Monday, March 31, 2014

Before You Begin (Poem 365)

to kill a poem 
before you begin 
decide: a masterpiece 
an epic important problem 
of intention and meaning 
decide: an elegant haiku 
to be quoted down 
the centuries
assign: an emotion 
tell people: what you plan 
to write about 
tell yourself: this 
is a poem 
insist on the form 
before the content    squeeze 
the cow into the carton
be inflexible about looking 
at the world through a haze 
of intimate wisdom 
be too flexible about 
your nonfat milk turning
walk through water, missing 
the exit feeling    guilty that 
the wish of doom
scratches against 
the toothy sketchbook paper 
on the table

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Rain Turns (Poem 364)

The way soft streets 
break, tarmac murmurs,
and crooked brick paths
carry promises, the clouds
grow heavy, sagging 
with their jade burden.
A white piano catches, 
hums with flames, burning 
gazelle stupidity the way 
cities burn smooth kids.
Tepid rain turns, spits, 
purring smoke, 
admits nothing not proven 
by kiosks while neighbors
sleep, cats charm 
doorways, and sighs wander,
carrying blossoms to heaven, 
even as Hades stirs.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Call It (Poem 363)

Call it what you will, 
when tiredness sinks 
like syrup in your veins, 
turning your body to lead, 
thoughts growing heavy 
in your head, flowing 
like molasses through 
the channels of your brain,
feverish and dull, the trick 
is to find new dreams to dream, 
new thoughts to think, to fight
boredom, and stand up against 
the tyranny of despair. 

Call it what you will, this 
invisible illness bringing 
into question your every inaction, 
opening the doors of judgment 
among the more critical factions 
inhabiting your life, setting up 
housekeeping in your brain, 
changing the ever-changing life 
you hoped you'd have, the trick 
is to find a likely nook, build a nest, 
and crawl in for a few hours 
(or days) of rest, come what may,
to turn away from the less than 
understanding, and to be willing 
to embrace the mystery of it all, 
the unnamed maw drawing you 
closer each day, and the way 
the sun shines through 
your curtains in the morning. 

Call it what you will, if you listen 
you will hear a warning, 
whispered or shouted: 
Heed me; 
slow down; 
be more selfish; and 
honor the luminous light 
glazing the shimmering, 
glassine surfaces of 
the sacred temple 
that is you. This, 
call it what you will, is 
the trick, the secret, the answer 
to every question ever asked.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Friday, March 28, 2014

So Should You Be (Poem 362)

When heaven's heavy air 
is jade, so should you be.
Desire, in a mightier soul
of constellated stars, 
hushes the liquescent
flame cut from gardens,
dripping with wisteria,
at their most verdant.
Oh, take away that map 
within—it learned to lie 
to me. Instead, wrap up 
your gratitude, and
watch the morning bloom,
then whisper, after dark
tonight, of the honor 
in beauty's name: 
A poet selling words 
of delight and ennui for 
hours in the blinding veils 
of deep blue desert twilight.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Health Care Costs (Poem 361)

Wash your veggies, cut them up,
And juice a green drink every day.
Let cow's milk never touch your cup!
Throw your whole-wheat bread away.
Make smoothies from fresh, organic fruit,
(Or frozen if you're in a rush).
Bake yams--the more nutritious root,
Not buttery, white-potato mush.
No meat! Eat varied beans and rices,
Cut out all sugar and caffeine!
Don't complain about high prices,
Or being too tired to cook and clean!
Too sick or poor to afford eating healthy?
Who cares? It's the privilege of the wealthy.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Photo: Jasper Greek Golangco 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Best Decision (Poem 360)

When I looked up 
and saw you 
staring at me 
from the store across 
the corridor, wearing 
that ridiculous, 
black leather, 
button-up vest, I knew, 
without doubt, that 
I had made the best 
decision of my life.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Naked Hands (Poem 359)

Looking down at my naked hands, 
I notice they are not working 
ice-cold water, a little at a time, 
into flour and lard, rolling the dough 
to a perfect thickness to contain 
beef juice and melting butter, 
nor are they handing the trimmings 
to little girls eager to fold and crimp 
their own tiny pies.

