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Sample Poems by Ellen Jane Powers


Shape Shifting


I'm slowly awakening
from this dream-
a woman,
in a burning house,
sits with a cup
of peppermint tea,
sees flaming rainbows
edge out
the walls around her.
She doesn't know she's living
within fire-
its warm,
velvety light hums softly
compared to the pitch and roll
of her nightmares.
I'm now at the crosspoint of dreams-
a moment of blinded
stillness,
the body recounting its cells.
I know
there's a fire-
its greenish-blue consummation
scales my skin with
its vapor.
Looking
at my hand,
the dream-shift stops,
and all my vision's
a smeared red sky
turning over
in the closing dark.


Progression from Solitude


1.
Gray, early spring rains uncover
crocus uncurling beneath the snow-
but you, you come armed
with desire, protected
by the noon's light taking in your shadow.
I see you reach for me-
your folded stance erected
by the low tremor of my song.
Where is the shivering rain to expose you
fully to the crescendo rising within me?

2.
The polar language of your eyes
turns the corner of my vision-
your exhale taken by my inbreath,
in between, the death-point shared.
Our eyes exchange one word across
the white-noised distance: - now.

3.
If I were dressed in flowers,
they wouldn't be thin red roses.
I'd wear yellowing toadflax,
rays of violet asters, and foxglove,
shady blue. I'd enter the room
where you sit by the fire
reading the world in twilight.
Looking up, you'd see neither me
nor the flowers-our combined scent
opening your vision to the dark
starburst looming within me.



Song of the Sister



Wondering about her darkened lover, she stirs by the window.
He calls like a rock dove to her, a prisoner by the window.

The flower shepherd leaves his shadow on the hillside.
The night whistles like a messenger by the window.

Hear the city cry out against her almond-dark desire.
Her refuge is a moon-drenched comforter by the window.

Wildflowers scent the eastern wind as he wanders.
She steeps herself in an air of lavender by the window.

He cannot find her in the noisy light of midnight.
Alone, she cries in her cedar bed, unheard, by the window.

Nearby, he tends mountain-stained fields with longing,
And she hears his seeds open to flowers by her window.