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Marlene Caller Vidibor Poems




For BD

A black box

That has not fallen from the sky

On silver wings

Holds secrets

You record with light

Revealed in darkness

Using mysterious formulae

Monastic chants murmured in a starless night room

By the glare of

One magic red lamp

Billowing wind-blown sheets

Ghosts conjured in broad day's bloom

Evoke scenes of steam

In the Gare St. Lazare

How is it your eyes find sight

No one else has

Invisibly veiled views

Your lover's fingers

Gently caress the body

Sense of the blind on brail

The digit springs

Releasing at the precise moment

Of the imagined image ::)

A figure enthralled with self-bound agony

Chained spirits rising

In a grove of graveyard flowers

Work finished

You gently join my breath

In waves of twisted dreams

I feel your weariness of

Deep digging through misted chaos

Long tunneled mirrors

To touch what cannot be felt presences

Haunting only those

With powers to penetrate

Your lens's backward view

Previously published February 2003 in


Edited by Raul Maldonado and Evie Ivy,


If you were that sleekly silvered glass

Cut finely at each edge with bevel keen

Across whose path sun's rays should come to pass

To show bold hues in patterns rarely seen

Your body of turned wood or leaded gleam

A lens acutely ground to peer within

Heart and soul and innards focussed in the beam

To capture that rich source behind the scrim

Tiny morsels which sate your ravenous greed

So preciously defined within their cup

As though they each were nature's perfect seed

Grown into wild colored daisies and rainbowed buttercups

My only wish would be therein to dwell

Mirrored in your eyes; consummately beheld.

Published online at


It is the usual

Subway pièta

Yet there is





The child

Is so still

More than clinging

He clutches her breast

All but buries his head

Within her fullness

Her hands and chin

Grasp his two year old weight

Make small grooming motions

Forming a fortress

Her arms enclose him

Shining darkly bright

Two panther jewels

Inspect his slack-jawed mouth

His upturned searching eyes

Previously published online at


Au jardin de mon père

Les lauries sont fleuris

Tous les oiseaux du monde

Vont y faire leur nids

(French Country Song)

Awake, I ponder sleep

In dawn's earliest light

Awaiting those first notes

Warbling clearly close by my window

As I seek the color of plumage

Which eludes my peering eyes

The song is delicacy defined

Where could such a bell perch

At dusk I bathe in the afterglow of day

The sweat of gardening cleansing my pores

My dogs lie at my feet

Dreaming chipmunk trails and squirrel holes

A twitch in the cherry tree turns my head

The wren's foothold

Sways the closeby branch

While dulcet winds emit chimes

The wren is singing, his throat bursting into a trebly tremble at every verse of his song

Singing his heart out for procreation

Singing his heart out for building a home

Singing his heart out for the time of year to sing one's heart out.

On the morrow he takes her to visit

A small bird house just right

In the midst of a white lilac

They enter and exit

He perches and sings

Twigs appear in his beak

They enter and exit, more twigs in their beaks

But no, the nest is not to her liking, perhaps too close to the ground

One day he enters a feeder

He exits and sings

He enters and eats

Twigs appear in his beak again

He enters the feeder

No longer eating

He is sprucing up the feeder for eggs

Feeder turned furnished room

Alas the other birds prove to be a noisy and nosy lot

This nest is too close to their dining room

Finally flying upward

He discovers a chink in the siding of our castle

A knothole in the knotty pine timber

High above the din of deck

High above the dining birds

High above the mower and glowering dogs

Under a clear view of the southern sky

The third nest is built

He perches and sings

Home at last

In the early dawn, landing

Atop our bedroom's open French window

His gift is revealed once again

The gift of pure tone of a tuning fork

He sings of his happiness

Their fruitfulness

Their contentment

And ours

Previously published on


Oriental scrolls unroll

Cicadas butterflies grasshoppers snails

Twist on reeds in a marsh

Shadow the whitest snow

Swallows sail

Cranes swoop

Sensual curves

Spin spiral dreams

....As if

Asiatic contortionists had left messages

Understood only

By the roots of Ginko trees

Previously published in Rattapallax4


I u s e d t o t r a c e the g l o b e in f l i g h t

My widespread wings shaped mountains lakes islands

Cast shimmering shadows shifting on sunlit

Flowered fields They call me Papillon Bright

Fluttering banner Calligraphy on translucent film

Absorbing vibrant color from penetrating light

G y p s y - s p i r i t e d L e p i d o p t e r a

I Floated from thistle to Blackeyed -Susan

Sipping nectar with the bees

From those many colored troughs

My sonar guided me over land Waves

Bouncing from echoing caverns

Within mountain vaults

Deep inside an

Earthen urn my trapped

Life lies buried by the glacier's art

My antennae stone I have become a jewel

Of evolution encased in glistening schist

As my sisters became Pompeian lace cemented in

Lava Can you feel my ancient breath

As I long to escape my cold chrysallis

Join the living

Brush pollen

With my

Tongue again

Previously published in "Medicinal Purposes" now out of print


For BD

.. ."..the skin of this planet,

has to be ironed out..."

