Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Elms, Exalted (Day 40)

 Photo: WikiMedia

Elms, Exalted

Pedaling, sweating,
coasting, fingers 
merely resting 
on handlebars, 
she turns right, 
lured by birdsong 

Tilting, gazing upward 
into a vaulted nave 
of elms, exalted by the
   ease of flight, 
   reserved, rambling homes, 
   sparks of sun glancing 
        off fluttering leaves, 

And, not least, by 
plunging into 
a pool of dreams
she knows only as 
freedom and 

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Monday, February 27, 2017

Creation (Day 39)



ablaze, falling leaves
sparked by sunlight, 
thoughts drift like mist, 
collecting in corners
like ancient stories, 
heaped in jute baskets 
and banked 
against my windows 

dreams, rising from
the depths of time,
sharp sapphire wishes, 
swirl—a spiraling 
cyclone of indigo 
droplets spattering 
across my paper, each 
one a prayer 
and its answer

crystalline wrists turned 
skyward, vulnerable
miracles collecting 
in my palms like 
small red birds— 
breathing lilacs, I am 
awash in creation's 

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Lost and The Conquered (Day 38)

Photo: Votesmall via WikiMedia

The Lost and The Conquered

Downy sunshine 
reflects the white horizon 
mounds of prairie, green 
   as my people 
   as my old Chevy pickup

A war rages inside me
the lost and the conquered
   cleaning their guns
   claiming their ground
   watering their horses

Maybe this is the pale 
fish skimming the depths 
of my blood 
where I was conceived by 
the dry kiss of a reader 
who returned to his beloved

When the windows are dark 
I sense The Hills 
staining the horizon 
the well-packed bed 
   of my truck straining 
   toward the highway  
luring me, a willing virgin
at home in neither 
East nor West 
but in the middle states 
at ease
in the way 
the undulating wind 
becomes story 
    again and again

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Shell Shifter (Day 37)

Hair starred, as when loose 
ends spilling forward, 
reinforced helmet of canned 
therapy, this shell shifter winks 
an eye at rudeness, flips lies
into motion—an abstract art 
he will have tracked by obtuse 
men—while his hurricane
intensifying, suspends the ruled 
in false ease and paper freedom
—a land of liberty as foreign 
to his understanding as 
a nation in a raindrop, falling 
toward a desert sand.

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Photo: Alex Hanson

Friday, February 24, 2017

An Uncommon Crowd (Day 36)

Photo: Paul Sableman

An Uncommon Crowd

An uncommon crowd 
crushed the town, 
taking care to explain 
his impertinent proposal.
We waited, leaden, ground 
to diamonds by the casual 
processions—silent circuses 
of nostalgic longing. 
Ice chimed against the rippling 
sidewalks. It was like this, 
they warned, and we hung 
on to the raveled edge 
of every magic carpet 
they unfurled, bound as we 
were by blood and spirit. Yes, 
we sighed, that was their world. 
And now? Heads bowed, we 
glowed, endowed with
phosphorescent wisdom,
ridiculous, assured. 
The darkness whispered: 
Neither moment matters.

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Leaves (Day 35)


Softly, leaves unfurl
Turn trembling faces sunward
Wings poised for first flight

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

No Discernible Difference (Day 34)

Someplace far 
away in a bamboo 
forest, fibrous leaves,
each an emerald
dagger, whisper 
among themselves 
in a language I have not 
yet learned to speak.

Someplace, a man looks 
up and sees burning oceans 
of bleached ochre sand,
a taciturn desert realm
whose wealth of emptiness 
baffles the eye 
and leaves the mind 
to it's own 

Someplace distant 
as the long-buried past 
a vast prairie of ice and snow 
melts into the lowering sky, 
enfolding the world 
in a pale pearl shell—
no discernible difference 
between up and down, 
left and right,
you and me.

