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  • © 2013 Sigman Shapiro All Rights Reserved

Phyllis Rathman

Originally posted March 30, 2011

Introducing Phyllis Rathman

The next three poems were submitted by Phyllis Rathman, another wonderful new poet.

Phyllis Rathman is a native of Arkansas and pays the bills as a scientific
technical writer.  She spends the rest of her time enjoying her young son,
reading, learning, chasing metaphors, and exploring her creative outlets.  Ever
the quiet observer, her poetry focuses on the people and events around her.

We believe you are going to be as thrilled with her poems as we were when we read them.

We Are A Manifesto

Scribbled madness written between the lines,
lived in the context, the pretext, the subtext,
captured in blank stares and pregnant pauses,
penciled into dreams,
sculpted into memories.
Silent screams only neighborhood dogs can hear.

On the second floor of the old house,
in the dark, unused, corner room,
in a closet with a worn brass knob,
paneled in darkly lacquered wood,
beneath a single loose floorboard
we have hidden our treasure,

On certain days when we are alone but not lonely
and the sunlight or the rain is just right,
we retrace our footsteps,
pry back the floorboard,
reach blindly into the dark hiding place
and start at the beginning.

Always the very, very beginning;
the beginning we didn’t know
was the beginning.
Turning pages slowly and carefully,
smelling ink, hearing the faint rustle,
feeling delicate paper on fingertips.

Beyond dirty window panes, the world whirls by
in drip, drip, drops of rain, bird songs, and train whistles
as we share this testament, sometimes
like a Passover meal, sometimes
like two winos with a new bottle –
a ritual in either case.

Each time we visit, we add new lines,
over years the script becoming fine and steady,
while the lettering shrinks in size,
not from succumbing to insanity, but
so we might leave enough space to
continue this forever.

© 2011 Phyllis Rathman All Rights Reserved

Farming

Farming regrets,
seeds of sensuous produce,
dropped in paper packets,
sealed with a kiss.

Tenderly plant each one
in fertile fields of imagination.

Tiny sprouts appearing slowly,
lovingly and tenderly cared for,
watered with tears,
fertilized with lies,
staked by desires and dreams.

Growing tall in warm night winds,
pain bursts into glorious bloom
ensuring a bountiful harvest
of luscious, mouthwatering guilt.

© 2011 Phyllis Rathman All Rights Reserved

No Words

She has no words today.
Speechless and mute
despite her desire,
they are no where
to be found.

Standing in the middle
of the large white room
that is her life,
she pivots
observing the faces
of family and friends.

Their eyes flash with emotion
as they speak all at once,
a silent cacophony,
blind to each other’s existence.

Seeing their lips move,
she is deaf to their words,
but knows what they ask for:
a reaction,
an explanation,
reasons, plans,
or thoughts.

The only sound is the
white hiss of air
from the overhead vent
bearing haunting lyrics
in a foreign tongue
yet she understands the song.

© 2011 Phyllis Rathman All Rights Reserved

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