Ghazal of Geese
I knew a woman who
drove across country, and wrote down every meal
she ate three times
a day to send to me. I've never felt so loved.
My husband produced
divorce papers, and then he held me in his arms,
I knew he was
preparing me for widowhood. I've never felt so sad.
Although I hadn't
noticed the number on the door, I entered the right flat,
they were singing
and dancing as if I'd never left. I've never felt so alone.
The old man said he
learned to play songs on a guitar by listening to the radio,
then he sang to me "My
Kleating Heart." I've never felt so touched.
The sun spread out
its ghazal of geese across the horizon flying without
spelling out A Ghazal of Grace. I've never felt so happy.
(The Ghazal is a minimum of five
couplets structurally, thematically, emotionally autonomous, followed by a
refrain, The final couplet contains the author's name.)
Is Smaller Than The Truth
Knowing the worst,
I still try to learn
the way of sleep
while the night
pressing down on me
holds its basket of
out of reach. I have
taken loss into
the border of my
skin grows thin
with the white of
sheet and the
slivers of light
under the door
tying my wish to the
It does no good,
the canopy of
thought is darker
is stronger than
prayer keeping time
to the beat of my heart.
Now it is dawn. What
language is this
with its different
group of birds
telling me the day,
with its terrible truth,
is going on before
Poem: A Cento
beside me in the
the white chocolate
jar full of petals
and by the weak wash
or any color
that no one any
longer wants to see
out of my mind the
golden ointment rained
and floating above
me stars as violent
down from another
planet that have settled to mend
I do not think they
will sing to me
and reap some happy
rewards. But look at the birds.
- James Schuyler, "Korean Mums"
- Frank O'Hara, "Chez Jane"
- William Carlos Williams, "The River
- Thoman Sayers Ellis, "Or"
- Elinor Wilner, "Magnificat"
- Wallace Stevens, "Tea at The Palaz
- P.K. Page, "My Chosen
- Josephine Miles, "The Hampton
- T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of
J. Alfred Prufrock"
- Rachel Wetzsteon, "On Leaving
The Bachelorette Brunch"
Cavalieri's newest publication is a chapbook, Gotta Go Now (Casa Menendez, 2012). She's
the author of 16 books and chapbooks of poetry, as well as 28 produced plays,
short-form and full-length. Her recent books—Millie's Tiki Villas, Sounds
Like Something I Would Say and Anna Nicole: Poems—are on Kindle's
free lending library. For 35 years, Grace
has produced and hosted "The Poet and the Poem" on public radio, recorded
at the Library of Congress and transmitted nationally via NPR and Pacifica. She
is the poetry columnist for The Washington Independent Review of Books.
Her play "Anna Nicole: Blonde Glory" opened in NYC in 2011. Her play
"Quilting the Sun" opened in S.C. in 2011.