Sunday, 6 June 2021

One Poem by Kathleen Chamberlin


There is a place somewhere

Where battered souls

Lay down their burdens

Slipping off the tattered clothes

Holding their brokenness together .


It exists far from the land of Oz,

No rainbow bright enough to mark the way

Across the rain-drenched sky.

No wizard's hot air balloon or ruby slippers

Clicking together to end the frightful journey.

Neither is it Neverland with pixie dust or happy thoughts

Or Tinkerbell, or Peter's youth,  joy and freedom, 

Though lost boys abound,  vacant eyes searching for solace

Wandering with sunken cheeks and empty bellies

Hungering for more than food to eat.


The Flying Dutchman, sails all unfurled,

Dips and sinks and climbs the tumultuous waves,

Tossed by the relentless winds, unable to reach shore.

And Sisyphus, watching the boulder,

Careening inevitably down the mountain

Yearns for the quiet place where heroes rest,

Where Atlas sets his burden down

And side by side,  they cool their feet

And quench their parched throats 

And ease their aching muscles.

There must be a place where the

Tortured carry their breaking hearts,

Grieving losses that beggar tycoons

Who would trade their wealth for one day more.

Of blighted  lovers' opened chests, 

Spilling  grief across the ground,

Shredded and bloody, struggling to barely beat

But beating still, squeezed by forces unknown

They seek a hidden cove

Along an island shore

Where echoes can be stilled

As they inhale Lethe's perfume

Until they heal their scars,

Embroider a close-fitting garment,

Beautiful to the eye,

Stitched from iron silk.


There must be a place

With cooling shade,

With fountains filled with hope ,

With cascading comfort pouring

Down the mountainside

As birdsong filled with joyous trills

Flows forth and finds

Those wretched beings

Helpless in despair

And soothing songs , so sweet and pure,

Spinning round and round,

Shall tame the tempest in their breasts.

Ephemeral, shifting in and out of sight.

A steep and arduous climb , perchance,

Through creeks and brambles,

Storms and droughts,

To claw a pathway,

Until opening like a vast and fragrant field

Sanctuary blossoms 

Cardinals and bluebirds

Circling the sky.

Kathleen Chamberlin is a retired educator living in Albany, New York with her husband and two rescue dogs.




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