Caroline Misner


The moon’s sharp edges have shredded the sky
into ribbons raining down like soot 
from the stovepipe; each facet
carries the light—a wastrel of stars,
each backfire more resplendent than the last.

It’s a holiday like any other, 
another excuse to get along,
an annunciation of the summer;
but it’s a tardy season this year.
We stand shivering on the dock,
water cold and black as ink
slaps the boards below our feet,
wrapping the flaps of our housecoats
around ourselves like birds’ wings
furled against the night’s slow approach.

We didn’t want to disappoint the children,
despite the wind and the barbs of rain
that greases our hair and pierces our skin
the way quills pierce armour; shivering 
we laugh anyway, smelling of gunpowder and loam.

I remember when we camped on the shores of Grundy Lake.
It was just you and me back then,
when the Americans came to celebrate holidays
we didn’t understand;
and we laughed at their oafishness
and their Jingoism and their watery beer;
they spoke with their weird accents,
and sat on aluminum deck chairs that bulged
like water sacks under their weight;
patio lanterns edged their trailers and Winnebagos,
shining bright as lollipops melting in the heat
of summer’s ruinous reverberation.

We watched the lake swallow the sun,
burning the clouds’ fringe garnet;
the reeds and grasses framed the lake
like eyelashes over the glowing iris
plummeting into glossy water as still
and smooth as a crystal sheath.

Now we have children
and so many years have passed
I neglect counting them anymore;
new obligations are required of us.
Grundy Lake is nothing but a green
reminiscence, as grand and fleeting
as these stars we release to the sky;
they pop like air rushing between 
pursed lips, and thumb their nose
at the precipice of the night.


Greetings one and all and welcome to my brand new website!  Please bear with me  portraitI work on filling its pages with news and musings. Being technologically challenged, it may take a while to work out some of the glitches and I hope to have it finished within the next few weeks.  In the meantime, please feel free to browse through the archives and have a look at some of my work.  I've been writing poetry ever since I could remember and I've decided to include a section of Juvenilia in the archives.  Most of the poems listed there were written in my early teens and many of them are just plain awful!  But a few gems do stand out and I hope you enjoy them.  Also, if you would like to know more about me and the work I do, please feel free to click on "About".  There I have posted a brief biography of myself.  I'm not trying to be falsely modest, but I really loathe bragging about myself.  I feel an author's work should stand on its own merits and where an author was born or where she lives or what she eats for breakfast are completely irrelevant.

I would also be remiss if I didn't included a big Thank You! to my oldest son, Kevin, who with a friend designed this website for me and programmed it so that even I could manage it.  And another big Thank You! goes to my dear father Jan Kurz, who was in on it the whole time and provided the stunning photography behind the text of the daily poem.  And another big Thank You! goes out to all the editors, publishers and fellow writers who have supported me and my work over the years and gave me a chance when I needed it, including a Journey Prize nomination and two Pushcart Prize nominations!

"...And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt."
--Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)