Welcome to Four Lines! I have a goal I would like to write at least four lines of poetry or a haiku every day for the rest of my life. I'm excited about this challenge! Also, along with my daily poem, I will be reading at least four lines of another author's poetry. I'll try to include that here also. So I'm thinking - how difficult can it be to read and then write one poem a day? We will see! - Claudia

All poems on this blog, unless noted, are written by Claudia Callaghan.
© 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Claudia Callaghan
Used only with permission. Please feel free to join Four Lines and request permission.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Now out of the pool,
I sit before lazy susans
in my mom's back yard
different bees
lighting, landing, flitting,
a little bee with bits of yellow
a larger bee with airplane wings,
bumble and honey bees all
love these lemon and golden flowers
black in the middle.

Richard and Emma
flip into the water,
splashing, swimming
in the yellow sun.
He puts a pink
frizbee on top of his head
We can't help but laugh
and I think of Jim.
They float around on a noodles.
Mom and Anne Marie are in the pool
talking, too, about mom's water exercise
teacher, who used to be a ballet dancer.
The're now talking about healthy
food.  I'm listening to everything.
Sound of the water,
birds singing, conversations,
cars on the streets beyond the house,
the distant train whistling...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Just a dandelion,
after all.
What matters in killing
a dandelion?

Just a honey bee,
after all.
What matters in killing
a honey bee?

Just an gold finch,
after all.
What matters in killing
a goldfinch?

Just a chinook salmon,
after all.
What matters in killing
a chinook salmon?

Just a cobb 500,
after all.
What matters in killing
a cobb 500?

Just a swift fox,
after all.
What matters in killing
a swift fox?

Just an eagle,
after all.
What matters in killing
an eagle?

Just a key deer,
after all.
What matters in killing
a key deer?

Just a cow,
after all.
What matters in killing
a cow?

Just a fresh water dolphin,
after all.
What matters in killing
a fresh water dolphin?

Just a blue fin tuna,
just a bison,
a gaur,
a siberian tiger,
a polar bear,
a basking shark,
an african elephant,
great white shark,
killer whale,
blue whale,
after all.

Just a human being,
after all,
What matters in killing
a human being?

Just life, just the earth,
just, just...

Killing is never

Thursday, June 28, 2012

  Merry, sacred day!

From this day forth,
of white roses
shall f
  carpeting the ground of                                                                                      
brave Justice John Roberts
 - wherever his direction,
    - whatever he faces.

He freely stepped into the

  Merry, sacred day!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Talking to mom about
the moon... far, so far,
where I will never live,
and home.

We talked today about
chi, energy, auras,
not thinking -
  dogs and cats -
Soni's two cats -
 harvesting dill -
grass in the pool -
  Sisi, the Empress of Austria
and Queen of Hungary -
a baby raccoon investigating the patio -
  Waterton Lakes where she studied
wild flowers -
  my step dad's spirit -
her being alone,
alone in this house they designed
with beauty, memorabilia,
excursions around the world -
  and, of course, about me loving a man,
                   intriguing man -
so much to talk about!

We could talk all summer,
winter, spring and not stop.
So.. three weeks won't be enough.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hold my hand.
Do not let go.
Even if,
for a moment,
I start to move
Pull me softly back.
I am worth the pulling back.

Walk me to your room,
in these moments
you are my world,
my breath,
my reason.

I look up at you,
do not worry
if, for a moment,
tears fill
my eyes.
Kiss them softly from my face.
I am worth your kissing my tears.

One day,
I'll walk you
to my room.
In those moments,
I will be your world,
your breath,
your reason.
You will know
I am fragile, strong
and why I am worthy
of you.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

opaque inch worm
yoga master

 d  f                     d f                                                              d f                          d  f                     d f
 r                       r      a                                                         r      a                       r                       r      a
 a  o                 a         c                                                    a            c                    a   o                 a         c
w                   w             i                                              w                i                  w                   w            i
 r   l              n                n                                          n                     n                r    l             n                n
o                w                    g          plank pose           w                          g              o                w                   g           plank pose
f    d   to  do                      dog  to                   to  do                               dog   to   f     d   to  do                        dog  to                

on the bark
of a favorite tree

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Weeds are multiplying, procreating
       recklessly -
indifferent -   breaking though pebbles
on my garden path.
They look like clover planning a gardenary take over.

