Thursday, July 30, 2009



the rip, the tear, the gut-heart-twist-claw
breeds fear


Monday, July 27, 2009

Heat wave

The swallows are gone.

We think and breathe in delphinium blue
peel melons, scratch
until we bleed
soft berries
piece by piece, stolen
from ancestral picking grounds
littered with the cast-off husks
of a thousand squirrels
and dropped syringes

But still, with mournful regret
we see
the swallows are gone.

Rachel Westfall
July 27, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

death-row dog

If I knew you were alright,
I could sit still. I could breathe,
write poems, sing
a silly song about a bullfrog,
scrub my girl‘s grimy feet
and whip up
a fine batch of supper:
whole-wheat crust
black-peppery sauce
and fistfuls of vegetables,
ripe from the garden.

Instead, I spent the day
worrying about you,
death-row dog;
composing letters,
making calls,
and contemplating
the absurdity of the thing.

the children
have forgiven me completely.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I played it forward...

Remember the play it forward handmade gift exchange? Well it has been a while, but I did remember… I haven’t forgotten, seriously… and I mailed my packages yesterday. I made some wind chimes out of some old copper pipe and maple flooring off-cuts. It was a fun project which took me way longer than it really needed to. Kara, Kat, and Lirio, I hope you’ll enjoy your chimes!

My gift from Erin was a set of cards made from some of her amazing photos. I framed the cards and lined my hallway with them. Erin, it’s a delight to have your creations in my home!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

No remedy

If this love for you was a bruise, aching
there would be such relief
cool, sweet relief
seeing it fade.
A slap,

a tap,
a pinch that would hurt just so,
bleed dark blossoms under smooth skin

raised rough, a tender spot
probed with a finger for a little
fading to the yellow
and green of crushed fruit
under a tropical heel, a Jamaican heel
square, confident and matronly
working its way purely
from memory
down the old stone sidewalk.

If this love for you was a bruise, tomorrow
or the next day, maybe
it would be gone.

Rachel Westfall
July 19, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Doomed dog days

Check it out... We're doing what we can to save Trevor the dog, who's been convicted and sentenced to death without a trial. The poor fellow has only just recovered from his past life of severe neglect, during which his collar became embedded in his neck. And now this.

brown-eyed, fur-brained dog
life has got away on you
dancing short-lived joy

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A sympathy tale

Hey girl, my pen’s run dry;
my ears are full. You’ve told your story,
cried your salt-sweet rain,
walked the whole great shoreline
seven times, looking for a door
out of today. Or yesterday, the days
that won’t recede, the taint, the smell
of must upon your clothes. You’re marked
as with the scent of feral cats;
the smile across your mouth
has no one fooled. Hey girl,
my pen ran dry, your story’s told.
There’s nothing more to do
but hang it high, hang it to dry
across the power lines, forgotten
like another sorry joke; a sweatshirt,
abandoned, holds no one’s soul.

Rachel Westfall
July 15, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

writing in the dark

sleep steals words
sound steals sleep
blanked-out windows
artifice cover
for a forest of dreams
dark, rank moss
cut through by sirens
emergency lights
drunk voices
loading cars
loaded engines
pealing backwards
sneaking home
through not-dark
as the sun goes round
and round and round
in tireless circles

Rachel Westfall
July 12, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

EBay Remorse

I didn’t mean to steal your treasure.
It was just a friendly bid-war,
but I couldn’t help thinking of you
at the other end, and what you would bake
in that lovely cake pan
if it was truly yours. Maybe,
just maybe, your mother had one like it,
the secret to her day-and-night
birthday cake surprises,
and you’ve always
wanted one just the same.

Or maybe, just maybe
this pan was your grandmother’s,
sold by a fickle cousin
in a heartless online estate sale,
while your heart



in Granny’s summer kitchen watching
delicious lemon-sugared steam
rise from a perfectly curved, oven-hot

Yet here I am, waiting
for my seven and a half pound
cast-iron treasure
to come in the mail, while you
have to start



Rachel Westfall
July 8, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009


I couldn't get online yesterday. What a relief to find a working internet connection this morning! It's frightening, actually, just how dependent I've become on this online life-line.


How I missed you
your words, the breath
of entanglement

such a spark, painting
these walls in peacock blue
shimmering with golden fish

a gut-deep swirl of fish
flashing down the hall
brought to life by
their own

Friday, July 3, 2009

Unlikely fowl

Flagrant blue display
jeweled golden bridal train
longing for worship

This is one of the riverbank peacocks in Souris, MB. He saw me with my camera, so he came over and struck a series of lovely poses. When I walked away to try and find some other things to take pictures of, he followed me for a while.