The Work of Words
Your villanelle assures the break of day,
subdues green eyes beyond the fire’s light—
my sonnets hold the roofless dark at bay.
The chanting drum, our dancing feet make tame
the taloned wild; the ballad speeds the night,
the villanelle assures the break of day.
The litany, the liturgy—to pray
in chapter, stanza, verse—arrest the lightning.
Your sonnets hold the hungry dark at bay
and lullaby and fable chase away
the wolf beneath the bed, the ghouls that bite.
The villanelle ensures another day.
The forest lurks beyond the glass—charades,
sestinas, odes, pantoums protect our lighted
rooms. The sonnet holds the dark at bay.
The rhyming lines, the pulse, cantabile,
accompanied by lute, by flute and fife—
my villanelle assures the break of day,
our sonnets hold the roofless dark at bay.
Full Moon, King Tide
Breathe me in and out, draw me,
take me in and out; carry,
bear this body out to sea—
out, bring me back drowned,
sucked beneath, gone to ground
washed up turned around
on my home beach. Take
my clothing—all, fling me naked,
out again, past the break-
water, land me on a stranger’s
the “I”, keep me out of danger,
or maybe not. I’m dressed in ought
but your salt, and sand caught
between my toes. Aquanauts—
the jellies, the tiny crabs that cling,
the moon; seal-queen, king—
swim corridors of pleached
kelp and kombu, dulse. Each
tide interprets every beach
anew. On one, there was snow.
Diane Lee Moomey is a painter and poet living in Half Moon Bay, California, where she is co-host of Coastside Poetry, a monthly reading series; her work has appeared in PoetryMagazine.com, Mezzo Cammin, Caesura, California Quarterly, The Road Less Taken and others. Please visit her at www.dianeleemoomeyart.com
“The Work of Words” is so beautifully mesmerizing and comforting. I will copy it out and repeat it to myself quietly when I need to be soothed.