Category Archives: Free verse

I Know about Pain (She said)

The following is a collaborative poem between Wilde Taylor from Morality Park and myself as  ~burning woman~

she said looking out the window
the magnolia did not quite
succeed in hiding the crows
I know about pain

She said, listening to her soul
I don’t know how to stitch it up again
The water of the universe
Unable to contain itself
Grief, spilling out,
It knows about pain

she placed hand over heart
a cloud passed over the sun
emphasizing gently spoken words
this is sorrow from grief
for the pain

Said the fe/male pain
I am you and you are me
Together, sinking ships
Parting waters,
This is not denial
I know you

she exclaimed gasping
hands to her so white throat
drowning in your/my (our)
eternal unbearable pain
should we not end
the pain?

Is remembering the pain
Blue topaz, seas of sanctity,
Reincarnate once more
Retell, rewrite
The pain lives on –
Drowning itself
Into pieces of
The unbearable lightness of being


That Feeling, it will not Leave

Where do you hail from,
you shattering feeling
flying on wings of doom,
harbinger of sapping horror?

It all seems so perfect right now,
the sky is pure, clear and blue
and high noonday sun sparkles,
distant snow-capped hills.

Spring arrives,  a bit unsure,
Winter birds actively seek
elusive bugs and sluggish worms
among pink buds and greenings.

Surely senses don’t lie so,
all must be well with the world
bathed, exploding, in delight
of so much beauty and peace.

But that feeling, it is not leaving.
There’s pain in my heart,
my food tastes of sawdust;
childhood nightmares are back.

The Day After


[a poem by   ~burning woman~]

It was a day long after
what happened didn’t happen:
denial was in full force then,
it made everything work,
and work was the order of the day.

There were warnings,
there always are warnings.
The planet was upset
sending signs of distress
in skies and seas and lands.

Birds, bees and butterflies
were less to be seen.
Fish left rotting carcasses
strewn across sandy beaches;
floating among the flotsam.

Violent storms, deadly droughts
succeeded chemtrails
and incessant burning of trees.
Smoke filled the valleys;
children choked in gun-smoke.

It would come, of course:
everybody knew it, everybody.
But promises and hope ruled the day
Larger bandaids were handed out
with flu shots and plastic smiles.

The day came, it was inevitable:
everybody had known the truth of it,
the inescapability of it.
Oh, it would have been a day
to be remembered.

Had there been anyone
to remember.




[thoughts of chivalry by Airin WilloWitch]

From the bowels of the Universe I was brought forth;
from the abode of those who carved the living stone
was I extracted from my ten billion year old bed.

Long before the story ever knew of sun or moon,
I travelled under the everlasting stars.
To the realms of the Great Elves I was taken;
there wrought, shaped and tempered.
There the blue flame of Altarïe was blended in my steel;
my hilt moulded of the purest gold.
No metal nor stone nor bone my edge could dull,
the hardest substances I absorbed unto myself.

Only the strongest grip could hold my hilt;
only the strongest shoulder could hold my weight;
only the strongest arm could wield my blade.

Where the great sword of Altarïe flashed,
the tide of battle swung and victory was gained:
did it matter to me who won? Who lost?
Many a nation has bowed to the conqueror
proudly holding his gauntleted hand upon my hilt;
raising my flashing blade before the charge.

Many a good man dead;
many a widow made;
many an innocent never saw the light of day
where my blade shimmered at the centre of the fray.

Many a city defended; many an attacker killed;
many an orphan protected and a virgin saved:
’tis not of me came evil or justice,
but of he who wielded my substance aloft.

Great cycles of years passed, kingdoms crushed
since sun and moon came to rule the earthen skies.
He casting his fiery light upon the high mountains,
filling the evening skies as with blood upon the seas.
She shyly staring at fields as covered with snow,
forever unsure of her place,
forever hiding only to return,
blushing pale under his fiery gaze.

I’ve known all the names
of man’s heroic sword wielders,
of Mesopotamia, of Greece,
Of Rome and the Kashmir;
of Arthur, of Roland, of Joan,
all came under my spell.

