As I Grow Older…

It’s on my mind ALL the time.

As I grow older, who am I?

All those years ahead of me,

Stretch as far as I can dream.

Am I bold, or am I blind?

What will I do with my life?

Outcast, scholar, jester, friend…

Who will I be in the end?

There are forces, I assume,

That might stifle, might consume.

Like I’ve studied, like I’ve read,

Pressure folds. Pressure bends.

Of the mantles I will bear,

Which will buckle, smother, flare?

What will I have upon my plate–

Friction, fortune, love or hate?

Where will I be given strength

To face my fears and discontent…

Inner, outer, through the core,

Vigor, valor or rapport?

Who can know, predict, foresee,

Future selves, philosophies?

It’s on my mind ALL the time.

As I grow older, who am I?

-C. Green

(One of my core teachers asked me if she could share some of my poetry with her 5th graders as part of her poetry unit. I gave her a few accessible offerings and then offered to write a poem tonight to suit her/their needs. So this one’s about peer pressure, worry about the future and wondering about our future selves… all with a rhyme scheme of sorts, some good vocabulary, symbolism and a predictable rhythm they’d find pleasing. I’m happy with it.)





If I were but invisible…

Would you see me?

Take notice of a turned page,

The flicker of a candle’s flame?

If my hand existed only as silhouette,

Would you indulge in my fancy

Of more profitable script?

I think we should be as ghosts–

My sisters and I–

Wandering about in poetry and prose

And upon our leaving this constrictive plane,

Would you see us off,

Clear the path along the bramble…

Dismiss us not and wish us well?

Would you be our brother, truly?

We can be as superlative as any man…

Your sisters, 

Charlotte, Emily, Anne.

-C. Green

(The Bronte sisters… What would it feel like to live in such a rich world of internal language and not have the immediate means to share such talents, to be denied the opportunity to flourish… to have skill be rendered meaningless for not being born man?)


Paper Crane

A slendar piece of paper,

Creased with bends and folds,

Made smaller with each adjustment,

Until its form emerges whole…

A slendar piece of paper,

Transforming from the plain,

Becomes a healing symbol–

Granting peace to those in pain.

-C. Green


I Ache…

I ache.
This fever sits in the marrow,
Claims space between bones–
Even ligaments lament.

I ache.
Every breath a labor,
My ribs protest
The abuse of inhalation.

I ache.
To the very core,
Weary of beating
Because heart’s blood burns.

I ache…
What ailment plagues
Such that this symptom
Never subsides?
-C. Green


I Love Me. I Love Me Not.

I love me. 

I love me not.

I accept what I’ve been given

And covet what they have got.

I internalize

The kindest lies–

Compliments, sentiments–

Compromise and despise.

Take my shattered mirror;

Fuse its broken glass.

Collect discarded pieces;

Throw them all into the trash.

Another petal, 
Another day…

Picked to bear some meaning

When I have none to say.

I love me.

I love me not.

I accept what I’ve been given

And covet what they have got.

-C. Green


Spare Thoughts…

Sometimes errant,
They tightly bind
Truth and meaning
Through rhythm and rhyme.
Weighted, yet waiting
To lift from the page,
Some thoughts trifle like jesters
Or evoke like the sage.
A poetic line may unwind,
Unravel and cynch
The deepest emotions,
Yet remain on the brink…
Of song.
-C. Green

(Happy World Poetry Day!)



Sometimes, the highest height I may climb is simply above the pile atop my desk. I can’t see beyond my datebook. The horizon is outlined by pencil and dotted with sticky notes. 

Happy to have a clear spot. It may be small, but I claim it for my own.


What Name Did They Give…

What name did they give…

To the child,

Not the screaming babe newly born,

But the one wearing skin so like your own?

Beautiful, biased, backhanded, brave?

Complex and colored,

There’s much in a name.

What did your mother call you?

Naive… Knave… Knowing… Nuisance… Ingenue…Serious… Silent…Shy… 

(And other words filled with hurt, hate or pride.)

There are so many

Labels. Laments. Curses. Slurs. 

Titles. Traps.

Bestowed and hurled.

First, middle and last.

What name did they give…

To the child,

Not the infant of blood and bone,

But the one wearing skin so unlike your own?

-C. Green



It shadows me,

This winding trail–

A path paved over

Great travail.

Its stones are weary,

As are my feet,

Too worn for comfort

And defeat.

It goes onward,

A dogged kind

Of forward motion

On paths gone blind.

Their briars heavy,

Brush grown thick,

Only liars would say

This way was quick.

What might lead forward

Is now behind

As I step toward

A grail to find.

-C. Green