Friday, January 31, 2014

Blue Jacket (Poem 305)

It is enough that you closed 
the door, which had only ever 
been ajar to begin with.
It is enough that you prefer 
smooth, succulent new growth, 
I, ancient redwood groves. 
It is enough that you chose 
to turn, laughing, toward those 
who do not know how long 
you took to buy 
one black jacket.

You will tell the story of 
the door you closed, though 
you will say it opened. 
You will learn to love the fruits 
of summer, not only their 
fragrant spring blossoms.  
You will turn, laughing, toward 
those who know how long 
you took to buy 
one blue jacket. 

It must be enough that they, 
not I, will be there.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

(In the interest of full disclosure: This poem is adapted from an original poem I wrote in 2011.)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Oktoberfest (Poem 304)

A semi-sleeping dream 
found her washing up
on shore, helpless 
and deadly   serious
about enjoying herself

complete with dirndl 
dancing and a sweet
amber Fest-Märzen she 
proclaimed her intention 
to let her hair down and 
executed a perfect swan 
dive into Oktoberfest

swilling smoke and polkas 
trying to clear her heart
of him   of the glimpse 
of bright hair among 
the drunken sailors at 
the edge of the night

For that instant, heart pounding
For that instant, feeling lovely 
and hopeful and thoroughly vivid
swelling up with it all 
until her skin stretched taut
and shiny across her cheekbones 
But the festival is over.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesday Cafe (Poem 303)

The voices of Saturday afternoon linger 
in the walls, reverberating off a red concrete floor, 
cleverly poured in a terra-cotta tile grid, and 
scored with fine lines of charcoal-gray, faux grout.
The café tables, pushed and shoved on Saturday 
into unfamiliar groupings, are back 
in their customary spots, each with 
two or four unburdened chairs at rest below. 
Wednesday's voices--tender, serious, 
subdued--hang easy on the air.
"This space is not mine," they seem to 
say, "but I will share it with you."  
Nearby, a petite elderly couple share 
a table for two. (He: espresso and 
an owlish hooked nose; she: cappuccino
with a straw, her sneakered toes 
barely touching the floor.) Both
husband and wife have attained 
an equal degree of baldness. They take turns 
reading aloud from a shiny British magazine, 
exclaiming--just a tad too loudly--over 
familiar names and places, drawing chuckles 
and indulgent smiles from the scant 
handful of students, shoppers, and 
writers scattered about the room.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Cupboards (Poem 301)

(A bit of nonsense for you tonight...)

Impatiently, the cupboards 
groaned, all too aware 
their cherry tone, and 
bright brass pulls
had become passé.  
Trembling with impatience, 
they bared all to a consultant,
then panted through 
a painting, and put on 
a bit of bling. 
Darting toward modernity
they sacrificed capacity.
Their youthful glow,
they pray, might hide
the fact that they
have less inside. 

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Monday, January 27, 2014

To Designers of Writing Apps Lacking Autosave Features (Poem 300)

To designers of writing apps 
lacking autosave features:

I want to tell you about a 
beloved poem, and 
my bereavement...
After struggling for hours 
to meet my self-imposed 
daily deadline, I spotted and 
captured the elusive 
poem I was hoping to meet. 
Long and glossy, it slithered  
around my words, curling 
and twisting, flicking them 
delicately with its tiny, forked 
tongue until they draped over
the page exactly as I desired.
Oddly enough, this very 
poem disappeared without 
even a pouf, when my fingertip 
slipped a millimeter and
--instead of 'copy', 
   tapped 'paste'.
In the brief moment it took for 
my heart to disconnect from 
my chest and fall to the carpet 
with a wet thump, my winding, 
spiraling, untamed poem slithered, 
in all its jewel-hued glory, back 
into the impenetrable jungle 
of my mind.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Sunday, January 26, 2014

August, Ocean City (Poem 299)

boardwalk unrolls 
splintering gray runner
mouths gape to
accept wads of 
cotton candy 
crises of disallowed
ice cream cones 
headlined in bold
angry cries spread 
on shrinking towels 
hot oiled bodies 
brown and pink 
planks scuffed and 
polished by decades 
among hats and 
sandals purchased 
at damp gritty shops 
above the vast blue 
sky stark as a faded 
polaroid picture in 
a shell-encrusted frame 
light tang of salt on 
the air shimmering
as far as the eye can see

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Boardwalk at Ocean City, NJ 
(photo: by Arabsalam, Wikipedia Commons)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

From Your Window (Poem 298)

From your window, golden 
light paints six shimmering squares
on this pristine snow...
outside, I count falling stars,
my wishes linger like mist

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

The poem above is a tanka, a 31-syllable Japanese form. To learn more, visit:

Friday, January 24, 2014

One More Day (Poem 297)

One more day of sunshine 
on the Sound, of empty-minded 
wanderings, of crossing 
lawns too damp for dreaming 
on, deep glades of kelp that 
wave below the surface 
of the bay, so cold, always 
so cold...

