Sleep Poetry

(Who is this person writing for me
when I am in my sleeping mind?
She reminds me of myself.)

Something she could hold in balance
like an unspoken word on the tip of her tongue
like the taste of summer from a small jar of strawberry jam
consumed with a spoon stamped with a moon
while looking
out at a snowfall scene.
But even closer to the fire,
surprising juxtapositions and fine lines
were the mermaid in a bathtub, the highwire tightrope synapses
she assayed in waking dream. — Annette Marie Smith

Photographer unknown

Grateful for all the things my hands
(the hands of my heart
the hands of my mind
the hands of my soul)
can hold.
Grateful for all of the things
I have been
able to let go.
Grateful for everthing left
to reach for
and so much there is still to know. — Annette Marie Smith

Rattle and Glaze

Ice pellets rattle against the window
and the accompanying rain glazes them
and freezes them in place
makes a pebbling of rhinestones,
a thicket of diamond cut branches.
The night moves behind them
like a river of smoke
bending along the shore.
No moon sails its waters.
The rhinestones twinkle like stars. — Annette Marie Smith

Snow Blankets

Photographer unknown

Snow blankets the ground
and there are some who find solace
in the numbing cold, see the swan-feather snow
as comforter
the winter as time to sleep
buried beneath the pillow drifts
and dream
of spring.
What do their dreaming minds spin
on the wheel of their will,
what threads will we see
when the birds take wing? — Annette Marie Smith

Small Gifts

The dark comes early now
with small gifts
fresh stars, the very genesis of bright
shadows like black ribbons to hang upon the trees
a deeper cold, one that reaches from the other side,
sits in our bones
and sings
of a wishing well so deep
it makes up all of space.
The dark comes early now
with small gifts
and the night across its face. — Annette Marie Smith

Tree of Thorns

Here there is a tree of thorns
and it has woven itself doors
and spread its canopy wide
like the mantle of an aroused lizard
and it has become a wall
this tree that made itself a door,
a wall of thorns.
But I see you
weeping iron tears that fall like blood
like small tokens.
like every futile thing born of grief
they disappear.
But then, imagine my surprise
when I see flowers bloom in every place
a tear has dropped.
And so I know that they were not futile, they did not dissappear
They watered that which needed them
and now I see you gathering blossoms
in the deep pocket you make of the skirt of your dress.
You wear them in garlands, these flowers, around your neck, wrists, and ankles. You
display them in your hair.
I wait
with bated breath to see
what you will do with them
beneath the watching moon. — Annette Marie Smith

Sometimes we need tears, many tears

Sometimes we need tears, many tears
tears enough to soak the heavy canvas
of our circumstances
as if that pall were a handkerchief of lightest tissue
pressed down and molded to the curves of the earth.
Let them fall.
And then let more tears fall. Let them fill
the valleys of despair
even the highways of desperation
let them flood. Let there be a great flood
spilling over and let it
lift us
boats that we are
and carry us
until we are ready
to set our new course
prows defiant and using the watery depths
of our own grief
to take us where we want to go.
We are both
our own tears and the ship that sails them.
We are deep and we are powerful.
We dare the places on the maps that say
“There be monsters here.” — Annette Marie Smith