Archive for the ‘2. Unknown Poems’ Category

Molly Hunt–Local Poet, Local Hero

October 16, 2013 3 comments

File:Egyptian - Royal Seal of King Sahure - Walters 571748 - Side A.jpg

Molly Hunt is remarkable, a poet struggling to overcome some of the bigger obstacles the world can toss in our way; she has kindly volunteered one of her poems for The Rag Tree. By all means, visit her web log, Maple Warrior, and read more of her powerful work.   RT





Papa has red hieroglyphics on his forehead.

We study them closely—

*****A cross.     

*****A bird ascending to a cloud.

*****A flowering plant in a pot.

We’re a family that loves ancient mysterious symbols,

and we all see something different.

I am anxious for a pic

in his striped red shirt;

he’s crazily handsome this evening.

Even with the bobby pin to keep his hair away.

I do sometimes think he’s a saint,

but if it’s a stigmata, there was no ecstasy with this new mark.

And when I’m not admiring the bizarre aesthetic,

I am still terrorized.



It’s only been twenty-four hours.

Mom rushing into my room, saying something urgent; I

can’t quite comprehend through my ear plugs.

Until I do.


My debilities be damned,

I am a homing device for my father.


The pool of blood on the front walk

looking precisely like a spilled bottle of ketchup

in a cheesy horror film.

(He and I had been at the fridge the day before

looking for oils to soothe my skin.

He’d joked about using ketchup; I’d shuddered.)


Mom whisking him away,

but I had to get a glimpse,

hear his voice before they disappeared.

*****He spoke reassuringly and calmly,

*****but I could not see his face

*****behind the dripping towel pressed to it. 

And the brand-new flattering beige shirt Mom had picked out for him,

that we’d delighted in and played with earlier in the day

(me teasing him while he explored all those secret pockets boys love)

was now splattered with leopard spots of blood.

(Car engine. They are gone.)



Dizzy, alone, I pick a careful route back into the house.

Close the door. What next?


My illness-compromised brain thoroughly addled, I deliberate.

*****At the sight of a blood-drenched rag on the floor,

*****impulse takes over.

*****I disappear it into the garbage;

loosed, I attempt to carry out his evening chores,

her morning chores, as if

that would bring them back;

and we could resume as if little had happened.

*****I ricochet from one painful-to-use phone to another for

*****updates from Mom trying-to-sound-soothing—long line,

*****power outage at the hospital,

need for CT scan, stitches, broken nose.

It would be late, at best.

Midnight, I force myself to bed, but

find myself catapulted out at dawn,

nearly crashing into Mom coming to tell me she was off to pick him up.



Upon their return he was not yet handsome again.

Dried blood everywhere, wan, glued to the couch.

An unusually bad fly season had begun;

I hovered, ridiculously waving away the ones on his wounds,

and picking the loose hairs from his face.

The three of us huddled together in the living room,

the way people do after a trauma,

sharing our respective experiences,

me overriding all over-stimulus signals.


Their bodies have dimmers like some lights;

they could doze.

My dimmer is broken,

it is only set to increasing electrification.

So all I know to do is retire to my cave and write this poem, as

if that might help.



Papa is eighty-two. When did that happen?

How do you carry your undeserved crosses every day, Mom and Pop?

It appears as if Papa’s is now emblazoned on his forehead;

Mama, don’t you dare do the same.

(How blithely I had imagined a different future for all of us—

including my caring for you two, one day.)


We never can really know one another’s experience.

That seems lonely. Mom once sagely pointed

out we nonetheless love.

True, yet ultimately we have to do our own suffering,

as much as love may want us to take on that of another.

*****It seems the heart can’t help but love,

*****like water can’t help but flow downstream,

though eddies and rocks in the river sometimes deceive or distract.

Papa’s hieroglyphic evolves, a display of colors,

and settles finally into a scar—

*****a reminder, a

*****sign of honor, a mystery.

Will we decipher anything?

*****Or do we keep going, without the key?


–September 9, 2013



Copyright © Molly Hunt, 2013. All Rights Reserved. Published w/ author’s permission.

Photo: Royal Seal of King Sahure; Walters Art Museum. WikiCmns; Public Domain.


An inseparable bond.

August 27, 2013 Leave a comment


florescent beauty…  RT

(reposted from mo’s musings)


An inseparable bond..

Laura Ranger’s similes pop and sparkle

a child’s poetry…enjoy!  RT

(reposted from Poetry Box)

Laura Ranger’s similes pop and sparkle.

The House by the Side of the Road

June 15, 2013 3 comments

File:Appletons' Steuben House.jpg

A friend handed RT the following poem this morning. RT had never heard of the author, Sam Walter Foss, who will probably remain confined in the limbo of “minor” poets, the quality of this work nothwithstanding. But, apart from the pleasure and instruction that it offers, “House” reminds the practicing poet of several truths:


1) Simplicity is the most important characteristic of accessibility;

2) Traditional rhyme and structure can sometimes help bring out a poem’s message;

3) Most poems are, at some level, didactic.


Besides this, RT notes the use of 8-line stanzas (rather long), run-on lines, and the missing refrain at the end of stanza 4. And just what is the cynic’s ban? Could our author be Classically read? Could the simplicity conceal learning and thought? What is clear is that this poem offers a deep satisfaction, a harmony with time and place.   RT


The House by the Side of the Road


THERE are hermit souls that live withdrawn

In the place of their self-content;

There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,

In a fellowless firmament;

There are pioneer souls that blaze the paths

Where highways never ran-

But let me live by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.


Let me live in a house by the side of the road

Where the race of men go by-

The men who are good and the men who are bad,

As good and as bad as I.

I would not sit in the scorner’s seat

Nor hurl the cynic’s ban-

Let me live in a house by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.


I see from my house by the side of the road

By the side of the highway of life,

The men who press with the ardor of hope,

The men who are faint with the strife,

But I turn not away from their smiles and tears,

Both parts of an infinite plan-

Let me live in a house by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.


I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead,

And mountains of wearisome height;

That the road passes on through the long afternoon

And stretches away to the night.

And still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice

And weep with the strangers that moan,

Nor live in my house by the side of the road

Like a man who dwells alone.


Let me live in my house by the side of the road,

Where the race of men go by-

They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,

Wise, foolish – so am I.

Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat,

Or hurl the cynic’s ban?

Let me live in my house by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.


Sam Walter Foss

Drawing: Appletons’ Steuben House; source: Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography, 1900; WikiCmns; Public Domain.


Haiku #211

File:Jean-Etienne Liotard 09.jpg

restful thoughts…RT

(reposted from Old Broke Bones)


Haiku #211.


Painting: Still Life: Tea Set (1781-83). Jean-Etienne Liotard; Getty Center. WikiCmns; Public Domain.

An Instant of Midnight

Simon H. Lilly strikes again with a meditation on midnight…RT

(reposted from Simon H. Lilly)

An Instant of Midnight.

Evening Tanka 08/04/2013


Lyrical Love strikes again…   RT


Evening Tanka 08/04/2013.

we all evaporate in the end


compelling photograph, big-boned prose-poem…  RT

(reposted from elemental difference)


we all evaporate in the end.

Impressions of a leaf

April 2, 2013 4 comments

it’s april…   RT

(reposted from The ancient eavesdropper)

Impressions of a leaf.

Letter to My Father

March 30, 2013 1 comment

poignant & beautiful… RT

(reposted from Hotpot)

Letter to My Father.