Looking down at my naked hands, 
I am amazed at how clean they are--
no paint stains too stubborn 
for turpentine, no red clay in crevices 
and grooves, no berry juice, 
tree sap, or dark rich potting soil 
under the nails.

Looking down at my naked hands, 
I notice they are still, rather 
than endlessly busy with needle, 
shuttle and thread, embroidering 
flowers and tatting lace for hundreds 
of handkerchiefs, pillowcases, 
doilies and antimacassars.

Looking down at my naked hands, 
I recognize a few tiny sun spots, 
a raised vein, the texture of skin 
not quite as plump and immaculate
as a child's. I see that they are 
familiar, comfortable, capable, and 
(with a frisson of surprise) 
I see that they are mine.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Monday, March 24, 2014

Chestnut (Poem 358)

Chestnut-sheltered bench
Here, dusky flowers whisper
Becalmed waters sigh

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Sunday, March 23, 2014

You Are Mine* (Poem 357)

You are mine, are found in me,
Found, as you deny invisibility,
Found, unlike a shadow at midnight,
Found, as a raindrop on desert sands.

I dislike you, yet you lose me still,
Your earthly body, homely and dim,
Yet you are not you, refusing
Capture, as shadow is found in shade.

Let me lift you from the mire of apathy--
Your dullness, find you exulting 
   in sensation,
Planted in the cool, dark shadows
Of my dispassion.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

*An exercise in contrariness, based on "I Am Not Yours" by Sara Teasdale

Saturday, March 22, 2014

At the Shore, in April (Poem 356)

Offshore, fog blooms,
but here, boats shimmer in 
watery sunlight, creaking 
old floorboard tunes.
Pelicans fall from the sky
over  rocks shivering
dark with sea lions 

Cold April winds set old lovers 
to walking, where poetry flutters in 
the budding trees like piano keys 
trilling under small, young hands.

Misty children skip along the wet 
sand, tracing lacy puffs of foam, 
their fits of giggles rising, gull-like, 
on the breeze. 

Selflessly, they offer jingling 
shell-and-sea-glass trinkets to their 
mothers, who watch the day unfold 
from rumpled plaid blankets, 
eyes scanning the stanzas 
written on the horizon.

As twilight blooms, wood smoke 
melts sunburned smiles, leaves bright 
eyes bleary. Foolishly in love, young
couples linger until midnight, then 
trail off, hearts burning for their 
white-painted bedrooms. 

In full joy, three dolphins leap,
luminescent, beyond the point. 
Boats sputter. Later, 
the golden stars will sway
and spin.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Friday, March 21, 2014

Consolation (Poem 355)

The first time I heard them, there 
were only a few, but the nights 
had been silent, long, cold, 
and their voices rose like hope 
from the woods, making 
my heart ache and sing. 

Soon, the chorus swelled to tens 
of thousands, a chaotic rapture, 
myriad silver threads 
embroidering thin, blue evenings 
with a complicated pattern. 

When I learned that, here, 
neither crickets nor fireflies 
would glaze the darkness with 
familiar summer sweetness, 
my ribcage throbbed, bruised 
by longing and regret. 

Still, the ache lingers (growing 
sharp if I touch that spot, 
just so); but the worst of it 
has passed, eased 

by the choir of countless, tiny 
camouflage-clad froglets, 
to whose voices I opened 
my windows, despite 
the seeping chill, and 

by the heart's willingness to rest 
for a few beats--pressed close against nature's breast--
and be soothed by 
lullabies ancient and familiar.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Photo: Kevin JF Martin

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fleurette Africaine (Poem 353)

Coffee, short and sweet;
a coral haze over 
violet shadowed streets 
portends the day's 
breathless heat;
voices of waking and
of a long night's end
linger in alleyways;
a radio nearby plays
Fleurette Africaine--
a thin, crackling version
punctuated by the dull
flap flap flap of sandals 
on pavement, 
the delicate snap 
of newspaper pages, 
and the rhythmic tapping 
of tiny cups touching down 
on wafer-thin saucers.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

   Photo: © Frank Schulenburg

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dirty Words (Poem 352)

Imagine fifty 

multiply that
by a million 
and add, oh, a few
hundred thousand,
or so.

