for ages I’ve wanted to put this poem on one of my blogs, but can’t rightly recall at this moment whether I’ve actually done so. at the risk of duplication, I’ll put it here now.  this excerpt of a longer poem is remarkable to me simply for what it is, what it says and the way it says it. but it’s all the more remarkable for having been written by a ten-year-old, long ago in 1922.



I shall be coming back to you
From seas, rivers, sunny meadows,
       glens that hold secrets:
I shall come back with my hands full
Of light and flowers…
I shall bring back things I have picked up,
Traveling this road or the other,
Things found by the sea or in the pinewood.
There will be a pine-cone in my pocket,
Grains of pink sand between my fingers.
I shall tell you of a golden pheasant’s
Will you know me?

from I Shall Come Back by hilda conkling


read…   scealta liatha…     shadowpoems

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2009-2013 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

fervor and faith

Page one hundred fifteen

Friday 31 December 2010….      turners tricks


              We twa hae run among the braes
                    and bracht the garlands hame,
                         but seas atween us hae roared and swelled
                               sin’  auld lang syne.

                                                                  ~~  rab burns


               “Tis not only while beauty and youth are thine own,
                      and thy face undisturbed by a tear,
                           that the fervor and faith of a soul should be known,
                                 to which time would but make thee more dear.
               For the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
                    and as truly loves on to the close.
                          As the sunflower turns on her god when he sets,
                               the same look which she turned when he rose.

                                                                ~~  thomas moore


                My haert is saer, I dare not  tell.
                      My haert is saer for somebody.
                            I would walk a winter’s necht,
                                for the sake o’ somebody.
               Ochon, for somebody.  Oh hae, for somebody.
               I would dare what would I know,
               for the sake o’ somebody.

                                                                ~~  also rab burns?


read…   Scealta liatha…   Shadowpoems

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reveries of snow and ice

Page One hundred fourteen

tuesday 28 december 2010…    turners flails

This new winter is eight days old today, and on this very early day of the new winter we have our first snow, having begun on Sunday and continued into yesterday.  Words and pictures and sounds come into the memory today, things from that life that was my own. And among these things, part of a winter poem written in my late teens, and part of a song written in my forties.


When in winter I no longer reach the ground;
when the snow lies dense and heavy,
muffling all the harshness out of sound,
I pad about on silent winter feet,
depositing my prints in crooked chains
along the street.
In the day’s light that shines short                                                                                               
and then is gone,
I recall the heats of summer,
stifling in the games I never won.
Analogies of winter soothe, I know.
The wounds of seasons past are
drained and dry dead brambles

under dense and heavy snow.


I will be winter’s queen.
I’ll remember snows I’ve seen.
Etchings on the wind-blown white.
Frosted ice-face after night.


On snow the moon’s light glides and grows,
birds stand bright, and bravely.
Sun rejoices into blindness:
winter wants to save me.


I will be winter’s queen:
snowdrift singing deep and clean;
wade the waves of crystal rain;
wander wonder once again.

I practice ice, I reach for chill,
the cold, blank face of power;
waiting for the sun to face me
in an honest hour.


Well, in my teenage years, there was still the future spreading out in front like unseeable acres of possibility, and it was easy, then, to believe the wounds could be bandaged in white gauze and never raise their voices again. But later, in the thirties and forties and onward, when the future was growing steadily smaller and wounds were piling on top of wounds like snowstorms, resiliency dwindled and post-traumatic stress disorder swelled. And as to the song… today, and many times before today, I’ve had grim occasion to realize that then, in the 1990’s, I didn’t practice ice nearly enough, I didn’t reach nearly enough for chill; I didn’t succeed in freezing out human beings from my life. Not then, not ever. And in my case, with my particular make-up and my particular self, freezing them out was the only thing, lacking money, that would have protected me from much of their venom.


read…   All my stars…    Mugsy’s book

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2009-2012 byanne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.


Page One hundred eleven

Tuesday 23 November 2010…       Tiresome Turners Fails


Line by line,                                                                                                                     
the song of lamentation seeks its chords.
Word by word, a river slides to its waiting sea.
To the harp, sing the song?
To the theremin, sound the end?
To the wind, to the warp and weft,
to the grey-waiting sea?








 Or to the former stars, now letting bloods of eons?


How large is emptiness?
How dark is black?
Who will avenge the breath of truthful eyes?
Who will eat up the thieves of love?
Who will burn off  the poison and leave the snowflakes


Let the stingy djin come back (say dreams, say screams),
come back with double-open hands this time,
to stand a lightning tree
with kindled justice in its hands (this time, this fiery dream),
on a scorching and relentless plain of sand.
Christmas roses fall from a hand, land on the current,
run far and further from hand, and eyes, and heart.
The Christmas roses are for you.
They are for us.
(to follow, to follow)
Silence rains on the heart’s picture-book,
rains in the spaces where the music lived,
on homely objects clutched out of debris.
Silence reigns; queen of the landscape of 
the clasp torn apart.
Let the stingy djin come back.


(part of the book Being Toward Death)    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~  website  ~~~~~~~~   Share  ~~~~~  Fourth February

(dragon frame at


My Gentle Harp

Page One hundred one

Thursday 16 Sept 2010         Turners contorting

website ~~~~~~~~~~~~}


                                                My gentle harp,
                                             once more I waken
                             the sweetness of thy slumbering strains.
                                                     In tears
                                       our last farewell was taken.
                                               And now in tears
                                                we meet again.


