All posts for the month December, 2013

Beauty Is The Beast

Published December 30, 2013 by rlmcdermott

It’s never why
it’s only when
the extra letter
fits the pain

a man
a tree
a long-haired girl

remind you of the moon

you once believed
but now you don’t

all courage in an empty cup

you drink to him

gall is made
from wine
gone bitter
in a broken heart

you turn away in shame

Narcissus at the touching pool

enthralled by what he sees–

beauty is the beastAfter Klimt

The Ibis

Published December 23, 2013 by rlmcdermott

I take you
back a
times a day

and let you
go because
it is my way

all your red
is just an
artifact of blue

what I really love is death

you weren’t
real because
you weren’t him

small gods are not the ones to love

and so I cast
my lyre into the
sea and tuck
my head beneath
my wing–a bird
standing on one leg
I wait beneath a paper tree
for death to comfort meThe Ibis


Published December 21, 2013 by rlmcdermott

all hair
and teeth
and bone

she is the
rhythm in
this poem

her days
are numbered

she stops
to slow
them down

the old cowpath
the barrels
the apple tree
the gray porch

her father
coming home
his bones

the men on
the loading dock
calling her name

this is what she remembers

a young girl’s life

danger everywherePostmortem

The Bird Girl

Published December 5, 2013 by rlmcdermott

All these
moons I’ve
painted that
bring no light–

the sun,
the stars,
the sky,

they can
not see
that I am
standing still.

These things
I dream are
dreamed for
someone else–

the bitter fruit,
the barren tree,
the songless bird
are all for me.

I wear them well
around my neck
until I cannot breathe–

I will not stay to
see them leave.

Who reads this
poem cannot
know me–
I didn’t bury
birds they
buried me.The Bird Girl

Mining On The Moon

Published December 4, 2013 by rlmcdermott

On fire in
the afternoon,
a woman
in a shroud
is cleaning
her own skull
of its flesh;
she has
dug herself
up and is
burning in
the bright

Polished bone
is mirroring
back what is
left of her face.
Holes are
no one has
heard her voice
for years.

and buried
now, she
can speak
of return–
tapping bone,
bird song,
hard stone,
and of the
day he came
carring a
small lyre.Eurydice