Sounds Of A Distraught Lullaby
world, its cadence off key, its
lean sharp to the flat edge
the page that recoils against a
sour note. Chords emerge
from the mouth of a horn,
rim a circle of funked up jazz,
lips an instrument of exploration,
opera breaking glass, strings
as your fingers bleed an
of blues and the words of
song come crashing down like
pounding percussion of a distraught
lullaby. As the scream of a violin
to shred your sanity, you
a sip of whiskey and let the wind
your pots and pans. When the
note falls from your pen, you weep
the cello sustains an endless note
(after the painting “In the Mood”
by George Pemba)
Beneath Black Pointed Hats
girls dressed all in black pirouette
the streets with pointed toes and
not knowing that once upon a time
ancestors were hunted for less.
the tip of our black pointed hats
a history of hanging trees and fiery
as last breaths still flutter the
leaves. Our sisters suffered and we still
the scars and taste the lies the accusers
across their names as our own
have us dance to the music of
that spans centuries of persecution
we continue to break the shackles of
cast our healing as we gather and
thanks under the moon for giving us
power to rise from the ashes.
When All Women Were Birds
upon a time when all women were
they held the wisdom of the owl
lived by the sacred law of the crow.
opened their wings to span across
gathering magic within their pointed
that fanned the flames of fires
birthed the element of air. They spoke
us with a song just waiting for us to
Just Another Pretty Face
say you are just another pretty
wearing your trashy decadence
painted on pain. Your air of
and high strung impatience
a jaded sophistication.
cover your vulnerability with a
of armour and line your eyes with
black rage, a target for despair.
scream your songs like a violin
steroids yet deep down you worship
pouting lips you spit icicles
sarcasm with brute force, the ache
your heart so visceral I feel your
pump through my veins.
narrow following smoke their
and dissect your moods.
pull out their black moleskin
and hastily jot down your
quote and add another name to
list of people who have pissed
badly behaved follow you like
cats into the belly of the dives
the city surrenders itself to decay.
the scent of lust permeates the
you cut words from your songs
serve us poems as if they were
The Resilience of Hope
watched hope drown in the middle
a storm when wind and rage tear it
gasping for air.
seen it buried under a mountain of
lurking in shadows and waiting
seen hope be abandoned, left for
and crumpled on the floor.
seen its light be eclipsed by the
under belly of fear with its heart
beating through the crack of all that
the old narratives cling to our bones
hope struggles to breathe, go where
words of poems fling themselves against
rocks and watch it rise as the colour of
Karen A VandenBos was born on a warm July morn in Kalamazoo, MI. She has a PhD in Holistic Health where a course in shamanism taught her to travel between two worlds. She can be found unleashing her imagination in two online writing groups and her writing has been published in Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Blue Heron Review, The Rye Whiskey Review, One Art: a journal of poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Ekphrastic Review, Southern Arizona Press, MacQueen's Quinterly, Moss Piglet, Panoply and others. She has been a Best of the Net nominee.