Thursday, June 21, 2018

Kindnesses, No.2 (Day 519)



Sometimes 

the kindest words 

are those 
that remain 

unspoken



(c) 2018, by Hannah Six

Image: Portrait of Marie Antoinette (1755-1793), 
attributed to Martin van Meytens, oil on canvas 
(WikimediaCommons)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Kindnesses, No.1 (Day 519)

And she told me  once
toward the end:
Of all the kindnesses 
I have received  and 
there have been many  
the ones I remember 
most  cost the giver 
nothing at all.


(c) 2018, by Hannah Six

Image: Pixabay

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Quieten (Day 517)

When she turned it was green 
or was it violet   the light 
in his eyes sharp as the pinprick 
scratch of dried grass beneath 
his shoulders   his mother used 
to favor an odd word: quieten   
quieten yourself now   she would say 
when he or one of his sisters 
cried or got out of hand   but peace 
is absent here   where someone 
has been painting the land around 
him all the shades of autumn



(c) 2018, by Hannah Six

Image: Lillaby/Pixabay

Monday, June 18, 2018

Looking Through Diamonds (Day 516)


Looking through
tiny diamonds
the world   sliced 
into gem-shaped  
sections   none small 
enough  large enough   
each glimpse 
too micro   too macro   
to be of any use
except to those 
who have no need


(c) 2018, by Hannah Six

Image: MrMagooICU/Flickr

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Listening To You (Day 515)

Listening, I can’t hear you 
in the other room where 
you used to read and write 
long after dark.

I can’t hear your fingers on 
the keys, the steady breath 
of words blooming like steam
on your page,

Your footsteps, your whistling
or humming odd snatches of 
songs—even your silences—
gone,

Leaving only a persistent scent 
of absence lingering on the air, 
where I spent countless hours 
listening.


(c) 2018, by Hannah Six

Dedicated to Rob Bamberger, with heaps of gratitude 
for nearly 40 decades of Hot Jazz Saturday Nights

Image: MaxPixel

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Fields of White and Red (Day 514)

transparent trouble blooms
in fields of white and red 
raising tales of dank 
insatiable fear   running in 
dark dashes and dusky 
currents   painting the gutters 
carmine lips motion 
to confront 
but say nothing   knotting 
cords of leaping words 
foreign yet familiar 
temples of justice dangle 
poverty like baskets of candy 
for starving children   stomachs 
full but distended beneath 
wide umbrellas of trouble


(c) 2018, by Hannah Six

Image: Richard Probst/Flickr







Friday, June 15, 2018

Overnight Passenger (Day 513)


Thirsting for an open door, he wanders 
the aisle, empty at this advanced hour 
of blue laptop glare and sepia lighting.   
Gentle snores, rustling newspapers, and 
muted conversations roll with the motion 
beating, lifelike, beneath his feet.   

Gripping seat backs with both hands—
he does not want to land shamefaced in 
a stranger’s lap—he makes his way toward
the rear of the car, hoping some careless 
conductor foraging for unpunched tickets 
may have left the door ajar. 

Gone are the days, he tells himself, when 
passengers lingered on outside platforms, 
red-tipped cigarettes dangling from numb 
fingers. Longing for a time he never knew, 
he imagines people felt less encumbered 
by rules intended to keep them safe, free 
to choose their risks in pursuing the small 
pleasures that smooth life’s rough edges. 

No open door. Thirst unsated, he slumps 
into an empty seat and writhes, impatient. 
The night’s unbearable dreariness and the 
tepid, musty air sparks a barely-discernible 
panic deep in his gut, leaving little chance 
of sleep, and the relief of dreams.

When at last he disembarks, he gulps the 
cold wind blowing down the platform, and 
squeezes his eyes in exaggerated blinks 
to clear his vision. 

Just then, above his left shoulder, a familiar 
face brightens a tinted window in the next-
to-last car. He starts. His step stutters briefly, 
but when, suddenly alert, he looks again, 
the window is vacant. 

Commuters gush from every door he might 
use to reboard. His discomposure goes 
unnoticed. Around him, intent on its single 
goal, the crowd roils and surges, leaving 
no choice but to surrender to its command 
and be carried forward into the echoing, 
coffee-scented station. 

(c) 2018, by Hannah Six

Thursday, June 14, 2018

This Desert (Day 512)

We have seen this
desert where 
you would send
the innocent.
We have seen this
desert where
their lives will grow
hard and barren.
We have seen this
desert where 
you will nurture
their nightmares.
It is empty.
Nearly as empty
as your hearts. 


(c) 2018, by Hannah Six

Image: Pixabay

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Underwater Day (Day 511)

Underwater day
Emerald air flows like silence
Fan oscillates 

Outdoors, indistinct voices
Revolving hours drift, dilute


(c) 2018, by Hannah Six 

Image: Biscayne National Park,
Courtesy US National Parks Service

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Outside of Time (Day 510)

Have you ever sat 
outside of time? 
Eternal, immobile as 
a towering mountain? 
Felt the wind ruffle 
your hair, the same 
way it tousles leaves 
in old-growth forests? 
Quiet, still, knowing 
where and when you 
are, being everywhere, 
always. Just you, and 
your willingness to let 
go, allowing your hard 
edges to soften and 
melt into the sinuous 
estuary of which you 
are but a drop.


