A poem: Blank Is

Blank Is

Blankness. What is blank behind you?
Stillness, rage, blank. On and on. Blank fear.
Lid on, eyes open blind, blank.
Bars rattling, chains breaking blank apart.
Sign torn, smeared blank. Long ago.
A boot on the neck, blank.
On the stomach, on the head. Blank.
A crack swallowed. Blankness, how are you?
Do you know? Blank is blank, is hiding under the rug.
Inside wrinkles and fingers licking wounds.
Blankness, a necessary impediment. Blank.
Be careful what you scrape blank. Truth.
A whole life to feel, to love, to blank.
Possible for some but not. Blank.

Laura McHale Holland
Jan. 21, 2014

Copyright  ©  2014 by Laura McHale Holland



A reflection by Laura with a way cool poem by Moira Kathleen

11.23.versions.photoSometimes I feel like a bloated computer file stuffed with too many variations of the same old story. Other times I’m like a youngster again watching Jiminy Cricket sing When You Wish Upon a Star on the Walt Disney Show. But I wonder whether I’ve been wishing upon the wrong star, chasing something illusive, unattainable.

Typhoons and tornadoes rip across the landscape in far off lands and closer to home. Cars crash. Fires break out, consuming homes in a flash. Any of us could lose everything in an instant, or our lives could dribble away slowly.

I worry about all of this way too much, I know.

imageBut occasionally I’ll do something routine that shifts my perspective—like yesterday, I took a shower, toweled off and rubbed a new brand of vanilla lotion all over my skin. The scent reminded me of a poem my daughter wrote when she was 10 years old.

It was selected for the Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans, 1997 edition.

I looked through a book shelf near my bed and found the slender volume. I’d forgotten how wonderful the poem is. I hope I never forget again. It reminds me of the power of giving and receiving everyday, constant love—and what an honor it is to be my daughter’s mom:









My Mom
By Moira Kathleen Holland

My mom is as beautiful as the sunset
She smells like a bundle of new roses
She loves to garden and write
When I wake up in the morning
she smells like vanilla
My mom has a dancing heart
I love her very much
I think she is a child wrapped
in a grown-up’s body


Copyright  ©  2013 by Laura McHale Holland



Looking through the blinds

looking through the blinds
by Laura McHale Holland

IMG_1006lower branches shorn
the redwood stands
beside brick, steel, glass
high above the building
the tree is whole
made to last
it will outlive
our desks, computers
smartphones, copiers, deadlines
we are but blips
looking through the blinds
at eternity

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Photo by Laura McHale Holland


The day

imagesSince it’s National Poetry Month, I thought I should write at least one poem. I began with “the day is” and took off from there. I will welcome your thoughts, and if you’d like to share a poem that begins with “the day is” or begins with something else, please paste it into a comment. Click on the title to this post if you don’t see a comment area below.

the day
by laura mc hale holland

the day is a love letter
run-on moments punctuated
by breezes, shadows, whispers, sighs
crumpled by engines, exhaust
discarded curly fries
torn by jets soaring
the message, so tender, falls, hits landfill
unrequited love, blighted
it turns, turns through the night
until composted, reconstituted
the day opens anew at dawn
trying again to speak again
for love again

Picture of sunrise from meg-moir.com.


Beyond tomorrow

beyond tomorrow

by laura mchale holland

two dinner plates
two towels in the dryer
two sets of keys
two parents memorizing
one pair of sandals
left behind

one young woman
driving south
dreams burning fears
just beyond tomorrow


Celebrating the equinox

It’s the vernal equinox tomorrow, when night and day are approximately equal in length. I like the balance of that. And I like knowing it’s something ancestors of many ancient tribes now disbursed throughout the world, who never imagined such a thing as a blog, noted and celebrated well. I’m going to have coffee with Claire Blotter while listening to her read a few poems while looking out over the glistening San Francisco Bay. A good way to celebrate.


Are they waiting?

Here’s a poem I just wrote.

Are they waiting?
By Laura McHale Holland

Are they waiting in rays of sunlight
kissing the ivy that creeps
across the courtyard?

When I sleep,
do they peek in my refrigerator
straighten album pictures
check on my daughter
pet the dog?

Forever suspended
do they ask
what might have been?

Would they have danced the Watusi,
campaigned for George McGovern
joined the Peace Corps?

What scars would have
etched their skin?

What songs would they
have sung
to me,
my brothers and sisters
never born
to a mother
who choked
her breath
with a rope
long ago