Khrista Mari

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Too Flattering Sweet To Be Substantial*

How soft the lips that take my breath from me
And sweet the kiss that gives it back again.
So deep the eyes that serve my love to see
And understand what I can't comprehend.

I won't compare his love to Sister Moon.
She's uncertain and changes like the tide.
His breath is mine. Our bodies move in tune.
In him I know I always can confide.

My armor all falls down around my feet.
He finds a home in me and buries deep.
His secrets become mine. His voice is sweet.
He kisses me and sings me into sleep.

His love is so consuming that it seems
I'll wake to find it no more than a dream.

©Copyright 2001

*Title from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Act II, Scene ii, Line 141

Birthing Goes Awry

So goes the story

I was to be born

on Halloween,

but my mother had sworn

that it was her day

and nobody else

would share it with her.

So, I was born on the twelfth

of chilly November

and I was so late.

It was more than a week

past my mother's due date.

She got what she wished for

but all was not right.

You see, I didn't come

quickly into that light.

Mom pushed and she pushed

but my heartbeat was fading.

I couldn't pass through

to the arms that were waiting

to catch me and clean me

and cut through the cord

that had nourished me longer

than I could afford.

I was in distress.

In fact, I was dying.

With each push Mom gave

the cord began tying

and tightening around

my delicate neck

choking me silently

stealing each breath.

An emergency section

was immediately ordered,

forms had to be signed

and dad's signature bordered

on something between

chicken-scratch and handwriting,

but it's what to expect

when your essentially signing

permission to let them

let one life expire

if it could mean saving

the other entire.

When I finally made

my debut I was scaly.

Mom had been losing

the sac fluid daily,

little by little

as each day was passing.

She knew something was wrong

so she kept on harassing

her doctor, but he said,

"There's no need to worry.

"New moms," he complained,

"are in such a hurry!"

But, mommy was right –

as so often they are –

and I made it through

with nary a scar.

Mommy got what she wished for

though I'm sure she regrets it.

So, take care  what you wish for

'Cause you just might  get it.

New York City

I hurry up the subway steps
through stale urine smells
into the cold city streets
leaving behind the rumble of the kettledrums.
The aroma of roasted chestnuts
rides upon the frigid wind and
smacks me in the face
stinging my ears
freezing my nose
and stealing my breath.

I escape into a sketchy corner coffee shop.
Dingy and dimly lit
An eternal cloud of smoke
lingers above the tables.

They're one of the few things
in this city. For
60 cents
you can get your daily caffeine fix
and fix and fix and

Through a smoke-tainted window
people bustle by absorbed in their daily routine,
unconsciously acquainting me with their habits.
They buy their bagels with cream cheese
and their coffee - light and sweet.
Inhaling their last puffs of serenity
they disappear through revolving doors
into a corporate world of madness

leaving me behind
in this sketchy corner coffee shop
all alone

until tomorrow...

©Copyright 2001

A Father's Confession

I drown my tears in whiskey shots
and packs and packs of cigarettes.
I am without what I wanted.
I know you think I'm okay
with what I've done
with what I've become,
but the truth is
I miss you
every day
with all my heart.
It pains me not to be able
to watch you sleep
to hear you laugh
to see you grow
to know you.

©Copyright 2001

A Daughter's Perception

A faded man in his fated doom
sits by the window in his empty room.
Wrinkled and pale, he lies on his bed
trying to erase every thought from his head.
He walks the streets in his torn up shoes.
He walks them, slowly, looking for clues.
Nice and slow, he takes each step,
stopping too often to take a breath.
Tar-stained teeth show through his forced smile.
You can see in his eyes he's walked his own mile.
So much time with so little to show.
So hard to forget all the things that he knows.
Back in his room he sits in his chair
not a trace of a feeling, not a trace of a hair.
Wrinkled and pale, his eyes sunken low,
he tries to remember...
Where did the time go?

©Copyright 2001

1:42 am

Sunday night
awake again
tried to sleep
watched some TV
but that wasn't working
for me

my head
is hurting
my heart
is yearning
for something
that I can't quite name
I hate this life
of quiet strife
just ain't the same
not sure what has changed

feeling lost
feel alone
the more I speak
the more they groan
I think it would
be nice to sleep
and try not to dream

wanting to
close myself in
want to leave
want to stay
I know I can't
have it
both ways
something has
got to change
or maybe
it already

for solace
on a blank
piece of paper
in a half
empty fridge
down a shot
it's all I've got
to try
to help close my eyes

the thoughts can drive you crazy
your mind can get too hazy
this lifestyle
is making me lazy
and it's making me doubt
what my life's all about
and I try to find a reason
to just wake up
and just get dressed
and try not
to get so depressed

it ain't pretty at night
with that one single light
beaming on you
like the sun just can't do
with those thoughts in your head
while you lie in your bed
I am better off

©Copyright 2006

Sometimes I Wonder

Sometimes I wonder if it's me or it's them
I wonder why it's always all the good men
who finish last while the bad ones make out
with the prettiest girls, leaving the rest of us out.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm going insane
Just because I want life to be more than mundane
Sometimes I wonder if those people who seem
so content in their schedules and boring routines
have any idea that their life's passing by
right before them their life right in front of their eyes.

