Saturday, September 28, 2013

"Bring me the sunset in a cup" and "Of no fixed address" by Elizabeth Barnes

Image by Nahmala
“Bring me the sunset in a cup” 
 – Emilie Dickinson
 “Bring me the sunset in a cup”
To keep the heart alive
and pour me a bowl of ocean.
Then bring me the sunrise in a thin hand-blown jar
shore birds tipping the edge.
But first bring me the sunset in a cup
to keep the heart alive.
Then bring me the moonrise in a silver dish
adorned with the vast jellied stars—
let me taste the sweetness of distance;
but do bring me the sunset in a cup
and my mantel of star-sprinkled sky—
lay it about my shoulders;
then bring me my cup of sunset, please,
to keep my heart alive.

… of no fixed address

I shun all attachment
to walls and carpets,
to images and porcelain cups and saucers
to flannel sheets, and small dogs that plead
…to the comfort of your arms

I shun all this
and choose to live under a tarp
with a battered aluminum pot
where risking the violence of the elements
and itinerant prisoners of the former British Empire
having now served their time
—and mine not yet up—
I tend my pots of curry
festering in the Australian sun

Now and again
I pitch in the shade of your urban porch
away from the broiling skies
but never enter your premises

I haunt the sidelines of your life

I prefer it this way—
being a vagrant

I choose with whom to share my whiskey
and my hand-rolled cigarettes,
the paucity of my conversation

I’ll drink your coffee
and then I’ll be gone

For you know I am a person of
no fixed address
gone to where I cannot be found

Elizabeth Barnes has been writing prose and poetry for more than 20 years. She is published in Canadian Voices Vol I and II. in 2002 she was short-listed for the Writers' Union of Canada short story contest for her story “The Yellow Dahlia.” She is a member of the High Park Writers’ Group, the Ontario Poetry Society and regularly attends meetings of the Canadian Federation of Poets. As well as writing, she takes photographs, sews wall hangings and is trying to improve her skill on the piano.

See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Bolton, Caledon, Georgetown, Milton, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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