Vincent van Gogh "Wheatfield with Crows" (1890)

Vincent van Gogh “Wheatfield with Crows” (1890)

Deborah Allbritain

Mosaic in Nightshade

Last night a weed wind
thistled the dream, held to my skin a Bedouin,

no less an intruder
than the clock glare, a host
docked in my sleeves
chewing the dark points,

those sad chronicles weighted
in every hour of awake.
Lifting my head, the ladder
along the prayer tower falls away

and I think I know someone
on the fourth rung wearing only a singlet
of Datura blossoms, an urchin self
with life half-circling.

It was only another crude light of
equations posed as questions,
rhetoric with no limits this time just
a keyhole arch, a sirocco wind folding in on itself.

Then this vision bares her full story
to the man who resembles quicksand, a billow
of indigo robes who refuses

to sweat my skin blue because
nothing adds up in dream-state.

There was no Bedouin in arrestive moonlight,
the low tent succumbed to the wind.

If there had been curtains flown open
there were no blunt-blonde hills beyond,
no saffron trails, no gorge of a body.


The Answer in Yes

Without framing
a larger hope,

everything in this moment
bewilders, hesitates.

Like fitful birds
settling for the night,
it wants rest

but fills the nest
like an up-turned skirt
of shortcomings,

a small ship dry-
docked in winter.

Surely there is a way
to maneuver, pry
the lid off and climb

into the clearing,
the long hair

of grass melts
in your lap lit
by an oval moon.

But there’s the late
hot bath, pebbled spine
chill of porcelain,

of a long stemmed
glass and the hammer
in your hand.

Deborah Allbritain recently retired from a career in Speech Pathology and now devotes most of her time to writing and reading poetry, a little gardening, and a LOT of walking her beloved greyhound, London. Publications and awards include: The Antioch Review, The Cortland Review, B O D Y Literature, The Taos Review, Michigan Review, Mainstreet Rag, Connecticut River Review, the Cimarron Review and Serving House Journal. Her poetry has been anthologized in Stand Up Poetry: The Anthology, The Unmade Bed, Harper Collins, The Book of Birth Poetry and In the Palm of Your Hand, Tilbury House.She received two Pushcart Prize nominations in 2015. Her poem “The Fire” was a finalist for the Wabash Poetry Prize.