Poems. By Mary Cresswell.


Meditation On Neighborhood Cats


Cats are fighting in the yard,

morning light is wet and gold,

the storm has left no leaf unmarred.

I hear traffic on the road.


Morning light is wet and gold.

I stand and brood upon the past.

Traffic humming on the road

is just as trite and just as vast


as boring thoughts about the past.

Perhaps I’ll think about today:

Tomorrow’s every bit as vast.

I think it’s far more fun to play


with plans to make or things to say

than checking that no leaf’s unmarred.

Watch the action: white, gold and grey

cats are fighting in the yard.



a line, (a black one)


Good News Bad News Ghazal


In the mirror, girl, you see your mother’s face.

No way will there ever be another’s face.


The way you stir soup or dress or laugh

will always have your mother’s trace.


Your mother fussed a lot, perhaps hoping

you would be a lady, be quayte nayce.


This doesn’t always seem fair.

(Certainly not, if we take your mother’s case.)


You blame yourself or forgive yourself

according to your mother’s grace.


Mamma mia! What more is there to say?

Different start times – same old race.



a line, (a black one)


Song Of The Semidetached Lover


Now you see me, now you don’t,

Maybe when the weather’s seemly

when I want a little breather.


Lucky you. I’m feeling seemly –

What is love if not hereafter?

Who will want you if I don’t?


“Happy happy ever after”?

Can’t you ever get the point?

Sure, I’ll see you, only dimly:


A steamy breather’s what I want.



a line, (a black one)


Calvinism At Home


The exceedingly reverend Doctor John Knox

freely chose to use botox,

but Zwingli

stayed wrinkly.



a line, (a black one)


Giving Thanks


My fall from grace was short.

But hey, it was only temporary.


You had the generosity and grace

to forgive me and take me back.


After this year’s grace I know

it is well and truly over. Time to go.


My lord and master, I am handing you over

to another (may it save your grace).


She is ambitious. She loves you. I know

your joy in finding her seems an act of grace.


She even moves with grace. She lights you

inexorably on her way. You see only her.


For what you are about to receive

I am about to be truly thankful.


a black line

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