Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Love Poems: Therése Halscheid!

Sanding the Wood

I know the perfection of white pine
in its natural state of being
unfinished wood,
before the sawing starts
to show the grain, and of areas
disturbing the grain, the circular knots
which surface after
the tree is cut

like what they found
two days ago with some tissue
creeping along, thin membranes
appearing harsh-white
in the x-ray and of that spot
behind the nipple, like a hard knot of wood
that might be removed.

What kind of stain
will I wear, what sheen will it be,
what shape, if the breast is cut back and
cut back, once the skin is pulled taut,
sanded smooth,

this place where your lips fall
on my flesh and stay and stay with
your mouth and move with
your hunger there.

["Sanding the Wood" has previously appeared in River Oak Review, Iguana Review, and Coffee House Poems anthology]

The Asking                                                        

 I have just finished sweeping
a place in the glade where
a bed is now made of
star moss and blossoms.
I have ordered a moon
to come softly, its white
through the trees,
birds for the sky, a waterfall
lovely to listen to.


step out of the dream
of your house
onto the path of warm fog
in the scented opening
of the forest.
Follow the birds I have sent
and the light between leaves
where the pale of the moon
angles down through
the branches.

Be led
by only these things.
Nothing you leave will be missed.

Take no clothes,
you will not need them.

["The Asking" has previously appeared in Blueline and  Off Line: Anthology of NJ Poets]

Therése Halscheid was awarded a 2003 Fellowship for Poetry from New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She is author of four poetry collections, Powertalk(1995) and Without Home (Kells, 2001), and Uncommon Geography (Carpenter Gothic, 2006). Uncommon Geography received a 2007 Finalist Award from the Paterson Poetry Book Prize. She also won a chapbook award by Pudding House Publications, as part of their 2007 Greatest Hits series, which is a collection of twelve poems spanning the writing life of the poet, prefaced with a narrative that weaves the poet’s life with the body of work.
Her writings poetry and prose have appeared in numerous magazines among them Karamu, Rhino, New Millennium Writings, Faultline, 13th Moon.
She teaches creative writing in varied settings, including Atlantic Cape Community College as well as being a visiting writer in schools through NJ State Council on the Arts. She has been an artist in residence at Acadia National Park, ME, and has received a Dodge Fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center, June 2005.
Aside from artist residencies, since 1993 she has been a house-sitter to write. She cares for people’s homes, gardens, and pets while they are away. Some of these house-sitting experiences have allowed her to write in a rugged swamp in FL, an elk farm in PA, a log cabin in the pine barrens of NJ, and an adobe home in NM. She finds simplicity as well as a nomadic lifestyle fosters a deep connection to the natural world and greatly assists the writing process.
An outcome of this nomadic lifestyle is her one woman exhibit, Visual Diaries, which has been on display in galleries. Visual Diaries a multi-sensual exhibit of photographs and poetry, along with a taped commentary chronicles earth images across varied terrain, beginning with natural settings in New Jersey, then moving to sacred environments as far as New Mexico and beyond, including the Ural Mountains of Russia, where she has taught. She travels widely through teaching and cultural exchanges, and once led women writers to South Africa to meet with South African Writers.

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