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sashiko (Day 33)


Summer among 
the thousand lakes, 
heat puddling 
in valleys, 
where glacier-cut mirrors 
reflect peaks 
striped with remnants 
of last winter's storms

You, stalking 
wild brown trout 
from the tree line, creeping 
around this, the first lake in, 
five miles from our car, 
which is ten miles 
from the paved highway, 
and (from there) another 
fifteen miles 
from the nearest 

I, kneeling on my 
flat rock,
at the base of our 
acorn-strewn campsite, 
wash the dust 
and sweat from my hair 
and cool my burning feet,
mindful of your progress
in relation to 
the setting sun

For hours, the blue 
of your shirt, 
threads the edge 
of the woods—
an elegant sashiko pattern—
and disappearing 
from view, 
until, as evening falls, 
you are no more 
than a small 
on the 
farthest shore 

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Photo: US Forest Service

Monday, February 20, 2017

Their Unfortunate Crime (Day 32)

Photo: Jacob Riis

Their Unfortunate Crime

Those people  there, 
not we   not us   not me     they 
are the problem   See them  
leaning on that wall 
Sitting cross-legged in the dirt 
that collects like unpanned gold 
beneath their nails
The rusted old cars in their 
sere yards choked with weeds
The flies   the mud   the guarded 
bloodshot eyes of their 
sweating bloated babies
Lord   We should adopt them all 
what kind of parents would
soldiers could   kids delirious 
in hooded jackets   pants down 
to there   Thank God   
they are not    here   we are not 
there    not them   they are 
not us   and that 
in our westernized opinion 
is their most unfortunate crime

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Sunday, February 19, 2017

From the Outside (Day 31)


From the outside, looking in 
the mullioned window down 
a small slope from the sidewalk
where she pauses, leash in hand,
through shades and curtains wide 
open to the evening, which comes 
early now that September is sailing 
out on a cool northern breeze:
A candle burns, unthreatened 
by three small lamps, arranged so
their dull glow softens the edges
of encroaching gloom—soft-white
bulbs recently planted, in preparation 
for December's chill, 
when their rosy bloom will fill 
even the dimmest corners 
of the low-ceilinged room.  
This house, this home—all 
eighteenth-century doors and 
deep stone sills—tumbles and spills 
into a deep, wide garden, where
—come summer—fireflies will hover, 
and the family she imagines 
as characters in an Austen novel,
endure their mild dramas 
amidst towering oaks and buckled 
sidewalks, living and loving 
and drinking tea—all the while
unaware of the melancholy 
woman whose dog pauses,
thoughtfully, just here,
each evening so she may commit
their lives to memory.

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Tell Me How (Day 30)

Photo: Atchoo, via WikiMedia 

Tell Me How

Tell me about the dandelion 
weightlessness of fine blonde hair 
in a deep tub of warm water

Tell me about the hushed 
porcine grunts and whimpers 
made by a litter of nursing pups, 
aquiver with urgency, while 
their mother, eyes half open,
rests patiently on her side

Tell me how, when the fog 
rolls in from the darkness,
an echoing silence descends 
on the harbor, muffling 
the thunder of waves 
against the jetty, while 
magnifying the commonplace,
rendering each overheard voice 
an unexpected intimacy

And tell me how—when you 
last saw her, and took her 
in your arms to wrench 
a final goodbye from the aching
 knot in your chest, 
you suddenly realized 
that, for a moment, she knew 
who you were 

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Friday, February 17, 2017

Willing Captive (Day 29)

Willing Captive

Siren song, 
the luxuriant purr
—a silken cord,
it binds my wrist
—and I, powerless 
to resist, reach out 
my willing captive 
hand, to pet 
the pet 
whose pet I am.

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Thursday, February 16, 2017

How Will You Be Remembered? (Day 28)

How Will You Be Remembered?

Your legacy
is too 
to receive
our obligation.

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

(Went a little crazy with my marker, and blacked out one of my words!)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Shallow Water (Day 27)

Photo: Richard Palmer

Shallow Water

The sand grew hot, 
searing gusts more 
dust than air, 
coating their eyes, 
their mouths, rendering 
each awkward breath 
a punishment. 
Is this what 
they had in mind? 
Or was 
the winding tide of clarity 
by the ineffable truth 
of  moonlight 
on a vast expanse 
of shallow water?

