DAYDREAMS

Rain falls daily, still unexpected
in my home town, into open
windows, slanting in through doors;
it rises from between kitchen tiles, floods
the empty spaces within myself,
left as they are—dusty shelves
that used to hold daydreams long evaporated
in the moonlight
and wind.

 

By Heidi Turner

YOU ARE

You’re at the edge of every story I write,
in the lines even I can’t understand,
you are the song I sing to myself
that whispers that silence alone rings true,
and you are the edge of the story itself,
the blade that could cut me in two,
I know you are the melody of my overture,
the word I haven’t learned to speak,
the pages turning after the reader is through.

 

By Heidi Turner

FAITH RECIPE

Crush it together, that feeling of apathy
with the fear of unknowns,
sweet wisps of remembered magic
floating above the water and oil
let questions rise, covered in sleepless night linen,
evening after evening, until the bitter herbs
dissolve beneath your tongue,
until the warmth of the fire is forgotten
in its very constancy, and place your hopes
into the open black mouth of the heat,
you’ll know it when you smell it:
the honey-flavored scrolls
we write in the ritual abandoning of ourselves.                                   

 

By Heidi Turner

THE ACADEMIC OCEAN

If I was to filter the sea
and sell the salt as knowledge
in its purest form,
the tide would still keep rolling
and the rocks below would show—
and yet here I am, picking out
bits of sand that stick to history
and creating my own replacements
in the great sterilization of the world. 

 

By Heidi Turner

A VERY SERIOUS POEM

In the corner of the afterlife where poets gather,
Emily Dickinson has started a petition
to have me thrown under a carriage: in due time
poor Keats will be forced to point out
that carriages are hard to come by on this side;
Eliot is amused but entirely unimpressed
at the little references I make to him
and everyone else—the format itself is foreign, uncouth—
and of course, poor Poe is left to wonder
what great crimes the stars conducted in what far away wars
to be commemorated in at least a quarter of my work,
and no one, especially the ladies, knows where Billy went. 

 

By Heidi Turner

INSPIRATION

Lady Justice weighing laughter
and popcorn on scales built
for questions monumental,
photoed moments out-of-focus
that somehow captured the warmth
of sleeves in mid-summer,
the coughdrop wrappers
Hansel-and-Gretel’d from my bed
to my car and back again,
Jupiter approaching, soundless. 

 

By Heidi Turner

FLIRTING

The line between dancing and walking
where you, my Potential, is concerned
is thin and thinning – music plays
(or does it?) and the rhythm of life
slides between and around us,
laps against the shore of my story;
the lines we strike in the first measures
will be defined if, at some point,
I turn (twirl) swiftly toward you,
if one of these days you reach for my hand.

 

By Heidi Turner

THE COLONEL

She holds the door of the prison cell,
smiles in apology
even as the guns raise—
click after click; I see
my lifetime in the seconds
dripping from the face
above my chains.

She will not abandon me;
we are still together, dancing
in matrimonial sackcloth.
Ashen, I imagine
our parting is only belated consecration. 

 

By Heidi Turner

MUSEUM VISIT

The kind of art I like is the sort
where the name escapes me—
not only the artist’s, with his afterlife—
but of the piece itself, and of the subject,
“trees and fire, a half-finished child,”
words rejected by my conscious mind,
intoxicated by the existent thing
that the other tourists pass by, embraced
by other universes only yards away. 

 

By Heidi Turner

MONARCH

One and then three and then five
Butterflies danced in the wind,
caught in the shade
of the tree beside the old train station,

They looked so satisfied in wandering,
and perhaps that defined their royalty:
sailing the skies on sky’s terms
instead of flying, pointedly, back to L.A.

 

By Heidi Turner

ONCE AGAIN

There is nothing – has never been –
anything between me and the sky,
a problem I encounter every evening
as I fall through the clouds,
walking deeper into myself,
into destiny, into certainty,
into the light of lights,
watching myself following the tracks
and making wishes on the past,
ending and ending and ending
and no one sees the hours slip weightless
from my hands. 

 

By Heidi Turner

REPAIR

The gulf below me, the river inside me,
the walls around me, the space within me,
expand and shrink without regard
until I am left with the endless sideways
heartache that broke me in two,
holding pieces out to you, wondering
if there is a way re-lay the bricks
as a road leading somewhere
that someday you might want visit.  

 

By Heidi Turner

SISTER (PART TWO)

The sky belonged to me
for all the years you held
the shoreline, kicking sand
up as you danced the signal
that meant I was flying too far,
and now that you are silent,
I wonder where I am
when I sail into the clouds,
and wonder at the sunshine
reflecting from the broken water
on the rocks; and I ask the silence:
“Does the sky now belong to you?”

 

By Heidi Turner