April Poetry Month (Day 27): Kathleen Phillips #npm16 #wppoets

[April Poetry Month 2016 Table of Contents]

Katy

 

Kathleen Phillips (Katy) has lived in the city of Milwaukee for four years. Before moving, she and her husband lived in the foothills of the Kettle Moraine. Moving to the city was exciting and continues to be a great decision.  Katy started writing poetry at the age of 60, a  great gift of the second half of life! She loves living near the lake, walking the neighborhood streets, and taking part  in the vibrant community of poets she has met since moving.

 


 

On This Extraordinary Day

how can I not leave my tasks unfinished
…..and walk two blocks to the bluff
……….overlooking the lake and seeing the beach below,
how can I not walk to the narrow staircase
…..carved into the cliff and descend
……….exactly 98 steps, knowing all the way down
the number will loom larger when returning.

…..When on the fresh-mown grass,
how can I not cross the street and take off my shoes,
………anticipating the feel of wet sand and cold water,
……………irresistible waves inching nearer and nearer
until the bottoms of my pants are wet,

…..but how can I not go just a bit deeper until I am the girl
I once was, with Mother warning me
…..not to get wet and sandy, knowing for sure I would
……………come back just as she described.

…..When hearing a child’s laugher,
how can I not turn to search the shoreline
……………for a woman ready to cast aside her sensible shoes
and walk the rest of the way with me.

 

Telling Time from a Distance

Shadows move across the parch
…….of the house across the street,
softening the careful horizontals
…….and verticals, the squares, rectangles and triangles

I watch stark grey and white become muted, secretive
And see the house for what it is: a time keeper
……………telling the hours of the day, forecasting
the seasons of the sun, marking the arriving
………..and leaving of light

If I stay still long enough, I see
………other shadows move up the concrete steps
………….like those I saw snake their way up and down
…………………….the steps of a Mayan temple.

I know the woman who runs up those steps
………and quickly crosses the porch
….She does not feel the movement of time beneath her feet,
Cannot see how fast it is passing as can I

and I wish she would stop for a moment,
………….to pick the tulip I see so clearly
while she is busy searching for her keys.

 

Pentimento

The aroma of grass, fresh cut
…….and click-clatter of rusty blades
remind the woman of yesterdays:

an old man,
a push mower
and one small patch of city lawn

She stands still
Listening

This is not a pastoral moment
………………..caught by Breton,
the young peasant woman touched
with the promise of dawn

It is midday, on a street
……….alive with city noise,
yet to her

the cry of gulls overhead
seem the song of larks

 

 

[April Poetry Month 2016 Table of Contents]

Woodland Pattern is nonprofit book center in the heart of Riverwest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We are dedicated to the discovery, cultivation and presentation of contemporary literature and the arts. 

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