Poetry of Kansas Here & Now, There & Then

Posts tagged ‘Lorraine Achey’

Learning to Read by Lorraine Achey

Every spring, the other kids goColumnChopsticks

to the children’s museum in St. Louis.

My parents load up their old Airstream,

encapsulating the family’s daily needs in

nineteen sleek feet of silver mobile home

for the semi-annual tombstone tour.

 

I’m in the stiff back seat

of a dusty blue Grand Marquis.

My only seat mates are boxes full

of decrepit documents, covered

in mysterious calligraphy

that I can’t yet read.

 

It must be something important.

As days slide by, my vagabond parents

can’t pass even the most neglected cemetary

without stopping to brush away leaves

and compare dates and names

between fragile paper and weathered stone,

always searching and seeking.

 

Back in the car, bored, sweaty, sleepy,

I crumple over on those boxes

of names and places and births and deaths.

In my slumber, I dream of the day

I can finally read and will unlock

the mysteries of those signs and sigils.

 

So, among those blocks of granite,

cared with the alphabet, both

fancy and plain, numbers marching

underneath the melodic names,

I learn how to read.

~ Lorraine Achey

Lorraine Achey is from southeast Kansas and writes poetry and short fiction. Her efforts are often hampered by a lapful of  dogs and their noisy toys. Visit floodgaps.blogspot.com to read more of her work.

 

69. To the Stars Through Difficulty: Lorraine Achey

Over the crumpled spine of the barn,
on the unwashed blackboard of the sky,
floats a chalk thumb print smudge of the moon.

In this milky light, the wire fence swoons
under the amorous clutches of the honeysuckle
vines. Come morning, jeweled hummers and wild bees

will wade into the fragrance, their feet becoming
saffron with trumpet dust and wet with sweet liquor.
Flight will become an erratic dance among the falling
towheaded children of the silver leafed cottonwood.

– Lorraine Achey

84. Tango Trio

A ballroom floor, so dark;

not even the slick mirrored surface

reflects a pinpoint of starlight.

Three dancers night blind

to their delicate feet, only feeling

supple boots that caress their toes.

Partners gone or never come,

three women prepare to dance

their becoming into lithe being,

to tango with pencil, keyboard,

leaking pens trailing black vines

of revision and uncertainty.

At round tables, white paper orbs

filled with flames that echoes the music

illuminate those restless circling satellites,

an audience insatiable for blood,

drama or explosion, wanting every stroke

of rough graphite to annihilate boredom.

But it’s only tango, and three women

dancing as sinuously as they can,

with all the grace they have left

after their day scalps them,

minds raw and churning with ideas

they can’t trap in the Tupperware

they’re either filling or washing

or putting away, power swirling

around and out the stainless steel

kitchen sink, the stove burning

imagination to a lump of cinder,

work kidnapping their clave heartbeats,

lost on the long commute

as they listen to audio books

they could have written.

– Lorraine Achey

A life-long autodidact, Lorraine has studied subjects ranging from anatomy & physiology to Zimbabwean mbira. Poetry writing started with her sixth grade teacher’s encouragement, and has continued with varying success over the years. She also writes for her personal and business blogs, and recently sent her first poetry collection, Diner on Dark’s Last Corner in search of a publisher. Lorraine has lived quietly with the stark beauty of the prairie of southwest Missouri/southeast Kansas all her life, and shares her home with three dynamic “Diva Dogs.” She works as a massage therapist when she is not reading, writing, or grooming dogs.

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