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 


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


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

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

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My ETBT (East Troy Beer Tent)

English: East Finchley Festival 2006. Families...
I feel the music pulsing and it’s sweet.
I see lights, my pulse catching in my throat.
I catch the scent of some animal—goat?
My soul and spirit rush ahead of feet.
I wonder who I will see, maybe meet.
Will the beer be icy cold down my throat?
Will the beer tent have an entrance, a moat
like it did that year rain ran down the street?

The band plays country music loud and hard.
I smell sweat and sawdust and many beers.
The local drunk tells a joke, what a card.
I know I will not dance, just want to see
familiar faces without any tears.
For this one night of the year, beer beats tea.

© 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

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Beauty is a Gift of God...
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
couldn’t put beauty on the map.
Beauty is truth and truth is beauty.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
All men seek beauty—
it is said the two words most said by men
before making love is:
“You’re beautiful,”
and yet no one knows what it is.
The destroyer of strong men and their horses,
the fields of flowers go on
but the men and their horses are gone,
until the next trip.

© Julianne Carlile

This poem took second place in the Wilda Morris Poetry Challenge for May, 2014.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

At the End of My Driveway

In the Mist | Driveway - 2013-02-27 at 13-18-12

You left your soul out there
at the end of my driveway,
it talks about me all night long,
how long will it go on?             

After I carried my dog in
I should have gone back out,
but that’s what you did to me,
left me standing by your tree.

So now I hear your voice go on
with how you feel for me,
it rumbles like the sea.
How long can it continue?
Maybe for infinity.

© Julianne Carlile

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Valediction

English: Art cover for John Donne's divine poems
In A Valediction Forbidding Mourning,
John Donne uses a compass
to represent his love for his wife.
She might have wished for a different metaphor,
like maybe a thick locked door,
or even a different life.
Twelve children in sixteen years did her in
just as surely as a gun or club or knife.

So that’s what happened to the wife.

© Julianne Carlile

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Say It With Love

Just Show Me How to Love You

I love a man
with dark brown hair.
I do know why,
and even care.

His many moods
are a bright mirror
where I see life,
so much clearer.

© Julianne Carlile

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