I pull them placing them
in the brimming bucket -
                          brimming with green -
then into the trash bin.
What gives me the right to uproot them?

I am a giant.
            These are my castle grounds.
Bugs inside, I catch in a cup,
          freeing them in my garden, but weeds?
I have my limits.
I must defend my lawn from united weed usurpers.

What makes a weed a weed?
Weeds grow,
where          they do not belong.
Perhaps then...
    some people are weeds.
Or perhaps,
there are no weeds at all.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A space to fill.
   I am here in the dark
at the bottom of the hill,
   looking up at the firmament,
sitting on the grass,
   waiting, waiting to hear.

Connecting flight

Where's the constellation,
  Orion?  My fearless
constellation, Orion?
  Covered with clouds,
but still there, somewhere,
  holding a shield and sword
instead of a quintessential
  cell phone.

  Waiting, worrying to hear,
I am sitting on the grass,
  looking up at the firmament,
at the mountain base,
  here in the dark with
Orion filling space.

He's probably in the
         airport Verizon store.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

  With thunder and lightening, a harmonic duet,
    I am in my ballet slippers ready to practice
            a favorite song, "Into White."
   The garden is accompanied by howling wind,
        shaking the tall curtainless windows.

 The spider is motionless in the corner on the wooden floor.
               I see her in a bolt of lightening.

Cat Steven's voice is perfection, made more perfect
         with the lyrical river of rain outside.

      I'm wondering in passe as I slowly move
         my arm up curved above my head
    how you can question the existence of God.

      Would you like a pair of ballet slippers?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

   Birds gently woke me this morning,
as if kindly kissing my cheek and singing,
  "Wake up! Wake up Lady Annabelle!"

On my walk, these feathered beings
     flew all around me, circling,
in front, behind, hopping at my feet,
perched on the mailbox a foot away,
         high above my head.
   How did they know I needed
       a flock of birds today!
     One bird I see as sacred.
This morning...
           I must be in heaven.

  Wouldn't it be bliss to wake each morning
to birds kindly kissing my cheek and singing,
  "Wake up! Wake up Lady Annabelle!"

Monday, June 18, 2012

Dad, I don't know 
                                what to say.
Things sad remain under ground with your bones.
Is it true they are still here after all these years,
this day only, returning to me?
What would you say?
Things sad remain under ground with his bones.
He scared me, scared me more
                      than anyone in my life.
I always loved you.  I loved you wishing,
wishing, wishing over and over, like in fairy tales,  
you would turn into a loving, proud father.
You scared me too.
I'm sorry he hurt you.  If he loved you,
then you would have loved my brothers and me.
You would have been able to love.
I still wish you had been able to love.

What I will do this father's day,
is open your grave with forgetting wind,
forgetting wind, that passes away,
with forgetting wind that passes all understanding,
passes away all things sad under ground.
I'll brighten, lighten your bones, sing to you, 
unmasking happy things, as many as I can find,
like when you bought me Leo, 
my stuffed lion, almost as big as me.
I loved Leo.  Dad, I loved Leo. 
Thank you for him.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Odes and modes and swimming
  underwater in poetry, where I am at home; 
your sister's growing a mermaid tail.
  You'll have to visit me in salt water where I
clean up litter and debris along with playing with 
  dolphins, whales, while avoiding sharks.
One day I'll not need to avoid them.
  I'm discovering a fluid, beautiful world.
Knowing you, you won't need a snorkel to dive in. 
  However, if you hold any preconceived notions,
leave them on shore. They have no place in this ocean.

