Poems by Author

Carroll, Kenneth

elaborate signings

(for Joy)

"women are the sweetness of life."

poets can build galaxies from pebbles
& breathe the word of life into brief glances,
but one must be careful with the power of creation
so i scribble an obligatory, struggling to keep from
staining the page with the exaggeration of new passion,
unsure if i am simply the writer who lives downstairs,
plays his coltrane too loud & likes thunderstorms

i take a trip one flight up
where your eyes escort me to another country,
your touch becomes a wet kiss on the horizon
of a birthday in a warm july
i travel to your smile to hear stories of
wrecked trains parked in your dining room

but the past is a vulgar thief
it steals the laughter from your eyes,
tosses the broken edges of yesterday's heartache
into this remembrance
i dream of erasing painful memories with lingering
caresses from a steady hand

i rearrange the jagged stars of your past
i am the young boy smiling at you with love letter eyes
i carve your name into the soul of graying trees
i am your first slow dance, a trembling hand teetering on your waist
i replace the melancholy prayers on your lips with urgent kisses
i swear an oath to your beauty, become holy in your embrace

traveling tall miles through years of distance,
i arrive, wet from your tears,
my only tool—a poet’s skill
i mend your smile,
emancipate your eyes,
& together
we ride that wrecked train from your dining room
to the horizon of your birthday in another country.

Carroll, Kenneth


(for my mother)

Before the sun splashed orange
against an obsidian sky creating purple,
Before the moon and stars were placed
upon the night to give it beauty
You loved me.

The oceans had not yet begun their watery chorus
The earth was barren and without purpose
when you first cared for me.

Before god was born
Before he sent his people northward
to build great pyramids and temples,
You were my god and my temple.

You were my savior before horus or jesus,
Before moses led his people to the promised land,
You were the land that gave to me the promise of life.

Before men made flags and assembled armies to defend their empires,
my empire was you, my anthem was:
my mother's womb, i am of thee
sweet place of security, of thee i sing.

Before words like life, beauty, and love had meaning,
you gave them to me, like gifts from a queen.
Before i knew what love was, i gave it to you in return.

Before time carved mountains out of the pit of the earth and turned glaciers
into seas and seas into deserts, You shared with me a timeless, infinite love.

Long after the sun is a burnt out symbol of a past life and the oceans are a
sip of water in the universe, i will still love you.

Warm yourself my mother, with these thoughts
when it gets too cold outside.

Dickinson, Emily

We Outgrow Love Like Other Things

We outgrow love like other things And put it in the drawer, Till it an antique fashion shows Like costumes grandsires wore.