Sunday Oct 21

FagleyKathleen Kathleen Fagley is a graduate of New England College’s MFA program in poetry. Finishing Line press published her chapbook How You Came to Me in July 2012. Her poems have appeared in The Stillwater Review, Memoir Journal, Cutthroat, The Comstock Review, Poemmemoirstory, Slipstream, Adanna and others. She is a poetry editor for Amoskeag: The Journal of Southern New Hampshire University. Recently a poem of hers in was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives with her husband Paul in Keene, NH and teaches in the Child Development Center at Keene State College.

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Starting With a Line from Jane Cooper



Things have their own lives here.
Walnut chest sinks into heaviness
                        how serious this life it seems to say
I cannot lift its lid without my husband’s help
to air its contents     would be heresy.
Let the coverlet lie quietly,
folded inside a feather bed.

Trencher waits for the spill of beans,
while the kettle balances on a delicate trivet.
My wrought iron accoutrements
complicated as a Puritan sermon
            hang on the hearth wall.
Candles sizzle right as rain but not enough light
            or room to turn around.
Later the table will be disassembled,
            planks from trestle.
This is my make-do life.

A single chair counts my steps
as I climb the stairs at night
and climb back down again to greet
morning’s white light.
Snow reaches up to the window sill.
I feel buried within this husk.
Only Spring can deliver us.
Beyond the fence, buried also,
lies the meadow.

Months from now it will be a bowl of sky and grass.
Birds will call Break free of your violent and faithful lives.






Convert



Hearth-heat
            melts snow drip dripping
                        on a wood floor.

Kettle boils, its tiny wars
     settle into china teacups delicately
balanced, this scene: the French woman
            who smells of lilies-
                        of-the-valley. I dis-
appear, become a vole
burrowing deep in foreign soil.
emerge to flash of cloistered light.
inside this jewel box of stained glass
where the benign sisters
                        of Notre Dame
scurry round the clock
singing the hours of the day:
Matins, Laud and Compline
and doing mundane tasks at hand: making
lace and bread.

From none now I have fifty mothers
dressed in black and white,
their faces framed in stiff wimples,
windowpanes to their pale souls.
And mine settles into this Great Peace
nestled between three rivers and two wars,
my body and soul light as the host
the Priest lifts overhead each Mass,
light as the starlings rising and fallings
before their migrations South.





Consider Dickinson



What is it you should consider?
What is beyond the stockade,
beyond the meadow, at the edge of
the deep wilderness where life
is moment-by-moment
where the Indian lives and moves?

Moment-by-moment you are saved
                                    you are unsaved.
This is your life, this is your salvation—
                                                conditional.

Consider something less:
   the light in winter
            how it becomes slant
                        how it disappears when you need it most.

The hearth will simmer a tune
while you wile away an hour.
Empty your mind of obligations.
Sing a song to accompany the kettle’s work.