Poems In A Jar

Dedicated to my sister, Teri, who died on her 80th birthday last January – R.I.P.


Keeps me from heaven

You see, it will not cross the sill

My feet are sore from walking

My fingers clenched with Will

I’ve left it by the roadside

      Several times, many miles

But it found its way through mirrors

      Devious with wiles

This bag of small wrongdoings

      Heavier than lead

Weary years of travel

      For what?!? These all are dead.

I sat a while longer

      Just watching heaven’s lights

A wretch in rags & sandals

      A refugee of night

A passing angel called me

      I wakened with a start

“I’ve something here to give you.”

      Then he handed me my heart

That movement took a lifetime

      As he stood, he took my hand

I turned to find Forgiveness

      In a pyramid of sand.

~~1/25/22   carol borsello


Nah, they just jumped off an asteroid, see?

Or maybe Nibiru

Tough old hides rolling down valleys

Clearing off nature

After glaciers allowed eggs

Bigger was better, they surmised

That they ruled was no surprise

The mystery of their demise

A patchworked web of compromise

Enough for me that they are gone!

Where once they rolled, I make my home.


They climb out one by one

Looking around before coming aboveground

Their bodies well-rounded

Identities impounded

Compounded, surrounded

They shake themselves off

And put on their hats

They walk through the Earth

But yo, I never worry

The kids are all fine

It’s Mom who’s more usually out of her mind.


Of fine spirits

Distilled by masters

Trod upon by maidens with purpled feet

A day rides the border of night

To that same eastern horizon

Then swarms uphill

Touching everything

With fingers trusting life


For a gun

He used his words instead

We prayed

He slayed

His road still made of lead.

Tabula Rasa to Rosetta Stone


My heart is a water-walker

Knowing fire comes before air or earth

Without knowing how it knows.

All runes writ on inner walls.

I still believe clichés too well.

Worn truths for campfire nights.

So much disappears when ravens must be masked

Rumor has no brakes, careening.

We live history because we are that,

We pass through time in slick shadows

Claiming less & less responsibility.

All those fingers pointing at me…

No way to choose what was mine,

Or clean it up.

I hear they have snow on tap in Hell

But you have to order regret on the side.

We are all still dancing

Long beyond the musicians fallen asleep.


Scattered static, poor reception

Stories of emotional electrical storms

All natural & delivered fresh to your door.

Sometimes I’m sitting in that

1950’s Matrix kitchen,

Linoleum & chrome, aprons on a hook

A bowl of cookies on the counter.

They should make churches of kitchens

Each cabinet a chapel.


I think I incarnated fifty years too early

I may have rushed it a little

But I know me – even on the Other Side

I was twitching the curtains to see…

I just kept showing up

Till they let me in,

A kind of standby thing.

I didn’t get much advance notice

Just the part I’d be a girl.

I hopped on board,

Folding a note to the wing-footed messenger

“Tell them I’ve left, okay?”


All of us breathless from the chase

Set upon like lemmings rounded up & running

For the cliff

Laughing out loud

At the rush of the madding crowd.


My friend declares she’s done her “goathead yoga” for the day

Bending from the hips since knees have to consult on standing.

I found it a grand description!

My flipflops are spiked like golf shoes

Along with rattlers, the reason for all those Tony Lamas.


The kaleidoscopes have clicked, another paisley scene

Passes for reality in one eye only


Central Control never got to center

Tho I passed for rational at the time.

Barriers retreat: Clarity flips on the spotlights

Finding there’s no going back anymore

And probably never was despite the muddy reviews.

There was another opening line I had

But by the time I found paper ‘twas

Fled, like a deer to a bark

While I turn in circles on silvered toes.


It’s the tenth of the month: time to

Start its liquefaction.

Months march in on single digits

Upright & meaningful

But this is where they pick up speed.

Days can drizzle or pour, some

Snapping shut to disappear entirely.

I am busily escaping this meme of Time

Wherein clock hands feel around for my fate

I am busily unfolding DNA,

Making room for the light coming in.


I can pinch that last nerve of yours

Like a new mosquito bite announcing itch

I’m hell-bent on being who I am

Clear enough for transparent to lean in

I grasp that slippery slab of dawn

Two-handed, and a yank

Brings it to my face

Smelling morning up close

Mine is the Last Word

The very last.


I walked the beach at this hour, turning up

Shells & sandcrabs

Hiding my shoes under the pier for later.

The morning bypassed curtains altogether,

Entering my room without knocking

Breathless in its message: Get up! Get up!

Into my suit & out the door I fled

The two of us, giggling at daybreak

Opening doors in the house of silence

Out the door, down the steps

Snagging a towel from the rail en route.

Sweep the kickstand back, mount up

Five blocks from the sea

I hear the shush & boom

Only a dune away.


Dipped in morning

Held by one heel from total immersion

Nonetheless, redolent of early

Standing in my tiny kingdom yard

Playing peekaboo with the risen sun.


I cannot write everything!

Not the curl of air along my cheek

The ant I brush from my arm,

The clouds fitted into the puzzle-blue sky

How good it feels to breathe.

The pacing of the cat by the door.

Things before important

No longer apply

Lives of brown mountains &

Fairy-tale seaspray

An aloha of life.

The fabulous bouquet of memory & mercies

A seven-decade life to recall & restate

Well-written refinements of

Monasteries & memories.


I’ve talked myself off cliffs

Out of foolish love affairs

My own counsel was wise

If ignored.

Saving change for the next time

I pass a gumball machine

Heading to where morning is enough

To satisfy the day.


Embarked upon the most complex of journeys

Making my way through good & evil

Trapped in conundrum, peeling away heartbreak

For more speed

Entranced & endlessly so.

The invisible ongoing a most elusive route

Let alone a destination to be had

I would be a ridge runner

If I could climb mountains.


God’s second chance or ten millionth

Embellished in daylight

Fringed in shadows

The soul skipping along,

A basket over its arm to collect magic.


I watch the plants

Turning east to beginnings

Coming into view

Refining darkness

Silhouettes becoming solid

Profligate in green

The trees assume definition.

I have too much terminology

Little enough experience

A liquid comfort zone to float upon.

Once a neighbor, walking our common yard

Looked at me in the lawn chair, still-sitting.

“Are  you watching the laundry dry?”

He asked incredulously.

I smile now as then,

All these years later to think

I may have glimpsed my Life’s Purpose in that minute.

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