Sampling of poems
IF ONLY I COULD DRAW
I would release all the words
stored up in my language house
to be snagged by another poet or songwriter.
Please, have at them.
I’d much prefer to show than tell you,
but pictures turn to verse
before my clumsy hands
can guide them onto canvas.
So I am left with words —
nocturnal, feral. They paw
through sleep’s deep layers,
clamor for attention, then
bunch up silent in a sunlit corner.
When I poke at them, they scamper off,
taunt me into a game of hide-and-seek.
Long after I’ve lost interest, they turn up
again with those sad eyes, looking
to be welcomed home.
Published in Bards Annual, 2021
Today we are at sixes and sevens.
By we, I mean the house,
which used to be easy as one-two-three to keep,
and me — slowly losing the will
to make myself presentable.
We clean up in fits and starts over months
that have melted into one long day of hiding.
Room by room dusted and vacuumed
drawer by drawer sifted and sorted
sinks, tubs, floors scrubbed and mopped
We wash up only to start right in again.
Streaks on windows appear
in sunlight breaking through straggler clouds
after a night’s torrential rain and wind —
clouds that had obscured my vision
like ones I fear may come
from black holes, not in space,
but inherited retinas.
I pray the storm cleaned up the rose bed
where I startled a hawk yesterday
its legs dipped in blood and rabbit fur.
It looked up at me
then reluctantly flew into a nearby oak
where it could guard its kill
while waiting for me to go
tend to my nest.
Published in Emily-Sue's full-length collection, We Are Beach Glass, 2022 (print); reprised in The Weekly Avocet #553, July 9, 2023
What secrets feather the paper nest
in pine-scented branches
decorated with ribbon
the crows scavenged
from holiday debris?
Perhaps rain or sleet
or gloom of night
did stay the courier.
Gas and electric bill short-circuited?
Check truly was in the mail?
Love affair left in limbo?
in a stash of letters
lifted by the winds.
Published in Hope, a Calling All Writers Anthology, Winter 2020
(All poems © by Emily-Sue Sloane)