  I read to Orion, Sarie and Zoli, they say... I love you, Mom.
I love you Mom, forever, forever,  --
  even though you're growing a mermaid's tail.
And you...my brother of miraculous wit, a father beyond compare,
  a husband of devotion, a chief of gourmet dishes and wishes, 
a no nonsense teacher with charisma and zaniness...
Your students, sponges from the ocean, need a teacher like you.  
  Just as I need a brother like you too.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Roses are amber yellow
  with thorny stems
that know T'ai Chi.
A lemon bar is tartly sweet,
  interestingly soothing
with a cup of warm tea.

Roses are a garnet red,
  with thorny stems
that know Kung-Fu.
Red lentils, onions, chilies,
  raspberries, combine
to make a spicy sweet stew.

You've sent me again
  on thorny tall stems
roses juxtaposing
love, friendship,
  ideas, manifestations,
like dinner I am composing...

Stuffed yellow peppers,
  red potatoes, tomatoes
and a luscious, lemony tart,
ladled with a design, a sauce,
  of cherries and plum wine --
roses from my heart.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Little Running Horse is a wonder, weather, warning dog,
a premier forecaster, of precipitation and precarious wind.
At the first canine, empirical sign or sensation of pending rain,
be it smell, sound, or taste in the air, she hides in the bathtub,
behind the blue sky, palm tree shower curtain.
Stem to stern, black on white, one tub-full of dog.
Soon air dims dark, to dark-gray coolness.
Then the orchestral like tuning begins - wind.... oboe, flutes,
piccolos,  distant thunder....  cellos, trombones, drums,
lightning.... cymbals and violins, and suddenly.... rain, rain,
a wall of falling to lullaby rain, a storming concert,
wind and water, pianississimo to fortississimo.
Onyx declines to attend. I love a front row, window seat.

One night, while visiting, my mom woke and walked
half asleep, down the dim dragon-fly night light lit hall,
to the bathroom.  As soon as she sat on the toilet,
strange sounds stirred from behind
the blue sky, palm tree shower curtain.
Something moved, shifted, and sighed in the bathtub.
My mom laughed telling me between sips of tea,
and thunder and lightening that night, after I woke too...
how she hesitantly, peeked behind the curtain wondering...
wondering... what in the world?... and... I must be dreaming.
Stem to stern, black on white, one tub full of sleepy dog.
Wide awake, my mom walked back down the dim,
dragon-lit night light lit hall, past the bed room where
my dad was sleeping and into the kitchen when the concert began.
It rained, rained, a torrent of tapping, pounding, roaring, soaring,
whirling, swirling, water and wind the rest of the night and
for the next two days.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I appreciate Larry forever and ever*
for stopping by the help line to visit me.
I was sitting motionless because of a caller,
a caller in the deep, a maniacal caller in the deep,
layered, lost, lost in the depths, so low, his soul
was unknown to him. He called and called,
over, over, over, and over, ringing again and again.
I refused to answer.  I could not help unpeel
his hatred, listen to him trying to shock me - desiring me
to react - to react even by hanging up on him,
hanging up on him, but not before politely saying,
"I have to end this call. I'm going to end this call now."
I would not be another voice, attend by adding another layer
to the many voices burying him, including his own.
I forgot the teaching of The Course in Miracles,
no one can hurt you unless you let them.
I will not follow one thought, one emotion,
one hovering, in the dark helicopter that does not love the world.
I may see unkindness, but I will not follow it
because of my love for my ascension, my love
for my growing self.  While I was wishing I had not volunteered
that night, out of nowhere Larry arrived to see how I was doing.
We sometimes work Saturdays together.  Right away
he made me laugh, lifted my spirits clear out of the building
into the sun at night and handed me a Lindt chocolate with almonds.
"Some people we cannot help.  Someone else will have
to help him." Larry said.  Suddenly, he called again.
Larry answered, instead of me, and he hung up.