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Clock (Day 26)

The Clock
By Hannah Six

What they
did not know then:
Unplugged, the clock still ticked
Silenced, the alarm was always

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Note: This poem is a cinquain—a poem or stanza of five lines. I based today's poem on a specific cinquain form used by Adelaide Crapsey. For more information, visit this Academy of American Poets web page.

Monday, February 13, 2017

A Still Day (Day 25)

Photo: Klaus Nahr

A Still Day
by Hannah Six

It is a still day
when the sunshine
opens wide and
the waking mind
rains down,
when rivulets
of overbearing bacon
and egg steam
chart the sheet of glass
separating outward
from inward,
when the waitress pops
her round left hip,
props her tray against it,
and rattles: Are you
the pancakes?
Coffee beads her
brown eyelashes
as she, talking over her
left shoulder, pours
—into the morning
glow, and slaps her
hasty bill into the
convex puddle of
strawberry syrup, where
the ink immediately
begins to run.
It is a still day, when
the bell on the swinging
door rings, depositing
another high-mileage
pile of damp
wool and leather,
solid and gasping,
on the salty white tile,
sails furling, sighing
safe harbor. And still,
as fourteen lowered eyes
dart doorward,
wolflike, ready to lunge,
should the unknown
reveal itself
in the mystery of
one hundred and twenty-three
juice glass mirrors.

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Not to Blame (Day 24)

Not to Blame
by Hannah Six

They are not
to blame for the fact
that their names
sound complicated
to our ears,
that their language
tastes piquant
on our tongues,
that their eyes
—turned toward
the brilliance
of our priceless
like the July sun
on our shoulders,
that their existence
looks like silvery
chimes and rush-hour
traffic and
teenage dystopian
How could blame
in the vacuum of our
could its heart beat,
mired in the shivering
quicksand of
our shame
at stepping over
who they are
on our way to work?

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Coffee, cooling (Day 23)

Coffee, cooling (Day 23)
By Hannah Six

You, alone,
have been the
honeysuckle inspiration
the bee seeks
when hovering over
a gaudy red hibiscus.
Have you heard
her? That low
hum, fizzing
in the garden corner,
just below the breeze,
where our apricot tree
has been drenched
in light
since late morning.
Once, you approved
of mornings
spent lazily
paging through
the long minutes,
coffee cooling
on the teak table while
you searched
for your favorite
song. I like
to remember you
that way,
lately stunned by waking
into a new day, awkwardly
descending the stairs
in your old blue robe,
the one I found
last week, still
hanging at the back
of the coat closet,
where you
must have stored it
for the summer.
I wonder if you noticed
it was gone.
I wonder if you own
a new one, and whether
it will ever be
as comfortable.

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Friday, February 10, 2017

Impertinent Neighbor (Day 22)

Consider the impertinent
neighbor   rustling
capering and affectionately
blowing smoke up
toward the clouds
as he offers you a hot
dog off of your own
barbecue   then   like some
grand and bellicose
walrus   unfolding himself
on your favorite chair
(where   later   he will slosh
half a glass of sangria)
to conduct the orchestra
of your carefully selected

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Photo: US Fish & Wildlife Service

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Leopard (Day 21)

Is a black leopard
too much shadow
when    at night  
the silver fox
   winds her way
                    further into
the lair of bright
    brooding hens    like
a pallid
    ghost of some

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Nagoya (Day 20)

By Hannah Six

You always ignored the rancor
of autumn—instead
it inspired respect.
You always forgot that
your cool skin could whisper,
and suggested
a silent farewell.

On that November day
beyond Nagoya, maples
bare, mundane
stars above—you
seemed to draw on
the dispassion
of autumn
in deciding which
stories to tell.

Now it's April
and sweet, here
beyond Nagoya—
blossoms rain and
the maples
have leaved.
I've almost forgotten how
your cool skin
would whisper,
and accepted
your final farewell.

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

(Inspired by the lyrics to April in Paris)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

They (Day 19)

Temple of Bel, Palmyra (Photo: Bernard Gagnon)

By Hannah Six

They began.
We were

They rose.
We'd barely

They loved.
We were

They lived.
We fled
The sun.

They fell.
We eyed
Their lands.

They asked.
We turned
Them down.

They suffered.
We washed
Our hands.

They needed.
We weren't

They cried.
We let
Them die.

