October 4, 2016

Three Poems by Isabel Chenot: "Fallen Leaves," "7:30," and "Isaiah 27:1"

Isabel Chenot has previously had poetry appear in Indiana Voice Journal,  the Anima poetry journal, on the Atavic poetry site, and on Hedgerows small poems. Recently a small collection (Leaves Like Spindrift) was published by Anima Poetry Press.She has loved poetry as long as she can remember.

Photo submitted by Isabel Chenot. See note below.

Fallen Leaves

Something akin to thought
strews the year’s fold
along this swell
of evening frailty —
stippled gold,

fawn-brisk with flight,
touched tenderly
to clouded shriveling —
a quarter hour’s debris
of light.


The slender interruptions of the light
draw like a child’s unevenly ruled page
across the furniture, shadows of straight
vinyl blinds distorted on the surfaces and edge

of asymmetric contours in the pillows,
like a child’s unsteady lines:
still light writes fading alphabet until it glows
between the crooked shadows.

Light letters out each pattern that it finds,
like a deft hand guiding fragile lines.

Isaiah 27:1

Then You will kill the monster in the sea:
the bitter sea will feel land gently —
a trustful child
turning in long fought sleep.

So in eventual eased breathing,
all of sky’s hues will come to rest:
each ridge of sand
perfectly visible
through fathoms,

each little fish
around wading feet.
I will wade out of
my depth —

to see colored stones
and creatures,
glittering, sunken leaves —
no fear of monsters, or of nightmare,
or of drowning. For this I know,
the sea will be pure light around me.

What further could be emblemed
from what is known
for sheer tremoring clarity —
pellucid green,
wavering winged pink,
shattered glass rainbows
under every ripple’s corrugated seams?

Of the last margin’s
infant gold and blue —
when illumined sea
touches dim land,
tracing from memory —

a trustful child fingering bedclothes,
turning again
to dreams.

(Note: Over the summer we went to a few parks by Lake Michigan. One afternoon we wandered, winding up at a nearly deserted stretch of clear, gentle water, visible to its sandy bed. When the sun came out, the whole transparent vision (as far out as my eyes could translate) became a mass of shifting gold lines over sand ridges, a net thrown every instant by light. The image above was taken by my husband (I cried). Light filigreed the lake around me, a net drawing every shifting instant to awe. I remembered a phrase read that morning: 'He will kill the Monster that is in the sea.')

~Isabel Chenot

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