Tag Archives: life

Perpetua in Carthage

I, who found the door of death
with light forever
on the other side.

I, Perpetua in Carthage.

I, martyr to dust.

I, traveler with slaves
to beasts.

I, rejecter of the babe
my father brought
aching for my breast,

asking me:

“Do you see the space
where you will not be?”

I who was silent.

He asked me:
“What can this space be called by?”

I, who answered:
“I cannot be called anything
other than what I am.”

I, who dreamt of the serpent
I, who dreamt of my slave sisters
I, who dreamt of fighting my way
through the dark door into the light.

I, who brought Felicity singing
to the wild heifer.

I, whose collarbone caught
the executioner’s knife.

I, who caught his hand
and drew the knife
through my neck.

I, who would not be denied.

Copyright Kay Winter

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Passage

Touch some part of me
while we wait for my soul
to be taken and crushed
like petals for scent.

I will neither enter
nor leave the room again.

Each moment
is a snowflake transforming
into a waterdrop
on a green leaf.

The border to the next land
is invisible to the naked eye
music is the only map.

I have walked away
without a word of goodbye.

You must stay on
wakeful
counting the barks of distant dogs
and the songs of the souls
needing bodies.

Copyright Kay Winter

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

The Long Way

I usually took the long way
starlight or clouds low
or the moon waiting to rise
behind the rag edge of black trees
already the shimmer of it
on the blue black lake.

The long way around anywhere
along the creek
the river edge
the last fenced yard
at the edge of town
tall grasses gold gray
in the light of the town’s last streetlight.

The long way there
lost, they said of me,
deliberately.
Didn’t you want to come?
How could I say yes, I did
but there was a place where
the sidewalk stopped
and became a path
that curved away
into the gray woods.

The long way home, too
Weren’t you tired? they asked of me.
How could I say yes,
but the moon was waiting to rise
behind the rag edge of black trees
and the glimmer was upon the blue black water.

Copyright Kay Winter

Tagged , , , , ,

Falling

The last time I fell
it was so far
and so long that
I remember
the falling.

My eyes saw nothing at first.
I felt the dark wind against my shoulders
and against my knees
as I fell.

The last time I fell
it lasted days.
Darkness
and light
like long blinks.

At first I saw only the dark.
And the light so blinding.
And then darkness again
and stars at my feet.

The last time I fell
the moon rose between
my tumbling feet
and changed from a sliver
to a half
to a full
round
circle.

Copyright Kay Winter

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Void

Did you have to say
that you had gone there
and come back
and were ready to stop
the traveling bus?

This spiral life
isn’t what we come to
it’s how we walk
how we stop from falling
off the place.

Did you have to say
it doesn’t matter?
It’s all that does
this spiral afterlife.
It isn’t what we die for
it’s how we keep
from falling off.

It’s the whirling secret
at the center
the seeds of a thousand flowers
the tips of the grasses
alight with the sun
over the low fence
around our hearts.

Copyright Kay Winter

Tagged , , , , , , ,

I Have Learned So Large

I have learned so large

the space open for my soul.

Clouds hover below

as I circle away

from the snow-wound expanses.

 

I have learned so large

the paths of my soul traveling.

Aimless Autumn steps

walking with you

until we are lost

and I think:

“This is it.

This is how the life goes here.”

 

I have learned so large the flowering

of my soul

lovely as wild pink roses

as dandelions seeding

miraculous as the five white petals

that turn to bitter lemons.

– Copyright Kay Winter

Tagged , , , , ,

Memento Mori

On Wednesdays and Thursdays
I take the 7 bus home
after dark.

We pass by a funeral home
and every night
I look through the window
and see a small arc of lamplight,
an empty sofa,
and a box of tissue
waiting.

– Copyright Kay Winter

Tagged , , , , , ,

For One Day

For one day
do not toss the net.

Look for nothing
lost on the ground,
nothing in secret folds
in the back of a book,
or waiting on a table.

Remember nothing.
Plan nothing.
Forget the list and calendar and clock.

Do not look at the sky
through the kitchen window
before you go.

If it rains, be wet.

For one day,
do not toss the net.

– Copyright Kay Winter

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Girl on the Bus

We wait in the rain
for the 7 local,
me and the kid with
the purple hair.

I read my library book
and she stands off
to the side
smoking.

I recognize the sweet clove
smell of Djarums
and remember the scented
breath of honey-haired boy
who broke my heart
for a month or two.

After we board,
she sits across from me
and scans her phone
and stares
out the dark window.

Her eyes,
lined with purple,
have not yet decided
to be happy
or unhappy.

She rises to get off
at the university.

I want to reach out
and tell her:

“There are a thousand ways
to have a happy ending,
most of which don’t
look like it
at the time.”

– Copyright Kay Winter

Tagged , , , , , ,

One Small Thing

Cut one silk stitch
and no longer live
in the small space of yesterday.

Let the day fall behind you
like a pebble into
a dark pond.

One step through
the gate
(see the green morning meadow)
and the path turns
a sudden corner
out of the shadow.

Let the shadow fly away
behind you
like a paper blowing
through rain.

One word spoken
into noise
(or silence)
and a new song
begins
(hear the tuning
of the instruments
in a nearby room).

Let the noise
(or the silence)
fade away
like the silence
of the sun falling
on another earth.

One small thing
begins
all things.

– Copyright Kay Winter

Tagged , , , , , ,