Catherine Chandler's Poetry Blog

Monday, June 11, 2012


I'm pleased to announce that The Innisfree Poetry Journal has accepted my rondeau, "Heartwood", for publication in its Fall 2012 issue.

The poem was inspired by a woman I saw at a nursing home in Pennsylvania. She was "parked" in the hallway and spent her days with a blanket over her head.

When the poem is published I'll post a link to it here.

Thursday, June 7, 2012



a bush warbler sings                                         
beside the snowmelt river                                             
through mist-muffled air                                    


white shoes, handkerchiefs                               
first tea on the balcony             
an evening rainbow        


courtesy of

river of heaven                                                 
stars flow out across the night                           
gathering lanterns                                    



in a withered field                                                         
she seeks forgotten flowers                                          
dreams of camellias                                


© Catherine Chandler (2012)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The poet as cartonero, the cartonero as poet


In remembrance of Charles Beaudelaire

His is an art of foraging for rags,
for scrap and speck, for smithereen and shard,
for snippets gathered up in bales and bags
straining to hold what tidy lives discard.
He drags his pickings home, capotes, mégots,
an old écu, a button or a key;
then fashions sonnets and the odd rondeau,
master of a dubious alchemy.

So, blessed be the boy who banks, at best,
his smoldering fires of fancy with the fuel
of sensibility; and in his call
to be the city’s ragman, may his quest
permit a vision that transcends the pool
of vomit, to the flower in the wall.

( © Catherine Chandler. A different version was first published in Umbrella, Summer 2007, and nominated for "Best of the Net")

Monday, June 4, 2012

"In Nora's Garden"

Photographer: Jon Sullivan (public domain photograph)

A blog comment on my poem, "In Nora's Garden".   

I won't reveal what caused "Nora's" change of heart. Suffice it to say, her garden provides some semblance of order out of personal chaos, a hedge against what Emily Dickinson called "that White Sustenance — Despair".