Monday, February 2, 2009

Trisha Hart, October 2, 2008

From the beginning of “Musings,” I’ve wanted to include poetry by local students alongside work by major local poets. When the major local poet (who shall remain nameless) that was supposed to send me work for this segment of the series failed to do so, I saw it as an opportunity to print some student poetry and let everyone know that we are open to work from college and high school students in the area.

The most brilliant person I’ve ever met was a student at a community college. So, it came as no surprise to me when last year in a community college classroom, I encountered perhaps the most promising student poet I’ve ever come across. Trisha Hart’s work was different from the usual fare in a beginning creative writing class from day one. Her poems were spare and understated but full of vivid imagery that staved off the sentimental while hinting at the fountain of emotion residing just below the surface of her words.

Trisha is a native of these parts, and still takes classes at Catawba Valley Community College. When I teach creative writing in the spring, I hope she’ll be there again. I’m not in the least surprised that her work has already found numerous outlets, having been published in Dead Mule and Sanctuary, and read aloud at Poetry Hickory and on WHKY’s First Talk Show with Hal Row. The three poems reprinted here attest to her developing mastery of the techniques of contemporary poetry.

The Ocean Speaks
I am an ocean and I will come back to you
Again and again…
I embrace the land with breaking arms,
Falling forward to offer my songs into wind,
Drawing back into myself to begin again.
Time comes and goes in echoes.
My yearning crashes into landscapes all day,
And I am sentenced to continue on.
To change the shape of that face that meets me!
To come alive again and feel the breath of my existence;
To stumble into wind and extend myself into distance!
There are no words to uncover me- for I have swallowed them all,
Drowning daybreaks, teardrops, sunsets.
I have felt the face of the moon upon my heart when it aches.
I have caught the falling of the night in one long drink.
My waters shiver in their own immensity,
Tossing and turning in restless sleep.
My memory lies open.
I have searched for you within myself for years,
Lost beyond my fingers’ froth.
I have seen everything that happens.
Still I wait emptying myself over and over
Looking for the one treasure I lost and could not recover.
I stay anchored firmly in the past,
Unable to escape myself when you leave.
So, as you go your way into dry land, do not forget.
I will always be here echoing one song:
What once was will come again;
What once was will come again.
Inside the Glass
Unbroken walls
of sober silence surround us,
hazy clouds
of hanging sorrow.
Through the glass
no one touches us.
haunt our halls.
You, stumbling
on the stair, stranger,
we knew you once.
Who are you now
when the floor rushes up
to meet you? Love climbs
in a wave against you.
The tide pulls you away.
You direct our days
to a boundless hunger,
awaken hurt that slept
frozen in our bones,
silent hours
of tear-stained fears,
unfinished anger.
We live our pain in echoes,
blocking passage to your well.
This house is hollow
and our hearts
In October

Shadows crept
through my back door,
stole summer from my hand,
left pieces
scattered by wind,
caught a firefly and lost it,
swam into night
leaving only the dark.

"Musings" is a weekly column featuring original poetry by Hickory-area writers or others giving readings of their work in the area. Submissions to "Musings" should be sent in the body of an email to Scott Owens at Please include a photo (jpeg) and a biography of 50 words or less with your submission. Previously published work is acceptable, but please include information about that publication with your submission. 2008 Visiting Writer at CVCC, Scott Owens is the author of four books of poetry, co-editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review, and coordinator of the Poetry Hickory reading series, held the second Tuesday of each month at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse. See more of his work at

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