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Poetry By Charmian Blattner
from Philo, California
e-mail: c/o

It was so easy long ago
To be so sure of what I'd do
But now I know, what now I know
It's different since I met you.

The blue sky deepens, shot with gold
The sunsets that we seem to share
Not placid like the days of old
With you not there!

Uncertain footsteps where I felt
Once on a day the world was mine
In honesty at times I've knelt
To know just where to draw the line.

It is not true the sober way
Brings peace of mind like cooling showers
I skim the hills at break of day
A new delight this love of ours.


I lost your love, how could it be
My questioning does not recall
Our love, so blythe and all so free
Contains the beauty of it all.

My cat jumps to my lap to stare
Unblinking yet with honest purr
Unknowing you no longer care
I sob my teardrops in his fur.


Cram the heartache out of sight
I see him heading down this way
Raise the shades that cast out night
Have a smile as bright as day.

Blind his perception with a smile
Make a curtsey bending low
Be natural with a woman's guile
It's safe to say, he'll never know.


My clumsy hands cannot unlock
the door of your heart's need
Now when the shadows come
My faltering words can only blindly pour
Unsatisfying solace, then fall dumb.

To know your hurt, then dimly to define
Your need of me, when words are only vain
But still your trembling lips
seek calm from mine
My love holds up its chalice
for your pain 


First Date

When midnight struck, I heard you climb the stair
You...who had left so gaily...hours before
Your filmy evening gown just swept the floor
Your eyes were stars...and fragrant was your hair.

I've lain awake, my daughter, just for you
So I could hear you gaily call "Goodnight."
And watch until your date was out of sight...
And hear you close the door as you came through.

Your dragging footsteps slowly pass my door.
I call, "Had fun?" and you just answered "yes"
Oh Darling, were the flowers wrong, the dress?
That you can't talk about it anymore?

Perhaps tomorrow you can tell me why
You locked your door tonight... and why you cried.
My heart is aching too, down deep inside...
To wonder ... is a little bit ... to die.


You love such simple things...
the drifting ash
from forest fires burning, you can see
the beauty in the dead stump or a tree
The clean black lines that neither
mar nor clash.

You love a forest trail ... a dusty way
You show me cobwebs jeweled with the dew
and Life becomes more beautiful
through you
Intrinsic values of the things you say.



Breath of a morn I cannot see
Blast of a night that will not go
Over and over they come to me
Each of these things I used to know.

These have I loved ... the dawn's first light
The blush on the cheek of the Eastern sky
Now there is nothing but blackened night
with only a mind to remember by.

Feel the wind's kiss, you can never find
the lift of the trees in their zephyr's tune
Hold it and clutch it ... but do not reach
For the light in the sky ... there is no moon.

These have I loved ... and tightly grasped
The fine white spray ... and the ocean's roar
T'was a friendly sound ... now I sit alone
By the mocking waves that laugh no more.

Was the sunset crimson or gold or blue?
Do the stars look silver ... or only white?
Have the leaves turned green ... I wish I knew
Before I enter this deepening night.

Shades of a dusk that is darkly mauve
Turning into a deeper black ...
And I cry in the night for the things I loved
The things I can never again ... call back.



If sounds are never lost ... but circle on
in endless rhythm ... round and round in space
and nothing that is said is ever gone
but only waiting for a way to trace
each spoken word ... then someday I may sift
from myriad tones ... about ... below ... above
your voice ... and cherish pricelessly the gift
that gives me once again ... your words of love!


Rest Home

Clean linoleum ... polished floors ...
close-shut windows ... open doors
Air that's warm ... no breezes blowing ...
Social Hall ...T.V. going
You're in a chair!
Your white hair falling down through space ...
a vacant smile upon your face ...
and you not knowing ...
that I care!

Scraping of rubber shoes in halls
Creaking of trays and plaintive calls
the food looks good ... it smells a treat!
So many people couldn't eat ...
They were not hungry, so they said ...
Dismayed ... the charge nurse shook her head ...
Perhaps she knew ... that all of these
hungered for their memories!


