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


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sonnet for Nicky

A male long-haired Chihuahua named Jack.
He has a head like a little flower,
A ruff like a lion's around his neck.
All day long he dreams of having power—
If he has to charge someone, what the heck?
I really think he likes to dream of life,
What it would be like to be on his own,
To be in charge and to have his own wife—
Especially when I get on the phone.
But it is easier to live with me,
To not worry where his next meal comes from.
I feel for him then, the poor little bee:
The turmoil he feels when I tell him come.
So I live with him and he lives with me,
And in our faults by lies we flattered be.

© Julianne Carlile


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ode to a Dog

I Want a Dog
Happy the person with a dog,
companion of the first degree.
Awake or sleeping like a log,
                they’re fun to see.

Waking you at an early hour,
they always start your day off right,
and do not mind your greater power;
                they will not fight.

To a woman they are a child;
to a man, like an errant son.
Whether they’re quiet or quite wild,
                they’ll take a gun.

They’ll shuffle off this mortal coil
and leave you sad; you’ll miss your elf,
whether you put them in your soil,
                or on your shelf.

Because I do remember mine,
staring, rapt, at a bedroom wall,
where he does now in fact recline.
                He heard my call.

© Julianne Carlile

Saturday, June 28, 2014

If I Were a Queen

English: Pony at Burbage This dumpy little pon...
If I were a queen and reigning supreme,
it would be my dream.
Any men I’d abhor, I’d show the door,
each self-obsessed boor
sent to the shore, and pushed off.

I’d never again have to deal with the men
who say "I’ll touch you when,
I can get something out of it."
Or deal with the laughter of married male friends:
“Oh, what, dumped again?”
I’d say, “You’re misled.
Now off with his head!”
Men would truly know
who was running the show;
they wouldn’t dare go
unless I said so.

Yes, if I were a queen
it would be my dream.
I’d never be lonely,
I’d have my own pony,
to love.

© Julianne Carlile