Summer’s End

Tilting water world
One red leaf falls to the pond
Startled geese take flight

Copyright Deborah McGlauflin, August 2013. All rights reserved.


Keep silence so true peace may come and stay
Shed sediments of noise and shimmy free
Like peeling off stifling clothes on a warming day

First no talking, as if to remove a coat that’s bulky
Utterly doing without a single utterance
Extending the glottal stop out towards infinity

To tame the tongue is but a surface slough
Next refrain from cheating notes and gestures
As one a scarf and gloves might choose to doff

Then turn to still the churning dialog in one’s head
Let die the background din of chatter
Like shrugging off a sweater that constricted

Glimpse the face of Truth that lies in wait beyond words
Beyond all thought and far beyond description
Naked joy is speechless now and ever afterwards

Copyright Deborah A. McGlauflin, June 7, 2013. All rights reserved.

Why Do You Care?

Out my window each night at the stars I would stare
‘Til the dawn lit the sky with its pastel fanfare
With the moon I would talk, her light in my hair
Her cratered eyes asked, Really why do you care
About the ice melt and sea rise
And gun victims’ demise
About the power and excess that money buys
About all those hurt by politicians’ lies?

Entranced by the cosmos, mind suspended in space
My nebulous thoughts at light speed did race
Confusion spiraling all over my face
Until the fog cleared in a moment of grace
Though it’s true we are often fools who bray
Though often we’re cruel and make worse the fray
Still we’re all star stuff in the same Milky Way
We can’t help but shine through our own darkest day
Copyright Deborah McGlauflin, June 2013. All rights reserved.

All We Can Do

Seared by bombs and shootings
Left fewer and bereft, keening in the rubble

Scoured by tidal waves, scarred by tornados
Dumbstruck by birdsong the next callous dawn

Survivors clutch photos in wastelands parched of reason
Broadcast grief swells the global heart

All we can do, consolers and consoled,
Is link arms and look over our shoulders
As one in our ruinous mortality

All we can do is pool our tears
Until memories float free in the flood
Bright and eternal as rainbow’s promise

All we can do is the unthinkable
To be willing, someday, when sobs are spent,
To smile and laugh again

Copyright Deborah McGlauflin, May 28, 2013. Al rights reserved.

Jack Spratt Redux

Jack Spratt could eat no fat
My husband rolls his eyes
That lucky guy! For one day he should try
My litany of allergies out for size
No beef, no lamb, nor nuts at that
Some fruits are even in cahoots

His wife could eat no lean
No fat, no lean, no meat for me at all
A born-again vegetarian quite contrarian
Deaf to hormone-plumped carnivores’ call
I have my whey with curd and bean
My tongue derides all pesticides

And so between the two of them
They licked the platter clean

This blending needs another ending
For our tainted, food-savvy scene
And so between the two of them
They went vegan, organic, and green

Copyright Deborah McGlauflin, May 2013. All rights reserved

Here’s the first poem I fell in love with and the one I want to share with you here on National Poem in Your Pocket Day. Enjoy!

To Make a Prairie
by Emily Dickinson (1755)

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee.
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.

In the beginning, the white-frocked horseman of her apocalypse
Eyes averted, blurts she has pancreatic cancer in store
She rocks, absorbs our reeling shock then, pensive, quips
A curious “Well, I’ve never done cancer before.”

Fumbling with forms and facts in cheerless waiting rooms
She regales us with tales from her career as a Navy wife
Three cherished years in postwar Japan she relives and subsumes
In incurably merry memories of a zestfully lived life

In the middle, emerging greyly from another grueling test
The hospital directory’s alien “-ology’s” and “-atrics”
Cause her to chuckle as she reads, pretending not to rest
“I’m so glad I’ll get to die someplace exotic!”

A winner in a losing battle, no cause she saw for why-ning
Resolute she rallied for a family trip to New York City
Boosted by a Broadway play, a tour and some fine dining
Nearing escape velocity from death’s gravity

In the end, the ruinous thief was something mercifully other
Something sudden and biliary that we did not expect
A stealthy ninja stroke that clove the waning moon of mother
The surgeon tried but could not mend the vile duct

In hospice care, no tying tubes or talk of chemo any more
Little talk at all, the less said now she knew the better
Haiku pointing at a transcendent shore
Haiku pointing

Copyright Deborah A. McGlauflin, January 2013. All rights reserved.


Seven times down
Grateful I have only two
Wobbly ankles, knees and hips
And one nagging back
Each in painful turn decries and vies
Body awareness by missteps
The rising is in the falling

Eight times up
Aha! This body’s not just a taxi
For my unmindful mind, not so at all
I’m both Story and Soma
Breathe and sense and feel
The present fully embodied
Or missed in mind’s mist
Copyright Deborah A. McGlauflin. All rights reserved. January 11, 2013.

Eye of the Storm

Wind wails, fraught with ice
White on gray the roiling bay
Gulls remain, silent

Copyright Deborah McGlauflin, December 26, 2012. All rights reserved.


Not meant to beat for only me
My captive heart now shatters
Its shards slip through my boney cage
Made plural by sad matters

Outlaw compassion on the run
Last seen winging north and true
To where the twenty-six are missed
Where grief is thick and blue

Now circling ’round the school like crows
A flock of lamentation
Our broken hearts converge to mend
A small town and a nation
Copyright Deborah McGlauflin, December 2012. All rights reserved.

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