Mayhem Literary Journal is generously sponsored for 2019 by Te Whare Wananga o Waikato, The University of Waikato

Mission Statement - Carrie Cornsweet Barber

Mission statement for the month:  
Remain steady on planet Earth, moving in the direction intended, 
which may soon become clear.

Operating instructions:
When in doubt, 
drink tea, and look for flowers 
or other signs of life.  
On a daily basis, 
pray, which is to say, 
remember where you come from, 
and try to peel back the layers and let in a bit of spring air.
When you run up against despair, 
hold it tightly like a sad child, 
just until the knot loosens.

At seven thirty, consult the calendar, begin work, and keep going.

Quake - Carrie Cornsweet Barber

Just a small shift, but deep
below the solid
surface unfurls the wave
to rattle reason: deep
below the unbent shell
secret shock is driven:  deep
inside the dark sweet heart 
sorrow sleeps sealed undreaming
in that cracked coffin of forgetfulness:  
listen—quick—
the heads of all swallows turn
to look:  the great face of earth
crumples like a child
who tried too long
to fight the tears.

Contributor's Note

Carrie is a lecturer in the psychology department, and closet poet lo these many years. She lives in Hamilton with her daughter, two dogs, and a rabbit named Sirius Black.

 

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