February 27, 2019

The Poetry of the Prolific Mercedes Lawry

The Poetry of the Prolific Mercedes Lawry

A Woman Who Paints

Saturated sky, two figures but
a suggestion near a yellow blush
of wheat. The eye regards, senses
the repetition of hours, a trajectory
of absence, a pause. What
collection of brushstrokes emerges
from this woman, dismissed or chided,
discouraged or sick of the moon’s
romantic lies. To choose this rounded
shape, smear of viridian, she braves
the tyranny of time and place,
her children and the hungry
house, all that love regrets.
When she paints, she is between
ellipses, melds hand and eye,
draws in the gases of the sun,
exhales this field, empty of wind,
and these two who might be toiling
or traveling or devoted.


intention of roots
down and around
earth seethes invisibly,
a conjunction of hunger
the knowing of tree
to tree, beyond a pale, cream sky
the wind is emphatic
leaves, unanchored,
blood red to dun brown,
become a handful of flakes
mingled with bird wing
and seed, November’s pulse of loss

I Revisit Grief

The riven hours. I claw through
thorns, what time’s become,
a sentence, a punishment.
Unwanted breaths. I go on
unwilling, heavy with tree
limbs, the press of sodden leaves.
Piercing moments. Unexpected,
the music, the shoes, the gifts,
the saddle of the brooding moon.
Rupture. Impossible to mend.
Stray threads found anywhere
untoward, sometimes curled in rage.

Sight Unseen

A vestige of color at the edge of what I think I see. Slight dissolution of light, enough to prick the imagination at the same time flash on eye damage, brain hiccup, synapse out of sorts, what dizzy definitions, creative or neural. We see or think we see, remember wildly and conjure truth as it suits our narrative. What else fumbles in this room with me and the ticking clock? What else spears memory like a shrike? What else parallels my head at angle, eyes which move from window to green wall, from book to the yellow coat on the chair?


Mercedes Lawry has published poetry in such journals as Poetry, Nimrod, and Prairie Schooner, and three chapbooks. Nominated for a Pushcart four times, her manuscript “Small Measures” is forthcoming from Twelve Winters Press. She’s also published short fiction, essays as well as stories and poems for children.

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