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"Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard." Anne Sexton 

Heather Brager is a critically acclaimed juggler of calamity, an accomplished procrastinator, and shuffler of idioms. Her poetry and drawings can be found in various digital and print journals around the globe, and on the web.  She currently resides in New England and prefers the precipice of where the Atlantic meets the sand to the official looking office where she spends most of her time. 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Within time.

their bones were hollow, fragile

perfectly placed within
situated geometry
their skin tender, thickened by moments
layered in growth, within
the stability sawn short

they once alighted the branches
from heights, prospecting
within a realm of ticks
situated clocks

their thoughts were hollow, breakable

forming consecutive rings
within which, human fingers
situated sounds
hastily, they cut through
the wind and their wings

drifted to the bottom, broken

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pollination management.

behind the picket fence is a quaint little cottage
suitably surrounded by the loveliest of gardens

moss cobbled paths edged with fragrant gardenias
sweet double roses, clematis and petunias

butterflies, birds and the bees are a-flutter
in a delicate humming that personifies summer

but inside the cottage the caretaker is weeping
for her life is a shambles and her fabric needs basting

she’s run out of butter with no offer of balm
this hymning and hawing has her feeling forlorn

through the windows she sees only grime on the panes
her irises are muddied and her mirror is blank

the honey crystallized while she waited on the clock
and locks on the gate have since rusted shut

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Land and no escape.

so, the layers of the view
from the window, broken down
a tree, stark branches

(but that lovely dip near the elbow)
and the shallow roots
in this climate, that climate
leaning, how could it do anything but

silhouetted against
a shade of perfect, mango sky
and quite content watching time pass
and from this direction
the sun was setting (always setting)

beyond, an empty
and never-ending stretch
measured by telephone poles

crosses held up by strings
(her mind followed them
to the contented homes
she would never see)

in the distance
a range of lonely mountains
mingling with subtle clouds
that (for a moment) overlapped

and she scanned the emptiness
the crosses and the tree
and back through the glass
to the pen in her hand, and thought
(as ink on the page)

though part of the same landscape
and covered by an umbrella sky
inevitably, they each stood alone

Friday, April 16, 2010

Are we having fun yet?

I don’t know how to behave, she says
white linen napkin in her lap
red lipstick on the rim of her glass

I don’t know how to filter my thoughts, he says
a conversation in the back of his mind
noting the temperature of her pending ignition

I don’t know how these things go, she thinks
his fingers stroking her hot palms
and her tongue navigating his lower lip

I don’t know where this is going, he thinks
and fickle paths are rerouted
to accommodate his recurring past

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

In a jar on the shelf.

behind the glass
he could almost make it out

the figure was organic
distorted and imprecise

shaped through
opalescent translucence

he could almost trace
the curves and bends

his eyes moistened to the light

his fingers barely
glanced the surface

cool to the touch
the camber wavered softly

convex like his chest
it was a blockade

though at times
with perfect earthly glow

like an apparition in sunlight

Saturday, April 10, 2010


somewhere in the depths
of space and time
a moon orbited an isolated planet

she did not choose to be attached
by the invisible tether
she simply revolved there
drawn by a force inexplicable

she affected the tides, she pushed the winds

but over time, her momentum slowed
and little by little
she was released into vastness
drifting into quiet, unlit space

and the planet was not disturbed

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Conversation with a six year old.

“I want to be 100 years old”
and my reply is “someday you may”
my voice reminding my mind
that he is only six years old
and I was six once, barefoot
picking wild strawberries
along the ditch, swatting mosquitoes
with pink fingertips

and he nods in understanding
while I explain that people die every day
accidents, falls and disease,
their bodies weakened by old age
he pauses and shrugs, reminding me
that he is six years old
for but a brief moment

he is young and I will never be again,
so I wait for him to ask the inevitable

“what happens when you die”
and it’s my turn to shrug
reminding myself
that I don’t know anything

and he tells me with a wry grin
that he wants to come back as a falcon

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mystery dissolved.

an instant offers a volume of language
the rapid blink of the eyes

condensed, cataloged and magnified

like an unsolved powder, tipped into a glass
half full, or half punch drunk

and a finger slowly dipped and swirled
pink with novelty, then blue from affect

an instant suggests a finite degree
one in a million samples, pulsing in harmony

a tongue seductively tasting the atrophy
while pictures revolve, with hasty possibility

of reality, of fault, of regret

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Final velocity.

the room echoes staccato
heels clack to the floor with
the urgency of mitigation
against her breasts

if the walls released and crumbled
oxygen could rush forth
and the detectable vacuum
would vibrate her mind loose
of the agonizing pause

it’s just a moment of time
and acceleration by definition
is neither fast nor slow
but fragments
within the continuum

the room echoes staccato
and she opens the door