Barbara Bullard is a freelance writer who lives "somewhere out there" near the foothills on the edge of LA's great sprawl. She is an emerita member of The Redondo Poets, and likes it very much when she finds herself in someone's address book with the word "poet" next to her name. And as much as finding a few words to string along the blank screen drives her soul, its equal passion is singing her poems on anything approximating a stage.

Her chapbooks include Through This Lens, Sand, Uncollected Poems, and The Book of Dog. Her poetry has been published in print in The Beach Reporter, The Blue Mouse, Blue Satellite, di-verse-city 2001 (anthology of the Austin International Poetry Festival), The Lummox Journal, Manzanita, SEE/HEAR NOW, and Sips From Foreign Shores. She was invited to perform with Daniel Ladinsky, the foremost translator of Hafiz (the 13th century Persian poet), at a benefit in Athens, Georgia, and then went on to collaborate in a CD recording of Ladinsky's translations, entitled Two Drunk Beauties (2006). Most recently, she has released a CD of her own poems, titled grace.


We close the door
and climb into our space,
now the size of a tiny berth,
a bunk bed's worth of time,
where we press
our voices, our thoughts, what we want,
into the fabric of that being we make.
We turn our worn sides out
fending against the weathersome world
that strips our time,
carving it down to the marrow,
driving our blood deep within our skins,
so deep we knot ourselves like roots
beneath down-filled blankets.
We hibernate like oak trees,
garnering our sap
for a core we tend with love
as a wind bangs at the window screens,
and a salt air curls the edges
of midnight green leaves,
pennants twisting on the thin stems
of the still-fragile jasmine
we planted outside the door.


Those that matter in this world
seem to evaporate like salt water on skin,
the fine residue left,
too fleet a mark.
Slight and startling as a butterfly's pause
atop violet iris petals,
drooping like tear drops,
like surrender.

Breathe now. Breathe quick.
Are your hands open flat, are your palms facing up?
This is how you let them come, how you let them go.
There's no way to hold what was never really yours --
even the earth can't always catch
the wisps of rainstream that disappear
between cloud and ground,
between then and now.


These things that hang
in your sky, gone so long now
from mine­my black
and lonesome nightscape,
the blank light-white disk of a moon,
its only adornment.

These mysterious points
of brilliance, do they wink
like thoughts, like impulse?
Stars dead so long now,
the heat gone out of their light,
they are invisible to my skin.

How was I to know
I should stop, and pay attention,
and memorize these
bright things missing now
from the insensate velvet
of my unrippled night sky?

How would I have known
they would disappear one day
from my heavens, and then reappear
to me only in words?
If you’re listening, write me
the stars, write me your night sky.


Barbara Bullard Moonday poetry reading

© Barbara Bullard 2007

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