May 1 Mary Winslow
Jeff Stier
I’m a friend of darkness
lock lips with it
in a lover’s embrace

I mourn the dawn
beg favors from the twilight
hold every hope
in my uncertain hand
for a day when the sun won’t shine

And I know
by my wayward feet
by the tremors in my hand
that darkness creeps silently
up to my borders
crosses every line
and will someday defeat
my meager defenses

I have prepared my retreat
a forced march
to the grey Pacific
where everything in my life
ends
and begins

The solemn swell of the waves
a fitting harmony
to that last sweet song.
  Apr 14 Mary Winslow
Jeff Stier
The sea is resting now
after a long day
gnawing at the edge
churning in deep hollows
ever so slowly eroding
this peaceful coast

Sand is the issue
of this marriage
sea and sky
combining to
make the land large
in its retreat

A handful of sand
to the winds
my life
to these tides
Mary Winslow Jan 9
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 ***** 
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
L B
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….
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