One more day of cedars 
in the fog, black and gray, 
where color used to live, 
a robin and a crow assess 
the day (no scarlet cardinals sing 
on these limbs), remembering 
the silky light of June, 
a profusion of pastel foxgloves 
in her arms, gathered in a 
quiet roadside field, 
making even strangers feel 
at home, until the rains return 
and summer's gone.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Quilt (Poem 296)

His coffee cup meets the table: crack. She winces, and looks away from his shameful anger. The world, after all, is acknowledged to be unfair and unpredictable; but it is also graced with the gentle, everyday beauty she witnesses from this very window while she sews. With calm certainty, she knows he will soon wander back to her chair. With practiced nonchalance, he'll wrap her in a one-armed embrace and kiss her--first on her forehead, then on her left cheek, and finally, tenderly, on her slightly-parted lips.

Layers, thick and thin,
Married with fine filaments,
Pliant, enduring

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

(Teachable moment: This form is known as Haibun, a short work of prose combined with a gently-related haiku. And now you know!)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

After a While You Forget (Poem 295)

After a while you simply forget. 
You forget how to stand up, to sit 
   down, and how to move. 
You forget how to walk with liquid strides,
   how to swim 42 long, silent laps, 
   while shafts of sunlight sink
   into the cool tourmaline pool.
You forget how to talk to people 
   you meet while lingering over a
   mediocre Malbec on a shady patio, 
   how to chat with that sweet girl in 
   the pet store, who always looks at you 
   with a curious concern i
   her rain-colored eyes.
You even (and not infrequently) forget 
   how to organize your thoughts into an 
   email to a friend from back home.
You certainly forget how to climb across
   seaweed-slick boulders at low tide,
   plucking hermit crabs from tide-pools
   to marvel at their affronted bravado 
   and the perfection of their tiny claws.
After a while, you even forget how 
   to dash across a snowy intersection
   for a five-dollar slab of 
   moist, gritty pretzels from a guy 
   with a shopping cart at Sixth and Vine,  
   and, you realize with a soft whoosh 
   of surprise, 
how to settle into the low-slung wobble
   and sway of the subway 
   on your way to 'the Vet' for 
   a Twi-Night Double Header 
   on a July afternoon so hot and 'umid
   that the air feels oxygen depleted, 
   as if it had already been breathed.

 (c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Partly Sunny (Poem 294)

Partly-sunny skies 
(Nice name for partly cloudy):
White sails on blue sea.

(c) 2014, Hannah Six

Monday, January 20, 2014

Insomnia (Poem 293)

There are days when you want to talk, 
    but don't want anyone to hear 
    what you're saying, 
         when you want to share your writing
         without first having to edit your words, 
             when you want to sing, but don't 
             want people to hear the roughness 
             of your voice.
There are days when you climb in bed 
    exhausted, but don't want to sleep, 
         when you want to hide in your home, 
         but can't bear the thought that you might 
         miss something exciting, 
             when you feel the cold deep 
             in your bones, but resist the weight 
             of the warm brown blanket.
There are days when someone waits 
    for you, but you are unwilling to hurry, 
        when your belly gurgles and groans 
        with hunger, but you cannot bring yourself 
        to swallow food, 
            when you dream that you've awakened,
            and then, upon waking, find that your life 
            was nothing more than a sweet dream all 
            along, and that you have suddenly 
            developed insomnia.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sri Lanka* (Poem 292)

Serendipity: a silly schoolgirl dream
      to leave the pitted streets and
Ruled lines of my home, 
Intimately known through years
      of delicate fingering and tasting, 

Lingering like a deer at the 
      lapping edge of the floodwaters 
Never veering from the course I set    
      before I was me, 
      before I knew the searing 
Kiln of age 
      firing my bones, 
      the chill of condensation settling 
      like a scarf around my ankles,    
      almost (but never quite) 
      far enough

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

*In response to an exercise suggested by Poet Carolyne Wright at a workshop in Auburn, Wa.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

