poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

Blog Archive

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Tongues licking brackish snow, we sniff and know
where the deer lay down. What the moose want most
is the salt that melts black ice. Point sled, coast
to the road, follow hoofprints in the snow,
on sensitive noses, twitchy ears, go.
I color the snow, that’s the bluejay-boast
I am not afraid of the cold, I host
parties out here for the night trees and blow
paths between the bushes that only deer
use and we are careful not to tread. Bear
will dance in our dreams. We string apples whole,
popcorn garlands upon a midnight clear
the buck waits for us to twitch. He will tear,
as we call the moose away from the road.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Each time I wake makes me his sun-bright
morning pilgrim, in the sacred city
for the first time, sky-wide and sea-pretty:
my awe won’t let him fly. This is our fight.
Mystic my bed, so tonight that I might
see him as he was, childhood gritty
with stars. Boy on a pony. Is witty,
not afraid, jokes with storms on windy nights
or kisses the moon, so close the glitter
of winter in Maine, my husband, giver
of sight for snow, so I might see the white-blue
wonder: the world spinning weather bitter-
sweet the way we open cold and shiver,
in pilgrim-awe of a holy city, new.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


He saves me every second. Takes off this
day, through his clothes I can see him glow gold.
Under my skin there is a warm world, bold
for him. I unfold, bigger and all bliss.
Snowing softly it all makes sense, a kiss
in musical notes, round-headed—behold!—
sperm-tailed. Spin some soft Sunday morning cold
and make a baby against the abyss.
Hungry roots in wet soil we couple
sugar and salt deep into the brilliant
ingredients: one part want, two parts skin
turning on/ already burning/ supple
wars. Dead is dead. Love is the resilient
win: you are my ghost, but he is my twin.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I would say I’m sorry if I thought that
 it would change your mind, The Cure is surely
 making it worse. Should I dress-up girly,
get a drink? Make a new friend? Buy a hat?
Boys. Don’t. Cry. She smells stale like smoke and cats
Don’t inhale until she’s passed. I’m only
two clicks away. No cat, but I’m lonely
Boys don’t cry, I cry too much. Getting fat
on the salt of my tears. Death is to sleep
as marriage is to music. That’s not right.
To work is to have a use. Life, marriage
death. Marriage is to life as music keeps
breath—say nothing. I must press my lips tight
while she blows smoke in the baby carriage.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


These women have slender legs, roll their eyes
at trite music, pour the coffee and haul
crying children to the coffee shop. All
promising brownies, cookies, scones and pies
if you just please shut up, love. Telling lies
tailored to the season; spring, summer, fall
winter goes off the edge of the world. Call
me honey. Normal hope floats. Mine can fly.
Either they starve or they are all just slim.
A genetic predisposition to
fitness looks the same as an act of will.
They pull it off. Marry rich guys like him.
Sacrifice in too-tight black and see through,
no grace here: inside she is goose-down fill.

Monday, December 9, 2013


I run to solo cello. Now you know.
I am writing a meaningful poem.
There's a name for the way I feel at home—
haunted—by the sun, the rain and the snow.
All wise instruments make wet flowers grow
and rust, scrap metal that once was new chrome.
Old atmosphere knows all. This Vermont loam
tells secrets about me that I don’t show.
You are smiling at something sad. No, dead.
I knew briefly and now I doubt that words
know themselves. Truth is in a weather-way,
and doesn’t get scared. At least I’m well-read.
I email sonnets to myself, blind herds 
of symbols and sheep. Go home. Load the hay.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Free will means I’m at work. I have a rash.
I smile the way you smile. I send
email to myself—not to you—pretend
I'm writing poems, I don’t need work-cash
imagine if that were true. Watch me dash
away from here to you. They way you fend
me off means something. Do you want to end
to a solo cello? Or end in ash?
When you smile at sadness, that is my
smile. There is a name for that: displaced.
The second part of the symphony told
the audience secrets about me. Why
didn’t I get there first? Your death erased
you. So I stopped paining. Now I am old.