To My Husband

It is dusk and shadows deepen
and the rain keeps softly falling
And each droplet makes the puddles shift and foam
While the new-washed frogs are croaking
and some bird is softly calling
And it's just the time my Darling
that you would be coming home.

It seems like I can hear you
hear your footsteps as you're walking
From your pickup down the path
the door will creak as you open it
and taking off your coat I hear you talking...
and I almost see you standing there
and hear the way you speak.

"Something sure smells good," you're saying ...
and how many times you've said it
You were never one to bring home frowns and gloom
The swish of rain came with you ...
on your black coat as you shed it
And you're here with me and smiling in this room.

Yes, the dusk and shadows deepen
and the wind is softly throbbing
as it gusts its way through bushes and through trees...
and my heart longs for your coming ...
while I hear my voice a-sobbing
For now I want you back again ...
just to be a part of these.


Such an old gate to stand alone
With the vines around...
With the vines around
While the dusk is falling
And one dark stone
Lies on the ground...
The leafy ground

I thought of the time I had leaned thereon
when the gate was new...
so very new
before the Wheel of Years rolled on
I was with you
Oh, precious you!

Such an old gate to stand alone
I hear it sigh...
A gusty sigh
And now I know what the gate has known
the years go by...
So fast go by

And you are gone, who was my own
and the gate and I must stand alone
as the days go by...
and the years go by


Old Road

Lost is the road that stumbled here
beneath its load of brush and tree
where the pine cones tumbled, brown and sere...
abandoned ways hold mystery!

Where did it go? when proudly carved
from fresh, clay strongly led
up from a hollow...turned a hill
dim are the tracks that show ahead.

Once it carried countless feet
that built a future that is past...
Lost is the road...but strangely sweet
the tracks of time that hold us fast.


To A Greater God

Dear Lord, too many people kneel tonight
To worship You because they think you're white!
That You approve of churches where they pray
where some may enter...some are turned away.
They feel that You are very grateful too
at mealtime when they offer thanks to You
for filling all their needs, for answered prayer,
for tables filled with food they seldom share.

But Lord, a greater You must somewhere stand
who holds the galaxies within Your hand
Who sees our starving millions... hears the cries
of earth's defrauded children...anguished eyes
of under-privileged mothers giving birth
to babies who "inherit not the earth".

Tonight I found upon a sun-baked land
a dying blackbird shot by careless hand.
I knelt beside it ... Great God hear my call
to You...who grieved to see the sparrow fall.



Green valleys lush with grass
Minted with dew
That was the way she chose
In loving you.
Heavy with apple boughs
Where the scent hung low
"I love him so much" she said.
"He must not go!

High on a clean cut mountain
'Neath a windy sky,
My love for you ... a star,
flung... far... and high,
Loving so much ... my darling
I said goodbye.


The dawn of laughter waking up
I breathe so deep of morning air
Ecstasy can fill my cup
Make glad hours we might share.

Today is minted and quite new
And still some one may come along
Perhaps today it will be you
Dear subject of this morning's song.


I have some lovely pictures in my mind
Of places I have been and things I knew
In bygone days that I have left behind
That I have shared awhile, and all with you.

Here is a path, and there a redwood tree
Lovely in the moonlight's magic glow
The times we walked and where you shared with me
So many lovely moments long ago.

And now that I'm alone at end of day
I find I'm back in these familiar things
Feeling your hand clasp, and the words you say
That lift my spirits, gives my soul its wings!

Charmian Blattner

Charmian Blattner

I lay me down to sleep, and close my eyes
And the darkness deepens, can it be?
That somewhere in the East the sun will rise
And morning's sureness will return to me.

No song is sung at midnight, none to hear
The last bell pause and ring its' clear refrain
While hopefully I will be dreaming, Dear,
That it's your hand upon my counterpane!


