Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rite of passage

The long hollow bone
of a swan carved into
a modest flute, its call
the wraithlike echo thin
as the wrists of the girl, hair
a dark stream tumbling,
rippled as a child’s
faith in the narrow
true line of the horizon

Torn, shifting hills
into valleys, the old
into the young
as the long hollow call
of the flute drives the swans
thundering skyward
smooth wings beating,
the wraithlike echo thin

Rachel Westfall
January 15, 2014

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Slick fingers tremble
Shuttle slips across the board
Who will love me now?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Old Moss Woman

Who is to say what a tree remembers?
Twisted and bent, dying limbs
trailing skeins of lichen;
caught woefully
in a mockery
of protracted death throes.
A perch, a home, a hollow
for generations of matching
scolding squirrels to stash their loot,
for songbirds
to stealthily tuck their transient
opalescent young.
Who is to say?

Rachel Westfall
June 19, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


That woman walks
down the road of
stone cobbles, her soul
split in two. One
wanders the past,
the other
stalks the present.
The lament of sore feet
tells nothing
of the journey gone: bunions
have no tales to tell.
That woman’s past
comes face to face with
a stranger; her present
with a man she knows,
but all too well.
She weeps silent tears.
She knows no sorrow.

Rachel Westfall
March 13, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Winter night's crime

They natter as I slide by, a flock
bickering in the crepuscular light.
There are no gifts that come with this dawn.

No hive mind for these feather-heads,
grey with edges dipped
in the hot blood of baptism, just
a subtle gift of words, a susurrus
rising in strange, muttered currents
to fling blame back and forth
for the eviscerated mounds of crushed
rowan berries. Torn fruit-flesh lines the streets,
the sidewalks, the barrows of grimy snow:
a compote to spice the repast
of January’s shivering child.

Rachel Westfall
January 8, 2013

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


To say it’s all, your words become a song
a rill that runs through dappled ground and trees
I twist it, warp it darkly, turn it bleak:
mistakes fall broken, hopeless, choked despair.

Blood amber, slow and hopeful, conjures beads
of patience orchestrated; weeping pines
hold conference, deep séance through the fell
harsh winter of this dance through shattered spring.

Rachel Westfall
October 10, 2012  

Friday, September 14, 2012

A bad day

Swollen mushrooms, white caps
are sliced murderously by a swinging, errant cleaver. The butcher

is angry again, fought with his wife again, was mocked
by a gaggle of rowdy kids, street urchins
all laughing, skinny, basted
with greasy dust. 

Caps severed, gills fly
helplessly in the wake of slamming steel, spores
drifting voiceless through
the sterile vacuum 
of the butcher's stolid kitchen.

Rachel Westfall
September 14, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012


A flurry, tearing seed from hull
A flutter, a frenzy
Must hurry
Hurry hurry
Snow is coming, Snow is coming, 


in cold silence
but for a small, steady drip
groaning and shattering cold
over frozen, mud-green needles
needles of ice, needles of glass
needles of mindless
cruel cold

Rachel Westfall
September 9, 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The demon in stripes

The demon in stripes
has run amok, flashing teeth
and slashing tail, rending flesh
and mounting screams
with full abandon.

In his wake, a girl cries,
wrist stitched and arm gored
for she was not
his intended victim.

The demon only strikes 
in mischief or revenge,
but sometimes,
his teeth slip.

Now he returns, sated,
to a purring, nestled ball
in a warm and sacred enclose
of dappled sunshine.

Rachel Westfall
July 11, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012


The clutter of a decade in a torrent of  rain, 
'Free Stuff' sign scratched in purple marker
on the back of an old worksheet, pinned 
to the dog-eared loveseat with scratchy
tartan cushions, the sign
weeping mascara tears
into the crease between
red and brown checkered wings

Rachel Westfall
July 9, 2012