Posted tagged ‘what we don’t talk about when we talk about love poem’


October 25, 2014

IMG_3344 copy


“You’re hurting me,” she whimpered.
“I want to hurt you,” he said.

In the hours afterwards,
lying on a bathroom floor,
next to the clawed feet
of a large porcelain bathtub
so white it also hurt–he’d been
a pale man–
she did not understand
that it was rape,
only that she was stupid
and that she hated herself,
and, after her torso
was wrung out,
that it did not feel
like her lying there–how could that be her
on a bathroom floor?
The person lying there
also hated her stupid self, but she

was wedged in a purple corner
where ceiling
met wall,
by a crack in the molding,
where she looked down
at some person,

who might in fact
be her; certainly, the tiles that backed her arms
were cold enough.



Here’s a rather chilling draft poem.  (Please do not take it as autobiography!  Writers are imaginative people!)  It was inspired by a host of different prompts and conversations, but not really appropriate for any so not linking it.      



Eos At The Never-End

September 30, 2014


Eos At the Never-End

She took
to locking him in a room.
She took
to rolling rugs against the jamb.
She took no one
into her confidence,
not the sons of her womb,
the sons she’d won
by taking him,
then beautiful.

She, who gave birth to herself
each day anew;
she, who gave birth
to each day anew;
could do nothing–
against the decay
of his loved limbs,
the wither of his skin,
nor yet against
the forestalling of
the dust of him.

She took to polishing
burnishing the door’s brass handle
until it fretted into the flute
of an icon’s
pilgrim-palmed foot,
the metal worn to its marrow
by eons’ pleas.

She hummed, polishing,
as if dusting thin air,
but truly to guard against
the threadbaring
of the rolled rugs, their insufficient
for she could not bear to hear
his gristled babble,
his dried tongue,
the chirping
of chapped bones.

Oh how she ached, when there;
oh how she hurt, when apart;
but still she could not enter,
not even in those dark hours
when oblivion corralled
her pale chariot,
and rose was a shade
not imaginable.
not then.


Here’s a sort of poem for dVerse Poets Pub’s poetics prompt, hosted by Abhra Pal, to write a poem arising out of myth.  I have resorted to the myth of Eos (the Goddess of the Dawn) and Tithonus, the human lover she captured, who, upon her request to Zeus, was granted the boon of immortality.  Eos forgot, however, to request that Tithonus also be granted endless youth; thus he was doomed to live forever, growing older and older.  There are numerous versions of the myth–in some Tithonus becomes so old and parched that he turns into a cricket; in others, he simply becomes very very old (and I guess, senile) and Eos locks him away in a room so that she does not have to hear his feeble babbling. 

The above is a photo (supposedly in the public domain) of  Eos and her son (by Tithonus) named Memnon, slain in the Trojan War.  (So, it’s not Tithonus–too young–but a beautiful figure.)  This is from an Attic red-figure cup, ca. 490-480 BC, signed by Douris (painter) and Kalliades (potter).  It is sometimes called the “Memnon Pietà.”   (It’s in the Louvre Museum. No copyright infringement intended.) 

PS this has been edited since first posting;  one edit was done on the iPhone and left out a word!  But I think I’ve fixed that now.

Old Dog

September 15, 2013
By Kathryn DeChairo

By Kathryn DeChairo

Old Dog

First hard frost
and when I take you out to the ice-furred grass,
you stand stock still
as you always do these days,
then edge blindly towards the side of a stone step,
nudging away from collision only just
as I bend down–all normal enough
for the now you–

until after taking your next stance,
you begin to heave, something newish,
torso jerking in waves of disjoint
that bring up nothing,
and there is nothing I can do
but wait until you’re still again, then pick you up
so that my fingers do not interlace your ribs, at least not
with pressure,
and hold you in the folds of my nightgown, which I realize
from the sensation of sleeved seam
against my cheeks
I’ve put on inside-out
in the rushed near-darkness–

Hours later, I wonder whether that was comforting,
the flannel worn next to my skin
smelling more of me
than the patterned side,
and think how rare it is
to have a well-adjusted being in one’s life
who actually seeks out
one’s smells–

But at dawn I think only of your trembling
trust, and worry, as I carry you,
about how mute you’ve become,
though you still manage to communicate so well, I keep
telling myself, the way we know
each other–

My husband scrapes a porthole in the windshield,
leaning towards me as he drives
to peer through. Taking me to the station,
and we talk of what, next, how, until
as my tears run into
the roar of the defroster, he reaches from the wheel
to pat my leg, which is when, I realize,
that we truly speak,
at least, understand–


Here’s a draftish poem – I’ve cut a lot that maybe should be put back, and put back stuff that maybe should be cut–for a With Real Toads challenge hosted by the very talented Canadian poet, Grace,  and featuring the art work of Kathryn Dyche Dechairo.    The above is a painting (or mixed media piece) by Dechairo, called “Barren.”

Those who follow this blog will know that the old dog in the poem is Pearl, 18, who is actually doing pretty well (for 18).  This was written about a not-great morning, but it is not, thankfully, every morning.


January 8, 2013



She hides.
It is what
pride does. Wedges herself
inside a hedge, stranded hair stalking
snagged branch, limbs pricked
by entwining vine, scraped skin blending
into wall behind, eyes stone-faced chimneys
to a bricked-up heart.

He stands apart. Calling from the pavement, once,
twice, but, proud too, not bending to look
though she is just there, hedged.

The calls and then, after,
the silence,
reverberate as buzz in their ears, nearly
deafening at moments; at others, something
they can almost make themselves
not hear.


Draftish poem (and not-really-right pic)  for dVerse Poets Open Link Night.  Check it out!  Also my books!  Poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, (by Karin Gustafson, illustrated by Diana Barco). 1 Mississippi -counting book for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms, or Nose Dive. Nose Dive is available on Kindle for just 99 cents!