Like fools,
We believed we
Were wise.

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Monday, February 6, 2017

House of Rain (Day 18)

Photo: Hannah Six

House of Rain
By Hannah Six

It's that time of year 
and he has things to do.
The smoke in her rooms 
wraps around her 
eyes and blinds 
her throat. 'Clearly,' she 
tells herself, strategy 
has never been
my strong suit.'

Yet, here she is,
asking questions 
that bring fading roses
—just browning 
around the edges
of pale yellow petals
—to mind. What he 
has to tell her stems 
from the root of all 

That has always been 
the problem
between them
—shadows were 
rain, and morning glories 
were Miss America 
contestants, parading 
across a stage
in bathing suits, 
as if it were 
the most natural thing
in the world.

It's that time of year 
and he has things to do.
'Never mind,' she says,
her voice 
a choked tumble 
of sharp-edged gravel.
'I am close. 
It shouldn't take long.'
She knows 
him, acrid umbra, 
winding his way up 
her stairs; though, 
to be fair, he never 
did see how 
he threatened her. 

And now, he leaves,
to do what 
he needs, and 
they both know
it won't make the 
slightest bit 
of difference. She 
breathes through 
the storm in her 
eyes, and leans deeply 
into her house of rain.

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Centering (Day 17)

     Photo: EBklassen via WikiVoyage*

By Hannah Six

on the mere 
of shell-pink 
she sensed, 
     beneath her 
     sabulous feet, 
the Earth, 
     a potters wheel, 
and she, 
a vessel, turned 
and shaped 
by the transparent 
fingers of cool, 
     mineral breezes. 

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

* Lovely image lives here: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chin_Beach.JPG#mw-jump-to-license

Saturday, February 4, 2017

In the Picture (Day 16)

In the Picture
By Hannah Six

In the picture, she
is smiling, pale
arm outstretched
to shake someone's hand,
to receive something
she doesn't have.

In the picture, she
wears a too-tight dress,
bares a too-fat arm,
and the glare from the
lights shines faintly
on her
unpowdered forehead.

In the picture, she
is every reason
why he left,
from her awkward size
to the way her eyes are
drawn toward him,
the way his eyes
no longer see

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Friday, February 3, 2017

Dinnertime Riff (Day 15)

Dinnertime Riff
By Hannah Six

At some point in the day,
he has to slide
his feet back into worn shearling
slippers and steal away
from his ancient, attic-bound desk.
Down two flights of creaking
wood stairs, his wife improvises
a modern, atonal riff, stirring,
chopping, lifting, and dropping
hi-hat lids on pots
of wayward greens and sprouts.
Drifting upward, a blanket,
of caramelizing onions and
salty, crisp-rimmed pork chops
wraps one room, and then the next,
in deep comfort. Low-playing
Beethoven, the foundation
on which tonight's dinner was built,
issues a formal invitation.
Stretching, he yawns and
gratefully accepts,
laptop lid sighs closed
on the orange shock
of a world gone
wrong, a nightmare,
forcing its mastodonic animus
through a fine needle's eye.

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Mirror, Mirror (Day 14)

Some days
aren't they all the same now
that everything we love
is in
wonder, that
our world is
suddenly filled
     with men
          and women wearing heavy
Van Dyke beards,
and more
revealing clothing?
Then I
     wake up,
               out my window...

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

*Inspired by, and named for, a favorite show from the original Star Trek series (Season 2, Episode 4)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

After a Brilliant Afternoon (Day 13)

Photo: Hannah Six

After a Brilliant Afternoon
By Hannah Six

After a brilliant afternoon,
the shortest night 
would, of course, 
seem longer, darker, 

riddled with frightening 
dreams—carnivals of scarlet,  
gilt, and mirror, chaotic
renderings of  dissonance, 

energy, whose pace 
would burst 
the Herculean heart
of slanting Secretariat—
yet even he has fallen.

Dawn will break 
again, a fine cobalt—
soon bright, burning— 
line on the horizon, 
beyond the sycamores
and soaring 

Patience, then, and, in 
the mean– 
[the trickling
rest, look 
up and count 
the boundless, shimmering stars.

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six