Altars and Flags

By KAREN CHASE

My windowsill, that skinny altar
above the kitchen sink, helps me
combine death with wind,
and air with birth—
fire, water, time, dirt.


Holy marble tag sale mule that looks Greek,
Holy fishing lure from Race Point,
Holy viburnum leaf.
3 holy photos of my father and me,
Holy wishbone,
Masada rock, Menemsha stone,
Holy tin of pimenton,
Ganesh festooned by holy Solomon.

Then, through the pane of glass,
I look out past the garden remains
to raggedy prayer flags blowing
and blown, another season gone.

 

 

Karen Chase is the author of two collections of poetry, Kazimierz Square and Bear, and the award-winning non-fiction book Land of Stone.

Click here to purchase Issue 03

Altars and Flags

Related Posts

sunset and forest trees

Hummingbird Tantra

CORRIE WILLIAMSON
Red draws their tiny eye, and every hummingbird / feeder you can buy blooms a plastic, stoic / ruby, effigy of flower, tadasana of red. Already / they have eaten me out of sugar, but forgetful today / I’ve left the sliding porch door wide, and on my couch / a cheery wool blanket...

Headshot of J.D.

Side Mirror

J.D. SCRIMGEOUR
You’re floundering in flashes of light and dark, / so after a few minutes you scoot inside / because January’s cold, and ask your wife for help, / embarrassed you can’t do even this simple task. / She peers over her glasses, studies the tape, / then returns it unstuck, separated...

image of lynn thompson

A Rage on Berbice, 1763

LYNNE THOMPSON
Before I was north and south of a new country / I was divided from    I was a tactic      I was / a slave-trading port / Before I was remade as Amerindian / I was sugar as the main crop / Before I was overworked and underfed / I was selected for immediate punishment