Or is it me that's unhinged and unkind
Ask anyone - they'd say I'm losing my mind.
But I feel content in my deep tranquil sea
Where it's fine to be selfish; where it's fine to be me.

Sometimes I wonder if I made the right choice
Was it wise to listen to that one little voice
that kept on persisting until it was heard
"your wings aren't broken; go on - fly like a bird."

It's too soon to know if I made a mistake
If I did, I don't care. It was all mine to make.
In the end, I'll have no one to blame but myself
But that's fine with me; least I'll know what it's worth.

Sometimes I wonder if my time came and went
Is it too late for me now that I know what the signs meant
Is it ever too late? Are we ever too old?
To stop blindly eating all the lies we've been sold. 

Do you want me to dig deeper into my brain?
Promise you won't sit there and frown with disdain
I could tell you the darkest things that I wonder
The pain that I feel and the walls I've built under
My deep tranquil sea - you see, it's just an illusion
A defense mechanism so I can hide from solutions. 

So, sometimes I wonder.
We all do at times...

©Copyright 2007


I close my eyes.
I do not sleep
until I meet him
running through my dreams.

©Copyright 2001

I Still Believe

I once believed in fairytales and dreamed of purple skies
and eating plums and oranges and snacking on cherry pies.
I once believed that unicorns lived across the sea
munching on their unicorn food and drinking herbal tea.

The animals that filled my dreams were dancing with the gods.
They smiled to each other agreeing with their nods.
I still believe in castles and enchanted silverware
and in fancy, silky dressing gowns and ruffled underwear.

©Copyright 1993


Can I have your sweater?
It's cold in this hole.
Not sure how I did it,
but it's where I am.
Can I have your sweater?
It would look better
on me. Can you hear me
from inside this hole
I dug? I remember
being at Bobby's
house and singing happy
birthday to him. I
wished on the blue flames and
wished for him and then
I woke up. Here. In this
hole. Can I have your
sweater? Mine doesn't quite

©Copyright 2001

A Stab at an Ars Poetica**

Sometimes I think angelic wings
move my pen across the stage.
They flit and flitter, twirl and curl
my ink upon the page.

Angelic curls, angelic twirls
bring forth angelic words
that sing of love unparalleled
in rhythms of star-struck birds.

But when the cackling-crooked one
comes dressed with ominous bells,
my ink knows not of happy days
but struggles with demons and hells.

And hastily the words rise up
as sharp as poisoned swords
but strangely it is they who help
to close the dungeon doors.

It is my sorrow and my strife
that come upon my page to life.
I pray my pen my life will save
but fear that it will dig my grave.

©Copyright 2001

** An Ars Poetica is a poem that talks about the art of poetry

Not My Own**

"An imitation," my teacher said,
"On a poet we've studied in class."
I thought for a moment and scratched my head
and then I thought, "Kiss my ass!"

I want to write one of my own, I thought,
not like Thomas or Hardy or Yeats,
and, about this final, what do I care
of their biographical dates?

When I am teaching will I not be able
to look this stuff up if I need?
It might have been easy to remember this shit
if I just hadn't smoked so much weed.

But imitation she wants, imitation she'll get
on her desk promptly at twelve
and my book I'll retire with all of the rest
neatly on top of my shelf.

©Copyright 2001

** This poem was written in response to a class assignment to write a poem that imitates a poet that was studied in class. It is written in imitation of the poetic style of Philip Larkin


My bed beckons me,
"Come back to sleep. 8am
is too early for

©Copyright 2001

Strawberry Fields and Moonlit Goodbyes

And I laughed in the way that we laughed in the past
In the way that we laughed way back in the past
Of the jokes and the tales that we shared with each other
I have longed with desire to see you again

Perhaps when the sun and the moon do collide
Will our worlds, very different from each other's, pass in time
The thirteenth winter has dawned east for me
To remember is painful - nostalgia is warped

I remember I donned your black gloves in the summer
And you wore thermal undies to swim in the lake.
I remember the days that had run through to nights
They've remained in my heart, in my soul, in my mind
From Strawberry fields to the moonlit goodbyes
With the sun in my hair and the stars in your eyes...

©Copyright 1993 

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