2 Poems

No Halo

Not supposed to write

poems about angels,

so my writing teacher says.

No sunsets, roses, rainbows, doves.

Hard realism, he says

but I like angels.

Grievous, fallen, tarnished,

those flying too close to the ground

the quirky ones,

those hunky warrior types.

I love them all, like this one

I found today in the second hand shop

on the shelf marked “damaged goods”.

Serene, exquisitely so,

and I could find nothing wrong

till I turned her upside down

and read on the base

angel with no halo.

Whatever she’d done

to lose her halo, it was nothing

I hadn’t done too, or at least

seriously considered. Damaged goods?

Who isn’t?


Hawks don’t mate in late summer,

yet there they are, courting,

talons locked in free-fall

spinning down

through the fierce blue heat

of this August afternoon.

I’ve been watching the birds soaring

so high they’re hardly more than specks,

yet still their wild cries chill

an old, feathered part of my heart

and, though my eyes strain to watch,

I can’t turn away as higher and higher

the hawks circle, till at the fall,

that whirling gyroscope of reckless seconds,

I am stunned by the raw power

of what we, in our safe little world,

can barely comprehend.

At breakaway I imagine

a furious dance of feathers

splitting the heated air, and then

up and up the lovers ascend,

further than my small eyes can see,

out beyond – to where only angels

are permitted to love.