Wednesday 8 May 2024

Five Poems by Karen A VandenBos




I sit on shore on a windless

night where the sea of glass

comes alive, the luminescent

green of ctenophores rising

to the call of the moon.

I applaud you for this daring

display for I know the tiniest

movement will rip your fragile

bodies to shreds.  You must

trust the waters to be silent.

Tonight I will stay with you,

be one with this stillness and

pray the stars will be the only

things that move.



Wish You Were Here


On this blood warm night when

swamp waters caress the roots of

cypress trees I will cast off all my

inhibitions and dance naked under

a moon softened by ghosts.  I will

make a mud pie for you and feed

it to the stars and wish that you

were here.



A Force of Nature


Struck by lightning thirteen times

her smile has an unearthly glow.

For fun she wrestles with bears

and teaches the wolves to howl

at the moon.  Her words are the

force of hurricane winds, her hair

the color of rainbows.  She gave

to DaVinci a secret code and

taught Mona Lisa how to smile.

With a sneeze she empties the

lakes of water and rearranges

landscapes.  At night she stitches

the stars together with the threads

of spiders and creates her own

galaxy.  While she sleeps, her

snores send the tumbleweeds

tumbling and set the canyons

on fire.  Her dreams cause feral

cats to stagger and opossum to

play dead.  She plays hopscotch

on lily pads that float in the river

and she travels the oceans in

the belly of a whale.  On nights

when the sun never sets she

will fly on the back of a dragon

and embellish her own myth.



At the Edge of Death


Write the motherfucking poem.

The one about how you wanted


to dig up the dead and steal the

secrets buried in their pockets


and write them in the dirt.


Tell us how you have wanted to

shake death from your bones,


place death's ashes in your pipe

and watch them rise on tendrils


of smoke that ricochet off the

moon and are reborn as stars.


Then tell us that all you really

wanted to do was sit at the edge


of death, gasp as what remains

and bury it in a simple poem.



(After the line “write the motherfucking

poem” from poem “Threnody” by

Diane Seuss in her book “Modern Poetry.”)





Behind the peeling green door on Bowery Street

is the Den of Hair and the stage of Medusa which

she opened after the snakes shed their skin and her

eyes lost their demonic glow.


Stoners and punks are drawn to her, hypnotized by

her weirdness. They know for the cost of a few

scary moments they can have their hair kneaded,

twisted, frizzed, fried, wind blown, beaded, coiled

and more.


With her flair for experimentation she sends them out

the door looking like they have just been through a car

wash in an electrical storm, transformed and transformers.


After hours the bands plug in ready to shed some skin. 

The crowd begins cheering and chanting Dylan's anthem

about “everybody must get stoned” when Medusa herself

walks on stage.


Grabbing the microphone she screams her latest hit:


      “You thought you broke me so I played along

        I let you believe you were the reason for this song.

       You used me, abused me, kept me alive until my

        eyes saw through you and my hair began to writhe.

        Betrayed by your lust, you gave me snakes and

        stone but I will shred your evil and make it my own”.


At closing time when the venom of snakes and sweat ooze

ringlets around her face, Medusa puts on her sunglasses

and watches her adoring fans slither out the door, their hair

rattled, her lyrics carved in stone. 

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. A Best of the Net nominee, 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, Peninsula Poets and others.

1 comment:

  1. Karen, I enjoyed your poems very much. Your compelling images of nature are a delight to read. Thank you for your kind comment on my poetry. I am new to this wonderful world of poetry, and your support is very much appreciated.


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