Tag Archives: Poetry

It’s a Mad World

It’s a mad world
It’s a shook-up world
A world of large indifference
A world of shouted hate
Hate in bonfires of souls
Hate in small rumpled pieces of hope
Hope in long journeys
Hope in small feathered graces
Graces calling like a red birds among the snowy grasses
Graces like the edges of blue sky over the stormed plains
Plains that roll you off the edge of the world
Plains that give you room to consider everything

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Catch me as I fall

Whatever I promised you, I gave you.
You promised nothing and gave less.

My memories of disappointment flash now in specific images
that catch me as I fall.

The old coat that smelled like November rain
and cough drops.

The curl of smoke as I sat
on your back steps, waiting for you,
flicking ashes into a Pepsi can.

The back stairs to the laundry room,
aqua and gray in the fluorescent light,
hum of the dryer.

A series of winter nights
opening a mailbox,
expecting a letter.

Copyright Kay Winter

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I am dead, with Abdo,
beloved brother,
buried outside Rome,
along the Tiber,
on the road to the sea.

Princes, we never intended to
defy the emperor
with our secret faith.

But that night,
the night the bodies of the martyrs
called to us
from defilement at the feet of Saturn.

And so we went in darkness,
and took them,
Abdo and I,
and buried them,
in holy ground.

The emperor took us chained
to Rome,
sentenced us in the Senate.
We were defiant and secret no more.
The light of God shone through us
like light through air.

The day we were killed,
in the hot sun of the coliseum,
not even the two lions wish us harm.
not even the four bears wished us harm,
The two lions fierce, yes, coming toward us,
The four bears fierce, yes, coming toward us,
but halting,
to lay at our feet,

Copyright Kay Winter

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Tea and talk of traveling

Tea and talk of traveling
to long-remembered homes
in Prussian woods.
Up narrow lanes by sled,
muffed hands and fur rugs.

Tea and talk of celebrating
by the flames of a thousand candles.
Singing toasts with the stars shining through the window
Glazed fruit on tiered cakes
as white and vast as the winters.

Tea and talk of donkey carts
On paths higher up the mountain.
Struggling by instinct through the snow
to hunters, caught in the storm.

Tea and talk of the old cities,
carriages on cobblestones,
and waltzing, waltzing, waltzing.
Before the wars,
before the train stations,
and crowded ships.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Daylong Clatter

The torture is just the daylong clatter
in your brain and body huff and rush.
No faint scent of clarity.
Not even a little-regarded moment
to think of a house in the sun
where light comes through the same window
every evening.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Inconceivable but materialized
in modern worlds.
Without flash or false sparkle,
we appear and disappear.
Manifest as we choose
above shingled rooftops
and empty fields.
Angels singing
about death and wonder
with soundless wings.
silent fanfare.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Blitz Madness

Pile of junk
Pile of memories
Memories of backyards
Memories of backseats
Backseats of red plush
Backseats of streetlights
Streetlights snapping on
Streetlights snapping off
Off like night
Off like pants
Pants of corduroy
Pants of jean
Jean Jeanie
Jean jean the roses are red
Red like lipstick
Red like blood under your nails
Nails in backs
Nails in coffins
Coffins like freight cars
Coffins like doorways
Doorways leaned into
Doorways out of the endless rain
Rain like too many thoughts
Rain like deafening words
Words in the dark
Words in the muffled neck
Necks in high collars
Necks stretched across boards
Boards rotting like old floors
Boards abandoned by the tracks
Tracks in a lonely town
Tracks racketing
Racketing like drunks
Racketing like a madwoman
Madwoman banging against the hallway walls
Madwoman singing invisible songs
Songs without words
Songs with subtle meaning
Meaning like the last star before dawn
Meaning like the light left on
On like streetlights
On like the radio
Radio of the old singer
Radio of the jingle jangle

Copyright Kay Winter

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The Winter Woods: A Sestina

From my late afternoon window, I see the woods
in black, ragged lines in winter.
The trees of bare branches mourn the loss
of leaves. Deep within the woods is an encircling mist
Where the soft earth, softer for the leaves, awaits the rain
and the season of austerity and peace

And I too, seek the austerity of winter peace.
In the late afternoon, I long for the woods.
I wait for the passing of the cold and relentless rain
to walk out the small door into winter
into the curtain of the clearing’s remembering mist
The leaf-covered path sings a song of loss

The song of summer’s broken promise, a song of loss
But in my walking the dark shouldered trees offer peace
and quiet solace in the chill and veiling mist
My breath in quiet cloud breathes with the breath of the woods.
Each step forgives the loss, forgives the winter.
In the clearing, breathing within the mist, I await the return of the rain

The passing of the high clouds, gray and filled with rain
ease the well within me that murmurs of loss.
The brown leaves do not mourn the vanishing sun of winter
They fall as they must, in forgiveness and peace.
The afternoon falls into the swift dusk of the woods.
The first drops of rain fall against hands, fall through mist.

Memory lives in mist.
Mist, snow, sun, starlight, moonlight,clouds, rain
Bring lights of their own beauty into the woods
Remembered joy, endured pain, and mourned loss.
In memory offered as prayer, my spirit finds peace
like the wild, bare, and mysterious winter.

By my walking I move through winter,
Walking the earth’s soft floor, along paths of mist.
I leave wait in the woods for the fall of light to find peace
Though the swiftly moving clouds bring rain
I leave behind for that hour, the day’s demands, and honor loss
and the healing paths of winter woods.

The woods wait through winter’s loss
though mist and rain, to offer peace.

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Too Late for This Path

I am walking too late for this path,
but I could not turn away
from the harvest moon rising
across the field as wide
as the magic before me.

I should turn back,
but the frost is settling upon the grasses,
bent and patient.

– Copyright Kay Winter

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Hat on a Madman

You were the hat on the madman
holding in the smoke thoughts
holding in the firecracker sparks

You were the hat on the madman
listening to the moonbeam siren
listening to the green spaceship summons

You were the hat on the madman
into sympathetic flames
of stellar love

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