sheds its bark an

armor piece at a time
from high on its trunk

where its heart would be
is that what creches first

rather than the soul?
(a volute of thought

from heart to head, this) --
like the healing of its bone

by the purring of the cat
or the birthing of a person

in the eye of the whale
or the movement of the heart

into the head
a balm of balsam

baal shemen
chief anointing in the

shedding of the tree
a chrism, the

extreme unction of Love

c. 2018 Roberta Compton Rainwater

the weight of seven
hummingbirds -- 21 grams --
is what leaves the body
after death

on that hummingbird breath
the soul leaves
a wispering whisper
of seven tiny, winged cavatinas

being sung back
and singing themselves
into the chorus

to enter again
a melody -- in
the Eye Of God

wings beating
the rhythm of Love

c. 2018 Roberta Compton Rainwater

I should have known
the time would come.

The kitchen window frames
a broken braid of winter birds—
feathered flecks above the trees,
flat against an anvil of sky.

We have until morning
to finish it all: the jigsaw
puzzle on the coffee table,
the dishes soaking in the sink,
the bottle half-drunk between us.

We could tiptoe
to our daughter’s
room and watch
the moonlight glide
from wall to wall
in geologic time.

But a column of snow is filling
the hole in the roof of the barn,

and the lantern in the sleeping
porch is almost out of fuel.

I would take your hand,
but every path leads
to the black willow
at edge of the river,
uprooted and
draped in ice.

I could take your hand,
but I know the ground
outside is too hard
to dig, and we have
so much left to bury.

Reposting this with slight revisions, and to see if it makes it into folks' feeds this time around.

On the stage
is the one
he is not

smiles shakes hands
holds close and tight
he is right on spot.

Hides the real face
speaks and shares
like he is a saint

blamelessly white
open in the light
without a taint.

Busy in the act
to keep away the fact
he is on guard

audience gloats
over crisp anecdotes
any dissent debarred.

From a distance
some in silence
read it in bold

the gore in the glory
the gaps in the story
and all that's untold.

“poetry choose you for us to sheaf through and find love among your words” (Pradip)

did you think that I forgot your message,
which is more than mere message, more a significant missive,
thrust upon my shoulders, again, even more, a mission,
an owner’s responsibility that I choose to herein bare,
but a charge, too onerous, too awesome, to willingly bear

what skilled knowledge of this in my possess is narrow based,
more gained by loss or absence, or even conspicuous struggle,
than any vast success, thus, to be viewed with skepticism,
rather than any glory gained through a vanquisher’s scepter

more and better have essayed and assayed the
requisite sheafs that may give forth results useful to yourself,
this itinerant investigator’s ramblings are not to be deemed trustworthy or investable

that poetry hath chosen me, if correct, woe-betide me
this be more curse than blessing, for the secrecy of love
yields not its clear and present insights to my declining sight

the sheafs of which you speak so numerous
that a whole lifetime such engaged could not dent its
maidenhood and here do I both confess, here I do plead guilty
to trying and to failing, and in the confines of words,
honestly advance to all the proposition that I know nothing

to recognize and diagnose the symptoms almost too easy,
thus I designated myself foolishly as onlylovepoetry,
but recognition does not yield easy the cure of real cognition

nearing midnight and it is easier to pen than to sleep,
even a dreamless sleep, the great restorative,
make not the pen mightier than the wounds love inflicts;
both my scars and my many smooth, unused unpierced skin patches
speak only of the abscesses of true trials and
the too long absences of emotions that make
life unbearable, bearable and the happy exhaustion of near misses,
the try in try, try again

finding love in words a fool’s errand, though words offer us
seduction and definitions to our errant emotions, words
are just words and by definition, a hallmark of failure,
a precursor to cursing failings

only this I know, that to make love occur, do not hope to
stumble into it, or to find or mine its riches, for it requires of you,
both somber preparation and wild optimism,
and this contradiction controversy so inherently embedded,
will provoke more pain infusions and more poetry in
a human chain that came from the smithy new and yet, nearly broken

pay attention to thy surroundings and thy attitude and altitude
love is above ground though deep buried, the mystery scent
so faint it missed by most, myself a chief of mistaken mistook

meanwhile the pile of sheaves grows deeper and despairing

what I thought I knew I mistook and what I thought I felt,
well, let it suffice to say love can n’ere be found in thought
but lives in deed and actions and happy disbelief

put down the pen, gown thyself in coats of many riotous colors,
banish ‘never’ and ‘hope’ from thy lexicon, and begin with a smile always a smile as you walk the streets as if to say
open open says me, open sesame and let the
good works begin, for having found your captains of the muses,
your Calliope, your rosebud, lucky you,
you will need not write another word

11:37pm  January 14

I've changed my ways a little; I cannot now
run with you in the evening along the shore, Exceptin a kind of dream; and you, if you dreamt a moment, tou see me there.

so leave awhile the paw-marks along the front door
where I used to scratch and go out or in, and you'd soon open' and you'd soon open; leave on the kichen floor
the marks of my drinking -pan

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
on the warm stone, nor at the foot of your bed;
no all the night through I lie alone.
but your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
outside your window where the firelight so often plays, and whewre you sit to read--and I fear grieving for me--
every night your lamplight lies on my play.

you, man, and woman live so long, it's hard
to think of you ever dying
a little dog would get tired of living so long.
I hope that then you are lying

under the ground like me your lives will appear
as good and joyful as mine.
no, dear, thtat's to much hope: tou are not cared for
as I  have been.
and never have known the passionate undivided
fidelities that I knew.

your minds are perhaps to active, to many sided...
but to me were true.

you were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well' and was well loved. deep love endures
to the end and far past the end. if this is my end,
I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.

 1d r
 1d r

what can i do
with my
for you?

how do i
fill the holes
my love falls

oh, moon,
new muses
do pop

it's you
who haunts.
it's you
i want.

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