by Kitty Jospé

Stories in Shadows

You could say the shadow, sliding off

the two peaked ears of wind-bitten bluffs,

creates a wolf-head—

suggests fractions involved with wearing—

pelt of rain above, assault of waves below, uprooting

the overstory close to the edge of the bluffs—

and hear a long howl of what was,

a hint of what can haunt us—

then it is easy to add a chapter about that tree branch

brandishing its clout like a megaphone.

But what happens when those spires of ancient chimneys

are leveled, no mandible visible?


Looking through Woods, Hourglass Shapes 

Tomorrow’s unreadable

as this shining acreage;

the future’s nothing

but this moment’s gleaming rim.

—Mark Doty, from “Atlantis”

I look at the V of sky, above—

lacy leaf of ash fronds

in the spill of it—

pressing into

                               the blue,

                                          and below

                              a golden oval of hay framed

                        by cedars to make a perfect hourglass

                   as if holding the intimacy of discrete moments—

I hadn’t noticed the shape until now, with everyone gone.

In the foreground I still hear our laughing,

          croquet and silliness coloring

                     the who of us—


                          the years

                       as insistent as

                 the Northern White-Throat

  who continues to whistle sam peabody peabody—             

that song of forever that feeds us even as time runs out.


You Were Never Really Here

[after Jeff Suszczynski]

Call the funnel of smoke, you

it brings in what you were

sucks out what never

was really


The woman is like the outline of the moon soon to be here

wrapped in a fashionable robe—really

you might say, only a trick, never

more than faceless.  If appearances were

defined by a dress called you—

does that change you were never really here—

that funnel of gray attaching you

to some greater grayness—     here?

really never were you



Kitty Jospé loves facilitating poetry appreciation and collaborations with word, art and music.  After years of teaching French, she turned to English, and received her MFA in creative writing in 2009.