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Nicole and Her Shadow by Helen Redman
Nicole and Her Shadow by Helen Redman

More, more
the need to create
Beauty

Surging, pushing, pulsing
through me

I am just beginning labor

Labor to birth
Birth that which is and lies
Within.

I want to write, write, write
and write

‘til I’ve filled all the pages
in my mind
‘til

‘til every space of whiteness is

BLACK

Black, dark
birthing womb of
my mind,
color of the night sky

Wings of the Raven

Black

Witch’s Cloak
Blood is almost black
dry

border and center

all is black

©Nicole Barchilon, 1980

Witch Hunt

photo by Francesca Woodman, of Blessed memory.
photo by Francesca Woodman, of Blessed memory.

So I am caught I see
b
etween what I am
a
nd should be.

There is nowhere to hide.
The woods
are no longer big enough.
I emerge from sanctuary to
discover Superhighway.

There is no need to burn me.
The tarred roads are hot enough.
They singe my soul
and consume my roots.

There is no escape
and nowhere to escape to.
I am burning up now.
Watch me become

Ash.

©Nicole Barchilon age 18, 1982

i’m aware

Painting by Helen Redman (my mother). That's me in her tummy and my father behind her, summer 1964.
Painting by Helen Redman (my mother). That’s me in her tummy and my father behind her, summer 1964.

i’m aware

down to the roots
in my guts

of all the
twisting arguments

you use

to justify
the rape, the murder, the bombing
the constant torture
of the sacred earth and her people

there are no explanations which suffice

there is only my rage, my hurt
and my anguished cry
echoing through

the day,
the laundry blowing on the line,
the broken bloody finger laying by itself
somewhere not too far off from where
your “justifiably” executed and
perfect mission placed it

any woman bloodied by violence
any man desperate to feed his family
or child forced to play in gutters of slime

is a reminder

of the men in glass rooms with big chairs
who discuss the fate of the world
as if they didn’t live in it
or have children who might
actually grow up in this
their plotted, planned and rotten

nightmare

© Nicole Barchilon Frank 2/14/91
(the day the U.S. bombed an Iraqi shelter, killing hundreds of innocent men, women and children)

Climate Changes

Atlas Mountains: Oukmaiden, Morocco, one mile from my Uncle BB's home, April 9, 2013, photo by Nicole Barchilon Frank
Atlas Mountains: Oukmaiden, Morocco, one mile from my Uncle BB’s home, April 9, 2013, photo by Nicole Barchilon Frank

There is no comfort in the geologic record.”

We are the whimsy of Gd’s blink.

I may feel the warmth and roundness of my children’s bodies.
I may feel my husband’s tongue deep inside me and all around me.
I may feel the sunset in the singing of my blood.

I cannot know when I will die, or when my children shall.
I can love every day.
I can make mistakes over and over and over again.
I can complain,
and I do.

The clock ticks
marking what?

Time,

who is counting the seconds,
who can count them?

When will I know I’ve arrived?

Is there anything more than my attempts at connection?
I’m listening.
I’m here.

I’m comforted by his touch
by the sunset
by the taste of peaches
by the roses
bubble baths
my cat’s rough tongue

and my fountain pen.

Poem inspired by BBC report on the random and “unsurvivable” (for human life now) climate changes of this planet’s history. The reporter ended with the quote that starts the poem. © Nicole Barchilon Frank, 4 Av 5759, July 18, 1999