The passageway to warmth
is as wide as it need be–
the breadth of your body, the breath
of your body–
sighs sized to stretch us both
into foreshortened
a night narrow
as two spoons.

But when, feeling lone,
the brain becomes a dislocated bone,
when crevices hutch stone, darkness thickens
and even walls pass judgment,
one confuses ways-away.

Some mistake an unlit oven
for possible passage (the speckle
of its inner midnight misread
as splotches of star),
consider cuts channels, purge
as release, oblivion
a coveted tease–

when–I have to believe–
if time could just be waited upon,
warmth might alight in windowed panes,
great trapezoids of sun winnowed
from the meanest cracks,
brightnesses to bring us back
into blink and dazzle,
a radiance that lets us wear
its raiment as our own, quickening
whatever lists into its frame and, too,
what simply looks on.


Here’s a poem originally written for a personal challenge given to me by Corey Rowley  (Herotomost) on Real Toads, and posted there.  I have edited the enjambment a little and am re-posting on my own blog and also for dVerse Poets Pub open link day, hosted by the wonderful Claudia Schoenfeldt as Claudia and Brian Miller pass a torch at dVerse Poets Pub to Bjorn Rudberg.  Brian and Claudia have definitely offered a passageway to warmth for me in all their online poetic endeavors and have my heartfelt gratitude.  



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24 Comments on “Passage”

  1. barrira Says:

    I love how the words have been weaved!

  2. brian miller Says:

    i would hope my passageway to warmth not be in a stove to cook you…ha…when i have to believe is a cool line break…that really sets up that last stanza nicely…the light that allows us to wear its clothing…even if for a bit…its a beautiful thing isnt it…

    peace to you k…and thank you

  3. Grace Says:

    I admire the second reading K ~ These verses are really good:

    warmth might alight in windowed panes,
    great trapezoids of sun winnowed
    from the meanest cracks,
    brightnesses to bring us back
    into blink and dazzle,
    a radiance that lets us wear

  4. wolfsrosebud Says:

    when you said oven… all i could think of was pizza… great use of adjectives in this

  5. I love how your poem winds and circles its way around me. Beautiful, beautiful photo, too. Absolutely gorgeous, so simple and yet so stunning.

    Greetings from London.

  6. Loved this, especially that first stanza :
    “the breadth of your body, the breath
    of your body–”
    Such intimacy and warmth in the words. Lovely.

  7. I love the layers here – the words so carefully chosen – at first I thought it was about birthing but while that is alluded to. As I parse this, the poem is about stages of movement through passages in life. There is all those rites of passage to marriage (sex), to birthing, to becoming the thing you are passionate for, and the passages to other places as well…these alluded to by words like these: “sized to stretch”, warmth, two spoons, oven, and then as you turn into the denouement – radiance, winnowed from the meanest cracks, and quickening – with the understanding that some passions come to fruition, and others we simply watch in amazement yet the ideas or actions never quite take form.

    If I’ve missed the mark here, the fault is with me. The poem has a beautiful cohesion and elegance notwithstanding.

  8. What a great revisit Karin, I still feel the first stanza the crown of the poem with that wonderful ending.. I love the thought of that warmth to be found…. Something we need an crave, a warmth in the winter a room of our own.

  9. zongrik Says:

    whatever lists into its frame” is very deep

    in state, faithful lying

  10. claudia Says:

    i do hope that passageway is always wide enough to breathe easily despite the things that try to clunk the walls and make it narrow… love that opening image with the spoon as well k. – and yes – thank you…

  11. lucychili Says:

    love your imagery,
    sun winnowed
    from the meanest cracks
    ,is a lovely piece

  12. Still loving that unlit oven. This image has really made an impression on me. It makes me think of Hansel and Gretl.

  13. Susan Chast Says:

    When one wants to spoon and feels alone, it’s hard to remember to let the light in as another kind of partnering. I enjoy the close pairing of sound alikes, the transitions among the verses that lead from all to nothing and then back again. I love the paralleling of the oven with the firmament, showing the first might be a mistaken passage. Great title.

  14. Some mistake an unlit oven
    for possible passage… Plath was the 1st thing that popped into my head the second I read this… some find their only way out in the oddest of places

  15. Truedessa Says:

    Well, one can hope that warmth can be found and an oven can be re-lit as passion is found in the brightness.

  16. Myrna Says:

    Nice. I like how this begins with a physical sensuality and expands to the warmth and light of the sun.

  17. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) Says:

    I too enjoy the revisit. Powerful, beautiful use of words to create an almost-tangible atmosphere.

  18. kelvin s.m. Says:

    This poem is so appropriate to read today in the pub. Beautiful, Karin! Thanks for the poem.

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