Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mistaking him for her brother,
he cuts off
thirty years.


An old woman,
too plump to be pretty,
my lipstick travels outside
the lines.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Christmas Poem

In the bleak midwinter
the Christ Child again
asks to enter into our hearts
and melt the ice that insists
on forming there
against our better judgment --
our attempts at thawing
only serving to set it afire
in a soul-consuming explosion--
our attempts at cooling
turning it once again
to ice.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

To rage against
fist clenched
and eyes--
is to be blind
to the effect
of the rage
on ourselves.
If you run away
from hypocrisy
and cruelty
or run towards them
brandishing the sword
of hatred
you will only breed
that which you so abhor.
and let go
knowing that
deep down
you are no better;
no worse
than any.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Farm Cats

Where do the farm cats go when it rains?
In the absence of moonlight, do they get lost in the maze?
Do they hunker down among the aging corn,
with their fur puffed up and their eyes squeezed shut
or do they stick out their tongues
to catch the raindrops and splash in the puddles
while the farmer is sits inside
and eats
his soup?.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

This Time

This summer 
in this city
brings me back to troubled times
announced in hushed tones 
on black 
and white 
tv; it formed the soundtrack of our lives. 

This time it's so hot 
that money melts 
quicker than we can make it;
quicker than the company 
can decide 
to put enough aside
to throw our way
like the the biblical rich man
to the dogs.

This time, the violence is horrifically new
and yet, pit-of-the-stomach familiar. 
All in HD
24 hours a day
for our eternal

This time, we are walled away, 
each alone in our 
climate-controlled cubicle 
complete with computer 
that goes everywhere we go
to distract us
from reality. 

It is happening again,
but this time, 
I don't see

a revolution. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Gardeners

The gardeners are out,
the gardens transformed
into neat little plants
unhindered by neighbors
sitting alone
in deep rich soil
they mirror their owners
while I
cultivate my weeds
growing randomly
this way and that
like my thoughts
and my words
they are not rich
but they are


On the empty shelf lies no
witch's crystal.

The tiny house
lands firmly in the present
with a decisive thud.

The future in its
She explained her reluctance
to divorce him
over a glass
of  chilled wine
the color of her aging

She leaned in close.

It is because,
she whispered,
always watching.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I want to
lean close
and whisper
softly in your ear
to calm your
restless soul.

so only you
can hear;
and the candle
go out.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

the path is being built
stone by stone
by those in our lives
who stop and lay down
a tile
to help

Monday, May 30, 2011

To My Mind's Ideal

I'm not in your league
of nations
my brain doesn't work that way.
It doesn't wake up
all organized
at the start of
a brand new day.
It doesn't file the spices
in neat and tidy rows
it doesn't have a to-do list
everywhere it goes.

I stumble and struggle
to function
to do what I'm meant to do--
to keep my head above water
much less to keep up with you.

I try to keep up my self image
as it climbs up and falls off the cliff.
It shuts itself down--its in free-fall
and nothing I do makes a difference.

I don't understand how my mind works
from whence its weird thoughts
come to pass
I'm just not the person
I've looked for.
I don't have that level
of class.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Eden

After a day of furious weeding,
I cook a quick meal
of curry chicken and peas
and sit on the porch

The evening sun filters in
and softly falls on the
peaceful madonna
that stands on the
teaching her Child to read.

The rose in the vase
has past its prime;
the dogwood bloom
bows in reverence.

My tired mind has ceased
its attentionless rambling.

God walks the earth.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Witch on a Stick

I'm standing on the porch
with my witch-on-a-stick.
Surrounded by orange-and-black
gobblined children,
the witch starts
to foretell their
frightening futures.
My lilacs, like me, are late bloomers,
struggling on the side of a rocky hill
between the cactus and the pine,
they manage to bring forth flowers
while holding off the
unwanted attentions
of the brash forsythia.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My life passed before my eyes
in a moment
my hair went from dark to gray
and people came in
and out
of my life
in a horrifying flash
of recognition
I saw the results
of decades of decisions
in a sickening

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tea, Time and Tears

She sits in the dark
with tea and old photos
mourning the inevitable changes
that come with the
passing of time.

The changes are
a shock
to her system
as if suddenly
she woke up one day
and the children were grown
the hair was grey
and the relationships
were skewed
like an old
pair of glasses
she'd forgotten
she was wearing.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I want the peace
that comes from a life
with musical
I think my dog
writes poetry
as she lays on the couch
and sighs.

I think
she's writing
the poems that I'm not.

Perhaps they are floating
from my brain
to hers
before I can catch them

like those fluffy milkweed seeds
born away by the winds
of my childhood
before I could grab them and
make a wish.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Soul Lent

dark nights
and overcast days
     of the soul
come and go like the tides--
barely apologetic,
     drought and dry,
or suddenly flooded--
   trembling and afraid
in the back of the cave
seeking safety
striving for some small sight
crouching in the damp and musty corner
not knowing
there is life

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Surprisingly, the shoes fit,
comfortable as they are expensive.
But, at what price?
After betraying myself
for a bit of bling
I flee to the
comfort of a
well-worn, broken in pair
who accepts me
as I am.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Tragedy happens
while the blinding sun shines 
and oblivious tourists walk
on the steaming hot boardwalk
in cheap flip flops
and seasonal tans.

Monday, March 14, 2011

What can we do to reach across time
and change things 
that we had nothing to do with
but were only 
random occurrences 
in the long timeline
of lives 
that intersected ours? 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

As the senses begin 
to thicken like an abandoned stream 
full of yesterday's sediment,
the inner eye 
is sharpened. 

The past and present 
knit together 
with acidic 
nightmarish clarity

and the full garment 
comes at last
into focus. 

Friday, February 11, 2011


Wrapped in the gold
of Divinity,
You offer us
the sweetness
of Your Love,
given to us
by human kindness.
Taste and see
the goodness
of the Lord.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Searching for Words

As the waters of the everyday
lap, and sometimes crash,
onto the shores of my life,
they erase the words
written with careful fingers
over the decades.

I gesticulate wildly
more often now,
trying to fish out the right word
or any word, really
to effectively communicate
what just might disappear
like an aging dandelion
before I can capture it.
Poems © Gemma W. Wilson