Poets on the Loose – Spring 2017


Owlsley Lodge

By Elizabeth Barnhart

Twenty years a widow,
Isabella bought the place
in the fire sale
of a by-passed town,
a small summer home
at village edge.
As the house passed
from mother to daughter,
and to daughter,
and to daughter,
it grew wings
enfolding the family within.
It grew porches and roofs
and windows and walls.
A library, even, and a barn.
It spread its wings to let in more light
through the sun-starved winter.
A great owl of a house
arranging its nest-feathers
just so.

Twenty years the widow,
Isabella bought the place
in the fire sale
of a by-passed town,
her drug-addled husband
the first in a long line of menfolk
felled by circumstance
and a weak heart.
A husband, and a husband,
and a husband,
and now a son
passed early to the grave,
leaving the women
to nest as they might.

A century and some since
Isabella first bought the place,
the family fades from the house
with the death of number four.

Owlsley Lodge settles its feathers
and waits.



25 Questions

By Diana Torell

Is this real? Do we mean it? What is happening? Should we take care?
Talking fairy tales and wishful thinking. We both want to. Is it fair?
To stay in the moment with two hearts dangling?
Who would blame us, both going there?

Is this the real me? Is that really you?
Is this the real thing? Who’s fooling who?
Do you mean what you say or at least wish that you did?
Am I pretending if I wish you did, too?

Am I lying if I don’t tell you that I don’t see ever after?
How long is forever? And who can tell?
Wouldn’t I be lying to deny us wine and laughter?
Why hoard your love? Just be a pal.

Who’ll be the first to break the bubble? Who’ll be the first to disappoint?
Who will love the strongest? And who will get annoyed?
Who’ll be judged the harshest by all the friends and loved ones?
Is some of their respect already destroyed?

How did we even get here? How long can this go on?
We agree that it’s a good thing and to try
To slip out of our armor, with no plans for the future,
and stay close and still enough to take this ride.

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