Monday, September 30, 2013

Of Your Company (Poem 181)

This pear-shaped desire, breathless
Swaggering courtship, 
This request, spoken soft and heavy, 
Tucked dearly into a fluted paper cup, 
Sanguine swirl of sugar icing, pristine 
As lavender snow, the pleasure
Of your incomparable company

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Plum Leaf (Poem 180)

halfway through 
a broken day 
a plum leaf 
swimming 
on the breeze 
brushes 
my piscine cheek 
and pauses 
a moment 
a brief encouraging 
green moment 
then floats off 
a butterfly tumbling 
merrily singing 
of soapy mornings 
and lingering 
whole-note afternoons 
my memory swipes 
at the song 
but its notes slip
through the loosely 
knotted net leaving 
only an imprint 
of a melody

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Damascene (Poem 179)

When the wind is bitter
his eyes tear and his nose 
runs. In bed at night, 
his wife's feet are cold 
against his warm calves, 
but he doesn't mind.
In the morning, they linger
before beginning another day 
of meetings at the office, 
of slicing apples, 
of changing the sheets, 
and flossing of teeth. 
His daughter's small hand
in his is hot and gritty 
with dirt (she has been digging
in "her garden" again). 
It melts his heart and makes
him ache with love for her.
After sunset, his wife 
switches on his reading lamp,
and climbs the stairs. He closes
his eyes and listens
to the vague murmur of her
voice as she tells 
a bedtime story. 

In memory of the men, women, and children who lost their lives in Damascus, Syria, in August 2013. 

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Friday, September 27, 2013

Whiplash (Poem 178)

Hello, Pacific Northwest,*
Look, your clouds
Are all about! 
Don't let summer 
Give you whiplash 
On her F1-style way out.
What, you never noticed
When Winter turned to Spring?
That's because the difference
Didn't mean a blasted thing.
And Fall? Forget it! It's a game
That other regions play--
They're not for you, 
those vivid months,
Your Fall's counted in days.
Yes, for six bright weeks
Your toes were warm,
Your windows open wide.
But August's gone,
And Winter's long,
So find a place to hide.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Typical sunny day in WA State

*Lest I get hate mail from lovers of cold, dark, and damp, let me assure you this was written purely tongue-in-cheek.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tell (Poem 177)

I can't tell 
if it's you and me
or just you.
What it is 
that causes you 
to curl in on yourself
like a snail, small 
and mud-colored,
huddling against
the dangers of this
world, deep 
inside your shell?
Is it the wind whipping
the apple tree's branches
against the window
that frightens you?
Or the apples themselves,
laying uneaten and 
mouldering on the grass
below our window?

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

End of Day (Poem 176)

underwater end 
of slippery day 
feel the way up darkened 
stairs where ghosts 
of palm trees sway 
and drink 
cocktails from coconut shells 
see-through plastic monkeys 
swinging from the rims 
behold the golden end
the ebb and flow of light 
painting the world a dream 
how pink the clouds are 
looming like mountains
underwater 
slipping sleepy 
hazy mind 
sleazy time hanging
like a wrinkled garment from 
the day's bony shoulders

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sleepless (Poem 175)

one-twenty-five    two o'clock even 
though it's cool and even though 
I'm warm   fuzzy anticipation 
of fuzzy thinking 
like drinking red wine 
on a hot dry afternoon    aching 
for tomorrow's ache 
the kind sleepless nights make 
marble statues of us all    
around three get up 
and fake it trying to ignore 
the gray seeping in around the edges 
of the midnight curtain 
empty bottle mind like blowing 
on a dandelion and wishing 
a cloud would cover the moon 
so   in this room   the sponginess 
of the bed and my head give nothing away when daylight 
comes too 
soon   too soon

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Couple (Poem 174)

and looking up 
I see them across 
the cafĂ© at a corner 
table    she her head in 
her hands    he stricken 
motionless
looking at me    
an intruder having 
blundered my way into 
this moment    ashamed 
at their indecency
I look elsewhere and try 
to close the door 
against swells of 
despair surging through the 
rich scented air    cinnamon 
rolls fresh from the oven hot 
coffee steamed milk
but    eyes drawn 
as if to a strange insect 
I find they have 
not moved 
nor do they 
until    some while later
having drained my cup I 
look up to find they 
are gone

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Last Rays (173)

Steel clouds split open
Catching the last rays of sun
Their dreams slowly fading

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Rainbow forming, from Puget Sound

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Base (Poem 172)

where the heart is
base

safe
sweet home
run
insurance

room
away from home
town
improvement


(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Friday, September 20, 2013

Would You Be (Poem 171)

Who would 
     you be 
     if you refused  
     to hide your 
     gray?
What would 
     people 
     say if your lips 
     remained unplumped, 
     lip-colored?
If you were not 
     anointed
  with jasmine 
     or tangerine
        or a few drops 
from an aquamarine bottle of 
custom-designed chemicals?
If your teeth 
     were not white 
     as brand new 
     athletic socks, 
your brow smooth 
as a newly-paved road
   would you still be 
        loved? 
After all,
(be)loved, who 
are you
to judge? 

