All I remember of you
after morning’s late start,
the fog and smog,
vessels anchored cockeyed
and a long bus ride
while night passed over us,
is your honeyed bass
half whispering passport woes.
You’re South African
without a home.
you just talk your way in.
All to the clip
clop of a horse drawn carriage
plank seat sagging toward your side.
The cobblestone courtyard
under street lanterns
and off in the open buildings
on the floor, a pale pyramid
of flour rises high
almost to the moon.
I’m deceiving myself about romance
And you about your home.
So long have I been far from home.
the nights seem electric
blue fading out light,
the moon solemn--
a blushing grape without wine,
and my tower seems a place
for watching insect life.
Do I rule here from this tower?
When all those condo cubicle
windows hold a flame,
and the churning of business
reverberates my soles
I stand high and dreaming
but fallen and alone.
Owl Watch the Night Pope Paul Died
As wind blew lowing boughs,
and dusks’ steam fogged the under story,
we examined limb by upward limb
the doug fir and pine’s steady stoops
to find owls -- screech, barred, gray
and great-eared hunkered down.
Our callings but sad imitation and lament --
oh, oh, whoa, pope, pope, woe.
And all the while our frozen toes
and mittened fingers and chilled cheeks
kept telling us wisdom had blown cold.
Yet we held wake and reveled
in holy silence and trapped air.
Waiting, waiting for movement, or call.
Clouds passed over moon.
Our hearts beat steady, steady, waiting
for the rolling toll of church bells.
Empty nests are better than lost hope.
SHERI FRESONKE HARPER is a writer and poet from Renton, WA. Her fiction has appeared in Tabloid Purposes IV; Dragons, Knights and Angels; Whispering Spirits and Kinships. Her poems most recently inYellow Mama, Shine and Kaleidotrope.