Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sanctuary (Poem 91)


sweep the darkness 
from ancient 
        pagan idols'
lichen-clad feet
tasting the lurid 
of diluvian decay
their fog-enfolded 

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Poem 90: Tumbling

sweet, the tumbling

sliding into dreams unbroken
vast, opaque, the snowfall
words unspoken
glanced at sideways 
or altogether disregarded
silent, then 
so low, the hard ground 
wide open, clover 
sweet green apronfuls
a gentle place 
to land, unbroken, and 
a place to rest

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Poem 89: Puzzling

woman impatient
squinting puzzling 
over the raving 
fluorescent summer 
each supple gripping 
lover treated to 
a silver smile and 
silent moving pause

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Thursday, June 27, 2013

No. 88

crazed with night 
brilliant pain 
daughter seaside
the fight quickens 

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Poem 87: Colors the Clouds Are

all the colors the clouds are
muted watercolor washes 
easing memories into place
to a time before knowing,
wanting, having,
and losing an inch here 
and there, but for the grace
of silver slipping and 
pooling in puddles 
in the sky, reflecting
all the colors the clouds are

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Poem 86: Lark's Lullaby

The lark made his lullaby
Of rippling conversation,
Wrapping the rumors
In a sparkling scale.

Dreaming of thunderheads
Over vast painted deserts,
He tried out the tune
From atop a cattail.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Photo: Cattails Beside Pond, by David Wagner


Poem 85: Upstart

Twisted, like softly-plied 

Wool in your fingers,
The points of your needles
Find all the right loops--
Twisted, and wrapped, and
Pulled through and knotted,
Then folded, forgotten, in
A cupboard to which you've
Long since lost the key.

Resting in darkness, with
Others who kept you 
Warm, no harm done, no
Storm damage
From tempests that once
Rose like fury between us,
Erupting in downpours
Of unspoken words.

But what seemed safe,
Now is not, and my rest is
The refuge of disused and
Misplaced loves, faces forgotten, 
Our voices unknown.

You save face, we trail 
Into the forest, and comfort 
Each other with tales
Of our fortune and 
Harrowing escapes
From your upstart heart.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Monday, June 24, 2013

Poem 84: Blackberries

What is unsaid
What is said
The late-summer sun rises 
And sets in tumultuous glory
What is right
What is wrong
A gentle rain patters 
On a still silver lake
What is light
What is dark
Heaping banks of blackberries 
--Plump, warm sirens--
Ripen and lure the jays to debauchery

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Poem #83: Tender Hearts

Sometimes, the blue sky
Is more heartbreaking 
Than rain. Clouds are 
More forgiving to 
Tender hearts that 
Burn in the midday sun.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Friday, June 21, 2013

Poem #82: Off the Highway

Off the Highway

Sad old rusty truck 
drops off the highway,
Right turn onto smooth blacktop
Smelling of tar,
In every direction waves of grass
Ripple in the wind,
Clouds of dust, circling hawk,
Silver-faced black dog barks 
From a porch,
Fierce heat, screen doors,
Bleached laundry on the lines,
Sawdust floors, baseball games
Where lights are dimmed, slightly,
By thick clouds of flying insects,
Pie and coffee at the Kountry Kettle,
Settle the bill, crickets sing,
Right turn off the smooth, 
Blacktop road, smelling of tar.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Poem #80: The Brick Path

The Brick Path

Is there a right way for a sweet, yellow rose to unfurl and bask gratefully under a gentle June sun?

Is there a right way for the clouds to part, while the world sleeps, setting the garden aglow with moonlight?

Is there a right was for a loyal maple, much climbed and often read under, to release its golden leaves into a bright autumn breeze?

Is there a right way for the coast to beckon to incoming swells, luring them toward an inevitable, tumbling, raucous embrace?

Is there a right way to open the gate, walk down the carefully-swept brick path to the shady road, and open our green mailbox, hoping for a letter from you?

Is there a right way, then, to sigh as I withdraw my empty hand, glancing right and left to see if a neighbor has noticed my shameful solitude?

I turn, walk back up the path, and close the gate behind me.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Entrance to the Garden Gate by T.E. Butler


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Poem #79: The Picture

Beginning with the promises,
Dreadfully calm,
He yawned, shifted,
Shot his cuffs, eagerly
Expecting refreshments,
Pleased to join the picture.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Monday, June 17, 2013

Poem #78: Only Today

Only yesterday, I dragged my
Fingers through your thick, gold hair.

Only last week, I drank the last
Sip of wine from your forgotten glass.

Only last month, I stopped wearing
The bracelet you gave me on our seventh date.

Only last year, I asked to sit next to
The man with the kindest eyes I'd ever seen.