The last hero has fallen;
my light is extinguished.
I lie among rotting bones and crumbling mortar
yet always must I find my way out into the world

Though the great light of Altarïe may no longer shine,
for such hands as could strike fire in the likes of me
have long left this decaying and dying world,
here I do I remain.
More than a mere memory; potently waiting
for the heart that fills with desire;
the eyes that are sharp and far-seeing;
the self-empowered hands that grasp;
for the believer in chivalry
willing to challenge fate and change her world.

Hear me calling: I could be yours today.

In Love Again

[a poem, by Sha’Tara]

Did I really say
I’ll never fall in love again?
Never marry someone truly special?
Did I say that?
Oh but I lied didn’t I?
I didn’t know I was lying,
of course not.
I was sure,
I meant what I said that day
When I walked out of that office,
the lawyer had pronounced,
‘You are officially divorced.’
what did I feel
but an overwhelming a sense of relief
and we laughed in the restaurant
over a quiet dinner.

The years went swiftly by
in my big empty house.
I hardly noticed
the fading paint;
the heater making more noise.
Some lights burned out
I left them
I didn’t need them, did I?
There were so many other rooms
where the children had been:
I just needed to dust
and change the sheets
on one small bed.

But now I must confess
I’ve fallen in love again
and I’m going to marry.
This time I’m sure
it’s not a mistake.
This time I give up
this time I don’t look back;
this time
when I say, ’till death do us part’
I won’t be lying
my new lover,
and I do love him,
is death.



A Lesson from the Woods

a night poem,  by Sha’Tara

The woods were empty
as only woods can be
in deep winter – surely
everyone knows of the shadows
lurking in the deep snows.

(There came a sigh
as from tired lips gone white,
a sound of night wind or ghost
and the whisper of owl wings)

The woods were dark
as only woods can be
in any season of any year
for when night comes without its moon
it makes no exceptions.

(There came another sigh
then a voice from cold lips)

Your feeble lantern’s light
is more useful for casting shadows
than discovering the path you seek.

You’re but a child, child
oh, never mind protesting
with ‘I’m of age’ platitudes
no one ever is here
in the deep woods
that are neither empty nor dark.

This is my domain, see?
I decide emptiness,
I decide darkness
for these are of souls,
not of things that grow
nor things that see or hear.

There is a hawk, do you see
up there so high, so proud
on top of my highest tree​?
She’s a peregrine that one,
fast and deadly on the wing.
Does she know sitting there
that even the fastest
and the deadliest
cannot fly faster than death?
Nor can they capture it,
nor can they kill it?

Death, child
is the final arbiter
for all that is born to exist.
Death then you see
is the most powerful force
that rules throughout this universe
and it is my woods
that keep its soul.

Is the Owl Calling my Name?

[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]

Moon and stars vie for splendor
in a night sky of long ago.
It was the open prairies then,
icy snow glistening for miles around
echoing the cold crackles of ice sheets
sinking under relentless cold.

Out by the frozen pond
a skeletal cottonwood stands,
stark against the wan moonlight,
the great horned owl on a top branch
repeating his “Who? Who-who? Who!
keeping the answer to himself.

Smoke lazily rises, then settles
losing heat, mantling a straw stack
where the cattle have burrowed
to find their proximate warmth
knowing the late morning sun
will have none to give.

Far away, on the coulee trestle
the coal-fired NAR train rumbles
then lets out its eerie call:
a dinosaur knowing its time
is past and its death near,
a couple of coyotes join in,
“Yap, yap-yap-yap, Aoooo!”

These memories of mine,
what stirs them tonight?
What does my mind know
that it feels so restless?
Is the owl calling my name
beyond the woods, the river
this night? “Who, who-who?”

Is the answer: it is I?
And if it is, is the call
A welcome one? A reprieve?
All those days I have wondered,
Are they coming to their end
As things of earth must?
Do I long for such an end?


(NAR: Northern Alberta Railway)
(There is a belief among the central coast people of British Columbia who call themselves the ‘Kwakwaka’wakw nation, that there is a time when you can hear the owl call your name. When that happens, you are about to die. Margaret Craven wrote a fiction novel, “I Heard the Owl Call my Name” on this belief in the 1960’s – Wikepedia link: