Traveling Sideways
More prize-winning poems

by Barbara Blanks



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The elevator
was empty—
and I danced
up to the 4th floor.


Kilmer for Kindling
with no apologies to Joyce

I know that I would rather be
almost anything but a tree.
Birds—annoying feathered pests—
come every spring, and fill their nests
with lice-infested, squawking brats
that should be eaten up by cats.

To be a spot where doggies wee
does not at all appeal to me.
Don’t get me started on the squirrels—
the way their tails flip and curl,
the way they leap around like frogs—
Oh please—just chop me into logs!

Singing at Heaven’s Gate

As hope glides in on wings of meadowlark,
the sky begins to sing in crystal words.
The notes rain down until they form an arc
of beauty, filling emptiness with light.
Where once I lived with face turned toward the dark,
so now I turn and lift my gaze to sun.
I reach to grasp the proffered sacred spark
as hope glides in on wings of meadowlark.

This change arrived when everything looked stark.
The tapestry of me had come undone,
but now rewoven with the Maker’s mark—
I tremble as I rise and hold on tight.

The sky begins to sing in crystal words.
I join the chorus, ready to embark,
as hope glides in on wings of meadowlark.