New and Published Poems
From Tales of a City Maid (Sirius Publications)
Black, black, black,
The macadam of my heart,
Dark, cold, solid looking,
Too easily fractured, broken,
Chipped from the edges inward;
Pressured, hammered from
Above and below, walked on,
Jumped on, run and pounded on,
Pushed by root, frozen ground
Heaves, underground streams,
Shifts and rumblings,
So many forces, uncontrolled,
Ill-timed and un-chosen.
Resurfacing, a brief respite,
A band-aid, not a cure,
Just momentary protection,
Delaying the removal and
Replacement. The new surface,
Only by appearance, is temporarily
Blacker, stonger than before.
(c) 2000. Louise Hart
She lay on a bed with cardboard
above, below, blanket and sheet,
no warmth, just scraps of a torn box
someone found by the side of a road.
No pillow cradled her fractured skull.
She never saw the speeding car.
She was unconscious from the moment
She landed in a heap in the middle of the street
by the railroad crossing. She had been
pulling her sled by the tracks, giving her
little brother a ride as she did each afternoon
after school, waiting for her mother to return
from work. The little girl never complained.
She loved her mother and her brother.
To her, life seemed good. That was what
she told the neighbors who chatted with her
as she passed their houses on her daily walk
dressed in her Salvation Army snowsuit,
cap and red rubber boots. She was quiet, even shy,
or so the neighbors whispered as they watched.
No one dared approach her. No one came close.
No one touched her as though to do so
would wake her or hurt her more. A reverent
death watch silence filled the street where she lay.
She moaned from pain or trying to call her brother,
no one would ever know. Her brother had been led away
into a nearby home to wait for his mother or the police,
whichever came first. The neighbor called the police
again and again. Would no one come except to collect
her for a grave? The hospital was but five minutes from there.
No ambulance came while breath was in her.
For almost an hour she laid in the street in pain,
struggling to breathe, freezing in the near Christmas cold
waning daylight. A small crowd gathered,
silently prayed, kept vigil, watched for the ambulance.
Some ran back and forth to their homes
to call again for help, to get warm, to cry
before returning to watch as though by watching
they might help her breathe, hang on. All saw
the last breath leave her body, a sign that seemed
to catch a dancing snowflake. An angel's breath, they said,
carried away on a chilly twilight wind. Day's end,
the ambulance finally came and went. Only its lights
flashed, no hurry, they had arrived too late.
Neighbors, onlookers, men and women bowed
their heads, a moment of mournful silence
for what never should have been. Slowly, one
by one they left. A policeman found her brother,
put him in the cruiser for a drive around the corner
to his mother's home. Neighbors said she
would soon return from work. Before going in,
One collected the broken sled and threw it
and the cardboard bed in the trash.
(c) 2000. Louise Hart
A Sip of Wine
I drink of a man
Like a fine wine,
A sparkling burgundy,
That but moistens my lips
As it tickles a path
To the very heart of me.
(c) 2000. Louise Hart
From On the Death of Love and Other Poems (Sirius Publications)
On the Death of Love
It was not that words hitting as hard as or
Stinging as harsh as freezing rain, sleet or hail
Pelted upon my soul, they did not.
Instead, there was silence, deadly eye of the storm
Quiet, stillness, artificial hesitation, tense
Lack of action, questions seeking answers
And direction, decisions suspended like
Breath withheld with no autonomic response,
No instinctive gulp of life-saving air.
What was not said, done, acted upon, layered
Like one dry ice-suffocating blanket
Upon another and another. None was aware
Of the other. No purposeful, decisive movement,
Flow, current, undertow, conscious or
Unconscious force was evident or controlled.
Feelings fell as neatly as mounting, soft
Snowflakes that fall unheard in the night,
Euthanized martyrs motivated by primal forces,
Newton's law, gravity controls and is obeyed.
Individuality, will are not present, do not
Change, after or impact the resultant scene.
Uninvolved observers perceive uniqueness,
Experience momentary beauty apart
From the scientific explanations, intellectual
Consideration, understandings of physics,
Meteorology or aesthetics. Science and
Philosophy are not determinant, do not add
Or detract from the existential is.
The perceived formations of falling snow
Bring reminders of the showers that fell upon
The unsuspecting victims of Auschwitz
Lined up outside de-lousing chambers.
They had no way to know the dreams, hope,
Remnants of life force, consciousness snuffed
Out, incinerated, reduced to nothingness,
Unrecongizable by them as they stood half-naked,
Shivering from exposure, starvation, fear,
Seeking refuge only from the cold,
Touched inhumanely now by breathren,
Forerunners, others no different than they,
Reduced to layers of ash, snowflakes
That uniformly, indifferently and indiscriminately,
Drafted, drawn, channeled up on lightened air
To be spewed out in sky darkening,
Seemingly pollution chimney smoke,
Bits, pieces showered upon them,
Covering, robbing all warmth and color,
Blanketing the landscape, foreclosing,
Shutting out, walling up, barring rescue
Resuscitation, revitalization and recovery.
When the doors opened, on direction
From armed guards and fellow prisoners,
They filed in while others took their places.
The debris that now falls is colder,
It stings like the cinders of those lives
As it touches, chills exposed flesh.
Flush red freezes, dilutes, pales pink
As encroaching, creeping, narcotizing,
Necrotic gray, blue, white, absence
Of color, hue, movement markers,
Signs of life, love, emotion, reaction depart.
(c)2001. Louise Hart.
From the Illustrated Book of Trees, vol. i
Chips of steel gray impenetrable sky
Fall silently with the depth
Of a never-ending curtain.
Gently, but firmly, each settles,
Herded into its place
Like an unthinking buffalo.
Watching them, I see them pass
As rapidly as cars on the freeways,
One after another,
Bumper to bumper
With no apparent identify of their own.
They cover everything in their path
With no preference for a special place,
Telephone wires, trees, fence posts,
Bushes, houses and cars,
All are trimmed alike
With a holiday cloth of white.
(c) 2000. Louise Hart.
A Poem in Memory of a Very Special Little Angel
The angels in heaven sing your name,
Amelia Victoria Robinson, so big
And powerful a name for such
A wisp of a child, with as light and pure
A soul as has ever visited this planet,
You returned to heaven untouched,
Unsoiled, unchanged from the
Moment of your incarnation.
Your twin sister and brother will
Miss you, live for you, remember
Your shared journey to life,
As will your mother and father,
Whose joy turned to sorrow
That last morning they lovingly
Held you to say goodbye.
With breaking hearts, they watched you,
As your spirit slipped away.
But days ago, with hopeful
Hearts and parental inspiration
To protect your soul, they baptized,
Dedicated and blessed you.
Your soul protected from eternal
Purgatory, they prayed for you.
They counted days with hope.
Man's machines turned off,
Your earthly body failed.
Your spirit took flight to the waiting,
Loving arms of the Creator
Who listens to you whisper,
Your voice echoed by angels
Who fill all of Heaven with the purity
And sound of your soul's earthly name.