Karen Paul Holmes with dog

By Karen Paul Holmes:


A bare branch lounges
in my Adirondack chair
under the Japanese maple–
gray, elegant:
Comforting to me,
now without a husband,
a good omen
in my walled garden
cocooned by snow.


Time knows its lines
has spoken them
across our foreheads.
In this stage of living
we censor the critic,
applaud the comedy,
watch the script unfold.
Gravity plays upon
these bodies, while
souls move inward,
The star in me
celebrates the star in you.

“Visitor” first appeared in Town Creek Poetry. Today’s poems are from the collection Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press 2014) and appear here today with permission from the poet.

Karen Paul Holmes is the author of the poetry collection, Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press, 2014), which tells a story of loss and healing with a voice that “pushes readers forward into the unknown with confidence, precision, and empathy,” according to Poet Dorianne Laux. Karen received an Elizabeth George Foundation emerging writer grant in 2012 and was nominated for Best New Poets 2014. Publishing credits include Poetry East, Atlanta Review, Caesura, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Every Day Poems, The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol 5: Georgia, and Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems.

Editor’s Note: Today’s poems are full of dichotomies: simple and complex, small and epic. They contain all at once the quiet contemplation of nature, of meditation, of breath, yet their gentile reflectiveness is balanced precisely by the weight of a life lived. This is a life–and a poetry–as simple as a bare branch under a Japanese maple, yet as complex as the comfort of being “now without a husband,” and that being “a good omen.” This is a human experience as small as the lines time “has spoken… across our foreheads,” and as epic as the idea that “The star in me / celebrates the star in you.”

Want more from Karen Paul Holmes?
Blue Fifth Review
Amarillo Bay
See inside Untying the Knot

About Sivan Butler-Rotholz

Sivan is the Managing Editor of the Saturday Poetry Series on As It Ought To Be and holds an MFA from Brooklyn College. She is a professor, writer, editor, comic artist, and attorney emerita. She is also the founder of Reviving Herstory. Sivan welcomes feedback, poetry submissions, and solicitations of her writing via email at sivan.sf [at] gmail [dot] com.
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  1. Maya Elashi says:

    Nice, the poem(s)! On point, your commentary. And, as the poetess says, thank you for your constant, continual devotion to the Art and to Sharing Splendor with The World.

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