Eileen’s poetry

Eileen’s poetry

Eileen has been writing poetry for years. She refuses to submit her poems for publication, claiming she’s dealt with enough rejection–so I talked her into putting a few up here. Below are some of her hand-picked favorites.

You might notice that the first poem THE TURNING seems to foreshadow the World of the Lupi series. Obviously Eileen’s been thinking these characters and events over for longer than even she realized!

The Turning

My cat is walking widdershins. The wind
is shifting through strange harmonies, and soon
will change: the Folk are stirring once again.

The ghostly echoes conjured by the moon
surround it in vague prophecies. The night
is shifting through strange harmonies, and soon

may alter past mortality. A flight
of crows croak warnings at the cat and me,
surround us in vague prophecies. The night

is tightly drawn between reality
and stranger truths, a cloth about to tear:
the crows croak warnings at the cat and me.

I’ve heard the whispers on the wind, laid bare
the runes the spiders spin. I’ve dreamed of fear
and stranger truths, a cloth about to tear

and let the wildness back in. I hear
the huntsman’s horn, still distant, but so clear–
my cat is walking widdershins. The wind
will change: the Folk are stirring once again.

– EMW 1990

Dorothy Past 50

She seats them at a round table, handing out napkins
in blue, yellow, green, red; serves them sparkling water,
the season’s first berries, little sandwiches made
with whole wheat. Old friends, they know when to applaud, what
to avoid, where the wandering scars of the past
forty years are likely to rest. he ham is lowfat;.
Lion’s fighting cholesterol. Tinman’s new book
is in its second printing…has anyone heard
from the wiz? Scarecrow is smiling, licking crumbs from
his fingers as she brings out the coffee
and cake. Which of them mentions the house?

So many tornados have since ripped through their lives,
scattering straw, tearing off tin, leaving more than
the guilty crushed by debris dropped in the wrong place–
that first wind’s a comfort now, danger survived.
The retelling of bricks leads them down that old road,
one to the other, familiar and safe. Dorothy
tucks up her bare feet beneath her full skirt,
happy with sunshine, her friends and the cake.

– EMW February 2003

Grey Cat

Grey cat
on red blanket
stares between here and air.
Pale eyes capture light sliding by

Eileen’s aside — I belonged to a poetry club for many years and wrote this one as part of a challenge to write a cinquain. Cinquains are five-line syllabic poems with two syllables in the first and last lines and four, six, and eight syllables in the middle three lines. Jerry H. Jenkins said about the form: “The cinquain isn’t entirely American – I have one reference that attributes its origin to haiku and another that says it developed from French influences. In any event, Adelaide Crapsey developed it and is generally given credit for it. ”


Wild Mind

After eating the words
I crack the spine of your book
to suck out the marrow, then rock back
on my hard, dirty heels, tossing the bones
on the stone at my feet. Smoke from my fire
drifts out the mouth of the cave. The flames
lick my greasy face red, and I hear
my other name called
by the wildness howling
outside in the dark.

– EMW May 12, 1992


There are no shadows at night.
Outlines and boundaries are crossed–
to make shadows, there must be light.
At night, names come loose and are lost,
floating on the deepdark sea.
Outlines and boundaries are crossed,
blurred and submerged in mystery.
Reality disrobes and goes
floating off on the deepdark sea,
sleek and slippery with echoes
of tomorrows and yesterdays.
Reality disrobes and throws
her nudity upon the waves,
surfing on the dark, liquid skin
of tomorrows and yesterdays.
No form. No virtue, and no sin–
to make shadows, there must be light
on reality’s dark, liquid skin.
There are no shadows at night.


Connecting Flight

or, “Why Do You Write Those Little Books, Anyway?”

I’m at the airport, waiting to board.
Windows chop up my view,
glass teeth taking right-angled bites
of the landscape. They spit out

the sunlight in neat parallels,
light bites burning
the brown-on-brown carpet.
Voices converge here like streams

floating into the river–
petals and sticks and dead
baby birds, all fall into the air-
port. My plane takes off.

Pressure pushes my ears
into my head,
compacting the sound
of the wings and the props

and the voices—all of us boarded,
surrendered together
to this hollow cigar
these cubits of metal-wrapped air –

cribb’d, cabin’d, confine’d
and flying at ten thousand feet.

– EMW February 2, 1998

Magic Marker

With black Magic Marker I draw
a line along my jaw, connect
my throat and eye, re-curve my cheek
in certain black, surprise my sight
and swing the shiny ink across
the air. In gleaming arcs I draw

the sharp, delineating marks
that God left out–cut the soft, tough
air with acrid black, bind my sight
to narrow slag, fused and vitrified–
the dark leftovers after ore’s
removed from rock. I’ll mark a cut

connecting root to red to mud,
trace the void that webs between
my cells, your selves, and all that’s else,
coil my reply in denser dark
and breath my air into the crack
that opens when I draw in black.

– EMW September 23, 1993

And There We Saw The Giants

. . . the sons of Anak, which come of giants: and we were in
our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
Numbers 13:33

We sometimes see giants striding
here on the flatlands. More often at night–
a swift occlusion of stars, a gliding

dark bulk between earth and sky. One quick sight,
then off the edge of the world and gone,
here on the flatlands, swallowed by night.

Mostly, the silent thunder of their song
is distant, uneasy to hear before
they’re off the edge of the world and gone

and by day the sight of them is more
a troubling of the air than fact. Their mass
is distant, uneasy to bear before

they pass. At times they come quite close and cast
a wind that tugs our hair and stings our skin–
a troubling of the air and facts, the vast

remembered breath of giants. Here, where I live
we sometimes see giants striding,
a swift occlusion of stars, a gliding
wind that tugs our memory and stings our skin.

– EMW October 3, 1993

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