                                                            ~~   thomas moore


So this is my harp. A small 12-string reproduction of a design from the Middle Ages. I’m supposed to be writing a piece of music for my stolen animals on this little instrument, a piece I started in July. But…  it is extremely difficult to make music of any kind since the events of 2008. The piece is maybe one-third finished, and I don’t know when, or if, I’ll go back to it.

I bought the harp in 2007, only months before everything was over. Had only months to fool around and play little songs for my animals to hear. Not that they cared one way or the other whether I played little songs on the harp for them or not. But I cared.

I said good-bye to it in March 2008, when things were being sent off to storage, and hello again in May the same year, when I moved into the rented bedroom and rescued Benazir (so I named the harp) from said storage. And then in August, fleeing Greenfield, I left it again, and didn’t get it back from someone’s barn for nearly two years, until May 2010.


(part of the book Being Toward Death)





Page Ninety-eight

Wednesday 8 September 2010                 

Turners degrades

They’re here again, the embers. September, November, December. I burn.  ~~  A fellow burner from long ago wanders into mind. One whose colors seem to reach from the canvas to touch us:

                                        And when no hope was left inside
                                        on that starry, starry night,
                                        you took your life, as lovers often do.
                                        But I could have told you, Vincent,
                                        this world was never met for one
                                        as beautiful as you.


                                                    ~~  don mclean

So grossly undervalued while he lived, Vincent’s paintings are now counted among the world’s greatest treasures. Yet another diabolical example of:

           “… the uncanny grotesqueness of the irrational world of chance.”

                                                    ~~  carl jung

Peter Barriman, great singer and writer of contemporary folk songs, has put Jung’s statement in very different terms, but meaning the exact same thing:

                            Fate is king, and fate’s a putz.


website ~~~~~~~~~   Share ~~~~~~~~~~~~


go bron go deo

Page Ninety-seven

words from a traditional folk song. in my own life, I had this hanging on the kitchen wall. haven’t had a kitchen since, over two and a half years. haven’t had a family since. nor my own life, as I knew it for over fifty years.



website   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



beauty attends

Page Ninety-four 


                                             She is Dead

                                             She is dead, they said,

                       and they gathered up the things of her days.
                                        Life’s little spindle,
                                          her gentle ways,
                                   the hopes of her pleasing.
                                       Her little vigil hours,
                              the chest of her maiden dreams,
                                the flowers of a gladder faith,
                                   the lavender of old tears.


                                       in one old chest,
                               in the room she had slept in,
                                they  found the gentle joys
                                                       of her waiting years.


                                                                       ~~  opal whiteley

more opal  ~~~~~~  website  ~~~~~~   Share ~~~~~~~


Opal never got whatever it was she spent her waiting years waiting for. Neither did I. Nor will I. Some people just don’t, no matter how concerted are the efforts they make. There’s a great deal of randomness to living, and some people just get much more ugly randomness than others do.




f/r-a~g^m=e<n/t*s n^o/w (like me)

Page Eighty-seven

Tuesday 3 August 2010          Turners shards

                                      I and my muse,
                             we walk hand in hand
                           through this wasteland
                         of old, strangled dreams.
                                She brings the food,
                                        I bring the fire.
                 We look up to watch the eagle
                                      as she screams.


                                                                          That life that you were
                                       goes sailing,
                   sailing on breezes
                   and stars.
                         That death you died
                         is still alive,
                                                             and my whirlwinds all spin
                                                                          where you are.


     This night keens a song
of where sisters have gone


                                                        The gods of this garden
                                           have all spread their grey wings
                                                                             and gone


                                                   Make the tea,
                                          while the willow beside us
                                                   is weeping —
                                              You have loved here
                                            more than is your way.
                                                  Make the tea,
                                         while the sorrows inside us
                                                 are steeping —
                                                       You have lost here
                                               more than the willow can say. 

                                                                    (sbe znggurt)


These are pieces of poems and/or song lyrics that I wrote while still in my own life. I no longer have the written copies of them in my possession, and the brain has retained only these pieces of each one.

To the Poetry Page   (and photos, and other matters)


And now September, and other fragments of things whose hard copy is lost, float around in the brain.

Light the candles again 
when the night presses in,                           
light the candles for peace, for relief.              
There are no words to say                            
at the death of the day                                
that cannot be said best                              
by this light.                               
Bring light here.                          
Bring here the flame.                  
                                          See the sun paint the floor
                                          the same way that it did
                                          when you stood in that spot                              
                                          for the sun.
                                                   I miss you.
                                                   I miss you here.
                                         And the tree in the back
                                         drops its leaves to the grass,
                                         one by one,
                                         to amuse only you.
                                                          I love you.
                                                          I love you still.

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2009-2011 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.






a little longer

Page Eighty

Tuesday 15 June 2010

A little something from Grace Paley. May well be the only poem of hers I really like.

                                      Before I was nobody
                                      I was me           after
                                      I was nobody          I
                                      was me             I wish
                                      I could have rested
                                      in me a little longer
                                      there was something
                                      I was supposed to tell
                                      but        it isn’t allowed


That’s the format the book has it in, so that must be the way she designed it.

Mostly a nobody. Myself not long enough. Nobody and myself at the same time: nobody to humans, myself the mommy and friend to the animals.

To have rested in me a little longer.

~~~~~~~  website  ~~~~~~~~~

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(big dipper from a greeting card)


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