The Place of My Torment

To most, you are a sanctuary
a treasured reflection of the past
They meander your streets
in the memories of their minds
Speak fondly of your Downtown
High School and rail yard
and long for the Good Ole Days
They’ve placed you on a pedestal
and you bask in the glory
of yesterday
But you hold secrets too —
Bullies ran rampant in your streets
from 5th grade ’til 12th
I was ensnared in their traps
I do not harvest fond memories
Mine were of fear and disgust:
lewd remarks from male classmates
the whispers behind my back
and the blatant cruelty of Class Night
Your bastard children carved me up
and left me to rot
No, there is no affection from me to you
you were just a torment
and now I am through

Exercise — Five Senses of a Coffee Cup

Sight: black, glossy, round,
Touch: curved, warm, sleek, hollow on top
Smell: french vanilla, French Silk coffee
Hear: silence
Taste: sweet, vanilla, coffee


In our warm silence
you hold the mysteries
of my french vanilla day
Will it be curved and aromatic?
or will it be glossy and hollow?
I lean in to your French Silk roundness
and lift your blackness to my lips
drinking in your sweet coffee.
My day is set.

Now That You Are Gone

oh how I wanted to be wanted

so meek and small, so timid a child

my arid voice whipped in the wind


Only now, I drag you through muck

slick you down

and leave you wanting


I stamp my feet with alarm!

ho ho, who is this?

a mighty giant has awakened


My guts spew out

all the yes ma’ams and no ma’ams

no longer leave me shaking


Only now, with you reduced to ashes

does my voice quake with lava

destroying everything I built up against you


I’ve never felt so free

I’ve never felt so lost and alone

Oh to be meek and small

just to have you back again

Over You

It’s a barbed wire fence
you pricked your finger upon —
mistaking it for a rose thorn
    did you bleed, my dearly departed?
like the months I criss-crossed
lines upon my thighs over you —
and swallowed the bitter pills
with day-old coffee —
the docs said they would ease my pain
but they are just reminders of our last days
when your words hurled toward me
slamming me against the wall —

I am finally over you —
this sweat that permeates these rooms
is from hours of pumped up convictions
releasing you one drop at a time
freeing myself from the bonds
of your tantrums —
I sit poised in meditation
the silence, the silence

Poetry A-Z: The Torrential Storm

The Torrential Storm

And the sky
Burst forward, a torrential
Combustion of energy
Dances across the sky
Electric wings
Flapping —
Gale winds
Hurry consumers
Inside buildings and cars —
Jostling leaves gather
Lampposts flicker off and on, a
Makeshift SOS in the storm
No rescue, abandoned all —
Only Nature rules this place, her
Piercing anger howls and then
Quiet and calm
Reward the land
Such peace one has never known
Til the beast spins and rips, tears and shreds
Utility poles and trees to the ground
Vast darkness
Wanders throughout the town, a
Xanthous sky hovers low —
Yet moments later, as fast as he came, the beast
Zips up into the clouds and is gone.

From My Letter Series – A Letter to Virginia in Autumn

My dearest Virginia —


The air is crisp and cool tonight

not fevered as nights’ past

I smell Autumn and long for you —


I remember the last time

we walked together

your dress

of yellow, orange and flame red

swished in the late afternoon air

I could have watched you forever

dancing along the beaten trails

We sat and scattered our lunch

among the browning leaves —

with bellies bloated, we stretched out

your bronze head rested upon my chest

I gazed into the filtered sunlight

and thought

there could be no better life than this


O Virginia!

I miss your curves and valleys

my fingers dipping into your silky lakes

bathing in your scent of pine and redbud

caressing shivered slate ridges —

my arms ache to embrace

your harvest

where you give, give

your bounty in abundance —

Such passion I’ve never known since


Sweet love —

if I could but see you again

feel your laughter against my skin

taste the Autumn rain upon your lips

Surely that would sustain me —


As I gaze up into the filtered sunlight

leaves beginning to blush

I think of you, My sweet Virginia —

these Oklahoma Autumns are sun-dusted

and barren

            compared to you


Call me home, Virginia!

I am brown leaves, parched —

Call me home!

the frigid chill of Winter is so near

O Virginia –

if I could have just one sip

from your maple-dripping lips

            I could live once more

I could live

© 2013 Lori Carlson