• Gerri Leen

Selected Poetry by Gerri Leen



Photo Source: EVG Photos


Catsplay



You mesmerize me

Your fidgets

Your squeaks

I watch you

More than you realize

Licking my chops

Wanting more than this

Unrequited longing

Through a glass

Nimble bird of a man

Tempting in your flashes

Of brilliance

Sometimes the cardinal

I chirrup for

Sometimes the hawk

That makes me flinch

Will you see me?

Will I get you?

Will this window

Always separate us?

Off you go

My purr turns to a hiss

Some birds mate for life

Do you?




The Neighborhood at Night


First nights in my new house

Roaming through rooms in the dark

No streetlights to brighten

Corners like at the apartment

Just porch lights, always on

The fronts of the neighbors lit up

Even mine, an intense blue-white

Probably irritates everyone

But bright bulbs leave no shadows

And I live alone

Toes sink into new carpet

Cats following as we learn this new

Topography. Our world suddenly so big

Three stories, so many rooms, but yet

It feels small, it feels cozy

Never more so than when

Everyone else is asleep around us

No cars go too fast down

A street made to be sleepy

No dogs barking, no saws buzzing

Just the reassuring

hum and chirr of crickets

Of frogs and cicadas

And sometimes the scream of a fox

One night a litter of kits, playing on the

Neighbor's porch

I've seen the sun rise

from these windows

Pulled covers over me like some

Suburban vampire

Cherry-wood blinds hold back the light

Morning commuters whiz by

Lulling me to sleep

All safe, all sound

Everyone knows:

bad things come at night

Someone should keep watch

Even if it's migraine making me

Pace the halls, roaming like

A revenant in the moonlight

And not some sense of honor

Or community

I'm not the neighborhood watch

But whatever the reason I'm up

I imagine I know the nighttime

Version of our street better

Than my day-treading neighbors

Who comes, who goes, which lights

Stay on, which go out

In the quiet time, the silent hours

The time most people sleep




Put Your Mind to It



The snow bites as it lands on my skin

The air is crisp and new

I shovel my drive, the task not urgent

No work to get up for in the morning

I do this because I choose to

Not because I have to

Each slide of the shovel

across the asphalt

Sounds different

A dusting near the garage door scrapes less

Than deeper snow

at the bottom of the drive

Where it all collects

I note the warmth of my hat

The sweat on my hair

The soft tickle of the shearling boots

Wear them barefoot to stay warm

So strange in winter, but it works

My glasses slip down

My nose drips

I feel alive in a way I never do inside

Pushing this snow around

Cleaning my space

Seeing my cat watching me through the door

“Whatcha doin’?”

I murmur nonsense to him

Not caring if the neighbors hear

This is my world

This is my house

This is my time

This is my path

This is my snow

And I will clean my drive

With the whole of my being

While I listen to the sounds of

My neighbor across the street

The wind blowing stinging snow

The click as the motion light goes off

The soft cry from a lonely cat indoors

And the scrape, scrape, scrape

Of my shovel, creating a safe space

Black asphalt emerging

Before the snow can turn to ice




Terraforming



It's a scar

On the land

That we ride over

Packed-down sand

Mixing with red clay

An adhoc motocross

During the afternoon

An illegal drag race

At night

Now, in the early morning

A place for secret meetings

Drug dealers or lovers

If they don't mind dust

We mind dust

This mare and I

When it's caused by tires

Instead of scouring winds

We hate the relentless

Growl of motors

The thump-thump bass

Of overly ambitious

Mufflers and speakers

Blasting out well past

The area of the carnage

This place used to

Be full of peace

Now they've ripped it

To finely packed shreds




Gerri Leen is a Pushcart-nominated poet from Northern Virginia. She has poetry published in: Eye to the Telescope, Star*Line, Dreams & Nightmares, Songs of Eretz, Polu Texni, NewMyths.com, Neo-Opsis and others. She also writes fiction in many genres (as Gerri Leen for speculative and mainstream, and Kim Strattford for romance) and is a member of HWA and SFWA. Visit gerrileen.com to see what else she's been up to.