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Janet Buck, USA
Janet Buck taught writing and literature at the college level for sixteen years and decided to stop lecturing about it and do it. She is widely published in journals and anthologies world wide. Her recent collection of poetry, Before the Rose, is an Audio/ Music CD available from Art Villa Records. Her e-book Ash Tattoos, a collection of poetry on Sept 11th and the aftermath, is due out 2002 from ZeBook Company.
It is also available at:
Black Christmas

Be brave,
you say,
I'm done.
Arms and slats
of silent chimes.

I scurry to hang ornaments,
dust the mantle,
pitch the molded
in bags.

This year's christmas
is black. 
I'm a wood pecker
tapping stone
while you await
a casket's cradle,
patiently as drying flowers.
Be brave,
you say,
I'm done.

I tear letters up,
water the ivy,
corner the bed.
You sit on this lip
of that grave,
leaning into the end.

She's slipping,
slides my sister's voice,
like priests in smooth wool robes.
Blood is soot.
No whistle left
in your pulse.

Fuzzy Watch

Neck just poised beneath the axe,
never enough deep blue
in sapphire carets of sky.
Rash of clouds awaits our skin;
storm brews its pot of livid tea.
When you call, we hurry through happiness,
speak only of cloying grief.
"They found a tumor growing there
among the garden's flashy leaves."
A poison mushroom in life's casserole,
its edges frequented by scorch.
I roll the news like rosaries
in sweaty palms as if the tribune were my own.

When you call, we pick the dirt from cameos
pinned against our sagging breasts.
Put the arrow to the string,
pass these heaving boulders on.
Agate fist mooning for a wall to split,
agape will deliver us.

I see us there on river banks
staring at passing fish,
their fins like moir`e  vases scored
by beauty we won't see again.

We strain our backs, embalm our tears,
drain our styes, hang our ghosts.
Spagetti pots, once full, are not.
Upholstery of flesh at fade,
a fuzzy watch too near the steam.

All works copyright Janet L Buck