cannot contain
the 3:15 that they proclaim

Breathing sideways
to get enough!

The air is paper thin

Idle snow—
loitering….

Mary Winslow Nov 2017

A living skin, a skein of green briars
where a half-hinged door is wagged by the wind

Good-natured god, decay’s stigmata-stained spires
nettles paint the stairs splotch patterned, olive skinned

Glass window shards grab a slip of silk curtain
pick-pocket beetles engrave brute luck broadside

Chimney thrushes cabined in ash are certain
cynicism’s growing sums are rectified

Blue jays opine time’s cuckoo clock mocking
worms ply enormous copses, scrawl casts of clay

Autumn gusts and rains whirl detritus stocking
flung colors Pollocked, clutter’s chaos array

Hours dissolve the acorns and soft seeds scatter
as grasses grown tall have turned light yellow

architecture’s flourishes are picked off
crumbled valuables filched and turned to dirt

tumult’s passages dug the driveway’s trough
carrion feeders pull black quills from their shirt

slugs smear a rainbow trail and mice scurry
collapsed walls fall to the slush of leaf slurry

©marywinslow2017
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