The hawk comes every day now.
He swept across my vision that first time
seizing my attention like unwary prey
landed just outside the window
and hunched down to stare at me.
I have seen eagles up close
crows, cormorants, herons
all unmistakably lovely
but this was different.
He arrived in a dark flurry
raw-boned and hectic
striking the branch like a meteor
flight feathers ruffling, eyes
glinting dark amber through the glass.
We saw one another. We looked a long time
before he coursed away again
climbing a sharp, biting wind
impossibly high and fast.
Now he lands each…
Rain falls in tireless ribbons
drifting down from a silver sky
like wet tinsel on a sodden tree.
The cold hides inside my clothing
clings to my skin in thin, icy layers
draws its fingers at last into my bones.
And yet I cannot stop looking
cannot help but raise my face to the mist
for a last kiss before going indoors.
There I will throw more wood on the fire
and huddle close enough to combust.
The cold does not easily let go; it beckons me
to walk farther from home
down to the shoreline where grey gulls
roll the wind…
There are two kinds of poets.
One moves through the world collecting words
like a woman placing gems into a reed basket.
Words that burn and cool
words that soar and sink
that lift the spirit or strangle the breath.
Words come from everywhere:
the rails of train stations in rural India
a coil of sunlight through wine held to a lover’s lips
the clean wound left in that lover’s absence.
She molds these words like clay
and places the gems carefully, to catch the light.
The other kind of poet wears saffron fur
and feels the world through the pads…
My heart is rain-soaked
sodden to overflowing.
It fills me to bursting and leaks
from every pore
until I could water the world with it.
I was taught one must not
write about the heart
rather, find metaphor
use other colors to paint the thing
one wants to express.
For instance, if your heart is breaking
you don’t write that.
You weave words to express the raw wound
caving in your chest
the way breath won’t come anymore
but instead seems to belong
to some terrible burning thing. …
Surely we weren’t meant
to walk alone.
These days I force myself outdoors
without picking up a leash
without pocketfuls of treats
or a ball in hand.
I scarcely know how to move
my hands fall at my sides
foolish empty things.
For years you marked my steps
out ahead, close behind
ranging across my path
your presence alongside me
warning away any harm:
I was yours
and you were mine
our tracks intertwined like tangled yarn
or nerves in a single system.
Now my footsteps hesitate
over forest floor where sunlight falls
but does not reach my path.
We used to bound…
I step out into dusk after a difficult day
spent wrestling demons indoors.
Wind shushes in the treetops
and something heavy lifts off my shoulders.
Tall spirits walk beside me in the dark
I can’t explain how I know this
but if you were here you would feel them too.
Depending on how you see things
the road is either a strip of mud
or a silver ribbon in muted moonlight
and poetry streams behind me in the wind
that only the spirits can read. I will try
to capture it later and wrestle it
much like a demon, or clouds passing
over a three-quarter moon.
Kara B. Imle is a poet, memoirist, and healer. She lives in the liminal space between land and sea, on a small island in the Pacific Northwest. She likes hiking, kayaking, and geeking out on words.
Some days being alive
is harder than others.
Today a cloudbank sat on my chest
weighed me down
pulled me under.
Restless, I tried for breath
came up with only bubbles:
not enough for my blood
that grows richer by the day.
Time wears onward
the shadow follows wherever I go
crouched at my bedside
standing behind me in the kitchen.
Sometimes panic swells
my ribs, pushes
everything away from everything else:
the world grows large and indifferent
and I cannot find myself in it.
Try to see beauty in pain
try to hold down the rumpled, rippling
fabric of a windswept…
We go out into the cold
and black of a new-moon night
climbing down slick boulders
to feel our way toward the sea,
three women seeking treasure.
We are blind except for the lamps
arrowing through curtains of fog
we make with our breath.
We follow instinct toward the water’s edge
which has receded so far
we cannot reach it.
The smell of her, though: brine
and blood, seaweed and salt
tells us Ocean is near. She
mirrors our own scent and soul
and we cannot steal from her
without stealing from ourselves.
We set our buckets down and begin…
My body is a beehive
humming from root to crown
filled with the nectar of desire
its borders laced in sacred geometry.
The queen hides her golden wings
in clefts no lover can fathom
unless, in seeking her ambrosia
they risk her sting.
What will you do with your pain?
Run from it
and from the honey you long for
in the sweetness of Now?
Will you deny the vibrations humming
from the base of your spine
spiraling up serpentlike
to the dome of your skull?
Enter the hollow tree
and see where that tunnel goes.
It promises to hurt like anything