Plucked

by Karen Kelsay

She is frail, her veil of happiness is
replaced in turn by fear, then bewilderment.
Today, she presents a branch before
garden lilies, like a child might coax a parakeet
to perch. Beside the magnolia, where shadows
meet white geraniums she once planted, the caregiver
settles her in a wooden lawn chair. Uneasy beneath
summer’s glare, she retreats to confines of her bedroom,
where lamps cannot illuminate rose buds
or reveal the sycamore’s aging bark.
Her cat, once draped on her lap, lingers on the lawn;
she no longer remembers her daughter.
Only her husband’s voice can pluck
her from herself, like the last yellow blossom
snipped from a stranger’s yard.

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For more about Karen Kelsay, go here (scroll to end).

Among the Boughs

by Karen Kelsay

Tonight, a slow release of summer rain
sweeps through my pear tree. Gentle is the sound,
a metronomic lullaby that rolls
across each limb and patters on the ground.

Outside my room, traversing streamlets run
along the open pane–I try to count them all.
And leaves are soaked a darker green, while buds
appear to peek between the lattice wall.

The scent of blossoms filters through my screen.
I lie awake, yet, caught up in romance
among the boughs, where whispers hum to me,
and all my evening thoughts have learned to dance.


Karen Kelsay is a native Californian who grew up near the Pacific.   As a child, she spent most of her weekends on a boat. She has three children, two cats and extended family in England, where she loves to visit. Her poems have been widely published over the past few years in journals, including The Boston Literary Review, The New Formalist, The Christian Science Monitor and Willow’s Wept Review. Her first book, Collected Poems, was finished in 2008, and a chapbook, A Fist of Roots, was published by Pudding House Press in January 2009.   A second chapbook of children’s poetry, titled Song of the Bluebell Fairy, will be published later this year.   To visit her website, go here.   To read samples of her verse for children, go here.

Excerpt: The Pictograph Murders by P. G. Karamesines

Dave’s post here caused me to reflect more self-consciously on what it is I do  when I go out in the desert.   Do I  walk off pavement’s edge to get away from stresses or disappointments?   Do I go out to  have adventures?   To think?    Dave’s post is about seeking God in nature.    Is that what I’m doing–looking for God out there, in the Great  Not-Me?   This passage from my novel, The Pictograph Murders, surfaced in response to  introspection that  Dave’s post provoked.   I think it sums up well enough what I do  some of the time  I’m out in Nature.        

The wash broadened into a fan of moist sand.   The walls, too, widened to form a rounded chamber capped by an azure disc of sky.   Just a few yards away lay a shallow plunge pool.   Kit waded in and drank noisily.   In the talus slope behind the pool, water clittered around three moss-framed, stone-keyed seeps.   The wiry and crooked little streams stepped and ruffled down slope to empty into the pool. Continue reading “Excerpt: The Pictograph Murders by P. G. Karamesines”