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.




Mother,

 
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



world
 
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



don't



 

 


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