Category Archives: free verse

3 A.M.

3 A.M.

I forgot to lock my head
left it wide open, in fact, how
careless of me, before stretching
my toes to the memory foam’s edge,
wrapped to my ears in satin-lined
down. Of course I can’t sleep, with
that incessant drip, drip, drip, because,
wouldn’t you know, I left my brain on too,
just a smidge, enough to dry up the well
water, water everywhere, dry to my bones,
tired of counting sheep, stupid sheep, at
three A.M. while a moth slams Itself
against the strobing blue-green light
from the smoke alarm on the ceiling. I know,
I know it’s hard to resist crazy, when
it courses through your veins, damn weak
link in the old double helix, instinct perhaps,
but, about that door, we don’t live in a barn
here you know…yeah, I know, but what about living in a barn is meant to dissuade me? It’s
4:27 A.M. now, two more hours before dawn
or the alarm clock, whichever comes first,
ruining a decent REM cycle…if only
I’d locked my head before turning in…
4:51 am and counting…4:52…4:53…

~kat

…and still

Last year’s pretty, porcelain pot was perfect, roomy, plenty of space for her roots to settle, to meander through miracle soil soaking in tap water and raindrops. She thrived as all good potted plants are want to do, her emerald plumes leaning east toward dawn, she grew and bloomed and grew, white-tongued symbols of peace pushing from her shoots, cocoons at first, to sleepy side-eyes, opening, her prickly heart revealing…then spring, then summer…

then COVID, sheltering in, mask-clad fear-ashed faces, black souls rising from blood spattered bedrooms and spit-stained asphalt, covered in flowers, trampled by broken, fierce legions chanting, ‘ENOUGH’ under tear-gas curtains peppered with rubber bullets, vigilantes, anonymous armies looting, rising from hell to disturb the peace, hurricanes, floods, shuttered storefronts, the dead stuffed into frozen trailers, not enough soil to contain them, mourners left to mourn in absentia, single file food lines doling out bread…lies upon lies

It took only two seasons for her roots to tangle, clinging tightly to pretty pot’s edges, only two seasons for her leaves to tinge yellow, her skirt of fading fronds to wilt under the confining walls of porcelain that once cradled her. She needed my intervention, clearly unable to move, to thrive, to breathe. What a journey it has been from beaker to pot to pot to pot, and yet still, she blooms, despite my oblivious tending, despite my errant caretaking, she blooms as if to remind me that she is, and refuses to stop.

in November, I will vote

I found another pot, a roomier pot, filled it with miracle soil, untangled her roots and set her gently down in it. We will likely cross this bridge again in a season or two or more…because that’s what peace lilies do…they grow.

~kat


So this is what happens when the muse returns and the dam bursts after months of holding in, holding on. Peace my friends.


the unraveling

the unraveling

the tapestry is unraveling
earthy tones of brown and
tan, yellow and red fading,
white patches soiled from
blood and tears, offering no
warmth, no consolation,
threads splintering, breaking
unable to hold together the
dreams of the innocents
wrapped in it like a shroud…
where are the seamstresses
with steady hands and nimble
fingers, trembling with needles,
eyes too narrow to thread, to
mend the tatters, to scrub
the fabric clean, to restore
the tapestry, or better yet,
to weave a new cloth, one
that is brilliant, softened
with batting, large enough
to cover all who slumber,
to shield us from nightmares,
from the darkest of nights,
to bring us safely to the dawn
we’re hanging by a thread
tossed by tempests, trembling,
chilled to our bones
while the world burns

~kat


Crawling out from under my rock. Sorry for my recent silence. I confess that I have been overwhelmed of late by what’s happening to our brothers and sisters of color, to those sick and dying from the pandemic, from the lies of our leaders, from the hate ravaging our streets, disturbing the ardent pleas of peaceful protesters, from sheltering in (sheltering…what a benign word…sheltering). I have struggled to find words, forgetting that it is words that save me from the abyss; that help me get out of my head. I hope everyone is staying safe and well. I hope…at least I am trying to even as the dawn seems so very far away. Peace ✌️


sheltered

sheltered

there is no drama here
no coffee-breath, he said,
she said, I heard, did you know’s,
no traffic, no rude drivers
riding my ass in a hurry to
get nowhere, no whispers,
no prying eyes, no judgment.
here, there is my desk, my
computer, tasks for the day,
routine, sun shining outside
my window, and rain, I don’t
mind it, here there is bird song,
an occasional butterfly flitting by,
it is quiet, I can breathe, I am
breathing at long last, my heart
has settled from my throat to
my chest…I could get used to
this, I have gotten used to
doing what I do without leaving
my house, relishing the freedom
of forced sheltering in place,
these walls no longer feel
confining, as they embrace me
here, safe, well, solitary bliss…
they are planning for us to
return to our cubicles, but
a part of me is hoping
I’ll not be missed

~kat


Asleep

Photo above by Mike Warner, KATU TV

Asleep

I have been asleep, Rip
Van Winkling through life
pretty in pink, golden pin-curl
locks and porcelain skin, muted,
pale, pastel privilege, oblivious
to the jewel tones that lower their
eyes when I pass by, yes, ma’am,
no, ma’am…please don’t call me
ma’am,
I say, but they just smile
and whisper, yes ma’am, as
they shuffle away.

I have been asleep, yearning for
love’s kiss to wake me, warm
breath against my cheek, life is
a fairy tale, simple, sweet, but it is
a hot shallow breath that rouses
me to the nightmare, I can’t
breathe
, he can’t breathe!
blood runs cold, crimson,
amidst a sea of jewels rising
from the asphalt, beautiful,
terrible, how can anyone sleep
in the shadow of this injustice,
we should do something, what
can I do? how can I help? this
has to stop, how do we make it
stop…do you see what’s happening?

yes ma’am
please don’t call me ma’am…
I have been asleep.

~kat

#Black Lives Matter


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