THREE FURTHER POEMS by Elizabeth I. Riseden

Tonight, I think of Jonnie Belle,
transplant to Nevada.
My toes remember her, as her house soothed
feet with silk carpets. Miracle.
I of sandy floors knew nothing of Chinese splendor,
wrought over ages, lives, fingers---
gently pounding harmonies of color---
violent red, most subtle violet.

What I knew was I loved her son. No silk carpet, he,
bearded, trifocaled, ungainly in much
but humor, huge brain. My toes sought his.
I helped him clean his fridge, put up
with banana slugs in his dog’s dish in the rain,
then I tired.

I sought a magazine
cover man, so silly
was my definition of evolved, I forgot
toes in carpet, colors subtle enough
they massage being, regardless
that heels can’t dig in, must savor texture,
feel orgasmic, create
the Grail of feet.

Only Divinity figured worms to spin,
to die, said worms to elevate humanity one
toe at a time. Thus to propel evolution.

We need more silk carpet,
more Jonnie Belles.

A Short History of Mistakes

I sometimes forget names,
but not if I imagine connections.
Often lists become muddled
by store or item.
Yet, I haven’t set people
against one another, a cock fight junky.
Sometimes I fail to gasp at
a sunset’s beauty,
or the most delicate leaf
of a May tree
Yet I haven’t propelled children
into war for lies.
not presided over
bloodied limbs, fractured brains,
loss if dignity and personhood---
maiming for murky cause.
It’s true, I occasionally eat
to much. Gold Fish
& Chocolate Trufles
excite passions
with a martini or two, very dry.
Torture is not my stock
in trade. I never
found myself important
enough to throw weight
in an infection of righteousness.
I was born a citizen of a megalithic
power; thankfully that power,
to a lesser extent all the time,
still fails to save
from myself.


These thousand-seeming hands
of Canfield and Thirteen
my ritual
prayer wheel
send mantras into the silent
snow world
with each deal
poised to receive the future.

Child of my child
ritual spinning
my self sending
kisses for
my daughter’s swollen self.

come now
come to breathing,

...Elizabeth I. Riseden writes from Carson City, Nevada