Poet’s Corner: Pseudo Tsunami, The Way Lies Snarled In Creepers, Does The Bird Have Buddha Nature?

Here is the latest installment of Poet’s Corner, presented by the Edmonds-based EPIC Poetry Group

Pseudo Tsunami

There is excitement in blaring terrible news:
ALERT! The children stolen away! ALERT!
The silver-haired driving to the past! ALERT!
ALERT! Stay away from the surging shoreline!

Wild to court disaster out of a tepid life,
immediately we all walk down to the quay
in a close-knit sweater of purling fog
to see a high tide lower than the one last week.

Like everyone else, the sea became exhausted
before it could compel us with rage,
with a temper tantrum worthy of the gods.
It lulled about and compliantly licked the rocks.

No one was killed.
Not even a basement filled.

Kristina Stapleton

~ ~ ~ ~

Does The Bird Have Buddha Nature?

That scrappy jay came back and back
to steal away each and every peanut.
I lay them daily on the railing for the whole

flock of croaking crows and yard-birds
but that single one who braved my nearness
at the window came and left, came and

left me to wonder again and again
where he hid his loot, too
greedy and determined to be scared.

When the nuts were gone I stood up
and the crows watching on the eaves
flew off in a trio of disgust.

Who knows if hearts’ desire, anxiety
or despair pound in the feathered chest
or if wisdom keeps its council at a distance.

Kristina Stapleton

~ ~ ~ ~

The Way Lies Snarled In Creepers

Wallpaper became the jungle vine it mimicked
and furnished the apartment with a labyrinth of flowers.

She listened to the hummingbird
as she hid behind a vase of tiger lilies
that showed a feline face with brandished whiskers.
The hummingbird whispers, “Do not run.
Butterflies protect you better than
any Gila monster or gremlin.”

Her life wove around in her dress
where music waved its ribbons on one side,
begging her to don her dancing shoes
and death by motherhood stalked her
on the other, sure as the story of the octopus
who sacrifices everything for its young.

Her mother came from Puerto Rico
and her father was a snake.
Conception hung like a decorative pearl
in the garden of possibilities.
She could swim away, half fish,
through the midnight arboretum now,

but then again, the train was just over
her shoulder, ready to take her away with
the man she stabbed with clear, perceptive eyes.
She held her dangerous bouquet
before her kissable mouth
like a protective shield of fanned blossoms.

The way slithered before her
as forked as the tongue of a serpent.

Kristina Stapleton

~ ~ ~ ~

Born in Seattle, Kristina Stapleton has always lived in Western Washington, most recently in Edmonds. She is retired from her grueling jobs in the printing industry and also para-education where she loved working with autistic and special needs children. She writes for pleasure and enjoys sharing her “secret life” through her poetry at the EPIC poetry group.  She is most recently published in Pandemic Poems, an anthology produced by Public Poetry/Houston available at Amazon.


  1. What marvelous lines: “Who knows if hearts’ desire, anxiety
    or despair pound in the feathered chest
    or if wisdom keeps its council at a distance.”
    I will think of those words every time I see the birds flying free near our home.

  2. Kristina:
    You are truly a master of understanding and utilizing the power and beauty of words. Your most definitely have the gift that makes a poet successful and that is the power of observation.
    Please continue to produce memorable works of poetry.

  3. I always love hummingbirds in poetry (really ALL birds), but I am reminded that “colibrí”, the word for hummingbird in Spanish, is one of the only remnants left of the pre-Columbian indigenous Caribbean cultures in places like Puerto Rico, so hummingbirds always make me a little sad.

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