Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Rubrication’ and other poems

By: RC deWinter


your skin
bronzed by your labors in the sun
is no soft envelope
wrapping your bone and sinew
it’s the parchment of years spent
doing what men do
i want to illuminate the pages
of this book of hours
let me be the quill that illustrates
all you accrue
i have stained my lips scarlet just for you
when i slide them up and down your skin
you’ll be inked with passion’s tattoo



too early or too late
my time is always out of joint
too early for nashville
too late for your love
the two things i wanted most

oh they clapped in the studio
then sent me on my way to nowhere
and i was years too late for your applause

now my voice is chained
to these words that just won’t stop
is any of it good or am i just puking up
the detritus of my life?

i need an intervention

feed me strawberry ice cream
sedate me with sex
the words will fly away when i scream

take your strong hand
and cover my mind
so the words can’t fly back in

i told you too much
and everyone else too little
now i tell you nothing
and shout my lies to the world


Queening It

As the wind whispers the sweet lies of summer
autumn sneaks in the back door,
holding a basket full of dead crickets
and not much else.

Autumn sneaks in the back door,
wearing an oakleaf crown
and not much else.
Impudently smiling.

Wearing an oakleaf crown,
I spread my arms wide and dance across the dying lawn,
impudently smiling.
Pretending to be a queen.

I spread my arms wide and dance across the dying lawn,
holding a basket full of dead crickets.
Pretending to be a queen
as the wind whispers the sweet lies of summer.



i am a beautiful dreamer
do not misunderstand
i claim no beauty

only that my dreams
are beautiful
composed of equal parts
of magic
and the mad nonsense of love

but let’s not forget hope
the first tread on the staircase
to those beautiful things

without it one is trapped
in the hardening cement
of despair

and once caught
there is nothing for it
but to stand at the foot
of the stairs
and gaze upward
at those undiscoverable possibilities
or over one’s shoulder
replaying past mistakes

and so i cherish hope
that delicate jumble
of feathers and fear
and keep it warm and breathing
in the chamber of my heart

i am not foolish enough
to believe that climb
will be smooth and steady
those stairs are mined
with disappointments

but climb i shall
for what after all
is life
but a dream
waiting to be made real?


plot twist

the universe split its feral jaws
and devoured
whatever hope for the future
i had planted
leaving me a blighted plot
scattered with the ashes
of devastation and regret

fallow has it lain these many years
poor steward i
i could not bear to till that soil
preferring to let it lie untouched
as if by magick
it would replenish itself
and though neglected
sprout green hope once again

but there is no hope to be had
without cultivation
and since condemned
to continue living
i began reluctantly trepidatiously
harrowing that soil by hand
on my knees as if before an altar
winnowing every clod every stone

and when that dirt was loosened
smoothed into submissiveness
and all that had no business there
cast aside unneeded
i arose and plundered my poor stores
for everything of any value
i could find and took myself
to market

and seeking out
the merchant of hope
laid my treasures
laughable as they were
on his table
and wheedled and cajoled
until he handed over
some few small seeds

i waited for the flower moon
to wax itself full silver
(knowing this is when
to seed a crop for rooting)
and in its light i prayed
and laid those seeds
into loam farrowed by nothing
but my strong determined hands

and now become a faithful servant
kept careful watch
sprinkling judiciously my plot
with the water of salvation
and petals salvaged from
the last rose of summer
and in my heart stirred
the first small shoots of hope

harvesttime is nigh
and i smile as i walk
the sprawling boundary
of my garden
no longer barren sterile ash
but strong and lush with the fruit
of my determination
ripened into hope


RC deWinter’s poetry is widely anthologized, notably in New York City Haiku (NY Times, February 2017), Coffin Bell Two (March 2020),  Winter Anthology: Healing Felines and Femmes, (Other Worldly Women Press, December 2020), Now We Heal: An Anthology of Hope, (Wellworth Publishing, December 2020) in print: 2River, Event, Gargoyle Magazine, Meat For Tea: The Valley Review, the minnesota review, Night Picnic Journal, Prairie Schooner, Southword among others and appears in numerous online literary journals.


Leave a Reply

Related Posts