How much space 
do they take 
up, all those people?
What is 
that kid
in the third row
How does his hair feel
to his grandmother's
veined hand, which rests
lightly, there,
on the back 
of his neck?

In America every 
of this sea of humans
lives the dream

in food insecure 
Children in all 
of these households 
were food 

Tens and tens 
of millions of


live/love/starve/laugh on
Ten-thousand dollars
a year 
for a family 

who know
call this extreme 

poverty is 
     a dirty word,
so don't think

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nightingale (Poem 351)

I feel like a nightingale
like a curse
like a poet   like a girl
like a Girl Poet cursed with
the liquiscent voice of a nightingale

I feel like a hamburger
like a traveler
like a prom queen
like a shooting match
Like a traveling prom queen 
dressed in tweed and brogues
for a cozy, country-estate shooting match

I feel like a pincushion
like a jazz fan, a swimmer, a candy bar
I feel like a listener, like a crystal
like a languid cat listening to a crystalline,
aqua-blue jazz set

I feel like myself     I feel   
like myself   I feel like my self

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Monday, March 17, 2014

Private Club (Poem 350)

Triumphantly, the darkness 
burns away what sparse
blue coastal light remains 
at ten o'clock.
Deep promises are deftly 
uncorked; dreamy trumpet, 
faintly sharp, listens
to itself.
Thigh-to-thigh, at the bar, 
we imagine their small 
smiles of surprise at 
being admitted into 
our private club.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Violet (Poem 349)

Verdant, mosses beneath arching 
    lilac branches--bright, velvety, 
    a tiny secret world;
In earliest spring, windows, at last,
Open, house drinking fresh, 
    crisp air to quench 
    a winter-long thirst;
Later, when the day grows soft and 
    the sun rests
    on the moist
Earth below this room,
The scent of violets will alight, 
    fragile as the powder 
    on butterflies' wings.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Diamonds in the Sun (Poem 348)

It's too sweet:
that bright green tendril,
so delicate, breaking
through the crust of
dry, sandy earth.
It's too simple:
water, air, light,
and one gray speck 
so small my childish 
fingers fumbled for it 
in the wrinkle of flesh 
in my folded palm.
It's too delicate:
The memory of her
smile, her patience,
her joy in the everyday
adventures we shared,
like clambering down
rocky paths to run
on a quiet beach,
like seeing our sweet peas
waving like fairies' flags 
in the brisk Pacific breeze,
like walking along 
a sidewalk glittering with 
mica, and pretending
to be blinded by 
diamonds in the sun.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Friday, March 14, 2014

Quest (Poem 347)

Analyst curious about 
deplorable snake. 

Crossed paths with 
twelve howling, hirsute
prophets--more annoying 
than compelling.

Mouth of great basin.
Elder: "Behold, 
agreeable Pilgrim!"

Noted phenomena 
with keen eye:
evolution of birds
bridge evacuations 
grainy acoustic gadgets

The birthplace of giving.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Early Riser (Poem 346)

Caramel colors glint in the sweating glass
That waits, hidden, behind the pumpkin-
Cookie jar; still dark, but morning comes
    upon us fast,
Gray and mysterious, louche figures
    lighting the trees, draped
Over branches and curled like cats in the
    bushes' dark undersides.
Behind the yellow gingham curtains, a
    cherry-red lamp burns,
Casting its warming smile over
    generations of memories that hide--
Barely out of sight--each patiently
    waiting, fluttering out in turn. 
Smoke rises in plaits from the cigarette
    she holds,
Affecting what she once imagined an
    elegant stance,
Palm turned upward near her chin, her
    elbow folds
Neatly against her side. Yawning,
    entering, I catch the merest glance
Of shadows in her eyes, before she 
    turns, beaming, to kiss me, and to say,
"Good morning, Morning Glory," coffee
    pot in hand, her ghosts now safely 
    locked away.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Liquid Fish (Poem 345)

Liquid fish caroused.
Having plundered seaside towns,
most tourists ran.

