We are Transitioning to a New Website

Please have patience with us as we transition to a new website. The links in this menu will take you to the new site as those pages become available.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Meadowlark Reader: Three by Carol Kapaun Ratchenski

Each Wednesday we will share an excerpt from a Meadowlark book. Sign up at Feed Burner to receive Meadowlark updates by email. 

Published: September 2019
ISBN: 978-1732241053

Winner of The Birdy Poetry Prize
by Meadowlark Books, 2019


Free needles and free condoms and free composition books. Lifesavers all. A decent fast writing pen. Wide lines and a hard cardboard back. Any nine by thirteen will do. Space enough to allow complexity, to blow apart the last couplet. Enough time to rewind it all, to keep believing in the deep unbroken interior rhyme of my grandfather’s lyric. Sung over whiskey, in blizzards, next to coffins. Sad and sustaining, true as cranberries in the Fall. Sugar unnecessary. Sweet promise of a juice stain warm as French wine. Warm as beer in Berlin. Stout, intoxicating, sure of itself the way no poet over thirty is. Humility between broken lines with falling plot lines. And Mary Oliver still out there, writing, hiking, calling her dog home to the fire, to soup and bread and cheese. Comfort of a sunset. Rest coming soon enough. Always time for a nap, a country western song in four-four time sits right next to a pristine haiku which sits right next to my grandmother’s bitter nettle tea. Sweet and poignant. A pen behind your ear, safe and available as the surf at dawn. Also, more dangerous.

Copyright © 2019 Carol Kapaun Ratchenski

A Certain Kind of Forgiveness

It’s so hard to love people who hurt and disappoint you, but those are the only kind of people there are.
-C.G. Jung

Coffee and Lies

Coffee isn’t supposed to taste good.
That’s why we shield our children from it
Something to grow into, to wait for
an adult mystery that
something could be so loved and so bitter.
Try the yellow, the pink, the old fashioned cube
still, black truth on my mouth
full fat cream only makes it last longer
deep like dirt
dark like night
unknown dreams of teeth and hair
something to hold
proof in this round planet
all its suns and moons
just out of sight
but never silent or pure or still.

Copyright © 2019 Carol Kapaun Ratchenski

A Certain Kind of Forgiveness


Love Many Things

I’m new
I like dirt
and the color green
and fuzzy warm milk, big hands
the smell of mother, vanilla and mint
rocking and stretching and yawning.

I’m young
I like knives and roller coasters
gravel roads
fireworks and feeling scared
adrenaline and hot pepper flakes and graveyards
the smell of sex, moonlight and noise.

I’m in the middle
I don’t know where to look
so much behind me
buried alive under my feet
I don’t like anything
I’m grieving and restless and clinging.

I’m old
I like soft things
large vocabularies in men
strong straight teeth in women
honey and sidewalks and clean laundry on the line
lilies, rainstorms, children, evergreen trees.

I’m letting go
I like wind and lemon pie
worn out towels and flannel sheets
feather pillows, cardinals, and all the empty space
between my thoughts
laughing and crying and forgetting.

Copyright © 2019 Carol Kapaun Ratchenski

A Certain Kind of Forgiveness


1 comment:

  1. Wow! Knocked my socks off. Must go to Facebook or Google or Meadowlark Books and find out WHO Carol Kapaun Ratchenski is, where she is, how she got here... right here.