Tide of Stars

Prayers at the shoreline to distant gods,
mantras and chants for mystery maker.
Dark matter ripples gently move her hair.

Evening storm retreats, trailing shocks strike
as parting clouds evaporate like dried tears
she cried once, for life’s loves, lives lost,

while tidal waves yawn on black horizon,
swallowing all with a smacking crash,
closing in upon her beach this night

until in dark consuming light she sees
tides of stars at her bare feet, collecting
along moondust sand with each lick of waves.

In her graceful aging youth, never to be old,
she smiles — the stars gathered in her palms
chime as diamonds might in a gathered dress

that flows along winds of time — which pauses.
One dainty swirl and scattered again, they fly…
in the distance, a shooting star aims for her heart.

~ Emily C.



Blackbird Song

when tears fall,
blackbirds fly.

I’ll know it’s you,
soaring high.

when tears fall,
they’ll never dry.

love drowns this
dying heart’s fire.

music beats in memory drops
darkness illuminated
in your fading light

demons faced, never fearing night
your words’ searing strength
coaxing dark into sight

when tears fall,
blackbirds fly.

I’ll know it’s you,
soaring goodbye.

when tears fall,
blackbirds cry.

I’ll know it’s you
singing goodbye.

when tears fall,
blackbird song dies.

I’ll know it’s you
soaring goodbye.

when tears fall, 
they’ll someday dry.

but only after my time
in your lingering light,

on this green earth

~ Emily C.


Like Father, Like Daughter

I feel like crying.

Some of you know my father is a retired professor of English at both the University of Washington, and a private high school for 30 plus years.  You may also know that I was named after Emily Dickinson.  You may also know, while I’ve always enjoyed writing, I only started writing poetry seriously about a year ago. (I have not taken poetry classes, and while I know a few famous poems and poets here and there, I have not deeply studied any poetry until recent months.)

Occasionally, I share a poem on FB.  Well, just now my dad messages me the following (and he NEVER messages me on FB):

“I have been really enjoying your poetry and photography. You have an eye, and an ear, and they give a depth and seriousness to your work. You are a true talent.

I think almost all your poems have a moment of genius, and that is pretty rare.  So I am not surprised that your readership is rising steadily. The funny thing is that I am not an unbiased reader! So you have to take my appreciation with a grain of salt, since what I see is colored by the fact that I love you as your father.

I try to make all my comments the product of my years of teaching and reading.”

And he’s only seen a handful.  This is my motivation to publish, for him.

And after all of the trauma of this year, his cancer and subsequent broken back which he is still recovering from, and my brother’s health crises…along with my health recovery, well, a little light is necessary for survival.

I have not heard back from the Poet Laureate yet, but this is a much better gift. The best of all.




so you think you can win me

with a sweaty roll of dice

that I’m a bet to be waged

on a warm summer’s night

that I am your door prize

or a stack of cold cash

who will wait until

you call me to come back

to throw whatever remnants

you’ve got left in your hands

that I’ll take half-assed attempts

at my rare heart’s passion

your pathetic pass

gambling on my love

I’m worth more than that

so pony up or run

~ Emily C.



This is in response to a tag for “roll the dice” by a friend on Instagram.

Enter Me ~ w/audio

Enter me

my ivied gates are open
wet with dripping morning dew
verdant and virgin new


see what’s my inside
my garden path awaits
your distinguished tastes

See me

with your eyes closed
explore depths unknown
feel what lies exclusively before


wide I offer my expanse
grow flowers from my lips
shine sun from my womb


long until songbirds call
we will tumble hard
we will free fall


our flesh on passion’s blanket
forgetting all but us, now
cushioned on a field of moans


as the new seed shoots in spring
I am your fertile ground in need
total bliss
in you
I receive


~ Emily C.