Katherine Hastings


Katherine Hastings is the author of Updraft (Finishing Line Press, 2010) and Sidhe (pronounced SHE) (dPress).  She is the host of  WordTemple on Santa Rosa, CA's NPR affiliate KRCB FM, and founder of the WordTemple Poetry Series in Santa Rosa (for more information go to www.wordtemple.com).  Her own poems have been published widely in anthologies and literary journals, including the Comstock Review, Rattle, Parthenon West Review, Golden Handcuffs Review  and many others.  She edited San Francisco Bay Area Women Poets for Big Bridge, an anthology that includes Sharon Doubiago, devorah major, Nellie Wong, Leslie Scalapino and others. Hastings received her MFA in Writing from Vermont College.  She grew up in San Francisco and lives in Sonoma County with per partner, C. J. Rayhill, and Chihuahua, Gizmo Federico Garcia Lorca.


in a waitress uniform,
in a pancake house,
in the eye of sailors peering

Mother, dark of eye and ground, grand
daughter of Absolom,
blood of Sytha,

left so many times
you learned little of loving
but leaving

She was drunk
She fell from the window
Her foot caught between two pipes
hung by broken bones
He wouldn't let the children use the phone

She was drunk
She lit the match
The water heater exploded
burned her hair and lashes
O how she cried on the floor!
He wouldn't get up from his chair

Every child cometh from darkness
small open force unhidden
Light transfers from the formless,
smatters across the given

And what of the mother who
chose not a boy or a girl
but fun before the breakthrough?

Mother of freckled arms and white ponies
fog glazes your eyes
Weighed down hard you hum the song,
and through prison bars of home
tell your children no matter
what you do, my dear, my dear,
don't have children


Thus, naked among green and white
blowing foam, they slept,
faces on elbows, elbows on grass,
inches from barnacle-covered steps
leading to starfish tender in their rhythms,
until the sun rose like the mother of all flowers
burning on the green

no matter what you do




Pushing off from the wall

            Andante con moto

cool water silks through wing of hair
against face, breasts, legs
           Andante espressivo

every millimeter between them

Watery flight over a city
constructed of one long block perfect green tiles miles below
            Molto allegro

White cells of water, jewel-lined
undulate amoeba-shapes over
white empty roadways
            Andante sustenuto

Rainbow, rainbow

Arms lift and enter the surface,
            Poco agitato

trace arcs through silvery light,
pull the body forward into the feel
of water

            Andante tranquillo

Water music plays with and between each breath
            Allegretto grazioso

songs without words

Field Song

Disappeared in darkness the trees
stand loudly in the night

Crickets quick-pulse brightly
between stars of twirled nests
and the glass-lined dwelling

From the redwood
the owl's long soft trill
on the exhale

Insects, birds and angels
call together as if
our frail beauty
matters not at all

Copyright 2010 Katherine Hastings