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Fern Magic
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Let us sweep our sins up
into a gentle pile
all hair and crumbs,
dust and flower petals

let’s pour them good-bye
into paper boats
and sail them at dusk
wading into the water with them
before touching them with fire.

Even these should not die alone.

Let’s watch them grow bright,
upward release their ghost black smoke
and sink, seething their last breath,
into the mothering arms
of deep waters.



Standing By

It is not really loneliness
so much as taught lean longing
that puts sharp corners on the cold.
The silence is crisp and the freeze, firm,
like an truck rusting in a fallow field,
immovable. Fragile in this cloudless night.

Grayed-up smudgy tired,
I can’t bear saying good-bye
to another day.
They leap higher, bound away faster
as the years go by,
as my Grandmother predicted
in her old-world accent:
wait till you're my age
on Easter Monday it will be Christmas.
We laughed. I was a child then.

It’s been ten years since I came out here
To the prairie from the east,
From the sea.

All ten years gone
by in drifts,
some in the slow motion of joy,
most in a machine-turned tumble,
thrashing past on flailing metal shanks
with no care, and no consciousness.

Another ten years and then
Where will I be?
Looking out another glass door
at the fierce cold,
breath changing to frost in front of my eyes,
a different dog standing beside me.




I must return to the field.

The damp forest trail
leaves no contrast to see by
as the last sips of daylight
evaporate from the woods.
I head out through trees that fade
to thick underbrush
between me and the twilight meadow trail.

Blackberry canes, their speckles of flowers,
are soon to be fruit,
red, then black, then eaten,
as time lopes past them this summer.
They scrape my shins, as they have since childhood,
as they have since we walked upright.

I flush a deer;
she is a big brush of white tail flash, now gone.

Angelica is blooming, bobbing in the breeze,
in the gray slight light
like jellyfish in the bay,
stingless and ghostly in great waves,
fading to invisibility in the depths.

I watch the leaving evening light,
I cannot hold it back,
any more than we could hold each other
against the rushing river.



02.21.07 (midwest blues)

It’s the earliest breath of spring,
before crocuses, before the snow has
had its final fall in meek April.

The moon is lying low and on its back
near the treetops as if dreaming
of basking in warm, humid summer air.
The breeze flowing over us
runs mild and chill, like an air conditioner
breaking down.

And the stars, too, look blurry and distant,
already retreating
to their arm’s length stance of summer.

A sigh from my dog who’s shedding.
We neither one like the huge
clumped, crusty unpredictable snow
that holds us up solidly
one minute and
drops us
to the ground the next.

Come, spring, come.
We need you. 



05.09.07 (I can't take it anymore)

Is made
one thin wavering thought at a time.
It gathers itself up like rubber cement,
disparate bits stick together and collect
Until somehow there it is, arrived,
change into being, like a spell,
shocking that it works.

Change is summoned with the tips of your fingers
Drumming on the steering wheel,
waiting at the light,
half thinking,
Change is summoned
with the breaths of thoughts forming
it’s just breathing after all.

A whole new world can be
summoned with the slight change in plan,
a jolt of courage,
a new world,
Here Now,
in its naked frightening brilliance,


05.09.07 (Betty)

I called her name out in my mind,
called it like her mother would have
Called it out, like it was a sin
Against myself.

Was the name we called each other.
Young and in love with each other’s toughness
And the thick coats of rebellion and hurt that
Plastered the walls of the 930 club
And the backs of other drunk punk eyes.

the cocaine smell in our noses,
our throats;
our youths,






Third of July

In the meadow, in the evening,
Fireflies everywhere, and
My dog afraid of the popping
Premature firecrackers in the distance.

Gazing at fireflies
Blinking on and off
Yellow green winkling.

Reading my happiness,
dare I say
Without the attachment: DeepHurting.exe

This is being free,
So lacking in fine print.

I watch the fireflies.

Ridden of the pain
for the first time
Since I was a very young child, or
Maybe ever, I am
Here at night, on the side of this hill,
A three quarter moon illuminating
The tall grass and
Short fairy clover flowers,
Black and silver gray world
Filled with crickets and frogs and insects,
Achingly beautiful.

I want to die here now,
To be one with this earth
To be happy, as now,
At last
And forever.

Grass taller than my six-foot frame
Waves back and forth,
My welcoming, accepting compadres.
Seed heads chatter with each other,
Silhouetted in the fiery moon. 


Recent Opines

New Baby Chickens
Prayers and Magic
Moral Cover



Text and images unless otherwise noted are
Copyright Michele Kraft, 2017

Made by
Michele Kraft and Darling Dreamweaver