Thursday, 13 August 2020

Voices Abroad 1



Voices in the Coalshed reaches out beyond mining and its history to include a variety of voices. They may not have anything to say directly about coal mining, but the industry is just one part of the wider world.  The present pandemic has demonstrated all too vividly how closely connected we all are.

Here are three poems in a voice from Alaska - Kersten Christianson, welcome to the Coalshed.


Alignment of the Chakras


It’s June and my Throat Chakra

opens to sing to fingers eager

to type love poems, their words

captured from the wind, the tips

of an errant raven feather flipping

abandonment in the yard, the rebirthed

petals of raging violet rhododendron. 


Words like heartfelt, connection,

and We need to figure this out flit,

cut wake through sleep, and even

the June moon, the Strawberry

Moon, is romantic in her roundness

and name.  Both Sacral and Third

Eye Chakras argue for levity; one


for potential and if, the other

a reminder of distance and time.

But it’s that tricky Heart – she’s

fickle, demanding, hopeful. She

is plain in her language and shies

of woo.  Never has the written

word been easier.





“How now, Balthasar? How fares my Juliet?” – Romeo


In waking, you roll into another rusty

pandemic morning. Like a minor

character in any inconvenient plague,

your iPhone, a modern Balthasar,  you

dredge social media outlets for some sweet


morsel of optimism, anything to hitch

your hopeful wagon to, even a star,

but without the stench of an idiot

president, fallout still lacking a vaccine,

unmasked masses by choice, a million


broken hearts in the wake.  Sometimes

the peel is more fortuitous than the fruit. 

Sometimes, all it takes is an otter

juggling stones.  A blanched moose

jawbone hosting wild geraniums


in their short, season of sweaty dance

under hyperborean sun.  This morning,

you peruse the airbrushed photos

of celebrity marriages boasting partner

age differences of 15 years or more. 


Sir Elton John sagely advises,

You take it one day at a time.  And this

is rope ladder enough to pad barefooted

downstairs, humming “Rocketman,”

to start the midmorning coffee.




Bawdy Muse



Might well be



Shiny star

Sister: Thigh,

wine, bed crumbs



for stanzas

sloppy men


                                Kersten Christianson



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