a poetry e-zine










Carol Lynn Grellas

A Life of Exasperating Existence


When she was young she fell asleep

in bottlebrush grass and dreamt

of clouds in figure eights across the sky.

A place without words where only

hands expressed each thought

in a language of motion through fluid air.

When she was young she wished

her teachers would grade her movements,

watch her eyes as arms circled round

and gathered thoughts all billowed in flight.

“Listen,” she murmured ;

“I can’t echo the invisible.”

When she was young, she ate flowers

from the garden, her mother would find

half-bitten petals and chewed off stems

in tiny pockets where she captured

the wind on Sunday mornings, where even

the begonias would bow down and pray.

Where her breath became an inaudible

gulp that threaded her lungs to an unseen

force between angels and the universe,

heaven and death, until her tongue

became a feathery wing, weightless

and mute, vast as eternity, her body

exhausted from too much to say.




Days Before


Beneath the sink a mouse quakes

with the aftertaste of poison. I tell him

we must all be prepared for murder.

I pretend the trap was set by another

as we stare beyond what can’t be said.

We know the truth, his tail limp

between my fingers, I recite

three Hail Mary’s; one for him

two for me.




March at Madronia


There’s a tiara placed on a child’s

obelisk beneath the Oak in the graveyard

where the breeze combs wet grass

above rows of those long departed.

Where time removes the outline

of scored soil and the pattern

of footprints from daily wear.

Today a mother lies on her

daughter’s grave, reading a storybook

aloud. She doesn’t notice me three

rows over, lying near my mother’s

headstone, past the tiara glistening

in midday sun. Her voice reminding

me when my mother sat on the edge

of the bed, turning fairy-tale pages

when everything began Long ago

in a far-off Kingdom—

she never told me,

it ends this way too.




Sleeping Prayer


There’s something wrong in the wind tonight

as the moon waits beyond the red haze

of tomorrow, while you’re asleep in your dream

face again. I’m left awake to agonize over

all the world’s problems in this small place

between night and morning, in this infinite

space amid what’s been and what’s to come.

While you exchange starlight for worry, I’m trying

to save you with my little prayers. Thankful

we’ve made it thus far as I do my best

lassoing the blessing of angels,

one wing at a time.






I’d like to tell you off, without a doubt

and yet I’m slightly hopeful there’s a chance

you’ll change, I might regret your finding out

all names assigned behind your back, one glance

my way would surely indicate distaste

for you if countenance the weatherglass

of trust. Relationships can be a waste

when dealing with a self-important ass

who never bothers noticing there’s life

outside the narcissistic reach of one

unknowing counterpart, another’s strife

of no concern, whose heart is ever numb

to matters he rebuffs, as fairly small—

in 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.



Copyright 2014  Chantarelle's Notebook