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Asleep (Poem 170)

Asleep at the wheel
of fortune I sing
songs of three a.m.
when you wake 
up heart pounding
sure that the
sound is echoing
down the hall
where photos hang
in tarnished frames
then settle
back with a sigh
relief and abandon 
yourself again 
to the whims
of your dreams

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

So sweet (Poem 169)

Tell me
About tomorrow
Morning
Tender
As newly hatched birds
Or Spring
So sweet
I can dream on it
All night

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Today (Poem 168)

Today the sky broke
Open wide and poured down
Liquid streams if light.
Today the grass grew thick
And blue, its secrets kept
Where the violets grew.
Today the river flowed 
Uphill and splintered into
Shards of ice.
Today the afternoon was
Slow and softly blooming
Into night.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Monday, September 16, 2013

Still the Ruffled Wing (Poem 167)

still the ruffled wing
silk scarf of wind slips
through itself   unknotting
let gray the fallen sycamore
let loose the black-bright bursts 
of vines that advertise 
their own demise   honey sweet 
the sun's haze strung 
like fairy lights with midge and gnat
suspended in a shaft    and settle 
the butterfly leaves.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cloud Song (Poem 166)

Sunday morning cloud song bitter
wake up in my cup    solitary radio
knitting stories in would be sun 
if I were home    sometimes 
blending dinner with alone is 
a choice one must make    voice 
opinions so outside knows 
heart's desire is 
not fireplace crystal goblet clear 
nor Sinatra smooth   who want 
need only woolly words and long
true afternoons painted blue 
and green and gold on 
paper smooth as waterlilies

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Parrot (Poem 165)

Lime-green parrot 
Sings Puccini
Face painted with surprise
Cold, hard eyes search 
A ghost-jungle 
He cannot know

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Friday, September 13, 2013

Circling (Poem 164)

Below me, they
are circling
mouths open
teeth
glinting 
in the watery light
A blunt nose
bumps my shin
then he is
turning and
re turning
Eyes dark, dilated
Bodies twitching, attuned
to every movement
The water is
warm enough   I stir 
it with my finger
Finally, aching, I bend
and place two bowls
on the kitchen floor  then
I make my way upstairs 
Where I know they   
sated   sedated 
by Chicken & Tuna
will soon be   ready 
to circle me   again   
and sleep

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Choose (Poem 163)

You, with the complicated eyes, 
hiding in a sweater three sizes 
too big, come out and play. 
Learn how to say: Yes! 
I want   to, 
and: No. 
I'd rather   not.

Dive into your life--
the water is fresh and clear
apples are tart and crisp 
and the wind roars 
like an arctic train on a 
Pacific cliff-top in December
making your blood rush
helter-skelter through your veins.

This world is yours:
Come out and play.
Learn to say: Yes! 
I choose   this 
and: No. 
I don't choose   that. 
Learn to stand up and believe in 
what you believe--and say 
so, even when 
they don't want 
to hear. You'll be okay.

Want 
to play, want 
to work, 
to stay inside or 
slip out, maybe. It's okay 
to soak in a steaming bath 
at three o'clock 
in the morning 
     it's okay to choose 
     it's okay to want to 
okay to not want to. 
This    is yours, 
this     is the prize 
for being (re)born into this 
world where 
you 
alone 
get to 
choose.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Orange Rolls (Poem 162)

Worn and polished to a shine,
Dusted with freckles and flour,
Knuckles knobby against 
The birdlike fineness of her bones,
Grandma's hands worked
The dough--crumbling,
Kneading, twisting, and finally, Nestling each short rope
Against its neighbor 
Until the pan was filled. 
The recipe, she said, was 
Secret, passed along by a friend
Long-since dead--
A mystery certain to set
My girlish head to yearning--
For the time she remembered
As simpler,
For the romance of the songs
She hummed, 
For the swirling silks 
Worn by dancers 
Initiated into the  mysteries
Of the Foxtrot 
And the Rhumba...
Finally the timer rang out
Like the bell on my bike handles,
And we hurried, 
Pink cheeked, sniffing the air,
To admire the fruits of our labor,
As yet unglazed.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Produce Senryu (Poem 161)

