Open Mic Blog

Two Sonnets from West Virginia Poet: Colleen Anderson

Posted on April 5, 2009 at 8:45 AM



All-but-invisible typography ---

upper and lower case, ampersands

like curling vines --- the way his hands

are letterpressed in the pulp of memory,

the way his voice coils in the fibered square

without so much as a whisper, not a word

or a lover's sigh, only the flat, furred

surface.Tabula rasa. Nothing there.

You use it for a list of Things to Do

Tomorrow, in that other life you lead,

the one in which you hardly ever need

to think of him. (You think he thinks of you

the same way: translucent, white on white.

He lifts you up. He holds you to the light.)


Originally published in Arts & Letters



*Transplanting Ferns


For over twenty years we have been friends

and enemies and friends again. We four

have coupled and uncoupled, now, in more

configuations than the various fronds

on all these different types of ferns. My hands,

crumbling clods and sifting earth to pour

around the knotted roots, have met with your

hands, and in such diversity of bonds,

they cannot be uncoiled in memory,

but spread beneath our lives, a raveled skein

of joy and sorrow, each of us aware

of something growing that we cannot see.

Our talk is comfortable. "It looks like rain."

"That would be good." This is a kind of prayer.


Originally published in The WPFW Poetry Anthology


Colleen Anderson is a writer, songwriter, and designer in Charleston, West Virginia. 

See more of her work at

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Reply Dolores
10:55 AM on April 7, 2009 
I've always enjoyed Collen's work and I especially love these two poems. Your website gets better and better. The poetry each day reminds us (those who forget sometimes) of it force, its beauty, it unnameable effect within and without us. I also loved the pieces by the Irish poet.
Reply laura7
9:53 PM on April 7, 2009 
Thanks, Delores! The power of poetry is something I want to live with each day.
Reply Christina
12:38 PM on April 8, 2009 
Just beautiful!
Reply Jeff Mann
9:26 AM on April 11, 2009 
Well done, MIzz Colleen! Sonnets are challenging fun.