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The Real Show

The Real Show

The curtains fell
on the last show of the year
with a soft thump of worn velvet
against old wood.

The feathers and glitter
fell from costumes discarded
among the shattered mirrors
and paint pots.

They danced naked
into the dark streets
trailing ribbons of magic.

Past dark doorways,
past dark windows,
to the edge of the city
where the last streetlight gave way
to the wild.

And in they danced
into the greenwood
below the black branches
below the blue-black sky.


Copyright Kay Winter

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A Letter Home: Korea 1952



All I can say

is that I was not created

to blow up bridges,

but to build them.

But brass wants them blown,

and the corps builds them and blows them.

I can also say

that it is cold here,

even for a Minnesota boy.

I can probably say

that after all this is over

And no one remembers us

that there will still be the space inbetween

we are lined up on now.

I can also say that nothing

is as big as the space in world

where we are not together.

I can say, just to you,

that I give myself a couple minutes each night

to think about

dancing with you in my arms

and the low lights of the dance floor

at the supper club

and you have just said,

“Oh, darling, darling,

it’s Begin the Beguine”

and laid your head on my shoulder.

I can say,

that in spite of myself

that hard on that memory

comes the memory of standing alone

quiet with the wind in the pines

after I walked you home.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Collage Poems

I am starting a series of collage poems. For these pieces, I will create a collage to start the poem. Some collages, like my first one, I created by selecting one image each day over a month. Other collages I will create all at once. In each case, I will write a poem based on the collage. When you read the poems, read them as collages of words. They may not makes sense separately, or logically, but together, they should leave some impression. Well, that is my intent! As always, thank you for reading!

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Most of what I knew was untrue.
I think about what I used to know
while I write this poem in my head
and swim down the blue line
of the afternoon, submerged,
and waiting for a descending saint
in the shimmering light on the pool floor,
halo-edged in gold and salmon.

None do.

The edge of light and shadow
move slowly across the water.
I swim on
and think about honesty
and dishonesty.

A shallow laugh as the body turns away.

Promises fogotten on pocket scraps of paper.

Silences breaking the pace of days.

One daydream clasped hand.

Songs in dead languages.

Unused maps.

I swim, and think about
what is true and
what I wish had been true.

Copyright Kay Winter

Dirty Job

Great poem on what it means to be a poet. From a fellow writer Tim Downs. Posted on the blog for my writers group. Enjoy!


It’s a strange position.

Being a poet means you have to pay attention.

You have to drink a lot and

Do a little bit of drugs

But then you have to quit.

You have to forgive everybody.

You have to stop spitting at

Yourself in the mirror.

You have to read books.

You can never give up.

The poems are out there.

Watch the families leave the church.

Their lives are epic.

Their lives are cinema.

Watch this old wrinkled man

Shut the door to the bathroom stall.

He has a small brown paper bag and

He is smiling, smiling, smiling.

Watch the traffic go by.

They are sheep who learned to drive.

Its up to you to save them.

Feel it.

Take it.

Smother little explosions in your heart and

Write them down later in a notebook.

You finally admit that you miss your dad.

You should have done…

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Waterways 5

This only looks like a boat.
I am not floating.
Though I lean forward,
as if blown by the wind.
I am instead
calling it
Down to the waterbound stones.

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OctPoWriMo Poem 20 – Angels

Sometimes the angels come down
From on high
And get drunk at the corner tap
They float and careen down my street
Wings akimbo and flapping awkwardly
Setting off car alarms
And waking up dogs
They sing mambo songs
In languages only they understand
One stands forever on the bus shelter bench
Swigging from a bottle of wine
And yelling out “Fear not! I said! Fear! NOT!
I said fear not! FEAR! NOT!”

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OctPoWiMo Poem 5 – Changes

The sages on the Crosstown bus 
crowd in clusters at the back, hanging on,
or sit
two by two

Ain’t nothing changes says one,
Turning the page of her library book
Ain’t nothing but changes says another
And shakes out his daily paper

I watch the liquor store slide by
Through the wet window
The cars circling the crowded lot
A man with a Coors 12 pack under one arm
A woman with three children and one in a stroller 
Following behind

Walking home from my stop
I remember they said there’s snow up north already
Be here soon, I think
Trying to recall the condition of my boots
Since I left them in the hall closet last spring

Nothing but nothing change.

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Hello poets and readers!

Hello all poets and readers. I started this blog as a place to post my poems for October Poetry Writing Month. The challenge was to write a poem every day. With the encouragement of others writers, I will start posting other pieces I am working on – poems, thoughts, snippets from larger works in progress. So, remember…these are seeds, drafts, thoughts, snippets, fragments, ghosts of poems forming before your eyes. My heartfelt thanks for your reading.

The photo at the top of my blog is my own photo, taken in a small church in Spain.

COPYRIGHT KAY WINTER. All poems and other written pieces copyright Kay Winter, unless specifically otherwise noted. You may reblog only via the WordPress functionality. You may not otherwise reproduce these poems without my written permission, but please feel free to cut and paste snippets with a link to share!