*appreciation, like love, is forever 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I am trying to write an ode,
today when I feel like a toad.
A pretty and nice toad, still -
toads don't write odes.

Keats was a prince
who did not need a kiss.
Like Buddha, he simply
sat under a tree,
the ode sang out - one, two, three, -
although Keats did have wishes,
for kisses.

I and other fledgling poets, -
tomorrow I'll be
a pretty and nice bird, -
need never fear.
Just hear, hear and follow,
hear and follow, hopping,
flopping, flapping, flying,
walking, whatever mode,
down the road.
This bodes we will find our tree
to sit under.

Then, if we desire,
we can write odes
like fire in freezing darkness
or rain in a dusty, dreary draught
filling the rivers with fishes
and may be, even, our shade
with kisses.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I am a chocolate covered
coffee bean
and a silver and green leaf
poem, from beauty -
ahead of time prepared
Annabelle is reading,
enthralled, concentrating,
dancing in the sun-rain,
collecting ideas
collecting ideas for more
of me, from love -

Friday, June 8, 2012

Today, I bought Isabel Allende's
  "The House of The Spirits"
      at Half Price Books.
   Tomorrow, I'm reading.
Don't call me.
I won't pick up the phone.
Don't stop over.
I won't hear the door bell.
I won't be home.
     I'll be in the book,
"The House of The Spirits."
being a fiery, sublime Chilean woman.
If you walk into my house,
you won't see me!
(Only my children and
my mom will be able to see me
and even they will only see 
a blurred, half-here, half-there me.)
The only thing that might
lift me out, tear me from a story,
a story in a book with brilliant pages,
   is music, acoustic music,
    lilting, acoustic music
     outside my window.
That worked once...
15 years ago.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

This morning a brown man said, "You are beautiful,"
as I placed quarters into the parking meter.
I laughed, shrugging it off, because...
     we are all beautiful.
Yet, I wished I was brave enough to say kindly,
     "You are beautiful too."
Pausing on the sidewalk, he looked curiously
at the eyes of my black dog, Little Running Horse,
sitting at attention beside me,
one blue ice, one brown, like his skin.
      "He's beautiful too." he said.
       "'He' is a she," I responded.
        "Well, she is beautiful too."  He commented,
smiling up at me.
In a flash I didn't want to see it.
An unwanted memory.  Was it my memory or his?
Within one second, I declined to see it again.
Who did I want to see? Who was this brown man
who moments ago I thought was beautiful?
A gentle man and a gentleman.
Sincerely, respectfully, I confidently said,
      "She is a rescue dog.  The veterinarian said a mix.
        Husky.  Lab.  Great Dane.  German Shepard.
        She's a wonderful dog and can shake your hand, if you like."
He reached down carefully holding out his hand.
       "Shake Onyx," I said.  Onyx gave him her paw.
The man smiled again, this time as if the warm and golden sun
appeared from behind shading clouds.
        "What a good dog!" he told her.
We parted, saying polite goodbyes, have a nice day.
I decided, no matter what happened, I'd try to see everything,
everything for the rest of the day as beautiful.
As we crossed the street, I noticed a young, frail woman, walking slowly,
slowly, slow as an old, old woman. Her hair was carrot orange and
her thin clothes unmatching.   No matter what happens, I heard in my mind,
       see her as glowing - like a water lilie in the warm and golden sun.
We exchanged greetings. I knew she didn't think she was beautiful.
      "May I pet your dog?" She asked whispering.
      "Absolutely. She is very friendly.  Even though
       she is 90 pounds!"
She knelt down beside Onyx and hugged her.
       "She is so beautiful." she said, looking up at me.
I wished I was brave enough to say kindly,
       "You are beautiful too."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Blank papers, sharpened pencils
on the table, coffee already brewed.
Tomorrow I wake one hour earlier
to talk to the Creator.
Morning pages.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

         His hands write,
    dance with piano keys,
move slowly,
           tuned softly in
        meditative tai chi,
move freely,
     aligned with words he speaks,
        his smiles and laughter.
They reach out to others peacefully,
these beautiful hands that heal every day,
                every single day.
Some say he is a master.  As all
 masters, he admits to being none.
      I observe his hands flowing
          with the 10,000 things
                gently, easily.
They hold me intrigued,
               like his expressions,
                             like his poetry.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Before the mirror,
the mirror dressed in growing
green, grateful, delighted

to read her introduced soul
to a melting pot of souls,
to herself.

