My New Chapbook

December 1, 2011 § 4 Comments

Kindness is the last part of love
after the muddy tumble
of spring and all, after the summer
forest-consuming fires—
their shimmer
often mistaken for the moonlight
where the pale knight loitered

too young to know, as we all are,
save the unloved,
who learn faster—
burns clean to bone, and then
the bone-saws and this awful
silence. Who can wield it?

Silence is my ocean.
I think it knows me.
I know it doesn’t care.
All around us the children
are lengthening the hem of night.
Who remembers
that this always happens?

The last tree, no longer visible,
has let loose its black seeds
into the damp air:
crescent-shaped, shining.
There’s kindness in the kernel.
It will not satisfy.


From my new, limited edition chapbook, published by Red Glass Books

it all stayed open

poems by Margaret Diehl

book edited and designed by Janet Kaplan

$12 plus $2 postage    paypal ( and email me your name/address), pick it up locally if you’re in NYC, or send a check to Margaret Diehl, 24 5th Ave, # 1209, NY, NY, 10011


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§ 4 Responses to My New Chapbook

  • Charles says:

    Kindness is the last part of love?
    Sometimes anger and loss are the last parts of love.
    (or if it ends in anger, does that mean it wasn’t ever love at all?)

  • Not true for all people at all times.

  • Kate Gardner says:

    Hey, Charles–greetings from afar, in time and space.

    I loved that line, which reminds us that we want not kindness, pity’s cousin, but love unadorned.

    Also the line “burns clean to bone, and then” and yes, I mean that line in its incomplete completeness (not plenitude), the way the line break says “wait for it–”

    And this one: “are lengthening the hem of night.” That’s achingly evocative.

    The poem is endlessly suggestive — how “spring and all” evokes “spring and fall,” so clearly that it’s embarrassing to state it out loud.

    How in the first lines of the last stanza adjectives abound–last tree, black seeds, damp air–adjectives filling the entire fourth line “crescent-shaped, shining.” — but then how they’re entirely absent from the last two lines, leaving them spare, cleansed, unsatisfied.

    Okay, I’ll shut up now.

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