Sunday, January 3, 2010


Watercolor, Old Mossy Moon, by Terry Clark


What does it mean when you show up at my door,
Youthful and majestic, a lost Croatian queen, carrying
In your deep fur-lined pockets, fossils of Neanderthal
Bones, like stones, unearthed centuries ago in Krapina?

On my stoop, in January’s radiant light, a crown surrounds
Your pale head, as the arctic winds blow through my open door,
Swirling into the house, touching every corner, smelling of sweet
Black juniper cones, icy ferns, pine needles, and a crush of cloves.

By the fire, we sit for hours as you regale me with your stories
Of giants, and faery-folk, snowy owls, and cave dragons of
Fire and smoke, and of stars that have fallen from the heavens
Into your winter’s garden, where they grow into crystal flowers.

Now that the wind has quieted down and the fire has turned cold,
And I have been told the last magical stories you will ever know,
You pack your words away and start on your long journey home,
Through the moonlit woods, over the snowy hill, toward home.


Karen said...

Here you are back after long absence with the beautiful cadence of your song and the language of angels come to earth. Oh, how I've missed your thoughts and tales. I feel as if I'm sitting with you by the fire, traveling into a magic land. That's what your poetry does. Every time. I'm so glad you're back.

catvibe said...

You have been away and I have missed you! But then you come and visit with this magical poem and all is right with the world. I love this story, I want to sit with her while warming by the fire and hear the stories and drink tea and laugh.

And on another note from within the story, a see a queen kind of person. I've always had interesting relationships with Queen bee people. On the one hand I'm awed and on the other hand there is some darker attraction that I don't understand but that hails from childhood. Always interesting tho, those queen bees. Great to see you back K!

Minister of the Masochistic Truth said...


joaquin carvel said...

wow, k - more than worth the wait!

magic, indeed - completely swept up in this one. i love how it moves effortlessly between vivid and sensory (Black juniper cones - a crush of cloves(!)) and wispy and fragile (pale head - moonlit snow) - and i love the way you've woven the music into this - echoes and peeps - which suits the poem perfectly.

this is, to me, a seminar in craftsmanship. truly.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Karen, I appreciate your warm and generous comment. You are welcome, anytime, to come and literally sit by the fire. It has been a long time since we have shared stories face to face. Thanks, so much, for your enthusiasm, and for the welcome back.

Cat - Thank you very much! I have missed being here and also missed visiting blogs. Hopefully, I can hang in here for a while this time. I'm delighted that you found this magical. I'll bet your interest in queens comes from children's literature, do you think?

Minister - I hope so! Thanks a bunch. ;))

Thank you so much, Joaquin, for the complimentary comments. My magical days turned into magical thoughts...I have had my share of both, these past few weeks, thankfully. I DO appreciate your nod to craft here. It is one facet of poetry that doesn't get enough attention these days, in my estimation.

Anonymous said...

Echoing everyone else, welcome back!

And also echoing everyone else, this is pure beauty, undistilled and mythic... don't suppose you'd send your visitor to pay me a call? Every image and every line in this sings.

Julie said...

This poem feels like magic and is very beautiful. I love the rhythm of the lines. You have taken me to that land, and I'm sitting by the fire with "the visitor." It's so good to see you again, Kaye.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Hi Joseph - hahaa Perhaps she would make the journey! Thank you so much!

Julie - I truly appreciate the sentiments. I do find I must be away at little clips at a time. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Mairi said...

Beautiful watercolour accompanying this. The internal rhymes are wonderful, the way they carry you along through the narration, which feels like something the wind blew in on a winter night. Welcome Back.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Mairi, I appreciate your thoughtful and illustrious comments. Thanks so much for coming by.

RachelW said...

This is wonderful! I want to hear the stories, too.

Aniket said...

"By the fire, we sit for hours as you regale me with your stories
Of giants, and faery-folk, snowy owls, and cave dragons of
Fire and smoke, and of stars that have fallen from the heavens"

That would be my idea of a perfect date! This truly is magical. ;)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Rachel - thank you. I am sure you hear some great stories, yourself! :)))

Aniket - Maybe I can fix you up!!!

Vesper said...

Somehow makes me think of Andersen's Snow Queen, but yours is of a different kind...
I read through this wishing it would never end, so caught I was in its wonder, but when at last the fire turned cold I was content. I felt as if I had heard the stories too and now they were with me...
You're a wonderful poet, Kaye, and a wonderful weaver of tales...

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Vesper - thanks from the bottom of my heart. <3