Wednesday, September 30, 2009

For Joseph Harker

This is for Joseph, in honour of his birthday. If you don't know Joseph's work yet, well you should. Please stop on by and check him out. He's brilliant.

I would see you, all made up of words
drawn on the wall of the subway, a sketch
flickering by in the fluorescent wave
of a passing train. I would see you there,
a glimmer of face pale-moon, lost in thought,
an echo of my thin-wild shadow.
I would see you, and know the sudden touch
of your mind, a scorching point in the blur
of tags and tile, of bodies rank with stress
and press and hurry, the endless hurry
to be home.

Rachel Westfall
September 30, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

The thief

Who am I to gift
you with anything, my love?

So I placed it there,
what I would give you if I
had the courage to,
hoping you would find
this treasure I made for you.

When you picked it up,
looked around, furtive, and slipped
it in your pocket,
then grinning, silently I
watched your back, lithe, slink away.

Knew I had you then.

Rachel Westfall
September 27, 2009
This is a reply to Christopher's poem which he left in the comments of my poem from a few days ago, Offering. And so we weave...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

For Catherine Vibert

I wrote this little poem for Catherine Vibert, who requested that her readers write her some short interpretive poetry for her birthday. She provided a glorious image to inspire the poetry.

For those of you who don't yet know Catherine, she is an extraordinary painter, poet, and videographer. She is a vital and much-loved part of this creative blogging community.

Happy birthday, Cat!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The egg split, transient
as a golden bubble blown
by a downy--headed child
with a wand and tube
of birthday soap.

The egg split, and out
came the sky, birthed
new and gleaming,
dreaming
of a chaos of feathered
wings and the patter
of triumphant storm.

Rachel Westfall
September 26, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Offering

This gift is a secret

It cannot be eroded
or corroded

It has no words
but just a feeling
of the heart

It smells of the relentless wind
the hollow breath of moors
and forgotten marshlands

It feels like the great arms
of the sea, that turquoise mother
who gives and takes
with the same love,
the same stroke

Rachel Westfall
September 26, 2009
 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

All dressed for Halloween

The trees dress early for Halloween, here in the north. In September, already, they stretch their goblin-arms, bared and raking, and rub their creaking, groaning limbs together in gleeful anticipation of long, dark evenings and wetness turned to snow. Soon, they will huddle down white, their menace muffled in a blanket of winter frost.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Temple

With gratitude to Cat for the image prompt.


The moon was rubbed gold that night,
a sliver of wealth
anointed layer by layer by the hands
of the living,
the hands of the dead
and the touch of those long gone before.

Grandmother was there
somewhere too, sandwiched
in peeling gold micron-thin,
and great-grandmother, her hair
shiny-black under a silk scarf
fresh and bright, full of air and sun.

The moon was rubbed-gold that night,
and beyond it stretched
an impossible sky of milky way,
a light-filled bowl
long-stirred for the feast.


Rachel Westfall
September 18, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

The end of desire

Sing into the wind
a raucous chorus
just you and the crows
your tangled voices a dance
vibrating over,
spinning under low hillock
and rattlesnake meadow,
sweeping up
the sun-hot scent of sage
brushed loose, startled
into dew-soaked night

Sing to the end of desire
harsh call, the shrill cry of hawk
keening for one
sought here in the deep black land
of desert’s sunless chill,
rolled warm
and beloved in grandmother’s
rough wool blanket
patterned copper-earth
with subtle dyes
of desert plants, found here
under this veil of stars,
your song the thrill
of a kiss
long
slow
and remembered

Rachel Westfall
September 14, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The return of magic

It was you who I missed.
Though I tried to hide
behind a jeer, you found my secret
and named it true. I thought
I held you trapped, but in the end,
you caught me with
the enchantment
of your gentled hands,
their power stilled as they hid
their strength lying smooth
on tread-weary thighs, your face
cast down silent
half hidden in shadow.

Rachel Westfall
September 13, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

loss

We were pulled alongside one another
in some tide, some swell,
an accident of the current
or mischief of the moon
that drew us into stride, braiding
our images together
with the elegance of tangled seaweed.

We slept that way, tossed onto the sand
by the restless sea
until its jealous tendrils teased us apart,
leaving no name, no mark
to show you were real
but the half-remembered tang
of your words.

Rachel Westfall
September 11, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Nowhere, Canada

With a bit of creativity
alongside the ravens
as they scrabble over chicken bones
every child finds what he needs
sweet nothing
And the moon draws low
full as a soup bowl,
sweet as a song
floating with all you wish for
dive in
She walks down the street
one hand on her hips,
pants stretched tight
as an invitation
hey, sweetie
The girls stand in rows
huddled for warmth around
the pulsing glow of
their cigarette wands
drag down
with the force of habit
all eyes sweep the ground
for traces of the lost ones
seduced by this northern town

Rachel Westfall
September 4, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tyrant

you hold me with fear
branches claw and creak, brittle
as their leaves fall, dead

(Easing in again with a slice of haiku)