Kathleen Kirk – Three Poems
Date with the Rain
I have a date with the rain today.
He wants to keep me in bed
with his relentless fingers, so silver
and cold. Doesn’t he know how I want
my heart to thrum, not with his subtle
distant thunder, but with the red hot
light of the sun on my closed eyelids
out there rolling on the lawn
with dandelion seeds in my hair
and grass stains, wild plantain,
crushed violets? His cloud cover
crowds me in bed, his gray body
spoons me silver into another dream
of greenery. He knows me so well.
He seeps into my consciousness
as into the earth, caressing the roots
of everything I love. Tomorrow
I’ll understand what he was doing,
keeping me in bed all day….
Hat of Stars
It was light when I went in and dark
when I came out
wearing a crazy hat of stars.
What I mean is:
night was pressing its thumb
on my voice box
and I couldn’t speak until I sang
the gumdrop song,
the kookaburra song!
Taught to me by my mother.
Tomorrow, or the next day, we’ll want
the rain. We’ll want the sky to let down
its gray sustenance. Today, we wanted
sunshine, daffodils, white and yellow
tulips, magnolias on their gray branches;
tonight, clear sky, white stars, uncertain moon.
Why must I point out to you each tiny, subtle
thing, each semi-colon, stop, question mark,
each dripping comma? Why can’t you see
what I see? How long must I wait? And why, oh,
why this rain of regret for all I’ve done wrong?
Author’s Statement on Beauty
I remember seeing a golden tree out a third-floor window of a college building and not being able to move, turned to gold myself by its arresting beauty. Yes, I wrote a poem about it, and it was in the college literary magazine, also solidifying for me the connection between poetry & beauty. As I recall, writing the poem in my head was the only way I could continue in that moment, gradually and gently detaching myself from the beauty-induced paralysis. What does this mean?! Once I could move again, at all, I wrote it down. It had form and rhyme, helping me memorize during the stillness. I’ve always loved beauty—the beauty all around, the blue sky, the goldenrod, the word “goldenrod.” Costume jewelry, which I admired and saved as a child, and still do, and hardly ever wear: I just gaze at it, hold it in my hand. Wildflowers, garden perennials, blossom by blossom. I cannot let go of beauty, and I remember that it went out of fashion, and people despised it. But I didn’t. I’m still in love with beauty.
Kathleen Kirk is the author of six poetry chapbooks, most recently ABCs of Women’s Work (Red Bird, 2015). Her work appears in many print and online journals, including Arsenic Lobster, Crab Creek Review, Eclectica, The Fourth River, and Poetry East, and she is the poetry editor for Escape Into Life. More at: kathleenkirkpoetry.blogspot.com.