of Exasperating Existence
she was young she fell asleep
bottlebrush grass and dreamt
clouds in figure eights across the sky.
place without words where only
expressed each thought
language of motion through fluid air.
she was young she wished
teachers would grade her movements,
her eyes as arms circled round
gathered thoughts all billowed in flight.
“Listen,” she murmured ;
can’t echo the invisible.”
she was young, she ate flowers
the garden, her mother would find
half-bitten petals and chewed off stems
tiny pockets where she captured
wind on Sunday mornings, where even
begonias would bow down and pray.
her breath became an inaudible
that threaded her lungs to an unseen
between angels and the universe,
and death, until her tongue
a feathery wing, weightless
mute, vast as eternity, her body
exhausted from too much to say.
Beneath the sink a mouse quakes
the aftertaste of poison. I tell him
must all be prepared for murder.
pretend the trap was set by another
stare beyond what can’t be said.
know the truth, his tail limp
between my fingers, I recite
Hail Mary’s; one for him
There’s a tiara placed on a child’s
obelisk beneath the Oak in the graveyard
the breeze combs wet grass
rows of those long departed.
time removes the outline
scored soil and the pattern
footprints from daily wear.
a mother lies on her
daughter’s grave, reading a storybook
She doesn’t notice me three
over, lying near my mother’s
headstone, past the tiara glistening
midday sun. Her voice reminding
when my mother sat on the edge
bed, turning fairy-tale pages
everything began Long ago
never told me,
ends this way too.
There’s something wrong in the wind tonight
moon waits beyond the red haze
tomorrow, while you’re asleep in your dream
again. I’m left awake to agonize over
the world’s problems in this small place
between night and morning, in this infinite
amid what’s been and what’s to come.
you exchange starlight for worry, I’m trying
save you with my little prayers. Thankful
made it thus far as I do my best
lassoing the blessing of angels,
wing at a time.
like to tell you off, without a doubt
yet I’m slightly hopeful there’s a chance
change, I might regret your finding out
names assigned behind your back, one glance
would surely indicate distaste
you if countenance the weatherglass
trust. Relationships can be a waste
dealing with a self-important ass
never bothers noticing there’s life
outside the narcissistic reach of one
unknowing counterpart, another’s strife
concern, whose heart is ever numb
matters he rebuffs, as fairly small—
fact, a real dick, above it all.
Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is a six-time
Pushcart nominee, Best of the Net nominee and the 2012 winner of
the Red Ochre Press Chapbook contest. She has authored several
collections of poetry including her latest collected works,
Hasty Notes in No Particular Order. Her poems have appeared in a
wide variety of online and print magazines including: The Yale
Journal for Humanities in Medicine, War, Literature and the
Arts; The Department of English at the U.S. Air Force Academy,
Able Muse, Poets and Artists, and many more. According to family
lore she is a direct descendent of Robert Louis Stevenson.