Author and Poet, Debbie Ouellet

Subtitle

Poetry

I have to admit that, though I enjoy all forms of writing, poetry holds a special place in my heart. There is something about the connection that a reader makes with good poetry. It can tug at heartstrings, enrage, make you weep openly, or send you into fits of laughter. There are lines that I quote at the beginning of my homepage that come from a poem I wrote many years ago...

'Words float on the air like pollen. They'll meet a bee and make honey, or a nose and make mischief. It all depends on where they land.'

Such is the way with poetry. When I write a poem, I have an intended central theme and meaning I want to convey. Often I've found that, once a reader adds his or her personal experience, cultural background, and state of mind at the precise moment of reading, my poem takes on a life of its own. It's like a canvas that continually repaints itself.

I mean it when I say that words are magical and mystical. They have great power in the way that they make us connect with ourselves. And our world.

 

Plant Me Deep

by: Debbie Ouellet

 

When my days number by the handful,

this wrinkled garment hung loose

upon a withered bone tree,

plan no satin pining box.

 

Burn my flesh, this poem,

and gather the ash of these words.

Plant me deep with a young fruited tree.

(Imagine me and its roots mingling with the worms,

these bones, fodder that feeds,

the woodsy rot of rebirth.)

 

Let the Old Mother take up her brush

to paint my dreams—

a green-bud awakening.

My flesh...the juicy bite of a peach

as I revel in her seasons' whirligig jig.

 

Bake me in a pie

and serve me for Sunday dinner,

where all things are discussed—

what the sun felt like on new flushed cheeks,

and the wind caught your hair in its witchy hands

to weave its tangled memories.

 

And when you speak of me,

let it be of the nectar's sweetness

and the fullness of your bellies

when chairs scrape back

replete and satisfied.

(Originally published in Seek It - Writers and Artists Do Sleep, Red Claw Press 2012)

 

Bread and Wine

by: Debbie Ouellet

 

i) Bread

Warm, pliant softness,

the breaking of flesh—communion,

a tangle of hair, of heart

and limbs.

Bread of my need,

bring, with reverent hands,

your daily sustenance,

love and laughter to feed

my numberless dreams.

 

ii) Wine

This fluid ecstasy, shape-shifter subtle—

the trail of fingers, a legacy left behind

in butterfly heartbeats,

a sharp inhale of breath.

And me, a person of words,

drunk on the wines we choose,

wades silent into your depths,

lost

before the first syllable

is spoken.

(Originally published in “Crave It – Writers Do Food”, Red Claw Press 2011)

 

North Wind

by: Debbie Ouellet

 

Stepmother’s-breath

hisses through barren boughs

dispensing discontent,

cold as a witch’s kiss.

 

Scandalmonger of the fields,

grips ragweed by the forelock

to lay across the line

and beat away the dirt.

 

Hickory switch, finger wagging

at the giggle of snowflakes                 

leapfrogging through ochre fields

and playing knock-knock—

 

upon her parlor door.

 

(originally published in About.com Winter Anthology 2006/2007)

Finale

 

by: Debbie Ouellet

 

 

The mind behind his vacant eyes

watched the vultures peck and pull

the sinew of his intellect,

the sockets of his soul.

 

And with each rip and tear he felt

the words begin to flow,

like lava through a spider’s web,

as ashes through a hole.

 

He watched her silent silhouette

perched nimbly on the sill,

with eyes of ghostly Guinevere

above a shadow veil.

 

Like slithering streams of honeyed light

reptilian tresses spilled

in writhing puddles on the floor,

though she stayed statue still.

 

He pondered at her saccharine smile

half-formed as if in jest,

somewhere between the need and fear

considered her request,

 

to lay his weary head upon

her alabaster breast,

should he convince himself to pay

the forfeit of her kiss.

 

The words from every villanelle

came tumbling through his mind.

Had fate decreed that he must too

repeat the staggered lines?

 

“There are far too many words,” he said,

“there’s far too little time.”

A kiss still stinging on his lips,

he penned the final line.

(Winner of the Poetry Canada Rhyming Poetry Contest and published in Poetry Canada May 2008)

Rainstorm

by: Debbie Ouellet

 

She announces her coming in the wail of a train whistle,

ghost sounds sailing over impossible distances,

tucked into the creases of her gown,

the smell of worms in damp earth,

grass leaning westward to catch a whiff of her approach.

 

She arrives in a flash of jewels, the golden streak of her crimped hair,

cloak billowing, snapping like crisply starched satin,

raising her skirts, letting them fall in shimmering torrents,

or trickle down, like diaphanous silk across a palm,

soaking the earth with her scent.

 

She leaves, her dark shoulder turned against the sun

leaving him to follow, clutching the train of her gown

like an ardent lover. The rustle of her grey taffeta skirt,

a knowing smile, she tosses her colour box across the sky

as the promise of her return, someday, somewhere …

 

on her terms.

 

(Third place winner for Best Poem in the Azimov's Science Fiction Magazine 2008 Readers' Awards, originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine July 2007)


I Pass the Loom

by: Debbie Ouellet

 

Thought—

this threaded needle,

weaves

its histories

in tattered strands.

I pass the loom,

choose each fiber;

texture, hue—

 

light

     against dark,

dark

     against shadow,

shadow

     against night—

 

spinning

reds and greens;

snipping strings,

and wear

this garment oddly—

an ill-fit skin

draped

      on a bone tree.

 

(Originally published in Inscribed, July 2008)

Queen Anne's Lace

by: Debbie Ouellet

 

The daughter of sun and rain,

earth and tenacity—

reed slim,

she sways, bends,

dips a jaunty curtsey—

chatting with the breeze.

 

No gloved-hand tenderness,

trimmed back, garden walls for her;

leave that to the roses—

clinging debutantes

posing perfectly pink and red

behind trellis trappings.

 

Give her open fields,

sweet drenching rain,

love-drunk bees courting,

as she dances with the day,

her milky lace parasol

turned toward the sun.

 

(Originally published in Tickled by Thunder’s Best of 2005) 

  

Midnight Storm

by: Debbie Ouellet 


Clouds clash

against silence,

white brush dips,

painting the sky purple,

as God rolls his r’s,

like a baritone Scot,

and scratches his signature

across the night.

 

(Originally published in The Writers’ Journal, July 2005)