Three Poems by Marianne Brems

sc june 18


Silence is a hole to be filled,
or not filled
in a personal hive of pockets.
Sound is the filler
that occupies the hole
like salt in a cellar.
Silence is the vessel
that holds the sound
folded in its arms,
or nestles, satisfied
to feel the quiet
of a lone fish in a dark pool.

Ashes then Ashes

We stood on the prairie, my sisters and I.
the same spot where our father’s ashes
had come to live eighteen years ago,
a good long time for them to mingle
with grubs and centipedes
and other earthly neighbors
to call out to us from their sanctuary
deep within the Mother of mothers.

It was our mother’s wish that her remains
answer this call from the prairie,
to trickle freely into the earth,
home to the chicory, bee balm,
and coneflower she adored,
their spirits merging
into a confluence of earthly energy.

In the gathering darkness,
I bury my hand in our mother’s ashes
with freezing fingers,
longing to absorb the breadth of her humanity.
As the granules slide from my grasp,
some linger,
unwilling to forsake my reverent hand.
I reach inside my sleeve
to rub these lonely fragments into my skin.

The Night Sky

Far from the city lights
the night sky feels endless.
Without glimmering towers or
a distant swell of urban radiance
to punctuate the blackness,
it blends seamlessly into the horizon,
no delicate membrane
or shift in texture
to separate the two,
an unlimited shadow it seems,
though of course it is not so.
For shadows cover only halves of things
while the other halves stay bright,
Darkness without a counter light
withers with indifference,
like Yin without Yang.

Marianne Brems has an MA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She is a long time writer of nonfiction and her publications include textbooks in her teaching area of English as a Second Language and several trade books. Her poetry is often whimsical and she has a special interest in writing poems that exhibit a strong sense of place. She lives in Northern California.