Poetry | Eileen WilksEileenWilks.com | Urban fantasy author
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    Last updated on February 5, 2014
    Eileen’s poetry

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    Eileen has been writing poetry for years. She refuses to submit her poems for publication, claiming she's dealt with enough rejection--so I talked her into putting a few up here. Below are some of her hand-picked favorites.

    You might notice that the first poem THE TURNING seems to foreshadow the World of the Lupi series. Obviously Eileen's been thinking these characters and events over for longer than even she realized!

    The Turning

    My cat is walking widdershins. The wind
    is shifting through strange harmonies, and soon
    will change: the Folk are stirring once again.

    The ghostly echoes conjured by the moon
    surround it in vague prophecies. The night
    is shifting through strange harmonies, and soon

    may alter past mortality. A flight
    of crows croak warnings at the cat and me,
    surround us in vague prophecies. The night

    is tightly drawn between reality
    and stranger truths, a cloth about to tear:
    the crows croak warnings at the cat and me.

    I've heard the whispers on the wind, laid bare
    the runes the spiders spin. I've dreamed of fear
    and stranger truths, a cloth about to tear

    and let the wildness back in. I hear
    the huntsman's horn, still distant, but so clear--
    my cat is walking widdershins. The wind
    will change: the Folk are stirring once again.

    - EMW 1990

    Dorothy Past 50

    She seats them at a round table, handing out napkins
    in blue, yellow, green, red; serves them sparkling water,
    the season’s first berries, little sandwiches made
    with whole wheat. Old friends, they know when to applaud, what
    to avoid, where the wandering scars of the past
    forty years are likely to rest. he ham is lowfat;.
    Lion’s fighting cholesterol. Tinman’s new book
    is in its second printing...has anyone heard
    from the wiz? Scarecrow is smiling, licking crumbs from
    his fingers as she brings out the coffee
    and cake. Which of them mentions the house?

    So many tornados have since ripped through their lives,
    scattering straw, tearing off tin, leaving more than
    the guilty crushed by debris dropped in the wrong place--
    that first wind’s a comfort now, danger survived.
    The retelling of bricks leads them down that old road,
    one to the other, familiar and safe. Dorothy
    tucks up her bare feet beneath her full skirt,
    happy with sunshine, her friends and the cake.

    - EMW February 2003

    Grey Cat

    Grey cat
    on red blanket
    stares between here and air.
    Pale eyes capture light sliding by

    Eileen's aside -- I belonged to a poetry club for many years and wrote this one as part of a challenge to write a cinquain. Cinquains are five-line syllabic poems with two syllables in the first and last lines and four, six, and eight syllables in the middle three lines. Jerry H. Jenkins said about the form: "The cinquain isn't entirely American - I have one reference that attributes its origin to haiku and another that says it developed from French influences. In any event, Adelaide Crapsey developed it and is generally given credit for it. "
    - EMW

    Wild Mind

    After eating the words
    I crack the spine of your book
    to suck out the marrow, then rock back
    on my hard, dirty heels, tossing the bones
    on the stone at my feet. Smoke from my fire
    drifts out the mouth of the cave. The flames
    lick my greasy face red, and I hear
    my other name called
    by the wildness howling
    outside in the dark.

    - EMW May 12, 1992


    There are no shadows at night.
    Outlines and boundaries are crossed--
    to make shadows, there must be light.
    At night, names come loose and are lost,
    floating on the deepdark sea.
    Outlines and boundaries are crossed,
    blurred and submerged in mystery.
    Reality disrobes and goes
    floating off on the deepdark sea,
    sleek and slippery with echoes
    of tomorrows and yesterdays.
    Reality disrobes and throws
    her nudity upon the waves,
    surfing on the dark, liquid skin
    of tomorrows and yesterdays.
    No form. No virtue, and no sin--
    to make shadows, there must be light
    on reality's dark, liquid skin.
    There are no shadows at night.

    - EMW

    Connecting Flight

    or, “Why Do You Write Those Little Books, Anyway?”

    I’m at the airport, waiting to board.
    Windows chop up my view,
    glass teeth taking right-angled bites
    of the landscape. They spit out

    the sunlight in neat parallels,
    light bites burning
    the brown-on-brown carpet.
    Voices converge here like streams

    floating into the river--
    petals and sticks and dead
    baby birds, all fall into the air-
    port. My plane takes off.

    Pressure pushes my ears
    into my head,
    compacting the sound
    of the wings and the props

    and the voices—all of us boarded,
    surrendered together
    to this hollow cigar
    these cubits of metal-wrapped air –

    cribb’d, cabin’d, confine’d
    and flying at ten thousand feet.

    - EMW February 2, 1998

    Magic Marker

    With black Magic Marker I draw
    a line along my jaw, connect
    my throat and eye, re-curve my cheek
    in certain black, surprise my sight
    and swing the shiny ink across
    the air. In gleaming arcs I draw

    the sharp, delineating marks
    that God left out--cut the soft, tough
    air with acrid black, bind my sight
    to narrow slag, fused and vitrified--
    the dark leftovers after ore's
    removed from rock. I'll mark a cut

    connecting root to red to mud,
    trace the void that webs between
    my cells, your selves, and all that's else,
    coil my reply in denser dark
    and breath my air into the crack
    that opens when I draw in black.

    - EMW September 23, 1993

    And There We Saw The Giants

    . . . the sons of Anak, which come of giants: and we were in
    our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
    Numbers 13:33

    We sometimes see giants striding
    here on the flatlands. More often at night--
    a swift occlusion of stars, a gliding

    dark bulk between earth and sky. One quick sight,
    then off the edge of the world and gone,
    here on the flatlands, swallowed by night.

    Mostly, the silent thunder of their song
    is distant, uneasy to hear before
    they're off the edge of the world and gone

    and by day the sight of them is more
    a troubling of the air than fact. Their mass
    is distant, uneasy to bear before

    they pass. At times they come quite close and cast
    a wind that tugs our hair and stings our skin--
    a troubling of the air and facts, the vast

    remembered breath of giants. Here, where I live
    we sometimes see giants striding,
    a swift occlusion of stars, a gliding
    wind that tugs our memory and stings our skin.

    - EMW October 3, 1993