The Teacher

How fortunate to hold within your grasp
the threads of Wisdom ... knowing that your touch
can mould designs of learning, that you clasp
the heart of Knowledge that may tell so much.

To see the eager eyes of interest shine,
to watch a hand raise high the empty cup...
to know it is your weaving, your design,
your fount of knowledge that will fill it up.

Oh better this... than Monarchs ruling lands,
to thrill some student into keener sight...
far-reaching and outstripping your demands
who lit the spark, to guide him in the night.



So this is it
this pain, this grief
this anger like a quivering leaf,
a glimpse of distant, silvery seas,
the hint of bloom on winter trees.

A shred of laughter
more of tears,
a vision of the broken years...
this sacrifice of peace of mind,
of sudden quarrels, words unkind.

Of nights of wakefulness,
of stars...
a heart that's full of unhealed scars,
a whispered word, a soul laid bare
so this is it ...this love we share.


New Neighbor

She's polished her house...
she's a stranger in town,
But her windows shine bright,
the crisp curtains hang down.
And should you look through them,
I know you would see
A table all set...
with hot cookies and tea!

It's easy to say,
as we by-pass her door,
That nobody really
"pays calls" anymore.
But someone, please come ...
never mind if you're bold!
'Lest her cookies and tea
and bright spirit grow cold.



Her hand no longer spins the carded wool
Her feet no longer brace the buckboard floor
She holds a subtler weapon or a tool
That people did not need or use before.

The fingers that rolled bullets now are stilled
Her daughter marches to a stronger pace
But woman's need must be by woman filled
When no one yet has moved to take her place.

For devastation, earthquakes, plague or man
May rock the planet with its savage cries,
Then woman, with far-reaching greater plan
Still stoops to wipe the tears from children's eyes.




So suddenly the seasons change
you do not see
The first dry leaf fall from the maple tree
Or feel the first cold thrust of Winter's chill
'Till grass blades quiver on a frosty hill

And all of Summer shrivels down to Fall
And children that were little have grown tall.



My slipper shattered on the steps
My rags replaced the silver gown
The coach, bedecked with royal crests
Was now a pumpkin in the town.

Your love so splendid at the start
Becomes a mockery complete
The revelation burns my heart
The ashes sting beneath by feet.


To An Old House

You poor old tired, creaking house
Standing, sagging, all alone
Your feet are tangled in the weeds,
Your sightless windows overgrown.
Your rotting ledges fall apart
And vines are tearing out your heart.

The tumble weed mocks in its dance
Upon your sunken steps, and sees
the briars pulling all the blooms
and blossoms from the apple trees.
The silence makes a fearful din,
for ghostly symphonies within.


The Father

"She is gone," they said. I can hear it yet
and the smell of ether in long, dim halls,
the cold, blank pain of hospital walls,
the lump in my throat when I moved my head...
"The baby lived," so gently said,
"It is a boy...but the mother's dead!"

She was like a flower, a fragile one,
head held proudly in the sun!

Oh God, she's gone. I walk the lane,
deep in my heart that racking pain.
Just keep moving, I will not know
the wind or rain. I loved her so.
I walked and paced...and the wind went by.

And then sometime about half-past two
I happened to think, my son, of you!

Beside your crib, upon my knees,
soft, warm bundle, faintly stir.
Dear Lord, let him have eyes like her.
She was so dear, her hands so slim
and white ... her eyes that Irish blue.
My son, oh how she wanted you
to cuddle you close to her breast,
those wooly knitted things she made.
She went so gallant ... unafraid.
Yes, she went out and left this spark
I'm cradling here within the dark.

My son! You cannot understand,
the way is lonely. Oh, my wife,
I'll miss you, need you, all my life!

I stretch my arms from where I stand,
they fall to touch a baby's hand.


He loved to climb up mountains when a boy
And scan the heights, a sky of wonder view.
Then climbing down again he always knew,
That he had left awhile white clouds of joy.