Red grapes growing soft
Peach punctured by fingernail
Yellowing green beans

Empty spinach bin
Avocados picked over
Plums running to mold

Monday afternoon
Is seldom an ideal time
To shop for produce

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six



Monday, September 9, 2013

Needlework (Poem 160)

Needle tip dips in and out of fabric,
Catching the light,
Drawing up stitches with a rasping tug--
Side by side, like satin,
Peppered, like a delicacy,
A garnish to be consumed sparingly,

Strewn, like newly mown grass--
Lemon-butter silk, raspberry soufflé perle,
Terracotta cotton, fine as a web,
Linen the color of cocoa
With whipped cream. Sweetly
Suggestive of traditional
Feminine wiles and fragile cups

Poured and passed
With secret smiles, and
An occasional glancing
Brush of trembling fingertips.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Evening in October (Poem 159)

Evening in October,
summer now 
      deliciously out of reach, 
like a lingering itch
      in the center of your back

String of tiny lights
strung around an awning,
casting a golden glow on garden 
      chairs whose seats 
         are now reserved 
for mounds of damp brown leaves

Smoke hangs 
    heavy in the air, resting
sweetly on winter's first chill

The road we used to walk along,
when evenings stretched 
      well into night
--alight with fireflies 
and hazy stars--
is rutted and slick with frost,
like fine white lace on the mud

But our fingers are still 
entwined, and your hand,
your fine, strong hand,
is still warm
in mine

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Lingering (Poem 158)

At the bottom 
Of  glass of tea
Settled sugar
Melts into the
Sweetest sip,
Like the last
Lingering days 
Of summer.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Friday, September 6, 2013

Strange Thing (Poem 157)

Strange
   how the days slow down
   as they grow shorter

Strange
   how the light grows warmer
   as the temperatures fall

Strange
   how you reach for me
   when I don't want you

Strange
   how you catch me smiling
   about nothing at all

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ancient Words (Poem 156)

Turn the flowers inside out,
let their petals fold and 
mold themselves around 
the shape of a summer afternoon--
a magenta parasol, or tent of rose 
and pale gold, a sumptuous palace 
lush enough to hold the treasures 
of the grandest fairytale queen.
Turn the flowers inside out, 
and read the patterns of 
their veins, their life's blood 
stains your fingers and 
the sun--a great cathedral window, hung on emerald frames--
illuminates their fragile curves
and intricate design. Come, 
laze with me voluptuously,
until the hour turns blue, and 
the flowers gaze up 
at the moon, and I, 
the silvery, shifting mist,
whisper ancient words to you.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six 


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Headlong (Poem 155)

This poem is dedicated, in friendship and gratitude, to the memory of Sgt. Joseph Tomaselli, New Hanover (Pa.) Police Department.

On the southeastern horizon, 
The storm looms, gunmetal gray,
Riding the massive swells
Like a mad horseman.

On shore, shoppers 
Hoard food and prepare 
To hunker down. Their headlights 
Slice the unnatural twilight, 
Bringing to many a heart
A twinge of holiday nostalgia.

On the beach, wind-driven sand 
Stings his face, yet he strides 
Headlong into the gale--
Resting in the shadow of the clouds,
Lulled by the sway of the sea,
Trusting in the sunrise at the other end.


(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

She Carried His Laughter (Poem 154)

She carried his laughter 
like a trembling daisy 
into the eye of the storm
a dull wind stirred 
the dust and discarded 
wrappers at her feet,
yet she remained pristine, 
clean as a cat and as smug, 
her treasure clasped 
in her hands, which folded 
around it as if in prayer. 
There, where the sun 
glinted off shards of glass 
like a field of glittering diamonds, 
she turned her face 
to the sky and listened 
for that sweet song 
that made the angels blush. 
There, she laid it down, then 
turned around, turned 
inward, toward home.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Monday, September 2, 2013

Disparity (Poem 153)

Peak of progress:

Metropolitan economists
enjoy unusual assets and 
depend on transformation 
cloaked by disruption.

Few weaker people are picky. 

They amass concentrated wonder
and practice flexibility-- 
involuntary individuals, working.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six



With appreciation to Jon Talton and Seattle Times, for the original text used to create this erasure.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Silly Me (Poem 152)

Silly me,
I told myself,
When wrapping
Up your gift...
I had no expectations
But a full-blown rose
A glass of wine 
A love poem
Seemed most fit.
Just another present
To declare my love anew:
A magic box of buttercreams
A silky scarf
A lasting dream
A hand-knit hat
A rag-top car
A parakeet, 
A mason jar
The sun and moon
The northern star.
But in my outstretched palms
You see a walnut shell 
A robin's egg, a book of verse,
A piece of chalk, an apple pie,
A late-spring walk. 

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six