Silent Forest – by Rachael Ikins

Prelude:
I’ve had the rending grief,
chopped-off hair, bloody scratches.
Nausea, insomnia. Yes.
I have visited that forest.
This one is silent.

1.
Grief is a young woman on her horse. Shadowing me through trees. No matter how fast I snap my head around, I cannot see her.

Yoked to Summer, garden weeds, pests, harvest, I plod through July.
Huzzah each blossom—bud to husk. My heart isn’t in it.
I flinch beneath sun’s
relentless brilliance.

I want Autumn, leaf piles to hush highway’s yawn as it stretches and pops, Monday mornings.
Leave me alone
in the woods
to listen for those muffled hoofbeats.

I want cold and snow, a trail to follow early evenings.
When I can sneak out of the house, into birdless quiet.

Snow, so I can find those footprints,
See her profile, shout some soundless plea. “Go away!”
See

her turn her head.
She says, “I haven’t
forgotten you.”

2.
My kettle screams,
the dogs bark at squirrels.
Rush-hour streams the highway. Grief is a shadow,
a girl, her horse,
following
me.

Copyright Rachael Ikins. 2019. Read more by Rachael here

Rachael Ikins is a powerhouse of creativity as well as Associate Editor at Clare Songbirds Publishing House in Auburn NY https://www.claresongbirdspub.com/shop/featured-authors/rachael-ikins/2018 Ikins is an Independent Book Award winner (poetry), 2013, 2018 CNY Book Award nominee, 2016, 2018 Pushcart nominee

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Your bloody daughter – Candice Louisa Daquin

What would you tell her

The you of twenty years ago

Your bloody daughter

Wiped on doctor’s sleeve

What would you say?

Lying there with your legs open and mind shut

Would you tell her about all the false starts?

Or pick a cliché, like time goes so fast

Would you sit by the river eating damp sandwiches

And say only one thing

Don’t forget

Oh please, do not …

Because it runs out

And the music stops

You realize you didn’t find

In squirming crowd and nubile bundle of years

That self-assured hand of worship

Divination and objection

Pulling you out of horror

A soaking crimson thing

Searching for tapestry within wider weave

Throwing runes in fire pits

Eating the marrow of after birth

To discoverment

What would you tell her to look for ?

Learn the meaning before running

Barelegged catching scratches, leaving blood

Weeds pressed at their fragile necks by the thunder of your sprint

Straightening afterward, leaving no trace

Swaying all, in direction of beckoning wind

Tumbling off high rocks

Their granite faces scowling

Disapprobation carved into their carbon

As surely as your little chest heaves with the labor

Of surviving

Trajectory – Candice Louisa Daquin

12bTime only haunts you once

hardened in amber the fly immortal

a draft to whisk away sorrow, in our lives we sleep on our hope

for to survive you must look to your dreams

dancing behind double glass, she turns at the sound

seeing the one whom she loves, watching her perpetual motion

until that broken moment and the dance halts on blackened soles

unexpectedly and predicted both

like the slung free fall of an arrow will surely pierce

even armor, given right trajectory

past emotions fall imprecise from curling branches

the corridor in your mind takes a step on mustard carpet

all hushed by sway of time, leaching her bounty

youthful enough to crane perfect neck against marble bath

arching, pleasure, the slow tickle of absence like a flutist

produces from silvered mouth, the breath of music

a chance of rain sound-proofing slip of movement

time only haunts you once

prisoner of the war of words said and not

til I let you go, once and for all, softly the first

forever it felt, walking out the door

steel beneath my own terms

shaking like bakers

raising their dough before it is morning

and you

never who you were

growing wings

stepping from edges

floured hands

pressed together

leaving imprint

where no scouring can chase

the outline you made

Ways of surviving

Image result for vintage photos black and white
I want to offer my body
petals of seduction,
curved and surviving
into the madhouse of sickness
to the surviving lotus.
I may not scream as icicles of tears,
with hallow bites of you clinging my wrist,
Engines of ruffled sleeps,
constant pain and pool of madness,
I want to offer my naked eye
hanging blurred stiff body-
to the callous of falling bodies.
you & your sickened friend,
your friend & your shimmering body joints,
You see, my body became a home of insanity,
with ashes, leftovers,
clocks of loose time.
You see, i have been there,
dripping like cold blood.
And, i sniff and hurt more and more.

MVS