Walking along hard wet sand,
our hands stroke poetry.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuscan (Poem 344)

In a large house 
("mansion" is gauche)
in a well-to-do suburb
(Why is it, we don't say 
rich or poor 
a brittle, woman 
starves herself
to skeletal proportions
(unconsciously aping
that which she abhors).
Her proficiency in shrinking 
is unrelated to any 
social dilemma or moral crisis. 
She does not feel stifled. 
She does not feel voiceless. 
She has never felt less-than,
or passed-by. Yet, slowly, 
she vanishes, eclipsed 
by furniture that  grows 
grander in scale, heavier
day by day: looming trunks, 
towers and pillars of rosewood. 
(As a casket, her writing desk 
would more than suffice.)
"Tuscan," she tells her friends,
drinking espresso with 
a paper-thin twist of lemon rind 
from tiny bird's egg tazze.
"It's so lush. I'm doing 
the entire house
in Tuscan."

(c) 2014, by hannah six

Monday, March 10, 2014

Daylight (Poem 343)

Daylight, light of day, daytime
combination of all sunlight
diffuse sky scattered 
across the terrestrial atmosphere
each day, Earth rotates,
and the sun shines on, 
indirect, considered
outdoors during daylight, 
sunlight reflected from 
objects in time (i.e., moonlight) 
is seldom considered 
while every side of 
daylight, daytime, sunlight
(even reflected, despite being 
indirect) is understood to occur
daytime, daylight, 
sunlight, light of day,
unimaginable, happens 

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Noontime (Poem 342)

Acres of bleached concrete,
Bleak under searing sun.
Noon, sidewalks shimmer.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Before Dawn (Poem 341)

Black dog barks and wails,
Fog wraiths moisten leaves and stones,
This hour before dawn.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Friday, March 7, 2014

Accord (Poem 340)

Perhaps enough has been said about agreement.

Entire conversations, like trees, have grown and bloomed, while adversaries circle each other, round-and-round the trunks, until

Autumn's fury flares. Each one crows and squawks about the merits of his own ideas as they trample the bright, crisp 

Carpet into dun-toned dust. Neither is willing to give; both are too happy to take. Mere agreement is, finally, insufficient.

 (c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Black Cat (Poem 339)

A black cat whispers,
Immaculate shadows swim,
This dream of blue twilight.

(c) by Hannah Six

(Photo: Kreuzschnabel via Wikimedia Commons)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Go, Fan, Kiss (Poem 338)

Go fan kiss plan ply bland
In fire love is health
A hurried plum mystery dove a pawn been sent
Say heart glove thumbing
Bit of sod he blushed to stay by trove sea
Your hope his rove tryst
Was all that bit of Brahmin story sure
Half sell that wit may hammer glad defends
For love thine own sir
Friendly sands wet trim finishes three
He was Iceland is solved with a rhyme
Can share tour river mend who pulled your room love drill knolls
Thick rolls shore steed.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

End of the Day (Poem 337)

At the end of the day, 
when the bare trees 
stand in silhouette 
against the gray sky, 
I look over my shoulder 
and see you 
wandering up to me. 

At the end of the day, 
when the sun is setting 
into a sparkling pool 
of rose and gold, 
I look to my right
and see you 
standing next to me.

At the end of the day, 
when a spray of stars 
is softly veiled by 
a thin layer of clouds, and 
the moon little more 
than a gathering glow 
at the edge of the horizon, 
I look ahead 
and see you 
patiently waiting for me.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Lily, No. 1 (Poem 336)

Adventitious and true,
a glorious success,
mysterious, reclusive, 
while snowflakes 
whisper to themselves, 
she comes into her own
when days grow long,
gaudy petals glazed 
with pale moon-glow.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Reply When (Poem 335)

Reply when 
the holiday is 
forgiven    when 
the loveliest 
rose tree has been 
for miles    softly 
and secretly 
a new history 
on a wish

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Come Calling (Poem 334)

Three days of wonder
whatever happened to
that one day of lost

Amid the pine
barrens flat, featureless
quicksand danger afoot

Then two days, then here
begin years of next until
more or less come calling

As they always do, how
nightingales sing on
a wednesday
when listened to

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six