Tag Archives: spiritual

~without shadows

I know I’ve loved you before

you were the perfect taste
bodied in dandelions
in the late summer air
you smuggled sunrise
to the moon’s other side
I know I’ve loved you before

& I was strong in the stillness
in bare fields of winter’s solstice
too naked to be cold
your voice wandered through me
the echo of our footprints
shame this darkness for what grief
brings the heart
blame its changing beat, bearing the weight
one last breath, just shy of memory
I know if I loved you then, I’ll love you
& if forever is a lonely room
I’ll stand in that space you left

lah 1.18.17 ©®


~mourning walk



I’m not a purple flush
that bridges the halted rain

I’m not old conversations
and vertical poetry
left behind in creases of black and white

I’m not in the photo
I trace
one finger following
the whiskered bend of jawbone
half-expecting to feel a pulse

you’re not awake
and I’m not january
just beginning to understand the cold

I’m not buried
yet I’m muddied

I’m salty and unearthed
unsettled in the distance between who I am
and who I used to be
I kneel before a stone the shape of

and the silence
– god, the silence
it whimpers, too
an annunciation
disguised as wind

and I swear it’s mocking me

for not knowing
how to untangle the not’s

©  lori hamilton





three times this morning

I’ve stumbled


argued with the barometer

about the changing pressure of

some dogs are chasing snowflakes
oblivious to a cold january

they don’t notice me
as another sunday slips away
and I watch this thinning

its slow unraveling



©  lori hamilton





listen to a punctured chest

the way air whistles
as if an april full of birdsongs
is caged by these lungs

blood-red narratives filled
a vacuumed cavity of rhetoric
with the invention of verses

a shaken nest, a cracked embryo
became what leaves
the family tree

and october was a paradigm
curving around me
like north-driven wind
rusting naked
until snowfilled eyes
drift again

observe the healing confusion

the transitioning angles of color
from blackache to
green and yellow

circumstances reborn as ink
a blue guise
stitched to a quilt of january
for survival of the bitterness

distance was a salvation
an ordered protection
to engage a palindrome
a selfsame reconstruction

dawn is falling
and this poem should never be


©  lori hamilton




nothing is noticed

in the pause between

lightning and thunder

darkness doesn’t exist


          a finger-length from

          the sky

©  lori hamilton

~indentifying the variants



small moments perch

with dignity, like cardinals

their proud bleeding souls

on a half-dead branch

assimilating the cold

poised in their own particular


snowlight pierces

a pinhole in this curtain

exposes the backside

of winter

          a crack in february’s wall 

a small stream of light


collects in the corner

with weighted words 

a blinding blur between

grieving language

          and the poetics of birds

this darkness knows nothing

of the sun

its laboring simile of


the soft curve

of a shadow’s presence

©  lori hamilton

~of laurel and lambkill


sparrow’s softflight

finds me feathered

under a cathedral of sky

tucked along woodlands

mingling seams of sweet


the slow growth east

               a small white flowering

~we are of similar fingers



a letter to god-

darkening clouds press against an unholy blue

and a gospel of crows from the cornfield

sing their daily devotion in d minor

there is pressure in my lungs, father

for I have sinned

a thinness of air, shallow with grief

and I’m emptied of belief that there lies

any beauty in a woman who wears

two faces

and if I am, perhaps, a shadow, a ghost

a previous apparition or a future prediction

a grey blemish on an ultrasound

wishing to be born again

will you fill the absence in my arteries

with an aperture of threnody

and two thirds red ink

so I can bleed verse

on the pages of my skin

rebirth me a poet, father

turn my eyes east past spent bone

and collective sighs

that I might write the measurement

of trust found in wind

and stand beside me, us two, barefoot

among wilted petals

so I can touch the laboring ground

the crab apple rooted for fruit

and miles draped in lavender

father, cup hands to my ears

that I might hear the flutesongs echo

in distant valleys of valediction

the cracking sounds of a doe and fawn

sojourning in summer’s forest

call of a meadowlark

in fall’s forgiving rustle of leaves

rebirth me a poet, father

and I shall write the meaning of the moon

its pure white soul forever hanging on

©  lori hamilton

~notes on abandonment issues



at the bottom of the hill

          and slightly to the right

an accumulated mourning of leaves

lies fresh-fallen and frosted

as a slow creek meanders along

like a folk song

and a little white church stands, quieted

the front door, boarded over

an architrave unsure of its purpose

          aching to open

window stains hold back a homily

of divinity

sunday no longer tolls 

the pealing bell silenced

where peeling paint covers

a cold throat of steeple that once

coughed up the coming winter chill

in a medley of rhythmic hymns

          of a savior’s birth

above the pitch and shingles

a passing vignette of canada geese

sharp against the sky

calling in unison

          calling home

the syllables of a lost sermon

the crumbled steps lead nowhere now

chrysanthemums bow their heads

and marigolds button up their blazers

as if to turn away from

the ruin of it all




the sun hung on 

one last moment

before bowing at 

the feet of god

©  lori hamilton