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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Listen; Celestial Musing; Absence

By: Diane Rosen



The wind won’t stop blowing.

Pollen particles settle

on cars, in nostrils.

Gossamer clouds drift above.

Listen to her

as we emerge warily

from virtual hibernation,

await another summer,

to find emptied aqueducts

and parched rivers.

She pleads with us.

The effervescence of before

faded and distant, crushed by

plague and draught and seas of flames.

The casual coffee klatch, banquet or barbeque is

carefully moderated with order and boundaries now.

We begin to peel off the layers of protection,

abandon bits and pieces of caution,

shed masks and share

refreshment and merriment carefully.

We measure our lives

In pre and post and in between

with a side eye for the next affliction,

But will we listen?

Celestial Musing

no champion

no triumph

either way

forfeit or

get beaten

what joy

is there in

cellular memory or

a trail of dust

sailing through the galaxy

between terrestial and jovian planets

cellular memory

of lips that drink

and tongues that twist

in collective grief

of a trail of dust

evaporating ice and vapor

sailing comets

cast me into the River Tiber

orphan twin

at the gate

of the milky way

where Romulus and Remus

long to suckle

under the shade of a fig tree

constellations chase each other

are captured, but


warriors fall

and rise again

with the sinking sun.

knock me over

lift me up

let me


in the constellations.


Not darkness,

but the absence of light


sweeps over,

fails to illuminate southward bound swallows

and geese, withering blossoms and

branches covered with a patchwork of leaves.

It sneaks up,

this shadow chases,

entraps carefree spirits.

Call it a disease,

a type of psychosis,

easily solved with artificial light,

with Thanksgiving Turkeys and Christmas trees.

Call it a seasonal depression, a post summer angst,

a long, long premenstrual dip, call it the presence of warmth

unseasonably placed in a prematurely canceled day.

Emergent chill punctuating darkness.

Call it the desire to sleep,

to hideaway,

to stop time,

to prolong pleasure,

to postpone pain.

It’s the heater that stinks the first time it’s stoked,

the light bulb that’s never bright enough,

the holiday frenzy, not enough blankets,

not enough time.

It’s the knotted branches

highlighted by the early dusk,

the smell of damp earth,

the rumbling of an approaching storm,

not an emptiness,

but the presence

of a ferocious hunger sitting,

in waiting,

for a longer day.


Diane Rosen has lived in San Francisco for the past forty years teaching writing and poetry to children in the San Francisco Public Schools. Now retired, she is devoting more time to her own writing projects. She is currently working on a novel of historical fiction. Her writing is often inspired by the events of the day with a touch of nostalgia. Just beginning her personal journey as a writer, she has yet to be published.

Behind the Scenes:


When I wrote the poem “Listen”, I had spent an afternoon in my backyard garden. I was struck by the beauty of the day, but I was also reflecting on the recent past fires and the ongoing pandemic. My emotions were conflicted, glad to begin to return to a “normal” life free of smoke and plague. but also wondering if we would ever be normal again, given global warming and the draught in California. We didn’t know about Omicron when I wrote the poem, but I was also dreading the threat of coming variants. I imagined that the great “mother” was broken hearted about how we were ignoring to the signs of global warming and the subsequent consequences.

“Celestial Musing”

The poem “Celestial Musing” is a reflection on the past and contemplating regrets. I’m ruminating about how memory and nostalgia can paralyze us and make it hard to move forward. It’s about how those memories and regrets can follow us and torment us. It expresses the desire to be free of the past and be able to rest.


This poem is about seasonal depression. It’s about the many ways we try to conquer the malaise and sadness that we sometimes feel with the shorter cold days of winter, but it’s also about the anticipation and hope for Springtime. I wrote this poem on a stormy, cold winter night right after the Holidays.


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