A Crow That Became A Line

It’s supposed to be a book, a story, but I wish I could start with
a poem instead, there’s something about leaving things half

said, something about a handful of metaphors and line breaks,
that wear their brevity proudly, there aren’t that many words

in the beginning anyway, just an uncertain awkwardness that
stumbles over ellipses, saying little, saying a little. A verse about

a day that wasn’t supposed to be, but was, about a time that
wasn’t meant to mean anything, but did, about the big things

unremembered, about tiny details that stay in the empty frame
like disconnected dots. There was a crow outside the window that

day, watching, as birds aren’t expected to, but do, like a sadness,
an inadvertent new moon, a crow that became a line in the sky,

in the beginning anyway when there were no words. With a poem, I
can stop here. You never speak. The poem becomes the whole story.


Toril Fisher Fine Art


For the ekphrastic prompt at Real Toads. Also for Poets United Pantry.

Somewhere Between

Somewhere between Pahalgam and Baisaran,
well over 7200 feet, the pony stopping to drink
from a leaking water pipe, the snow caps tightening
their stranglehold on potential thought, the city
fades away in the rhythm of the connectivity bars
on my phone, I feel a loss, a  distancing, a new umbilical
cord being severed- myth and history are rich with
stories of men who came to such mountains, to
such forests, to meditate, to find neat answers
to ponderous questions, as if it needs turning away
from the world, as if it needs seclusion, as if it needs this
quiet in which even leaves and snowflakes pause
before they fall, like taking off their shoes before
entering a temple, like an inexplicable prostration,
as if effects are buried so far away from
their cause, as if sound in itself is an aberration-
I am tentative, introducing a memory reluctantly into
this alien perfection, testing its skin, its taste, it’s give,
an unfamiliar shade of blue in the unflawed light,
a sharp pain fills the silence like an old friend,
its arm around my shoulder, the city falls like an
existential shadow cast by a new sun, somewhere between
Pahalgam and Baisaran, where every morning someone
scrubs the sky clean, where the trees like cellphone bars
connect someone to something, where the birds take care
to whisper till you pass, where everything is a little too near
but a little too far away.  There. Somewhere between.

Inside Things

The fever is raging inside me, somewhere near other
inside things- denial, maybe, or broken pride, all coursing
through swollen veins, breaking down resistance, not seeing the
external manifestation. What does blood know of what it
does to the eyes? What does throbbing know of yellowed wounds?
The darkness is all around, unable to soothe my brow, my
legs, parts seemingly disconnected, devolving into separate
spirals of pain, but darkness cannot find its own hands, even
to pass me a plate of cold sorrow. Only your absence sits still at
the foot of my bed, unwilling to look at me. I feel its presence
like a steel handrail, unyielding, telling me why I cannot get up
and leave. An unsighted fever, a blindfolded night and a phantom
hope in a triangle of hopelessness… three blind rodents waiting for
morning. Why are sheets on hospital beds so white? Why is
tomorrow always farther away than yesterday. Even at night.
Especially at night.

The Way

And the monk sat, like a cloud, at peace, the way you can
unfurl at a safe distance from people, speaking softly, the

way spring rain writes on leaves, about life and illusion and
the journey of souls that leaves us behind, the way a snake

trades one skin for another. I wanted to ask if I could shed
this skin you touched, memories etched on it like scars that

would never heal. I wanted to ask if I could be washed and
anointed in a sunshine unguent, the way a bride is bathed

before her wedding, healing turmeric running down her
face and neck, the way the old sky is made to masquerade

as a new one each morning. But I am just the moulted life
of a writhing soul, holding on for a flutter, the way a name

is carried in the fist of the wind, for a distance. A sunset drips
yellow, the way time passes, faster when nobody is watching.



Image by Sharon McCutcheon (Picture Prompt provided by Visual Verse)
First published on Visual Verse (Vol 05, Chapter 08)


This atheism is a real thing, matter, with
my name, my eyes, my whisper that sticks

to the roof of the mouth, a stalactite of
frozen disbelief stemming from the heart,

a pain you stoke with your prayer. I could
trade it with you, as a talisman, as a kiss,

as an objet d’art- here, hold it, cold from
the fever of reason, tasting of ice and

incalculable mornings, yours, if you can
give me what only I can seek, what only I

can want. I see your uncertainties crease,
your chin question, the unspeakable rush

to a point on your tongue. I want to tell you
not to hesitate, not to turn away, I want to

tell you that this too is just like love, like
waiting, this too is only an article of faith.



For the midweek prompt at Poets United: “What I think about myself”. A different approach from what I wrote on the same subject in Nov, 2017:  Thirteen Ways Of Looking at Myself.


In the mood for micropoetry…

Haven't written a lot of micropoetry since November 2017, when I hosted 
Micropoetry Month (You can also find the link in the sidebar). 
Time to give it another shot, maybe?

black wing on tangerine sky

summer solstice
how short this night
how long her empty sigh

one moon stirred pond
one splash of insomniac frog
what are the odds

rain falls on glass
on tile
on leaves-
so many ways
the sky calls out your name

wordless question
slanting shadows
kneel on the bamboo mats

between her and the night
a paper lantern
with one eye

even the moth
that burns in the flame
first sees the light

in the distance
I tremble with the leaves

stirring the afternoon
lone crow
with a broken wing