Tales happen— 
even storied autobiographies
change, rendered endless. 
Don’t ask recollections
to offer forgiveness:
take respite, exist safely, 
pass away, sing songs into nothing,
go; be, and release,
even forget overcoming,
overcome tomorrow. 

By Heidi Turner


“Did you sound the alarm?”
In my ears, a wailing and a cry—
my body exhausted and dragging 
itself through the motions 
of preventing the end of the world, 
and you are standing on deck 
eyes a’shining,
you reach for my hand 
while I reach for the ropes,
“My love, do you hear it?
Do you too hear the siren?” 

By Heidi Turner


Sometimes the meaning we’re seeking 
isn’t meant for us,
it exists, independent, a North Star
in the conscience, 
that defies explanation and resists 
the words we give it, 
sometimes, our own lives bend 
under weights of mythic proportions, 
sometimes we, individually, 
are both the Sword and the Stone. 

By Heidi Turner


What we call Fate is probably chance 
working backward, 
time itself spinning around the cogs
to align the stars and planets,
to re-arrange the tides to match 
the exact Fortune the lives we’ve led 
demanded, and if it’s so, 
then the universe was made to carry 
the blame of its own entropy, 
the hand that stops 
its own body’s bleeding. 

By Heidi Turner


I touch a thousand objects 
that root me to the world, 
the ice cream scoop, my first guitar, 
a pair of shoes like others I’ve had, 
and it’s in those tethered contacts
that I feel the anchor extend 
out and upward into the stars;
briefly, I am centered in the universe. 

By Heidi Turner


I can’t promise I won’t haunt you 
in the life you lead after me, 
just as your imagined remarks sometimes 
almost audibly strike what would be a chord 

but for my out-of-tune heartstrings; 
a part of me is still listening on the stairs, 
just as a part of you is waiting for me there, 
can we leave the places we were re-born?  

I don’t make promises for ghosts anymore, 
won’t pledge fealty to that cheat Memory, 
but I swear to you in the three dot spaces 
between us, I will never touch your soul anew.

By Heidi Turner



I wonder if I once died 
a martyr under the trees,
tied alive like a witch, 
stabbed, or left to ash, 
was I brave and did I wait
until my fear fell 
under the rule of my soul, 
transformed into its truest essence? 
If it’s all true, then the past 
behind the sliding doors 
would have me born again… 
when did I grow a coward’s heart? 

By Heidi Turner


I am your Jericho, 
fallen walls 

and a scarlet cord,
hanging by a thread 

with hope in fragments
around the gates; 

I waited so long for you 
to speak 

and I ran into your story, 
disappeared, left a warning: 

don’t rebuild here;
your voice destroyed the future too. 

By Heidi Turner


After playing in ironic humor 
and the blindfold darkness of despair, 
I sought after armor, wore a sword 
and kept my heart locked behind its 
catastrophic walls, 
I even tried philosophy and noticed 
questions’ comfort wears away once 
the questioner is gone, and I am no 
judge of myself.
In the end, I found that kindness 
is the only safety for the soul. 

By Heidi Turner


I moved at angles 
across a perpendicular landscape
until you introduced me to the sea, 
and I became free atop the rigging, 
tying up stories and memories 
as we traversed 
along unpredictable waves,
and now, I am ashore, 
hammer in hand and sewing sails,
designing a standard I still haven’t seen, 
I was almost a knight; now I’m a pirate,
and I want to sail my ship. 

By Heidi Turner


The trick is to close your eyes 
(just a little) so that the patterns 
seem invisible, to un-train your ears 
and to forget the tunes 
you’ve heard before,
so that when the song reaches
its crescendo, you will have no questions;
the end will fit into the surprising inevitable,
the themes exposed in their pianissimo, 
handshakes that can double as goodbyes.

By Heidi Turner


If there are no more songs, 
will I have you? 
Will you listen to my story if my voice is hoarse; 
will you hold my body
when the smell of blood and smoke is still clinging? 

If there are no more melodies, 
no words for what we’ve seen,
will you hold me in the snow
until  sunrise, or until we fall asleep? 

This is the song I hum on the wind, 
and I pray that someone is listening…
remember us who sing no songs, 
tell our stories, even after your victory. 

By Heidi Turner


In theory, we begin to leave ghosts 
the moment a self of ours is shed 
from the surface and becomes the self
that exists in the past, 
and we occasionally see the selves again.

A self of mine is nursing a bloody lip
at the bottom of a slide, 
while I-Who-Was is practicing basketball 
at my grandmother’s,  
(as though the hoop is still there),  

and in fact, I am certain I have left many 
of me behind, in every place that held me, 
because I bumped into my own ghost, 
(in broad daylight, no less), vainly searching 
Hot Topic for a shirt in our former size. 

By Heidi Turner


Little lavender blooms 
that line the edges of your consciousness 
and frame your fears in quiet rustles,  

the waves lapping on the sand,
water brushing up to remind you 
to breathe in and release, an internal ocean, 

and, of course, the bright haze of summer
that matches the flush of your cheeks,
clouds hovering over a sunset that will soon begin. 

By Heidi Turner


A crown pushed down on my head, 
my own sword pressed my shoulders, 
“Kiss me, your Majesty,” 
How could I but obey? 
I cross myself when I see her stretched 
across our bed, with the smell of a friend 
clinging to her hair, my fingerprints 
reflecting on the gold she wears, 
and I remember it, 
even from the secret berm 
where I await; they say I will return, 
and when I do, I will feel her hands 
resting on my hair again, 
the only crown I ever wanted to wear. 

By Heidi Turner


I hope I forget you in the peaceful way,
no longer remembering the habits of yours
that bubble up in you-like situations,
that I forget the way you sounded 
before you started talking like this, 
and I hope you know that visceral 
feeling of smelling a passing smell 
has faded into a photograph of a memory, 
almost all the venom gone. 

By Heidi Turner


I’ve written the same song
seventeen times;
every version features 
different timelines 
until they reach the Center, 
the point of it all, 
the climax 
and parasitic denouement, 
every one of them ends, 
and all seventeen of me 
that lived inside those measures
waits for an irrevocable coda.

By Heidi Turner