Only today, did you kiss me and 
Close the door behind you with a soft click.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Photo source:


Poem #77: Crossings


The best surprise, 
I think, has always 
been a blanket of fireflies 
over a cornfield 
on a June evening,
delighting the eye 
and igniting a sweet
nostalgia for a moment 
that hasn't yet passed--
a moment that finds me 
thinking, dreaming of 
the windswept prairies
my grandmother knew
and loved, the same 
rolling grasslands, 
the same vast, 
blue heaven, 
the same shipwreck 
of mountains
floating in a sea of gold 
that I traverse--back 
the way they came--to
the place that remembers 
the weight of my step, 
the curve of my hip, 
the gentle kiss
of my fingertips. 
She reaches out, 
and draws me in 
to the blinding glare 
of sun on marble, 
where I can breathe 
in dignity, and 
rest a while 
on her aged breast, 
dazzled, sightless, 

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Spearfish Canyon, South Dakota
Photo: USDA


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Poem #76: Rescue


he breathed 
usual hundred times 
drowning among the 
languid tulips 
lost in a splash
of concerned smiles 
and desperate 
clich├ęs the 
cost of rescue 
a wink and 
a hesitant closeness 
into a slippery trust

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Sunset Beach, Cape May, NJ


Poem #75: Each


You splinter the night, enter 
and unravel my dreams, 
a long red thread. 
Panting, I wake, mired 
in my bed, pushing the fright 
out of my eyes and blinking at 
the slanting moonlight slipping 
through the shades 
of you, a midnight-blue reverie 
shrouded in 
a damp fog of desire and 
a firestorm of regrets, each 
wrapped in bright, clear silver, 
each a June day, 
each a November evening.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Poem #74: Peony

Peony drops her petals
Rare gems for the wind

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Poem #73: Frames


Those are 
my grandfather's 

Black frames, 
square, with yellowed

The style 
you see in old 

Somehow when 
I was young 
they didn't 
seem retro

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Poem #72: After Evening

After Evening

On this perfumed 

night, frogs chirp, 

in place of cricket song.

No fireflies, but slender 

yellow columbine 

hovers and trembles 

in the dying blue light; 

and tweed-hued warblers 

seek the rennet, 

tried and tested favorite 

of all the birds who find 

our sunburned feeders.

Have you never understood

the stillness 

after evening's dither 

or risked the 

knowing empress-breath 

of tulip and plum, 

struck soundless 

by languid wonder?

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Photo: Steve Voght


Poem #71: "Title: A Title: B Title: Nada"

Confused by this poem? See note at end.

Title: A Title: B Title: Nada

Incandescent flight pears overhead with saris
that thorn my side like glare (soleil, soleil, soleil)

more than once upon a time, etc. etc. the woman tore her hair
and stairs collapsed (de rien)

bouyant, 1-2-3, shards burst outward
can of cat food, mountain of cans (pas de probleme)

mounting anesthesia, physics realm, dream to nightmare
Oh, Belle Dame Sans Merci. Alarm.

(c) 2013 Hannah Six

Note: In 2005, I wrote this poem in response to a few purposefully "difficult" poems I'd read. While my tastes have changed/broadened since then, I continue to (strongly) prefer poetry that is at least somewhat accessible. So...this parody is still relevant. 


Sunday, June 09, 2013

Poem #70: Outside the Party

Outside the Party

From the terrace,
sheared grass stretches,
gray and undefined, into
a galaxy of stars. A cool 
breeze carries the scent of 
seaweed from beyond 
the woods. Behind her, 
a door opens, releasing 
the music, then subduing it
again with a soft click
of the latch. She does not turn,
but listens to the languid
pattern of his pace as he 
crosses the flagstones to 
the pitted concrete balustrade 
that abrades her elbows.
A hushed scrape, a flare, 
a dim crackling as a glowing 
cigarette tip answers 
the inquiry of his breath.
A sigh. The horizon
holds her eyes, drawing his 
from her ice-pale face, 
which glimmers. Like
snakes charmed from 
their low, fat baskets, two 
blue columns of smoke
meet, hesitate, and then 
begin a spiraling, ascending 
pas de deux.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six



Poem #69: The Chess Players

The Chess Players

That, he said, is exactly what I expected.
From the kitchen there erupted a barrage 
of clamoring pots and cupboards slamming, 
until (after an eerily silent pause)
the door swung inward on its hinge,
propped open by a denim-clad hip.
The steaming platter of crisp-skinned 
chicken and oven-gilded parsnips, 
rutabagas, carrots and potatoes
landed in front of him with a clatter. Meanwhile the kids, wide-eyed 
but otherwise expressionless, looked
--first at one, then at the other--
as if following a chess game at the 
cracked concrete tables in the park, 
where frighteningly old men 
in sweat-darkened shirts smoked 
acrid cigars and rumbled 
their low, sordid laughter 
at incomprehensible jokes. 

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Photo: Joye


Friday, June 07, 2013

Poem #68: The Quiet Ones

It isn't only the vociferous,
the fearless, the vengeful
who sing. The songs 
of mid-day, of course, 
belong to them: 
bright songs of
glorious wars (and 
more subtle battles) won
and lost; brave, galloping
songs of romance
and adventure; songs
to stir the blood and
rouse the faintest heart.
In the gentler hours, though--
when lilac mists drape
sleeping fields, 
when fog stirs and roams 
in solitude among the
fern-shod giants and 
tumbling crags--
then softer melodies
are born. The quiet 
ones, who do not boast 
or brag, whose songs--more
intricate, by far--lament
the warriors lost, 
the cost of worldly love 
and honor eclipsed by 
beauty's harsh, bleak glare.
There you will find
truth, sweet and pure,
among a low-slung
hum of honeybees, and
blowzy clouds against
a summer sky, an evening
kiss, a faint, fair lullaby. 

