Tag Archives: love

Finally I Understand

Finally I understand
that the wild wood paths
call and light back the moon
unasked.

Finally I understand
how the lone trumpeter swan mourns
white and cool on the still pond
in a green shadow of night.

Finally I understand
that the love ungiven
from the silent,
from the pained,
crosses into such still places
and fills them.

– Copyright Kay Winter

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The Crackdown

Work, bus, drugs, arrests, drink, and
struggle
and no good music anywhere.

And the young male press
says the crackdown on us is coming.

I say we’ll crack ourselves
before they ever get here
if we are not too careful.
They step over us
to avoid their mother’s backs.

Don’t walk alone
they shake their heads
they say say say
all sorts of stupid things,
but they do not say
how to get cabs with money
that stays in the rich man’s pocket.

We each walk alone
Needs must for the lazy (they say say say)
mother
because the late shift pays more.

We rest at last in rooms
behind the hardware store
through the alley
where our children sleep
in streetlight light
that shines
through thin curtains.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Same Language

We spoke the same language
with different words
Always the feeling of light shining through.
Words like dust motes on Sunday afternoon.
A cloud of words
waiting for
the gush and scent of rain.

Always the feeling of light shining through.

The soft sounds of his jackets in the entryway
soft as snowfall
A door opening softly inward late at night
the streetlight shining through the dark window
lingering into the gray mornings
those long winters.

The snow covering our words.

Still, always the sense of light shining through.
The headlights through the snowfall
driving home.

We spoke the same language with different words.

The smell of coffee burning,
a dog barking a yard away,
a door being shut outward too quickly,
the goodbye on the other side.

Copyright Kay Winter

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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

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Death Draught

And then it grew chill
And then we screamed
And then we vomited in bathrooms with the doors locked
And then they crawled out from their holes
And then they came marching
And they held up the hands of night
And they held out the claws of destruction
And they painted their crooked lies
And they called their wicked dogs
And they spoke their crooked hate
And they jeered at the fear in our bodies
And they jeered at the fear in our children
And they poured the horror into a death draught
And they told us to drink drink drink.

And then we,
We the people,
We held up the moon
We held up the sun
We held up the spinning blue earth
We held up the green branches of our garden
We held up our bodies
We held open our souls
We held strong in our voices
And we said no no no.

We said love love love.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Strong

Strong medicine
we called it
that sophomore year
when we’d loll on Friday nights
amid the smoke
and I’d reach out
my hand to you
later in the dark
and say
Terence this is stupid stuff
and you’d say
Terence I have reached the wasteland
and our laughter went deep into
our hearts.

And that love was strong,
but not as strong
as you and me a few years later
and the stubble on your chin
on those cold mornings
and me exhausted
and you would
bring me my oatmeal
and I would bring you your coffee.

And somehow we got the rent
and the car to start
and an old sofa to sit on
and even a tiny ragged tree
at Christmas
to tie ribbons on.

Copyright Kay Winter

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The Open Door

This late day
of Fall sun
ran away from
a bank of gray clouds.

I stand in
the back yard
in the bitter-smelling mums
and see the door
forgotten, open.

And then her hand
shutting it quickly
against the swift cold rain.

Copyright Kay Winter

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It Was Coming

Thank God I didn’t see it was coming
or I would have changed direction
and I shouldn’t have
and I am glad I didn’t.
Thank God I didn’t see.

It was coming
down the long road
of November
Your theft of me.
Your leaving of me.
Your stunning of me.
On a winter street
on an empty Sunday
it was coming.

Down the long road
of empty Sundays
went I playing.
Sweet as my own soft voice.
Sweet as a single violin.
Sweet as a single horn.
Playing in an empty room.

Went I playing
raining and laughing years later.
I didn’t see it was coming.
You in the open doorway.
You shaking the water off.
You in front of me
With the mean asking.
And went I on playing
into the fierce night
out the open door
to the long road
to my own home
over the bridge
over the thawing bog
to the coming of the Spring.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Something Cold Falls

In these endless days,
I think of the small yellow room
off the kitchen
where we had our coffee every morning.

I remember sitting with you
looking out the window
over the cobbled streets
of our old city,
now blasted and forsaken.

And something cold falls
through my heart.

I write to you every day
on scraps of paper
folded and refolded
worn and gray at the edges
but each time
I pass a mailbox
I remember that you are no place
that I can send it to.

And something cold falls
through my heart.

When I dream of the worst,
that they have you,
Of what they do,
I wake up
trembling
and hold my hands against my cheeks
as you did.

You are alive,
I tell myself,
somewhere.

And I am fleeing.

My old striped suitcase
of orange and green
that fell on your head
on the train ride
through the mountains
so many years ago
drags behind me
leaving bruises on my ankles.

Where I am is nowhere.
I am only where I am from.
And where I am from
is no longer there.

The changing sky
follows me
as I travel,
the gray clouds
chase me across the distances.

Tonight I write to you
in the margins of
a magazine
someone left
in the train station.
Near the words I cannot read,
I write:

Dear lover,
I am safe here
in a small room
with bare walls
and sheets that smell of bleach.

Someday, dear one,

I stop here and
look out the cold window…

Someday,
We will walk back
along the night streets
where we parted
past the secrets
of the rustling palms
back to the small yellow room
and the coffee
will be thick
and bright.

– Copyright Kay Winter

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Steal Something Small

Steal something small.
Take it.
Disregard the value.

A silver knife, a button,
a shy smile,
a bookmark, a rose petal,
a plastic spoon,
a diamond,
the touch of a hand
in greeting.

Steal something small.
Hide it.
Tell no one.
Disregard the value.

– Copyright Kay Winter

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