Three Poems by Linda M. Crate

this universe

i feel sometimes
that i am trapped | inside myself |
mostly as if i am an
island

lost inside myself
most people get lost in my seas
or beaches,
but no one wants to be lost

in me | with me

other times
i feel that i am a mermaid
trapped | outside myself

whose song ever enduring
sings of nature and the sea
there is grief and anger as well
as pain and joy deep in the arrows
of myself

in me | with myself

there is this sense that i am
alien
to this universe.

people like us can’t be strangers

silly wolf,
you can not find forgiveness
in the moon
for i am her daughter;

every beam silver, gold, red, orange,
yellow, blue, or white will
condemn you
for your song does not give her pleasure;

you disrespected me so she has
given me the permission
to use my very body as a weapon of
erosion along with with her seas—

i gave you all of my flowers and soft meadows
now i will bring your thunderstorms of
discontent, pomegranates, and mondays because
these are things that i dislike;

i will make sure my name is etched onto
the back of every sunset so it can give you grief
on a summer’s day just to look outside in the
ghostly painted light that gives others such joy—

i may be gone from your world forever,
but a pale flower lost in a cornfield of your memories;
yet in every season i will find a way to cut you
because people like us can’t be strangers.

we must take wing

icarus burnt his wax wings
looking for a paper moon,

and dedalus in his grief was
drowned but not in the same ocean

his son was;

persephone was simply enjoying
spring flowers as she was snatched

and demeter in her grief drowned
the world in snow and coldness—

sometimes we must all walk alone

we have to shed our parents and go on
new adventures even when they are reluctant

to let us go for fear we may fly too close to the
sun or perhaps be snatched away

in some adventure that will take us elsewhere
even if it’s only a few days or months;

yet we all must leave

we cannot stay children forever
even if they tell us that we’ll always be

their babies;
like birds we must take wing.

 

 Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has three published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014), and If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016). Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. The third of the seven book series Centaurs & Magic was published November 2016. Her novel Corvids & Magic was published March 2017. Her novel Phoenix Tears is forthcoming.

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