Three Poems
Rebecca Lilly

Crooked Mirror

“When I focus on my pupils in the bath mirror, the oval frame, in my peripheral vision, appears crooked.”
—from a meditation manual


mirrored      clouds               now

virtual                  glitter       their

idyll                      the first person

how is it wind                  patterns

homeward                the dry shine

barbarous                        hung up

rounded out                    to climb

beyond small self’s            ovoid

interplanetary                      rock?


the mirror’s                    bone light

mimes                      a witchcrafted

blue dust                              ill-luck

broken             seven times       why

a guest asks                    once upon

a time                the sphinx answers:

humanity!                        your mind

experiments             in swamp slime

moss                   bracken       briars


a skeletal                                   tall

man’s             silhouette       breaks

the enchantment                 confess!

strange attractor                   of self-

sense                   sun-silvered basin

faint perfume                   of shavers

blood-warmed                         a gilt

compass            lost              an oval

framed                colossal hardwood


a sparky                            bottomless

frisson                               dust devils

blurred                        blued sediment

the trials of                                  years

gliding                     through filaments

gestalts’                                    artifice

an absence                                without

light        bends                      blinkered

spinning                     casts of gradients


bubbles touch                        universes

spooky hunches                              one

bursts                            horizons above

rubbed                   reflections             a

hand                slams               a cabinet

rattles                               the bath drips

Never wish for much                    a spy-

glass            ten thousand things          a

dragon’s isle                              chimera


Quartz Crystal


Catch it if you can!               a cold

white world                   we were in

reckoning                       never miss

detached                          the angels

of snow men               shearing half

the sticks                            westerly

the wind                    hits you like a

“yellow bitch”             folkname for

sun’s                   seven-mile wallop

wind-catcher!                     that aura

a strange                                 fit of

passion                        in its innards


smeared glass                   the bottle

broken                       with messages

in gravel                      its short spits

iced water                      trammeling

once upon                    a              be-

ginning                        sun-glimpsed

granite islands                   an under-

tow         of cobalt                 known

parallels                          white holes

the dead know                  the worlds

outside                       black sparrows

the shortest path                   by stone


lost     cities                         of crystal

lives            a previous             calling

once           upon                       a time

often       I     thought                   who

comes                        into        oneself

just                        doing        nothing?

blue sol                                its     one

moment                                       rises

whether                           or           not

ponderable                                     the

one               only                            of

each      small                        ultimate


Failing at Easy Origami


this crepe paper                    origami

kit                   I construct       myself

a   startled                       resurrection

puncturing      mind’s                  eye-

let             pressing on              jingles

sifting    down                          to dust

studied          still                   whether

rarified                                    or   not

the      childhood                   cumulus

folded      in                         short cuts

of    clips                                 nose-to

dirt                                the woodlands …


mummified                             the bird

spells     travesty                   choosing

the                         one-legged      frog

the pond                           it    jumps in

nevermore                                        its

burial                                   in red mud

gravity-spun                             circuits

of words                           writ      large

burning                        in    earthworks

a birth song                                 dawn

shut            within                              a

lisp                     touchless              lost

ocher               frog                        dove

from   grunge rock                    window-

sill                sun                scissoring on


the problem                          not    being

of rock                                  or   surface

solids                          they     crept    on

a frog’s     lily                                  just

pleats               crimps                     now

eyeless                                   creaturely

beginning                                  as       if

paper         trailed                         secret

folds                              of tethered feet


the windowsill                            cleaves

the mist                                   deepening

valleys                             a homecoming

the alcove                                 its far end

along        what                             creases

the wings, feet                         all of them

the lighted       sill’s                     antiques

dust              traces                            dead

flies       but                      with real wings

Writer and photographer Rebecca Lilly’s most recent book of poetry is Elements of a Life (Red Moon Press).