by Wim Coleman    


is the mantra of mantras
the talisman word

is the text of the mass
not to be uttered backward
for that is the way of hate

is the space between voices
the measure of that space
the bridge across

is the blade that severs
the needle and thread that mend
the gasp of delight
the ache   


So now you wander,
and earth twists wide
between us. I turn
my headboard to the north
at night afraid to move.
Will you come to this bed
looking for me? Sleep
strains on its rope.
It gets your scent
from a piece of clothing
you left two or a thousand
years ago. I turn my sleep
free. I send it


What you see
behind your face
is the fan-dance shape
of a felt black cat
wafting a pair
of yellow glass eyes
through a house
that dreams itself.  


Raging at Sacred You
I become the wasp I saw
(oh so long ago) hurling
her heavy abdomen time
and time again against
the hot ceiling light bulb
as steaming venom fell
to the cold basement floor.
My sting-tail cannot pain
you, Adamantine You.
I’d best buzz far away
and share the muted                                                                                                            
glimmer that gladdens.
But I strive to splinter
your glass and shrivel
into a black smoking cinder
upon your white-star-filament.
Only madness seeks love.   


the voice of the owl
that speaks
through the window
of my new home
as I type
these words for you
& I.O.U.
the voice of the child
I hear mocking
the owl in reply
& I.O.U.
of owls & children
without number
& psalms
for the masks
to sing.   

About the Author:

Wim Coleman is a playwright, poet, novelist, and nonfiction writer. His play The Shackles of Liberty was the winner of the 2016 Southern Playwrights Competition. Two collections of his one-act plays, Nine Muses and Stages of History, are currently in print, and his plays have appeared in anthologies along with works by authors ranging from Molière to David Mamet. Books that he has co-authored with his wife, Pat Perrin, have been published by Harmony Books, Pocket Books, and Bantam. Their award-winning novels include Anna’s World, which was the Silver Medalist in the 2008 Moonbeam Awards, and The Jamais Vu Papers, which was a 2011 finalist for the Eric Hoffer/Montaigne Medal. Wim is an active member of PEN International.