He lived his life so well -- he walked it tall.
His love of family, friends, his special way
Of spreading joy and laughter every day,
So seldom thinking of himself at all.

And then one day he heard the special bars
Of God's own music sounding from above.
Once more he climbed the heights,
looked down with love on those he'd left,
before he reached the stars.


There will be times of Laughter
when the sun like rays of golden cobwebs
lightly spun will fill our days.
But in the silence of that love-filled dawn
look down to see the daylight nearly gone
in darkened ways.

Such is my life ... the Laughter and the Tears
that make the warp of living through the years
a brave design.
And I may sob with Joy ...
or laugh through Pain
with up-cupped hands to catch
Life's borrowed rain
that falls in mine.


My Husband

When I first met was night
we stopped...and to my swift surprise
Your face in darkness...but a light
Shone from your eyes.
Mischievous, laughing, living eyes
That seemed to take me by surprise.

So through the many things
come swiftly and relentlessly.
The years went by...the Falls...the Springs
Your eyes laughed down at me.
And the end of a lonely day
Heaven is not too far away.

Some time I know...Life's cord will break,
when Life and Time are past...
Then through the mist...I can't mistake
Your own dear last!
And find once more...the way we cared...
Your loving eyes...and all we shared.

I do not watch the door
any longer,
or listen for your footsteps,
but my expectant heart
still keeps the vigil.

How unafraid a baby sleeps
Sprawled in lazy disarray...
"Oh keep his world as safe as this,"
his parents say.
They smooth his hair
and close the door....
and speak of bombs,
prepare for war!

The sharp-lined hills breathe life
to me who lost it for a little while.
With every bend of road I see
soft shadows looking like your smile.
God, give me strength
I've known again
so I may walk alone again.

When everything is spent
or gone away, or wasted, or lost
or given away,
and your drained spirit sinks
limply on the sand,
the tide rolls in!

I posted a letter,
when did it start
on its journey off to a distant land?
I posted a letter
and mailed my heart...
and oh, if he's wise
he will understand.

You came,
and the world
glimmered with light.
Vibrant cadences of your voice
and your being still
echo around me,
now that darkness has settled
once more.

The night I was born
an owl cried in an oak
and moonlight made
silvery pools in the forest.
It will shimmer within me

Your fur reflects the firelight
small kitten, curled beside the blaze.
Forgotten is the stormy night,
contentment warms your feline gaze.
Behind you through the ages dim
I see the cave man's logs burn higher
Your ancestor, crouched on a limb,
edges closer to the fire!

I left a warm hearth,
a deep snug chair
and a compelling book
To come out into the world's
But the thought of what I
have left awhile
arms me for the cold!

There are words to describe
but you are none of these.
I think of you ... and I can only
remember how the sun shone
on polished copper
when you were in the kitchen.

Nothing disturbed
the path last night
The dewdrops glisten
by dawn's first light
But down by the gate
by the blue-tipped flowers
My shoe prints were there
Where I stood for hours.

Knowing you
has made me aware of my clumsy
scrabbling for words.
I stand silent
to hear you speak.

I can no longer count as
high as I wish ...
Or climb hand over hand to
span the gaps,
I can only do nothing
...the hardest of all!

When everything has been said
And words are dead to their
meaning, when lips are sealed
because sound is no longer
needed, I will still battle that
impotent void with my verbal
cries and beating on your
deafened ears ...the depth shall
ache with my litany of longing.
"Please, please my Love ...
listen and remember."

I was lost and cold...
And the blueness of winter
gave me no rest.
You opened the door,
And the warmth rushed out.
The thawing
brought tears to my eyes.

I gave you only the husks
from the harvest,
but when you took them,
you always gave me a
warm smile, and thanked me
for giving my best to you!
I think of this now
and I am ashamed!

I have forced my feet
to turn from you,
and have taken numbed steps
along a path you will not follow.
I will never turn back,
so do not call!


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