Two Poems

by Tanja Bartel

Tanja Bartel is a writer and high school teacher. Her work has been published in various magazines including Grain, Contemporary Verse 2, New Poetry, The Maynard, and The Rusty Toque. She was shortlisted for the Event Magazine Creative Nonfiction Contest in 2014. She is currently completing her MFA at the University of British Columbia.

The Nature of Nature

Look around.

Everyone at this party is someone’s horrible childbirth story.

I’m either an expert or a one-trick pony. Either way, it’s taken my whole life.

Don’t have a favourite cowboy, prefer freedom to the lasso.

Crickets kick up their heels in the fullness of the exploding heat.

I could hurl a boulder into this slough and it will be there after every current
occupant on the planet is dead.

The grass along the banks keeps greening up, yellowing down.

Water, the most easily influenced substance, doesn’t show its age,

Fleeting dandelions that never end. Miracle, but we don’t see it that way.

Each new sunrise blinds us and we start over.

Same as we were yesterday. And the day before.

Bitchy in the morning, angry to bed.

After we die, people will say we lit up a room when we walked in.

 

The Signs

The bladder has more say than sleep.

Illness doesn’t shout Happy New Year!

Sunday school and AA meetings smell the same.

Change is also decline, though people like to think it’s growth.

Ending selfishness starts with you. Not me.

A really nice lady can do a lot of damage.

Listen to the rain. Sunshine is soundless as snow, yet also falls to earth.

People pleasers will have an impact, but it will be whisper-light,
Like two dying people saying goodbye to each other.

 


Tanja Bartel is a writer and high school teacher. Her work has been published in various magazines including Grain, Contemporary Verse 2, New Poetry, The Maynard, and The Rusty Toque. She was shortlisted for the Event Magazine Creative Nonfiction Contest in 2014. She is currently completing her MFA at the University of British Columbia.

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