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.
Might well be
wine, bed crumbs