Thursday 12 May 2022

Five Poems by KB Ballentine


Interpreting the Night


Moth moon sings, calls the sleepers

 into labyrinths where sirens whirl

and tumble, fluting blue tunes

 that drift deep, deeper across the coral, the rock.

Filaments of salt crack, tickle

 the shore, sand slipping

like the desert shifts its hills and valleys.

 Wind circles into siroccos that lift dreamers

over the aches, the wounds of days

 cowering in lonely spaces.

A dragonfly zips through haze, through synapses,

 tugs tendrils of dreams still echoing

as sunlight swells the room.



Wrapped in Snow-Light


In the Old Place

 muskox drift and foxes trot

through snow, flakes gusting

 like a blizzard of dogwood blossoms

through air stripped of moisture,

 parched and stinging like thorns.

Polar bears and seals leap

 across floes, gliding

under cracks, through leads

 until they loll, exhausted, together

in an archipelago of blue ice,

 jagged edges. Ink-dark sea,

blinding sky – absorbed in arctic dreams.



Night Song


I believe that you are hurting,

 I believe you have a song.

With a sky surging into redbuds,

 whispered spring steals winter’s frost.


Though morning’s lost her colour

 to another hour of dusk,

the evening light still lingers,

 and you savour twilight’s plunge.


If birthday candles weep

 another year now gone,

I believe the love you seeded

 is budding in the dark.


The feather falls out gently

 so another one can form,

the honey hive is sweetest

 wherever there’s a swarm.


I believe the artist’s painting

 of a cloudy, stormy sky,

and I believe she sees its wonder

 in the echo of her eye.


Though the cat has caught its bird

 and leaves whirl down in fall, 

I believe that root and wing

 are strongest after all.



Answer the Moon


Remember the ocean, each molecule

of water, each grain of salt, how it rises

and falls, lifts and tugs you under,

singing her song along each wave and swell.


Remember the wind, each season drifting in

at just the right time: summer sun to dry

sodden spring, a kaleidoscope of leaves

before winter’s branches scratch the sky.


Remember fire, how the flames dance for joy

or anger – how they burn or refine, licking

air and wood, flesh and bone:

crucibles sculpted with lightning


Remember the earth, how soil feels in your hands:

fists-full that fill your heart, calm your thoughts

and hum with you as you lean close, closer.





Something Given


Bees surge through zinnias,

silver skippers drifting past.


August haze heats the streets,

asphalt after storm – steaming.


We wait for the light, we wait

for the wind: all we ever do.


Collect the nectar, the pollen now –

when will we pass this way again?


Ravens linger in the branches, note our heart-

beats while we consider the dark


clouds on the horizon, a flawless

blue over our heads. Always.


And when we come to the end,

as we will, the song and the silence


will have been enough.



KB Ballentine loves to travel and practice sword fighting and Irish step dancing: those Scottish and Irish roots run deep! When not tucked in a corner reading or writing, she makes daily classroom appearances to her students. Learn more at


 Anything or anyone 

that does not bring you alive 


is too small for you."

                                -David Whyte






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