Guest Poet Cheryl L. Higgins


Ask if you have my heart
One last time and I might 
Say yes, in a manner of speaking

Love s fatal flaw is
Having to hear it said
Out loud, having

To make the words
Form around bloodheat
And the next chance encounter

The next Dewars and
Water-logged late night
Hot tub where words

Slip off tongues as
Easily as the glass of ice
From the edge of the tub

And track wet prints
Back up the hall words 
damp between the sheets 

Ask in the morning 
If I remember
Saying the words you took

Three months to get from me
With my eyes closed 
The bed dry as any other dawn.

October, 1999

Cheryl L. Higgins's Questions:

Does the poem convey the pain of the other lover (not the "I"); convey the yearning we have to hear love from someone who doesn't love us?

Can anyone suggest a title?

Is the poem effective?

Thank you.

Two Masts and Three Sails

This is the sea. This is the sea.
Two masts and three sails
Ride the thin grey rim between 
Earth and universe
No nearer to God than she would be 
10 light years hence
Or ten million, in practice. 
In practice, her spires pierce
Three above, the cloud;
And that the cloud might yet see 
That which draws its rain 
Down from the stars
Three shafts light her sails
Cupped to hold the sun 
And claim its reach 
In exploding space.

October, 1999

Cheryl L. Higgins's Questions:

Should "10" be spelled out?

Is this too "hokey"?

This is a boat I saw at sunset against a cloud-purple horizon, the last rays of the sun shooting across the water from the other horizon to spotlight her sails afire, it seemed. Her masts then misted into the cloud above her and she must have been in rain, though the sun still lit her up. I thought she was bold to ride atop the earth with her masts sticking into the heavens. Are there any lines which don't work?

I chose a painting to illustrate this on my web page, in the Man vs. Nature section.


The Albany Poetry Workshop