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Thursday, June 06, 2013

Poem #67: Bitter Hours

Bitter Hours

Today, autumn sprinkled 
her first bitter hours.
Summer's lingering green 
leaves drift on 
a chill wind
   —less than, 
      more than before
shifting restlessly until 
they are gone.

On this morning, 
the cool air tousled dryly 
amongst bare, 
rattling branches, 
and settled in heaps 
against the evenings 
to come.

Like a shawl, 
Winter’s stillness,
enfolds the dawn,
whispering of days
aching with airless brilliance.

© 2013, Hannah L. Six

Note: Another remix, this time from 2004


Poem 66: Woman Worshipping

Woman Worshipping

Sordid chocolate woman 
trudges languidly through 
a luscious winter mist
   —tongue always bitter, and 
      dreaming enormously of 
      cool, sweet lust

Goddess vision
       symphony, tender, 
       panting petal—
delirious lather of 
need, worshipping 
a drunk void
of eternity.

© 2013, Hannah L. Six

Note: I wrote this poem about eight years ago and, as I'm not feeling well, just adjusted the formatting for tonight's post. 


Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Poem #65: The Gardener

The Gardener

No such amends, 
she thought, bending 
over to pinch off 
a formerly-coral petunia's
withered brown 

While not precisely 
a pawn in his game 
of catch-as-catch-can,
she (nevertheless) 
exuded a deep blue 
sorrow--aired it 
from time to time 
like a down-filled 

Later, wrapped 
in its familiarity, 
she would breathe in 
the unmistakable scent 
of sun-bleached cotton 
and--for a moment--
look up.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six

Photo: National Garden Bureau


Monday, June 03, 2013

Poem #64: Enemy Clan

Enemy Clan

raw, fragile,
in some hands
  --it's been a while, this--
nearer each other's 
delicious, spent, and
fearsome days

one agile, false, 
   one slanting away,
for we cannot (awkwardly)
talk ourselves down 
that way

I am not 
an enemy clan
bent on raiding you 
at dawn

 (c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Sunday, June 02, 2013

Poem #63: Not the One

Not the One

That house, where the cedars stand so close to the bank of kitchen windows that they tap and rattle, as if asking to be let in, when the north wind roars down off mountain? 

It's not the one I'm looking for.

That park, whose dusty gravel walks and old, rutted roads lead to a lakeshore, where we rested on a sun-warmed boulder, and you slept with your head in my lap?

It's not the one I'm looking for.

That garden, where shafts of light illuminate each floating moth, gnat, and dragonfly so they fill the air, standing out against the ancient forest like a galaxy of living stars?

It's not the one I'm looking for.

That third-floor window, from which your lamp spilled a golden welcome that pooled around the gate post we leaned against and kissed a final goodnight?

It's not the one I'm looking for.

That bench, worn smooth over the years, where we listened to the surf and the cool breeze stained our cheeks a vivid raspberry hue, as it had our parents' before us?

It is not the one.
It is not the one.
I am looking.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six


Saturday, June 01, 2013

Poem #62: A little ditty about a horrible illness with an even more horrible name

By no other name

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Let’s talk about the long hard nights
Of fevers and sore throats,
And body aches too strong to fight,
And chills, cold sweats, and then…

We’ll spend some time on other things,
Like memory and IQ,
Which--poof!--are gone when illness rings,
And (surprise!) it’s for you.

Then “urgency” and IBS,
Weakness, rashes, pain…
So tell me now, or let me guess,
What is THIS called, again?

This is no common tiredness,
No day-to-day fatigue,
The illness “they” call CFS
Is, properly, M.E.*

*M.E. stands for: Myalgic Encephalomyopathy (or, sometimes, encephalomyelitis)

© 2013, by Hannah Six


Poem #61: Hometown


I remember the still, oppressive air in the attic, where you could see logs from the original cabin our old clapboard house had swallowed whole.

I remember the scent of baking dust and pine needles that filled my nose and mouth while I toasted my skin to a golden bronze.

I remember the day I left, riding a bus across the Golden Gate Bridge, watching the morning sun burn through the fog and glimmer, pearl-like, on the great dome of the Palace of Fine Arts.

I remember promising myself that I would return home in just a few years.

I remember landing in an immense, flat gray city--suitcase, typewriter, and pillow in hand--where oil refineries lined the highway and the sky hung so low I could almost brush it with my fingertips.

I remember longing for my hometown, where mountains rose above the sea, the light glittered and glowed, and people spoke without guttural accents.

I remember the first excitement of Atlantic City, the mouthwatering greasiness of true cheesesteaks, and the gently-folded, idyllic landscape tossed, like a picnic blanket, at the city's feet.

I remember returning, one day, to the glowing, glittering, fog-shrouded city of my birth, only to find that--while I was wiping steak-and-Cheez-Whiz juice from my chin--it was no longer my home.

(c) 2013, by Hannah Six