Word Poetry




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Sample Poems by Barbara Strasko

I've Carried Rain

I've freed birds caught in traps
small hears all
a rumble. "All cry," the crows

say, black and blue and bitten--
their confessions come now
to tribunal.

I've carried lilacs through rain
broken their branches and hoped
they would not wither. And now I watch

starling on the wire
one by one drop into unknown

As clouds darken down
another notch, the smell
of ferns seeps into me.

A day to stroll into,
to measure shadows,
to measure light, and it's only
after night falls that I understand.

The fern uncurls,
the rain still on its leaves,
as if wanting to know
itself away in the summer.

A New Day's Wealth of Stars

The brain is wider than the sky--Emily Dickinson

Emily on the nightstand breathing her heavy silent sighs.
I'd like to tell her of the stretch of sky beside my bed and
the clarify of the cows strolling down to the stream.

She and I could measure the weight
of one of their steps in the water the moment the hooves
break the clouds in the water's light.

someone ended a song with the word "heaven,"
and the way she said it, it made sense to me.
I cannot remember who it was, or if I dreamed it.

I wish I could remember how it was she said it,
and why it did not break in my hand.

Avenue of Poplars

Why did he paint her walking away
from the house? The door is ajar,
she could still turn around. What good
are trees that line the road
if she can't find her way back?
The small bridge she walks over
could be a sign, a sliver of hope the way the light
shines there, but he has spared her no
shadows. Even if she returns this time,
eventually she will be out here sharing
this autumn bench with me.


I can only sketch deep lines
into paper, hating what
I push into, the filaments

of trees I have never seen.
I mark the white space with my
darkness. Light and
shadow the long vine it took

years to form, to reach this
height and now at the top a dense
flower with creviced leaves,

throned and treacherous, the kind
of beauty that allows
nothing near it.