Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Irresistible

Colours - make up
Violet pearlescent eye shadow;
watermelon tinted chap stick;
cover stick to cover the blemishes and
give you that glow;
rose gold eye cream, only to be worn
at night at some posh function.
You can never wear too much blue eye shadow
someone once said in a movie and, by George, it's true!
A fresh tube of lipstick, a new shade...
oh, wait, it's the same as the one in my drawer.
Time in front of a mirror with a palette
to choose from, my face the blank canvas...
I have cousin who's never worn make-up.
Of course, she's very beautiful, but how can she resist
the irresistible? 

© Julianne Carlile


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Mukwonago River

The River Why
I drive by the Mukwonago River,
where arrowheads were found for many years.
The river is a really big giver
of crappies; fishermen shed happy tears.
I’ve never walked there, though I’ve been here years;
it’s for other people, but not for me.
I smell it when I go by and my leers
rival those I have for a lake I see.
The deep, wet odor, earthy and salty,
and the mist, tickling and teasing my skin.
I resist the pull as it calls to me.
It calls: come to me please, and please come in.
And I wonder if I will ever go;
the years I have left do not go by slow.

© Julianne Carlile

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Dream Fish

How Much Is the Fish?
My grandmother used to take us fishing.
Feet dangling from the pier,
she’d bait our hooks and
take the fish off.
Most too small to keep,
she’d throw them back.
Sometimes, we’d get one we could take home.
Once in a while we’d catch a crab.
They were tenacious and hard to shake off,
despite our best work,
and Grandma was often tasked there too.

Years later I had a dream of that shore:
I’d waded in, hands in the water,
reaching for a great big fish.
There were other ones swimming nearby
but they were dull, smaller, ordinary. I didn’t want them.
The fish I wanted was beautiful,
all the colors of the rainbow and more;
it seemed to shine with gold and silver; it had a
preternatural light.
No matter how hard I tried,
I could not grab that fish.

Long after I awoke, the dream stayed with me.
I couldn’t catch it,
and I couldn’t let it go.

© Julianne Carlile

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Voyage

"S" Is for Silence
Sometimes I wonder about others
when I am on a voyage,
thinking to myself in the silence.
Where do I have to go, how far away,
to lose this incredible burden:
my talent for doing so much harm.

It is not only that I do harm,
but through my neglect the others
shoulder my terrible burden
and go off on their own voyage.
They go their own way, they go my way,
and I am left alone in the silence.

What happens to them in the silence?
They pass ahead into time; is it harm?
Why do I think any way they go is my way?
They are complete minds—they are others.
Yet, we all make the same voyage,
and to be separate is a great burden.

Not to see you as me is a burden,
a painful wall of immense silence
that causes us to go alone on our voyage.
On the other hand, harm
can also be seen in seeing others
exactly as myself. I want my way.

This is why I run or walk away
with my sack, my mysterious burden
which I hide from all the others.
Do you think they know in the silence
that I almost wish to do them harm,
that I am jealous of their voyage?

Do we protect others on their voyage
by making them believe they own their way?
Or could it be that we’re doing harm,
causing them to carry their burdens
through an eternity of silence--
a silence that leads each of us to be an other.

On my voyage I’ll remember a burden
that took me away in the silence,
where my harm is equal to others’.

© Julianne Carlile 

1994

Sunday, November 2, 2014

You Go On

English: Swallow in flight. Location: Kalamış,...
You go on, not remembering,
or else don’t care, which is the same,
and I think on the lovely ring
you took back, worn by what’s her name.
Nature consoles me; it has heart,
a heart I did not find in you.
Nature will not leave me apart.
Nature, in fact, is just and true.
The shorn grass falls out in my wake,
the swallows follow on my way,
I resolve to make a mistake.
Before I see the boy, I say,
"I love you," and your voice or God’s,
on the summer wind answers, nods.

© Julianne Carlile

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Star-Crossed

Gold Dust Gertie
I would often ask you for the stories
of how I ended up here
and you would tell me:
I met your grandfather when
he came to work for my parents.
He was a really sharp dresser.
Then you would laugh.

I wondered if you knew what you were really
telling me:
That grandpa had been given used clothes
by your lover, a man you were enamored with
and at first, at the play,
you thought grandpa was him.
(His scent permeated the room;
you could feel him—his essence,
like a star beam covered in gold dust.
But then when you looked,
you saw it was grandpa.)

It must have been really funny,
but what’s really funny is that’s why
I’m here.

© Julianne Carlile