Sunday 5 March 2023

Four Poems by KB Ballentine


After the Flames, Flight


Time is a desperate kiss –

all heat and passion burning

from that first taste

of lips and skin,

need no longer bound

but gulping for air.

And as it lingers, it tempers,

heartbeat easing

to a measured tempo.

Time to look into the eyes

of the beloved, see yourself

reflected there – a panorama

of promises – waiting.

But only if you let go.



To Catch the Light


The burden of hope

faces the dark,

kisses the shadows

with melodic sparks.

Hope feathers and blurs

the roughest of stones,

the ragged patches

nestling close to the bone.

What spills from our lips

will soar to the heart

like a homing pigeon

or a poison-tipped dart.

Night lingers and strangles,

provokes us to dreams.

Are we trapped, are we lost?

Is all as it seems?

When hope colors the sea,

the depths of our minds,

we can embrace the wonder

or gouge ourselves blind.



Fragments of Grace


Autumn winds release leaves,

   the ache of loss orbiting

      the yards and woods. We savour

   the sun, it’s losing. Pray

for its pale light to wrap

   around us – days like glass, sharp

      and clear, not too far away.


   Mornings misty as wraiths,

noon still finds our breath

   frosting the air where crows crowd.

      So many, their cries a calliope,

   all the keys hammered at once.


Tattered leaves, stems and cupules

   peeled from acorns crumble

      into the earth – welcoming

   what nurtures the seeds waiting

for snow and ice to pass

   before lifting hopeful heads.





Each morning another bit of pink

 or orange sweeps away the grey,

the shadows of dreams.


You know, the ones

 where your back is turned,

and you keep walking

        away –


    like mapping a ghost.


You’d think dawn would bring peace,

 bring hope, but it’s only at night

I can find you.


Only when I unlock the bolts,

 take down the bricks, pull out

the scraps that block the holes,


only in sleep I see you.

 Or an echo of you

at the threshold of time.


You are my home. No.

 You were my home –


  nowhere is.


(Welsh: a longing for something irretrievably lost)

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

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