A Game of Chance

talking to the ghost
who speaks in tongues—
flames indulged
and torn in two
 
          *
 
pulled down
among the darkness
from where I came
and where I’ll go
 
          *
 
a game of chance—
you laugh in my face
as you drown
in the River Styx
 
          *
 
the impact was red—
orange mixed with light
fallen in a cryptic grave
and saved for many lives
 
          *
 
chatter, noise—
the pot boils over
and spills for the rats

Stages of Grief

Stages of Grief
by Joan Leotta

 
The first week
My world is spinning
"That's nothing, the world always spins,"
 they tell me.
"They" always know best.
Their world is fixed
on its axis, firm and sure
Mine has lost its axis,
whirling and twirling
out into space,
out of control.
I am oblivious to all but my loss.
 
Three months after
I am quiet
when I used to laugh
Sad
when I used to be pensive
Still awake

Tale of One Silly Cock

UNTANGLED

UNTANGLED
 
 
“Please let my hair grow, Mother, don’t cut it.
A trimmed tree
Is no place for song birds.”
                                     -Anonymous: Landeys
                                     Afghanistan (Pashto)
 
 
My Mama never cut my hair
But for once, when I was a girl
And it had become a knotted rope.
A nest had formed, beyond untangling,
And it had to be cut out,
Although the song birds had already
Found its shelter.
One by one I had to let them go,
Say goodbye to song.
 

Giant Despair

I.

His death.

Sad is the plight of Giant Despair,
In Doubting Castle sick lies he!
The castle is built on a headland bare,
And looks on the wash of a whirling Sea.

With the noise in his ears and the gleam in his eyes
Of the breaking waves that beneath him beat,
Propt on pillows the Giant lies,
Pillowed, too, are his gouty feet.

In and out the Leeches of Souls
Run and chatter and prate and pray —
But the great wind wails and the thunder rolls:
None may banish his gloom away.

Barbara Gray

A mourning woman, robed in black,
Stands in the twilight, looking back;
Her hand is one her heart, her head
Bends musingly above the Dead,
Her face is plain, and pinch'd, and thin,
But splendour strikes it from within.

I.

" B ARBARA Gray !
Pause, and remember what the world will say,"
I cried, and turning on the threshold fled,
When he was breathing on his dying bed;
But when, with heart grown bold,
I cross'd the threshold cold,
Here lay John Hamerton, and he was dead.

II.

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