Karen Paul Holmes
I’ve been luckily enough to study with Thomas Lux, Dorriane Laux, Joseph Millar, Carol Ann Duffy (Poet Laureate of Great Britain), and others. And because I’m somewhat of a workshop and open mic junkie, I started a monthly critique group in Atlanta and a writers' night out in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I’m also lucky that my poetry collection, Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press, 2014) has been called “a courageous, deeply human book” and my poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, Poetry East, Atticus Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology V: Georgia (Texas Review Press), and many other places.
—to my separated husband
Is it still damp
or just cold,
this pillow you filled
Let me lay my face there
that I may absorb your sorrow.
Let me press my self into the still-warm place
where your body felt alone.
I will pull the blanket of your anguish over me
and remember this lesson
if there’s a next time.
How to Make Lemonade
Take your sour experience,
water it down with detached observation,
squeeze out bitterness through acceptance.
Add the sweetness of knowing it’s only life unfolding.
Balance your glass on the window sill between past
and future, fill with sparrow song, gardenias,
stones from an icy stream.
Drink in all the wisdom you can.
How to Undo a Kiss
slowly slide lips together, then
remove fingers from his hair
pull your body away
all poems from Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press, 2014)
©2015 Karen Paul Holmes