He keeps his diving helmet in a shed.
The memories that it buoys up, aren’t dead—
that heavy hat of bolts protects his pride.
He seldom ever has to look inside
the wooden crate beneath the old work bench,
where all his man-things: chisel, hammer, wrench,
as if in dry dock, wait to be reused.
His wife told him to toss it, he refused.
You’re eighty-five, you’ll never need that thing!
But somehow, he can never seem to bring
himself to entertain the thought. The brass
is surely worth a fortune, and the glass…
The chance is slim, but yet he still regards
an abalone dive as in the cards.
Photo is of the poet’s father, and is used here by permission. For more by Kelsay at WIZ, please see the bio here, and a comprehensive index here.
She spends her afternoons beside the tree,
where Mr. Lizard’s made his home. Last week
she caught him in her mouth, and forcefully,
my husband pried him out. She doesn’t seek
this reptile, or a patterned, scaly prize—
just itches for a thrilling chase. For days
she’s turned into a sphinx. Unblinking eyes,
and breath held in her breast. Her mind’s ablaze
with thoughts of how he was in her possession.
He watches from the wall where he’s protected.
They play their waiting game. No intercession
at dusk is needed. She comes inside dejected,
and marches to the house to scheme and plot.
Tomorrow she will have another shot.
Karen Kelsay, native of Southern California, is the founder and editor of Kelsay Books. Her poetry has been widely published in magazines and journals. Nominated five times for the Pushcart Prize, she is also an award winning poet. Her latest full length book, Amytis Leaves Her Garden, was published in 2012, and received the AML award. Karen lives in Hemet, California, with her British husband.
I read through my old diary tonight.
Inside a sweater drawer is where I found
it €”tattered travel log. It had a slight
tear on the spine, but still was neatly bound.
I read my thoughts on some far distant night,
stone turrets wrapped in ivy, summer-crowned
green willow trees with soft Parisian light
across the way. My memory swirled around
each consecrated word, until your name
appeared, a shining brilliance so profound
it burnt the yellowed page with quiet flame.
WIZ is pleased to announce the publication of a new collection of poems from longtime friend and supporter Karen Kelsay Davies. We know Karen as a lover of landscapes, seascapes, and peoplescapes, and an instinctive practitioner of the kind of green and greening language Patricia has recently introduced us to. She is an accomplished formalist, a winner of prizes and a winner of friends. She is also the editor of Victorian Violet Press, and the founding editor of White Violet Press, Aldrich Publishing, and Alabaster Leaves Publishing: all ventures that specialize in the poetry of forms. (For Karen’s views on publishing, check out this recent interview.)
In the foreword, Sally Cook calls Karen a “virtuoso of subtle descriptive twists” who “chooses each word at its peak of ripeness.” This is apropos, for Amytis Leaves Her Garden is, perhaps ironically, a garden cultivated, trimmed and weeded, varied in its produce, pertinent to season, tended wisely and with affection: a garden not abandoned after all. With her permission, three bulbs to plant against the coming winter: Continue reading “Amytis Leaves Her Garden”
. . . for a special announcement and a Spring Runoff Flashback. (Does that make it a flash flood?)
Karen Kelsay, longtime contributor to WIZ, much published and admired poet, and now joyously beleaguered editor presents Aldrich Publishing, a press dedicated to publishing chapbooks of verses lyrical and free and now open to submissions. Keep her busy, folks!
In honor of Karen’s newest labour of love, this from that old master, Father George (not for competition! Click each panel for full view):