Archives for posts with tag: poetry

the wingèd ones. Their songs,
the uplifting disturbance of the quiet dawn,
the insomniac’s cohort in the long night.
That exhilaration of larks reminding us
that speaking to life is everyone’s job.

Farther out,
the choir of angels.
Also two-legged, but taller
and robed in fabric
not feathers. Still, they sing,
don’t they?

Unhappily, the rest of us only fly
in steel rooms, two-wheeled, two-winged,
but cold, mercantile rather than ecstatic.
Separation from everything, exaggerated
by the pressure in the cabin. The fumes
of the long-extinct permeating the senses.

Oh, but sleeping—
ever so rarely,
that draft of silence
swooping over the land
will lift you up.
Your feet take leave
of gravity’s pull
and you hover there with them,
falling up and out
instead of down and in,
and the urge to sing bursts
from your once-grounded throat.

And then
there are those times
when singing itself …
when the angel and the lark …
when pure song …

—The title comes from a line in “Utterance” by W.S. Merwin (from The Rain in the Trees, 1988).

© 2015 KL Robyn


Even from here I can see the rain.
Relentless sheets of acid grey
forming the boundary
between this dry moment
and the deluge to come.

No one will be spared.

I watch the black birds
circling as if to warn us.
But they have long since
stopped caring about people,
their signs having gone unread
too long. Their numbers dwindling
from bad seed and greasy water.
Life was better for them
when we died young.

There are worse things than death:
living with ill intent,
the damage caused,
the mirthless cackling of winners
as they gather in their rubber suits.

One of the birds lights near,
its feathers wet and shiny,
a hashtag of twigs in its beak.
Our eyes meet for a long second,
and the image of a flotilla of rafts
enters my mind.

© 2015 KL Robyn

What if my words
sowed corn, planted beans, grew squash?
What if they built houses, barns or bridges?
Wouldn’t it be better to nourish the body
with sacred food now that most minds want to fill
their souls with falsehoods and stimulants?
And better to give away keys and passages with
the hope of crossing the thresholds of strangers
than to meet myself in the middle
and not know who I am.

If my words
repaired shoes, zippers, faucets, or even printers,
I could trade in the effort to make something
of myself without facing accusations,
without having to justify noticing what doesn’t work.

If my words were shovels instead,
rakes, hammers, saucepans,
they’d be tools that dig down deep,
clear out, nail down, and simmer,
when so much talk has become
too superficial and disposable to bear.

What if my words were horses?
Would I ride off into the sunset
or put them away wet?
Would I know how to take care
of my freedom?

© 2015 KL Robyn

I remember the taste of blood

running to where my brother
was playing the sheriff
with my old-fashioned telephone.
He got the ring and sent me,
the deputy, running and running
around the sidewalked circle
to the OK Corral and back again.

I was bringing a message.

Young Mercury, fleet-footed
and helmeted, must not have
been with me that day as I went
flying around, only to crash on
some concrete steps at the zenith.
My head burst open and flooded me
with the metallic red stuff, all
warm and sticky and flowing
into my eyes and mouth.

Everyone had to be brave.

Later, at the hospital
I awakened from the ether
with three stitches,
one for each of my years;
the taste of metal
and the spirit of the message
forever linked.

—KL Robyn
16 March 2012


What you carry
in pockets, in bags, in the
trunk of your car,
on your hips, on your schedule
in the back of your mind—
the tiny burdens and the accumulated baggage
long forgotten or simply accommodated
equals the effort it takes to
get through a day
times pi, a constant,
the ratio of your intentions
orbiting around the sun
divided by the number of burdens
you would rather put down.

Like the speed of light,
the weight is the same
no matter how far away
you stand from the scales.


If Energy (big E) equals
the mass of an object (little m)
times the speed of light (little c)
what does it mean that
we create our own reality?
Would that be big reality
or little reality?

Energy can
neither be created
nor destroyed
That’s what they say.
Mass is energy
and energy mass—
they say that, too.
What does all this
have to say to me
about destiny (the
whole being more
than the sum of
each day) or karma,
that crusty square root
of fate times free will?
You know, free will—
creating and destroying
your own reality in
the speed of light.
Square that.

Surely there is an equation
how we are
all in this together.
Co-creating a reality
that destroys itself
each night before bed
and awakens every morning, all
hope and hunger and stiff,
joints. Your
reality rubbing up
against his and
his against mine
times the mass of us
unequally divided
amidst the speeding lights.

We stand, we sit,
we kneel to pray.
Our energy equals
this mass times
something too simple
to fathom. Squared.

                         KL Robyn  2009

Reach through the soup
and find a synapse that knows nothing
That sees no things but light on shapes
lights off shapes like a dragonfly

Always there like that
Go for broke and go broke
Pilgrim with a bowl
No bowl

Ten-pin Trungpa
Tenzin Bowl
And now I speak in tongues
The true nature
the unknown language
the words I don’t know
That’s the where of it

Crunch crunch crunch
Boots chewing on snow & ice
little pretzels of salt & sand
each thought a word too many
Too many layers
to find the quiet one

Drink tea and listen
to the nothing underneath
Shh . . .
Just the crunching after all

Reach through the soup
and find a synapse that’s only now
awakening  The light pouring in
through a new window

What would you see if you could
look again for the first time?

The soup bubbles back
A scent of fresh fear blowing
through the gap
Giggling to breathe

What would you hear if you could
listen again for the first time?

Reach through the soup
of the mind the brain the
chemistry of being
only your fingers awake

What would you feel if you could
touch again for the first time?

Would nothing be enough?

—KL Robyn
20 February 2011

Say what you want,
you’re safe here. You know
the saying, “What happens in Vegas …”?
Same here. The very worst that can happen
is that the Wise Ones might laugh,
encircle you in their singular embrace,
but they will never shut you up.

Say what you want. How
else are you to get it?
A birthday list, a restaurant menu …
the prana of the dual-natured cosmos.
The listening blinks on and off like the synapses
of nerve cells … alternating current, binary code.
So say it at least three times to make sure
word of your desire gets through …

Say what you want now, or
forget it. Patience runs thin
as you hem and haw. So many
choices beyond … chocolate
and vanilla … and everyone
in such a hurry. You’re about
to lose your turn …
What is calling you? The flavor?
Or the cold sweet cream?

Say what you want, but it’s not
as easy as all that … to Just Do It,
to make your own luck,
even to save for a rainy day.
We all howl under the same moon,
trudge along in the same line
carrying our jars to fill
with milk and honey … while
working out ways to hold on
to our goodness.

—KL Robyn
16 March 2012