Monday 5 May 2014

3 Poems by Denise Powell

The Illusion of Presence

Hunkered down
blanket warms legs
purple from hugging metal.
The process becomes easier
when others are present.
Words shower
gallant balls of hail
from all sides.
I hold out in front of me
something better
that I did not create.
I want to be alone.
I don’t want to be alone.
Boots clamor
through the piles
in anticipation of
her wakefulness.
The routine is endless.
Nightmare in the early morning.
Rock. Sleep. Eyes open.
Rest, maybe later.
There are only a few hours left
to turn the pages back.


Eavesdropping on a Thursday morning.
Twenty hours condensed into one
the clock hits ten.
This chair is tenuous
supporting buckled knees.
Low voices muffled
a half-comprehendible conversation
The will to pipe in
shows its force
against the crutch
as the chair gives out.
Hopeful wood spitting
small pieces outward
released from redundancy.
Get up.
There is nowhere
to sit here.
Steal the pen on the table
and the conversation
in a notebook
and walk cautiously
toward the exit.
They will not learn
of their vulnerability
until they see themselves

Sifting Through Boxes

Floating on a penny
I place it under my pillow
as a reminder
of how rich I am.
Many things were collected,
Notes, paper dolls, velour sashes,
that now reside
in their own crawl space.
Sifting through boxes
stacking and re-stacking
playing blocks
trying to get somewhere.
Isn’t that always the case?
A rhinestone broach
she left for me
must be here.
I can see it displayed
just below the sternum
drawing the eye
to the center.
It will take some time
getting out of this mess
of dust and cardboard.
If only I knew where to look.


Denise Powell holds an undergraduate degree in English and photojournalism from the University of Iowa and was a student of the university's Undergraduate Poetry Workshop. She is now the editor-in-chief of The Voices Project, an online literary venue for women. Her writing has been published in literary magazines, books, and blogs including the following: Earthwords (University of Iowa Undergraduate Review), LethologicA (Naropa Press), The Pulchitudinous Review, Principles of Water Resources (Wiley Publishers), and Nigel Barker's Beauty Equation. She is a mother of a 16-month-old daughter, a writer, photographer, a certified massage therapist, health counselor, and an avid traveler. She is on the U.S. board of directors for a non-profit organization, OrphanAid Africa, based in Ghana, West Africa. She currently resides in Boulder, Colorado.

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