Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Painting by Merissa Gilbert Garrison


The narcissus bulbs
she forced in shallow
pots of stone and water,
stretch up, papery white,
in the window,
tall, slender sentinels.
Some of the weaker stems
droop over in agony
against the frosted glass
of March’s night.
The newly arrived storks
shift in their man-made
nests on the roof above her,
impersonating the souls
of the dead poets of Vilnius.
With her heart,
she listens for a whispered
word from them –
some thrilling word
to help her write,
but none will come.
Instead, she hears
the hollow rattling
of their bills clattering
far into the night.
In a few months,
the storks will lift
from her roof in a quiet hush,
catch a warm stream of air
and without a single
flap of their wings,
they will glide
all the way to the Baltic Sea.
Unable to concentrate
on words any longer
and with no lover
in the city now,
the poet will beg
the storks to take her
with them on their flight.
For her passage, she’ll promise
to speak for them,
as they have no
voices of their own.
But the storks,
afraid of losing their independence,
will refuse to take her along.
Forlorn and detached,
she will crumple page after
scribbled page, and throw them
into the blackened fireplace –
long into winter’s night,
as she waits for the skies to turn white
with the wings of the returning storks.
For her - it is not enough
to pen the poem;
she wants to breathe it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009



we stop
we hold
our breath
we watch
we listen

by the look of things
by the sound of things
we guess a miracle
has taken place

we grasp hands
just for a moment
the wall of silence
opens up between us

we laugh and cry
we sing and sigh
just for a moment
we touch beyond

what we have been
to each other all these
years for a moment
and then
the moment is gone
and so are we

Thursday, February 12, 2009



Masquerading as a goddess,
she looks out upon the city
as her lover sleeps.
The city looks different to her,
now that he has come back.

She marvels at this,
as she presses her face to the
dark, cold glass of winter,
studying the lights,
and the buildings -
the bridges, and
the streets below.

Knotted tendrils of hair
fall over her shoulder,
and her legs tremble,
as she looks back to
her lover who beckons
to her now.

Glancing out the
window one last time,
she sees dark animals
running on a windy hill -
and pockets of luminous light
in a dark and foreboding sky.

Thursday, February 5, 2009



In the late
afternoon sun
of February,

in a room
with hearts,

we dance
the polka in
old world style

to long-playing
records that skip
with contentment,

while the crows
on the wall look
impassively on.

I see nothing
but your cornflower
blue eyes.

I feel nothing
but your warm sweet
breath on my cheek.

Your expression says,
let’s dance till the
crows call our names.