September Saturday Night (Poem 291)

Before you speak, a song 
swings into my bias-cut mind,
draping these dreams in veils
blue as smoke, as indigo,
as sky reflected in sea 
reflected in your eyes.
Try as I might--melody
becomes you, finds me, 
swaying in your arms while 
the champagne sky sparkles 
overhead, harmonizing with 
the varied charms of this 
September Saturday night.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Friday, January 17, 2014

Garden Party (Poem 290)

And, this afternoon, when 
the bleached sun is burnished gold, 
all the wrong people will gather 
to forage in the garden, like squirrels, 
for old chestnuts of simplicity, and 
the bitter acorns from which resilience 
springs. Predictably, they will come up 
empty-handed and stand, mumbling, 
in groups of three and four 
before retiring to an elegant pergola,
like so many overripe summer 
fruits piled into a sticky brass bowl 
in a sunny spot.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Yellow Quince (Poem 289)

Rainfall builds a rhythm on a 
dove-gray morning, 
only days after the barn has been filled, 
ripe autumn promise hanging,
like languid inspiration, in the air.

It is not so long since the sharp, yellow 
quince, heavily perfumed, tugged limbs 
toward the ground;
the fig's smooth white bark and fragrant 
leaves flirted with dreams of its own 
sweet, seeded flesh;
and striking, stippled-pink dahlias and flowing white jasmine coaxed songbirds 
to perch and explore the shady undersides 
of a glossy stand of azaleas.

Now--long after the delight of spring 
flowers, their pale, delicate tendrils 
fences, trees, and walls-- jays argue 
over the last, fat blackberries hidden 
in the hedges, 
and the tenderness of dandelions and willows 
gives way to earthy hues of nettles and oak.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Southerly Migration (Poem 288)

immeasurable poppies 
recline in 
a dull breeze   snapshot 
of flora capturing decades
of caterpillar teachings

fog of lavender 
and fortunate mint
settles in the veins
wringing sentiment 
from reserve   uttering

hushed secrets to enduring 
life's commitment to 
innovation   declining 
to return   deciding instead 
to ally with wild birds 
on their southerly migration

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Volcano, Moon (Poem 287)

Under the volcano  the moon 
twinkles in the blue  deep blue 
sky in the sea 
and we on our backs looking 
up into the volcano   the moon 
silvering my ears a tune  notes 
fly between us or above the 
radio loves profound silence 
the curtains  the floors  two 
stories to tell and show 
old woman below  
eyes us whitely  disapproval
knit tight in her buttonhole 
frown  we laugh  drowning 
in our own story

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Monday, January 13, 2014

Layers of Freedom (Poem 286)

Small girl 
votes yes for 
revolution    she falls 
from the sky 
a tumbleweed 
seeking buttery layers 
of freedom    burrowing 
into the prominent 
lap of home    she petals open 
and rain falls 
glorious    ancestral memories 
aspirations    a treaty with 
the future    a pact 
with the past    watchful 
hopeful dunes of her 
expectant heart crossed 
with the provocative 
tracks of massive 
armored trucks    buried 
under the shifting sands of her 
heated experience    there 
is no real choice

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

 Rub al-Khali desert in Saudi Arabia, sunset, November 2007 (photo: Javierblas)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Things You Should Know (Poem 285)

options include: 
  $50 or 
     more notice. 
If no preference, 
you will receive 
You cannot be fulfilled 
without eligible rewards. 
You may only retain 
   your records.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Leeward Shore (Poem 284)

a shivering unrestful night 
we glimpsed 
with sympathetic awe 
a tempestuous golden 
woodland scorched 
by malicious snow

our bitterest drives once 
reeled along 
the tumbling leeward 
shore whose vindictive waves 
and storm-tossed port 
made us shudder 
homeward toward comfort, 
safety, faded quilts 

the dire violin posture 
of jeopardy must graze 
our unmentionable mortalities
seeking refuge as we age
before rushing 
headlong into such
a perilous voyage

(c) 2014 by Hannah Six

Friday, January 10, 2014

Subtle (Poem 283)

Secretly, the dawn
Eludes night, veiled in soft mist
Subtle visitor

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Like a Whisper (Poem 282)

pressed between 
the pages skid and stutter 
and promise another 

a fountain of late summer 
like a snowstorm on 
the driveway of short heavy 
nights like a whisper 

words wrinkle the crisp 
sheets of dust 
motes in miles of slanting 
clarity pressed petal-like 
between pages the lyrical
a whisper 
just words

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Lone Star Angel (Poem 281)

Summer blazes above these clouds-- 
a sky so blue it cleaves the heart,
a sun so vast it fills the sky,
and puts all other stars to shame.

