Caroline Misner

Rooster in a Cemetery

He is at home here, behind the spiky iron fence,
scabbed with rust, that entwines this pulsing
garden gone to ruin.

His plumage gleams as though hammered from tin,
his spiky comb, held high like a scarlet sceptre,
bobs in cadence to his strut.

He is immune to the aura of grief that surrounds
this place, drilling the sultry morning air
with the point of his beak.

The soil is too soft to bury the dead, they repose
in stone crypts, piled two or three high in some places,
that house their stilled bones.

A marble lamb with eyes eroded over time
marks the grave of a child.  Even the name
has long since gone.

Water fills the imprints left by his talons.
the spongy earth has much to spare.  Flowers
of cheap silk or bargain bin

plastic bloom between the stones.  Only the weeds
are real. He strums them with his talons
like the strings of a mandolin.

Wildflowers of purple and white mingle in the grasses
that bow at his knees as though hoisting
themselves from rabbit holes.

A warm wind tries the irony of the silent mourning.
If he caws I will not answer him. I will
leave him to his peace.


Greetings one and all and welcome to my brand new website!  Please bear with me  portraitI work on filling its pages with news and musings. Being technologically challenged, it may take a while to work out some of the glitches and I hope to have it finished within the next few weeks.  In the meantime, please feel free to browse through the archives and have a look at some of my work.  I've been writing poetry ever since I could remember and I've decided to include a section of Juvenilia in the archives.  Most of the poems listed there were written in my early teens and many of them are just plain awful!  But a few gems do stand out and I hope you enjoy them.  Also, if you would like to know more about me and the work I do, please feel free to click on "About".  There I have posted a brief biography of myself.  I'm not trying to be falsely modest, but I really loathe bragging about myself.  I feel an author's work should stand on its own merits and where an author was born or where she lives or what she eats for breakfast are completely irrelevant.

I would also be remiss if I didn't included a big Thank You! to my oldest son, Kevin, who with a friend designed this website for me and programmed it so that even I could manage it.  And another big Thank You! goes to my dear father Jan Kurz, who was in on it the whole time and provided the stunning photography behind the text of the daily poem.  And another big Thank You! goes out to all the editors, publishers and fellow writers who have supported me and my work over the years and gave me a chance when I needed it, including a Journey Prize nomination and two Pushcart Prize nominations!

"...And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt."
--Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)