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‘to know the place’ and other poems by RC deWinter

By: RC deWinter

to know the place

i can be sitting
still as a stone
thinking nothing in particular

suddenly your shadow
slips inside my mind
my flesh moistens and melts
into a landscape of desire

you wander
my hills and valleys
every so often
bending to drop a kiss

sip nectar from a flower

the sun bursts forth
shedding molten gold
that heats the red river
flowing in the hidden cavern
awaiting your exploration

and i am lost in the fluidity
of your passionate cartography


now that you are famous

you have laid your story out
in fragments for the world to see
a penitent’s confession
strewn through a fairytale jungle
as though seeking absolution
in the land of make-believe

and now that you have
your heart’s desire
have you been discharged
from the army of the endless night?
will you love again
the face that gazes back
from the mirror of the soul
that you deny?

can you shed the cloak
stitched bloody raw
from bodies never buried
or will you walk still burdened
with it wrapped around you
like a second skin
still twitching from a thousand
self-inflicted cuts?

i wonder if
the putting of pen to paper
will wash away the sins
of your world
i wonder if
the nightmares will evaporate
like smoke dissolving
into the shadows of time


nocturne in blue

words flew through the ether
arrows of something
not love
but more than friendship
then i spoke
what was never said
we don’t speak anymore

every night was
a decadent dessert
after a bland meal
of another same-old day
now i’m wasting away
there’s no more sugar
in my life

there’s not much hope
of rapprochement
when some things break
there is no fixing
still a part
of what once was
lives on
in midnight’s melody


stitch in time

whatever slender thread
keeps me tied to the earth
is fraying
infinitesimal microns of reality
slough off every day
soon that thread will snap
and off i’ll go
whirling untethered
completely irrelevant
adrift in time and space
another bit of junk
cluttering up the cosmos
i am no needlewoman
my fingers fall far short of nimble
they say a stitch in time saves nine
if you can sew and you are willing
a stitch in time will save one


The Weight of Salt Water

Some nights the tears unshed prevent my sleep;
lying with wide unseeing eyes awake,
I measure every promise yet to keep.

Into forgetfulness I long to leap,
to lose myself in midnight’s black opaque.
Some nights the tears unshed prevent my

The melody of memory plays deep
the chords of unforgettable heartache;
I measure every promise yet to keep.

Gold would I give if only I could weep
and wash away each unthinking mistake.
Some nights the tears unshed prevent my sleep.

As I recall the words I held so cheap,
and what I never gave, but yet did take,
I measure every promise yet to keep.

The hours pass in Time’s unceasing sweep;
I, unrefreshed, bear witness to daybreak.
Some nights the tears unshed prevent my sleep;
I measure every promise yet to keep.

(Originally published in Grand Little Things, November 2020)


RC deWinter’s poetry is widely anthologized, notably in New York City Haiku (Universe/NY Times/Rizzoli, 2/2017), Nature In The Now (Tiny Seed Press, 8/2019), Coffin Bell Two (Coffin Bell, 2/2020), 2020 Summer Anthology: a Headrest for Your Soul (Other Worldly Women Press, 6/2020), in print: 2River, Adelaide, Event, Genre Urban Arts, Gravitas, Kansas City Voices, Meat For Tea, the minnesota review, Night Picnic Journal, Prairie Schooner, Southword among others and appears in numerous online literary journals.

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