Beneath these clouds a thin life wavers,
laid, prone and lifeless, on a bed.
Her loved ones long to grant her wish,
for she is dead in all but name.

Oh, Lone Star, why enchain this angel,
and banish her to winter's gloom--
against the claims of summer's glory--
through laws so heartless, cold, and vain?

If the God  you worship recalled her
to his realm, there she should be.
Man's interference is her prison.
Would you a soul from Him detain?

Nature's miracles are superseded,
it appears, now by medicine;
but we, compassionate, can restore 
the balance to this foolish game.

Above these clouds a summer blazes.
Here, only kindness dispels the chill.
Some things are best not legislated--
the decision's theirs who bear the pain.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Under the Duvet (Poem 280)

So, I'd tell you, writing poetry 
often feels like this: 
Some nights, when I wiggle 
my toes under the duvet, 
my cat's eyes grow dark 
and he pounces. Maybe he 
pretends the movement is 
a blanketed mouse, or maybe 
he simply dislikes my feet. 
Whatever his reasons, 
one fact remains: 
Even though he can't see it, 
he believes 
the prize exists; and, 
mouse or toes, 
it will eventually be revealed.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Monday, January 6, 2014

White Carpet (Poem 279)

The knife was sharp, the melon's deep green rind firm and waxy beneath my hand. 
From never again to head-over-heels in a breath, I gave my heart carelessly.
The blade found purchase and I pushed down into the soft red flesh. 
Given my history, perhaps I should have looked beyond the angels in your eyes, whose beauty stunned me.
Slice number one: not quite halfway through. 
Before I knew it, I was laughing.
Slice number two: almost there. 
Next thing I knew, I was singing.
Slice number three: the melon slipped.
Taking me by the hand, you pulled me into a future as tempting and weightless as a prism's rainbow.
I drew my hand back in a flash, but not before a drop of red splashed into and mingled with the ruby juice on the counter.
With winter came the brittle cold, and that particular northern light that brings clarity and depth to all shades.
"Be careful, darling" my grandmother said, dabbing at the cut with a kitchen towel.
Recklessly, you gestured, and I watched my snow-white carpet give way, again, to the lurid darkness of your spilled wine.
"You must watch what you're doing," she warned, "or you'll hurt yourself."

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Ballet (Poem 278)

Their natural welcome conjured
pure beauty and grace, bright and 
simple as a suggestive breath.
We basked in the bespoke glow 
of that willing family: each 
a single filament woven into 
a vast, sumptuous tapestry; each 
emitting a special blue hum,
a cheerful, classical palette, 
subtle and beautiful. 
What we hoped, what they thought,
a ballet of peacocks and dragonflies
in the gloaming.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Five Words (Poem 277)

musing shivering sharply   she 
fancied silence until 
the journey    yet she whispered 
five words before chancing 
an explanation

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Friday, January 3, 2014

Let It Go (Poem 276)

covered with moss, the flat-topped rock is 
cool, spongy, damp 
as a well-wrung dishcloth    around it, crystal 
clear and speaking in tongues, snow-melt urges 
a stream upward, lifting grasses along the bank until 
the strands ripple like silk   there, in the deep 
emerald shade, the siren silence fills your ears, 
lures thoughts and cares into another, glacial 
world, where they remain indefinitely 
suspended    devoid of words, fingers feel, eyes 
see    a leaf with deckled golden edges 
floats on the current
let it go, let it go

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Untitled Senryu (Poem 275)

Don't ask me tonight
Because you don't really want
To know how I feel.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I Am Not (Poem 274)

I am not stay in bed to keep warm 'cause the electric bill can't be paid.

I am not better make this food last because there's no more until next payday.

I am not lock the door and don't you answer for any reason, because mama's got to work late tonight and a babysitter costs too damn much.

I am not I can't afford the rent (again)--what am I going to do?

I am not hotel bombed in Africa, at least 11 killed. 

I am not just come on over, because our internet and phone got turned off.

I am not went in to work at eight, got laid off at nine, and was driving home by 10 a.m.

I am not who do those people think they are, expecting us to just sit back and watch while they [insert inequity of choice here].

I am not your benefits have been denied, Merry Christmas.

I am not
And yet I am
Because they are

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six