Not A Tributary

There are times in life
Or portals
When life changes
When the unthinkable
Becomes thinkable
Then understandable
And even palatable
When we discover grace
In the face of change
As I linger in bed this morning
I am considering the many portals
That I strode through
Or tripped through
Or was pushed through
Unknowing and alone
And I hope that now, in this phase of my journey
I can see the signposts when I pass them
And can align myself to travel through them
Eyes ahead
Arms and legs tucked in
To avoid bumping the doorjamb
Jettisoning baggage as I go
Once again, I am not aligned with others on the path
Once again, I am not feeling the same emotions they are
Once again, I feel that I am at a different event, hearing different music
And I have a new thought: that I am my own fish
Swimming in my own stream.
Perhaps it’s ok that my stream doesn’t join the ocean.

Copyright ©2015 C. Mitchell


When he looks at her
His face fills up with joy
And affection
And respect
And tender appreciation
For all that she is and does
He angles his body towards her
In any photo, he is near her
When I first said this,
Others said I must be wrong
That I didn’t understand
That he couldn’t be feeling what I thought
Acting as I thought
As I was sure he was
But I know these mannerisms
That look of love
And awe
And profound ease
Because he wore it with me in the first years of our marriage
He stopped showing me this face
Removed it, as though it were a mask
And turned himself towards her.
She is now the sun
And he the sunflower
And I am the diminished
Darkened face of the moon
On a cloudy, starless night.

Copyright © 2015 C. Mitchell

Storm Front

Storm Front

Hints of danger and strength in the air
A scattering of wind chimes
Towering trees hiss harshly
Unsettled dogs talk between yards
As powerful weather systems,
Arbitrary giants,
Roll their restless shoulders above the humid earth

Copyright ©2015 C. Mitchell

Poetry Month, Day 30: Evening


On a cool, sweet evening
Watching the darkness fall around the woods
Watching the mist rise to meet it
I can imagine what my ancestors must have felt
Watching the end of the day
Hearing their horses chomping and stomping
Or the soft, lambent call
Of the breeze, dying
Amongst the branches.
As I watch the shadows condense,
A dark, wild mystery grows
Sheltered or hiding
Beneath the spreading boughs
Ready to crouch
To spring
To spread across the land,
Hills and dells and dusky silence
Covered in the deep tide of the dark
Shifting into sleep
Beneath the waking stars

Copyright ©2015 C. Mitchell

Poetry Month, Day 29: Concubine



She sits by the cool fountain
And waits
Waiting for luck, for fate
For her purpose to become clear
She entered this house as a child
Winsome of manner and with dark hair and eyes
Like the night, they said,
Like the moon in shadow.
She learned many things
Many arts and graces
All to one end
One destiny
To attract, to hold, to bring into being a dream
However, the years have passed
And the dream is still a mystery.
She has been expertly packaged
Scented, oiled and polished
Adorned with beautiful garments
And priceless jewels
For an interlude that never occurs
So she waits
Her hours, days, and years
Marked off by the soft murmur of pigeons
Whose wings have been clipped
Prisoner as she is prisoner
She is fallow
She is waiting
She is empty
Of all but purpose and training.
She would hope, but she does not think that would help
Besides, she does not understand how.
She was taught to dance, to converse, to play an instrument and sing
She was taught many secret skills
She was never taught that
Hope is its own reward;
Hope is not her purpose.
Hope is not her destiny.
She must become.

Copyright ©2015 C. Mitchell

Poetry Month, Day 28: Earthquake


Apparently today
Around noon
The earth shook.
I was out walking the dog
Or working in the garden
Or simply being dense
And completely failed to notice
That the stable ground beneath me
Broke free,
Swung for a moment,
And danced like a clogger at a Thursday evening social.
I had to be told by neighbors
Who recounted
How hard the glasses rattled
How they clutched at the stove for balance
How the house trembled.
I passed through it
Of the remaking of the world around me
Our old globe shifting her skin
Like an arthritic dog settling in his blankets.
I wonder, when the tremor was over,
Did she sigh in the same way –
Sigh and then relax again into stillness?
Or is she still poised for another shift
Not quite comfortable yet
Not quite ready for sleep
I have noted before
How I seem to stand aside at most events
Sometimes not feeling the same emotions as everyone else
Sometimes just watching the nuances
And I’m usually the one, as the outsider, telling the story
Painting pictures of my observations.
In this case, I’m the one
Without a story
Because somehow,
I failed to have the experience
My peers were having.
For me, today was just
A normal day.

Copyright ©2015 C. Mitchell

Poetry Month, Day 27: Fleeting


Life’s web of relationships 
And its exigencies 
Dependency and needing
Worrying and wanting
Waiting or escaping
All made valid by the smile
The clasp of a hand
The warm moment of connection
When you 
And another soul
Are miraculously,
Together in the same place
At the same time
Both of you present
Before the moment,
Inexorable as moments are, 
Slips away like a hat caught in the breeze
Dancing off to a new place
A new connection
To be worn by two other
Fleetingly attached