In Praise of Ironing

Pablo Neruda

Ironing shirts, handkerchiefs,

Silk scarves, blouse

I smooth out our differences

In conversation with the cloth

Addressing each wrinkle

I press it into a corner of our lives

Thinning bed sheet , stained dinner napkin ,

Threadbare embroidered guest towels

Finding a worn spot I mend it

Weave the hole with caring words, gentle gestures

So like a graft on a tree

It can sprout a new future

Closing the board I smooth its surface

Store it away in a cool dry place

Against tomorrow's creases

Run tender fingertips

Over placidly hung garments, molded folded pieces

Draped over hangers, laying on shelves

They become your body, hair, brows

My eyes caress them

With soft strokes of closing lids

Pretending magically to erase our worries

The iron cools as I lay it on the tile

Detached from its energy, emptied of steam

No longer hot

No longer searing my heart

I descend the stairs

Tend the boiling teapot

Quench the burner's flame

The air thickens with hissing heat

Previously published February 2003 in


Edited by Raul Maldonado and Evie Ivy,


Written long prior to 9/11/01

Every view has some kind of one

As we round a curve, come over a rise, bank high up in the clouds

In every village or hamlet or town we pass

Some are square tall chambers

Some round turrets

Antennae, slender and graceful

Local Eiffel towers

Spires of another sort

Appear beyond the horizon

Big time serious spires

Across roiling, rolling, ice floed, white capped water

Piercingly important

World class spires

The Empire State and Chrysler buildings

World Trade Center’s twin towers

St. Patrick's Cathedral, Sacre Coeur

Christopher Wren's Westminster Abbey

Chicago’s Sears Tower

Seattle's Space Needle

LA's Kaiser-Permanente

The leaning tower of Pisa

Impressive towers of commerce all

One kind of commerce or another

Commercial commerce

Tourist commerce

Communication commerce

Medical commerce

Spiritual Commerce

Who knows what hope, what haven

What awe, what fear

Their presence engenders

Who knows what meaning

Such spires have given to

Aspiring youth

Within their range

Broadcast waves, tolling bells

Sublime carillon airs

Signals to our souls

As they sink into

The middens of the future


Slivers of silver


Out of the

Lunar lip

As Lucifer

Falling in a Flash of Flame


The sylvan land

Diana’s wood

The apple’s tree

God’s little acre

All turn to ash.

See painting Lucifer in Watercolor/Collage


I must dig deep to clear the bed

through sod. Slender, pallid

ribbons ragged from so much

holding up the world, strength

sapped by winter's gloom,

while beneath step and spade

foundations of growth straddle

that moment life hinges on:

some cosmic decision whether

to bloom once more or wither

Then I see

New shoots sprout out of buried roots

Green renderings rising tenderly

Around edges of sunken slabs

Tombstones for glowworms' graves

Danced across by chirping birds

From that tenuous damp hold

In early April's trampled earth

Along the slate path

Springs an annunciation of

Possible salvation

While butterflies weave and

Wasps shape their nests

I plight my troth to the grass

As I did once with you

Pleading as if in prayer

With grubs and worms

For solace, support, survival

Space enough for each to reach for life

Protected, not hindered by weeds'

Shadowy encroachment or gluttonous borers

Out of human foolishness

I begged you to try to spread your sparse seed

Ragged roots, stricken hope

Whatever remained in your juices

Flowing, albeit slowly and in pain

But we cannot draw tendrils from each other

As sun and rain from grass

Without its will

But must grant freedom

For reflection, loss, gain

Resurrection in its time


Like bats, butterflies, migrating birds,

I, too, navigate the air.

My brain is mapped

With rivers of flowing blood.

I know the valleys, the mountains,

The exact spot to perch on every branch

My eyes sharp as the eagle's and the hawk's

Home in on prey.

I see them behind trees

Covered with leaves

Pointing their Mausers

Looking for marked flesh

My downy reach gives me lift;

I climb the thermals of their plans

And beak whetted, talons out, I dive,

Unrelenting in my attack.

Previously published in RATTAPALLAX 2


You sit before me, an infallible scribe

Drawing hieroglyphics,

Symbols of thought I can't piece together

To decipher their meaning

Your expression sphinx-like—

I climb its contours by memory

Feel the weathered grain of your sandstone face—

My fingers tingling with expectation.

Eyes dark deep set tide pools

Dried up by a searing sun

Your laugh lines, embedded wadis,

Riverbeds of ancient tears.

Your arms leaning forward in

Replication of that silent giant

Staring in concentration at unseen images

You, too, overlook your domain

Tell me

With all your worldly lore

How does one penetrate stone?

Enter the heart of a monument?

previously published in "Rattapallax 1"