The Tower Journal

Katharine Gilbert

           
                                                                      
                                  Tyranny Cafe

                                  You they keep
                                    in a bottle
                                    no child to
                                     wish you
                                       out
                                    their talk is
                                       all around
                                    they spin you
                                       about

                                    Stay still might
                                         be heard
                                      few do turn
                                        your way
                                          about
                                        this clear
                                        tight space 
                                      contain all you
                                           say
                                        no child to
                                         pull you
                                           out
                                                        
 
                               Kawabata's Tears        

                               She unlocks heavy
                                 iron gate in
                                empty courtyard
                                  too early for
                                   the readers

                                At edge of pond
                                  strewn flowers
                                  she looks up
                                      if only
                                   to wish his
                                      cranes

                                Hands small rough
                                    and strong
                                   begin to skim
                                       again
                                    many petals
                                    smother koi

                                His silence keeps
                                  secret her love
                                   her work her
                                   fragrant past
                                  cherry blossoms
                                        fall             for Lawrence R. Klein




                             For James at 6 AM
                           
             
                                                                                    
Dark that early                                      Now
 your bony knees                                      he waits
         spiked                                      in prison cell
     worn red                                        wishing he
          carpet                                       shred
       old altar                                        the
           steps                                        lies
                                                     you had less
Before                                                   hope
     you never felt                                      no one 
         that hurt                                       to tell
      cold marble                                        no choice
          caught                                     you thought
       your breath                                       but
                                                         hide
After
     he raised a 
         Holy host
       you clenched
      three golden
           bells
       hard trills
           glanced
       the empty 
            pews
        heads bowed
                        
            You 
            know 
            this 
            well


              Letter from Lenox Hill
         
  She found his                   He wrote
         last                   I saw our great                   
         letter                   aunt Annie                             
    beneath the                     blue coat                            
         lowered                    black bag                             
          bed                       and veil                            
     no nurse had                 dressed again                                  
          yet to                     for Sunday
          notice                         Mass
      she took it                 her light blue
          home                        eyes
        she read                  now darkened
                                      glass
  He wrote her                    He wrote
       every other                 as Annie slid
          night                       slowly by
        of secrets                 she smiled she
      undercover                    seemed to say
        that game                   you are now
        spy writer                      my
      a favorite of                     newest
        her brother                     memory
                                           
                                   Remember
   He wrote                         when 
    I often see                     she talked
        the dead                    that way
        they walk 
          through                  The dead
       light of day                  he wrote are
       they come to                  whisperers
            this room                soft hushes
           sometimes                on cross town
       they do not                     winds
               stop or              We can figure
                stay                this out
                                    tomorrow
                                    too late  
                                      must 
                                    turn in

Copyright © 2014 Katharine Gilbert

Katharine Gilbert is presently a photographer for the monthly newspaper Irish Edition www.irishedition.com

A Marymount VA graduate, she was Head Coach of Womens swimming at UCLA and University of Pennsylvania before appointed Head Coach Men's and Women's swimming at Penn. That position she held for seventeen years. She and her husband Paul reside in Phila with poodles and cat.

The Tower Journal
Spring/Summer 2014