She presents to hearts and edges,
lovers, mothers, fathers,
sons, daughters...

all who want to hear --- blended,
torn, mended, creating, some blind
of their, and her, ingredient status,

delicious in sour dough bread
of the universe.  She reads glowing,
the glow of pregnancy, with dignity,

the dignity of confidence, mirrored,
undaunted, eyes sparkling.  Sparkling.
Pure.  True.  Without memory,

she practices with enthusiasm
the patient, steady, morning
score in d flat major - complex

and simple. The room fills
with a lilac hue and scent.
Ingredients expand.

She speaks in light, in dark,
a star speaking to stars, in dark,
in light, able to root deep,

undulate far, far and beyond.
Blissful.  Vibrant.  Quiet.
She sits down, imagines her distant,

and then near, singing, always
singing. Gladly she writes
the list for today, sips green

leafy tea, aware of a symbiosis,
part of her heart, their hearts, one heart,
forever, that cannot be


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Holding my lap top on my lap,
it is shaking, because my knees
are shaking.  The F# on my piano
is out of tune, along with
another connected note,
whatever note.
Yes, I wrote whatever.
I'm leaving early for the conservatory
this morning to practice on a Steinway.
That's not it though.
Through the Poetry Foundation
poets receive gold...
$10 a line up to $300 -
an electrical bill
and a Beatrice payment (Beatrice
is a reliable friend, my red Hyundai).
Paid for poetry?
She hears it, the girl, the adolescent,
the 20, 30, 40 something... "You
think you can make money from
writing poetry?"
We see it in black ink, like ancient
yellow, clear citrine -
$10 a line up to $300.
So my knees are shaking.
They are shaking too, because...
I'm feel alone this week
and a cold attached itself to me -
clogging my veins and arteries.
I had unclogged them one by one
over these something years
with love and the present moment
and love of the present moment.
Parenting four, not three.
Creating one.
You cannot create another.
Remember Kahlil Gibran's poem...
"Your children are not your children."
My knees are shaking because
Sheri lives in Florida, Marlena died,
Sandy is busy, Fred is a half friend
and Lisa too. (This is an illusion.
They are friends.)
Michael is away for six weeks.
(He is a new friend.)
Peter is lives in Cleveland, not here,
Mom in Michigan, Jim and Mina in California.
Betsy is Orion's piano teacher and future friend.
Little Running Horse is a friend too,
but she is a canine family member.
Can Xesque be who he says he is?
(As of now, it is not for me to know.)
My knees shake because I cherish
the respect of my children
and my money is running out.
I have a cold and my money
is running down the street,
turning into the labyrinth.
I better shower -
water always cleans mental arteries, veins -
and sit myself in front of a piano
at the conservatory -
a piano imbues happiness.
No, I didn't think it...
"You think you can make
money from playing, practicing piano?"
Well...   it stops my knees
from shaking.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Emailing resumes
to non profits
between practicing
truth and beauty,
Claire de lune
in my living room.
With this piece I love,
I find and practice
myself.  Humming, I
send information
out, letting it go with
this celestial, earth song.

Where I work, perhaps,
there will be space
for a poet-in-residence.
We will expand
working side by side
even though you live in
the United Kingdom, Russia,
Germany, Mayalasia, Phillipines,
Brazil, India, Lebenon, Latvia,
Canada, or the United States.
You will see, what I see.
Please walk with me.
Interpret, my friend, as you will.*

*I'd be honored to know your opinion.