Maureen E. Doallas


Kevin Sloan

Steady As She Goes

A heart can get unsteady
waiting

for that deal with heaven
to clear

for that once-closed window
to open into revelation

for feelings
to re-jigger themselves

into a triumvirate of possibilities.

Nothing Is Ever the Same

Not the brrringing of the telephone
when you record the message

Not the favorite restaurant
where every table is fixed with two chairs

Not the bed,
one side, not his: hers

Nothing is ever the same

Not the coffee, not the tea
grounds staled, leaves foretold

Not the car
keys dangling
hooked fast like a mouse in owl eyes

Not the vase of iris
its water run low again

Blue-purple tongues taking bows
in a finger’s drift of pollen

Nothing is ever the same
or could be the same

After you left

After you left
dust on your collections
hats, books, scraps
of half-thought dreams unbound —

Piled on

As time piled on
to keep me busy unforgetting

The nothing that is never the same
when your name no longer gets called

Calculating Feelings by the Sun and the Moon

These are the facts, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory’s
Astronomical Applications Department:

On June 21,
the sun rises at 5:43 a.m. EDT
and sets at 8:37 p.m. EDT.

It is the longest day of the year,
and I miss you.

Tomorrow,
the moon will rise at 5:10 a.m. EDT.

A half-hour and 3 minutes later,
the sun will take its place.

Technically, that day
will be as long as the day before

Until the day after,
when, on June 23, we will
have one minute less of light.

But I will miss you all the same
and for just as long.

Exactly six months from now
time will have fallen back already.

That day will be the shortest yet.
It will be December 21.

The sun will rise at 7:23 a.m. EST
and set at 4:50 p.m. EST.

Technically,
between the Summer and Winter solstices

how I feel about you
will not be measured off

in seconds minutes or hours
not by Eastern Daylight
not by Standard intervals.

This will always be so.

Enough

Where do we take cover
once the dying’s done?

To name the pain
is not enough
to push what’s deeper forward.

We have to learn again
to bare our hearts
to bear our grief

To make refuge within ourselves
respite from the catechism
practiced daily, bedside.

Feelings, not being felt
the way we finger rosary beads,
don’t fall into line so neatly.

Words can’t mimic nor hands mime
what we look for in the red swirl
yet to stain our thirsting lips.

Maureen E. Doallas has been a features writer and editor for more than three decades, working in such diverse fields as international healthcare, education, and employment law. Now retired, Maureen owns her own small business, Transformational Threads, which licenses images of original fine art for reproduction in custom, limited-edition hand-embroidery in Vietnam. Her first book of poetry, Neruda’s Memoirs, debuts in February 2011 with T.S. Poetry Press. Her poems have appeared, most recently, in the anthology Oil and Water. . . And Other Things That Don’t Mix, sales of which benefit communities along the U.S. Gulf Coast affected by the 2010 BP oil spill, and at Poets for Living Waters, the sad red earth, and Red Lion Square. Her interviews have appeared at The High Calling. An avid collector of art and fine press books, Maureen posts daily at her blog, Writing Without Paper, primarily about poetry and other literary, visual, and performing arts.

Maureen Doallas’s blog

Maureen Doallas at Transformational Threads

Maureen Doallas at Oil and Water…