the body consort

the body consort
note to self

she’s been with you for
27,990 energetic days—
she’s slouchy about the edges
bent here, broken there
a taken-for-granted friend

you’re beholden to her—
she’s overused, yet ferried
you here—for decades
she was treated like a
beat-up truck rather than
the marvel you now know
her to be—oh! to go back
seven decades and reframe
how you dance together

but no second chances
and no time for regrets
go gentle, most of all in
thought—and remember—
she is your body consort

with thanks to Kay Crista for the title

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.

the owls sing

the owls sing

languid in the hot tub
late late at night
the owls sing for me
two mated pairs
high in the neighborhood
oak and redwood
calling to each other

they know I’m there
listening—
companions as I soak and
ponder how things are
their sonorous tones
a haunting music
both intimate and lonely

am I eavesdropping
on a love song?
the state of their world?
are they discussing the hunt?
is it a partnership dance
and I am their witness?
their sentience
sweet company

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.

the thread

First, a comment about process. I don’t know where these poems come from. What a mystery! I stare at the screen and wait. Usually it’s the middle of the night. If I wait long enough, feel deeply enough, something generally happens. Pondering what I’ve just written, I fiddle. A lot. I refine words, try different line breaks, should it have stanzas? Must I turn it upside down? It’s not lonely work, but it is work alone. Eventually, my body says, “Stop.”

Some poems are a wrestling match, and I return again and again for days. Weeks. Longer. Others show up and I’m satisfied with the form. It says what I intended. Some are strange, and I think, “What is this?”

If you’re a poet, what’s your process? Please share in the comments. I’m curious to know.

the thread

note to self

you were young when
you noticed the end
curious, you picked it up
fine—gossamer, even
tugging might snap it, so you
followed the garnet silk instead—
over under around and through
—then you dropped it

in the myth of
Ariadne and Theseus,
he found his way through
the labyrinth home—
an arduous journey, by
following a slender red thread

diligent, moving with care
you sought the thread’s
end that you’d lost—
a few years passed
finally, there it was!
in lush, native terrain
you picked it up again, faithful
to the path it announced—you too
remembered your way home

sanctuary

sanctuary

note to self

this is where
I go to get quiet—
my inner sanctuary
sink deep and listen
if I am still, I can find
the cathedral of words
part statement of intent
part supplication
part prayer
words pouring
from the wordless
to write myself awake

there’s nothing to do
yet still I’m compelled
to convey what cannot
be written or spoken or
painted or sung or
sculpted although
it can be revealed
the ineffable—
transparent
luminous
empty
open

*thank you to Ayaz Angus Landman for the phrase “cathedral of words”

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.

the ancient ones

the ancient ones

note to self

scientists discovered that
trees respond. that one, there—
does it feel the blaze suck air,
ignite the roots, until it’s
a pillar of raging light,
over 1400 degrees?
is this the tree that only
casts seeds when burned?
a phoenix of desolation?

all I have are questions.

what a transgression—a living
organism, 2000 years old,
is devoured by our careless
inattention. our greed.
where is our gumption,
our brilliance, spent?
what malformed gene
stuffs our head in sand?
we were warned.
we did nothing of merit
and here we are now.

girl, make a difference

comfort the young ones
respond and rescue
the four-leggeds, the
winged things that
we abandoned.
like phoenix rising from ash,
write, paint, engineer,
love this mangled world
with your whole being

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.

every riven thing

every riven thing

note to self

looking around, it
all seems bruised—
maimed from the get go
and yet I hold hope
of a loving outcome
I know that hope is futile
yet I cup it in my hand
a delicate swallowtail of faith
bold black markings on
dandelion yellow

that’s why I read novels
but never thrillers. a complex
ending, okay, but positive, please.
there’s enough negligence—
and worse—right here,
dealt out on a daily basis.
our world, straight on:
starvation, murder, fires
but riven hearts radiating love—
piercing light, pouring
through the cracks like suns,
generous and free

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.

snow peas

snow peas

oh, ode to warm weather!
for a couple of weeks,
we’re awash in pea pods
their sweet, crisp selves
play hide and seek
amidst the vines
do I see one? is it there?
the appraisal:
big enough to pick?
or wait a day?
good grief, that one’s
forming actual peas—
grab it quick.
before they’re washed,
their hides are tacky
maybe insects resist
the sensation, an instinct
they’d be trapped on landing.
we prefer them lightly
steamed—the snow peas,
not the insects—
three minutes max
toss them on salad
or add a smidge of butter
savor as vegetable
late spring perfection

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.

way of the heart

way of the heart
note to self

the way of the heart
is sacred ground
tread with love, tend
with regard
with kindness
with care

dismissed from work,
life-threatening diagnosis,
loss of a friend or child or mate,
the way is the light that
perforates desolation
forgo the urge to bolt
distress is not infectious
this blaze of the heart
is meant to be shared

foremost, listen.
just that.
anguish cannot be “fixed”
heed the plight
of your companion
or your very own self.
your words aren’t needed
attendance is required to
honeycomb grief and
make openings for light
spacious
aware
clear

with thanks to Margaret Rooney for the phrase “ the light that perforates”

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.

ravished

ravished

okay, it’s true
I’m ravished by poems.
lines brush me awake at
twelve, one, two
if I resist getting up, they’ve
vanished by dawn.
gone. I’m left bereft

words stalk, draw me
from bed—most every
night now—a phrase
threads through me
like tendrils of dreams,
shakes me and won’t let go
until they find their home

here on the page.
I’ve given up
no more withholding.
words, have your way
confide to my heart
pry me open
play me, your flute

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.

wail into the abyss

at age thirteen

wail into the abyss

deep in the Colorado
canyon, I let loose a howl
it ricocheted from
wall to wall

kin answered—
six legs between us
coyote sister, reedy
yips declare interest

back and forth
loneliness in
conversation
testing the air

friend? rival?
adversary?
fraud, exposed?
unsure, we took

our solitary paths
but a fragrance
remained between us—
I was outlander, not foe

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.