(c) 2018, by Hannah Six

Image: PxHere

Monday, June 11, 2018

Ordinary Kindness (Day 509)


she spun such kindness 
from an ordinary 
upbringing   a magical 
childhood of fairies 
and giants 
and secret huts 
where witches were 
rumored to live 
among gardeners’ rakes 
and brooms  
that shimmering world
constructed of feathers
clouds and dragonfly wings
was stronger 
than we ever imagined  
barely tarnished  even now    
viewed through my 
time-dusted window 
of adulthood  of context
the nest may not be woven
as tightly  but the pale
shells  each broken cleanly 
to allow us our freedom 
are still intact  tiny cups 
of turquoise tilted 
toward the coming sunset  


(c) 2018, by Hannah Six

Image: Deedster/Pixabay

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Try It Now (Day 508)


How many tones ring 
in your ears when 
you silence Them?

When you uninvite 
Them from the daily
celebration that is 
your morning coffee?

When you mute Their 
urgent, insincere pleading 
and fearmongering?

Do you suddenly 
hear papery leaves
—mere buds, last time 
you noticed them—
rustling in the whisper 
of a breeze?

How many heartbeats, 
before eternity settles 
back into your center?

Until the exquisite 
smallness of the everyday 
smooths the lines of
tension from your brow? 

Try it now, and 
count yourself 
among the blessed.


(c) 2018, by Hannah Six

Image: Winslow Homer, Girl in a Hammock1873
Oil on canvas, Colby Museum of Art (via Wikimedia Commons)

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Frayed Images (Day 507)


labyrinth of words  we say 
the thumb-wide sentences
frayed images  though wonderous  
provoking  are incapable  unsuited 
to our dreams  to constellate 
our inner skies  mighty pens 
make mayhem but uniting 
what has been torn asunder 
by the lies takes a finer touch  
a surgeon’s steady hand 
and deft wit  that waning  wanting 
quality being drained by screens 
and screens and careless isolating
screens  was ever love illumined 
by a blue backlit glow  (dashboard 
green and gold we know full well)  
no matter  stitch by stitch we piece 
and join  one’s floral meeting dots 
and stripes  abutting sentences  we 
don’t make sense  we can’t
we don’t make sense these days



(c) 2018, by Hannah Six

Image: Mariner Mars 1964 Solar Panel Test — NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Since You Went (Day 506)


Beyond the curtain, 
where the deer graze 
(I am here, and you 
are there), the subtle 
snap of breaking twigs 
and careful rustlings, 
saves the forest (thick 
with vines) from utter 
silence.

Where your voice 
sang, slightly out of tune,
sometimes whistling or 
slurring over some
forgotten words, only 
dead music plays 
on the stereo in the other 
room, but I keep it on for 
company, since you went 
away. 

And, on the shelves,
those books 
you read, into the wee 
small hours.
You never knew I smiled 
when you laughed aloud 
at some surprising joke,
tensed when 
your breath quickened 
during a suspenseful 
scene, or saw you 
dry your eyes when 
someone you loved
died.

Your light kept me 
awake some nights, 
but I did not 
complain. There were 
other rooms, and chairs, 
and lamps you would 
have used. Instead, I 
indulged in your 
dream-distant company, 
always preferable 
to being left behind
(like this) in bed 
alone.



(c) 2018, by Hannah Six

Image via Imgur

Dedicated to Anthony Bourdain, 
whom I never met, but (like millions 
of his other fans) somehow felt I knew.
He scattered joy. 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

This Story You Used to Know (Day 505)


You might not recognize 
my hand   lines complicated 
as a newly-spun web 
containing the wide Pacific   
waves carved in laughing faces   
mouths whose insides hold 
my voice   but trust me   
the pen writing this story 
you used to know   like those 
spiders   orange as pumpkins 
whose triangle noses somehow 
always broke   rotting flesh 
softening   folding in upon itself   
you know who I am   companion 
on your lifelong walk beside 
the blue bay  round and firm 
as a plum straining against its 
own skin  roots sunk deep 
into the damp northern soil 


(c) 2018, by Hannah Six

Image: Pumpkin spider, Araneus trifolium [harmless to humans]
 and its web with fog droplets, San Francisco. 
Brocken Inaglory/Wikimedia Commons 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Killing Machine (Day 504)

maybe you are a woman
or identify as one
though in these times
it seems unlikely
you may be president
you may be a man/boy/
you may be thinking that
you may be a killing machine 
studying leaves underfoot 
and learning 
to hoot like barn owls 
becoming accustomed 
to the awkwardness of thirst 
to the unrecalled discomfort
of hunger  
memories   of ease   of quiet 
times   when people 
shook hands first and 
said yes   meaning yes 
and not no
if so   write this down:
weapons are a cold-war 
expression   isn’t the key in 
making a world so safe  
that no one needs them


(c) 2018, by Hannah Six 

Original image: U.S. Navy 
Naval Aviation News September 1963