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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Creator, help me know what to say.
  He hates his world, he thinks is the world,
  and everything in it,
  she cries, missing her children,
  he wishes his parents would die.
Help me know what to say.
  She dwells on her abuser, handing
  him her power,
  he swears and screams about war,
  she says she's dying to die.
What do I say?
  She shouts at mockingbirds outside
  her window,
  he thinks I'm an angel, then asks for
  phone sex,
  he says You and the devil fight
  in his mind.
Oh Creator! help me know what to say,
the kind, best words to say,
so I can help them
and help me.

Monday, July 30, 2012

He sings to me, makes me blueberry pancakes
  with Swedish caramel syrup, says hey!
as we drive past rows of rolled hay,
  surprises me at the library, where he knows
I'm emailing resumes. I say hey! too, it's you!
  Behind sexy sunglasses, I know his eyes
are sparkling.  Song to song, sunrise to sunrise,
 kiss to kiss, hey to hey, my heart is sparkling --
  Hey! sparkle to sparkle...


opening my suitcase
                         cat sprints,
a Basho plop
             
              coziness!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Note to fourlinesaday.blogspot readers:
There is a problem with my computer dear readers!  I'll continue to try to post at the library, however, there may be a day here and there where I won't post and will have to post two poems the next day.  My hope is to have the computer working next week.
As always, thank you so so much for reading my poetry!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

We Cry Hearing The Two Trees

We cry hearing The Two Trees,
 holy poem, sacred song.
Tree to glass, glass to tree,
  divided knowing right and wrong.
Visions ancient breathe in me,
  music, voice, violin, 
barrenness and leafy green,
  loves vibrations from within.
The sun, cherishing our earth,
  sees us shining in the night,
shining still though demons old,
  feast on casting out our light.
We know not who we are,
  what a tree or flower is,
as we search beyond the stars
  as we wonder where God is.
Tree to tree and rose to rose,
  born from heaven's rumbling seas.
Wind to wind melody flows.
  We cry hearing The Two Trees.

In the mirror in gazing thought,
  what is it you really see?
Temporary in glass caught,
 beloved heart, it is not thee.
As the past with solid roots
  means to keep the spirit bound,
mare and stallion crawling kept,
  heads hung low down to the ground.
Can we change?  The garden waits -
  beauty growing, clearest sight.
Chorus singing, the sun still hears
  our golden voices in the night.
In verdant trees and wilderness,
  music of a weary sigh,
from a holy, kind caress,
  we can see with tender eyes.

 Visions ancient breathe in thee,
  music, voice, violin, 
barrenness and leafy green,
  loves vibrations from within.
In blissful tree and wilderness,
  music of a weary sigh,
from a holy, kind caress,
  we can see with tender eyes.
Tree to tree and rose to rose,
  born from heaven's rumbling seas.
Wind to wind melody flows.
  We cry hearing The Two Trees

This is my version, my writing of The Two Trees, a poem originally written by W. B. Yeats and a song also, music by Lorenna McKennitt.  I tried to keep the same meter and emotion as Yeats' poem throughout mine as well.  Please try to listen to Lorenna McKennitt's song, if you can.  It is on her CD, the mask and mirror, and is extraordinarily beautiful.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

                                First Call of the Night

"Have you ever answered a banana?" The caller asked.
"No.  I don't ever recall answering a banana." I said nonchalantly.
"Well, I have." she laughed. "Have you ever
seen a banana alone?  It makes me laugh
to see a lone banana."
I saw a lone banana, like a single sardine, a last grape.
"You're right.  Yes... they're usually in bunches." I agreed.
Her animated picture painted brightly through the phone,
"I was at this gas station store once and next to the register
was a lone 59 cent banana.  I noticed this guy next to me.
So... I picked up the banana and said, 'Hello? Hello?
Ah.. oh, yes, he's right here.' and I held out
the banana to the guy.  'It's for you,' I said."
"Really?" I started giggling - my funny bone activated.
"and... now" she continued, "you're supposed to ask me what he said."
"Oh right, okay, what did he say?" I really wondered.
"He said 'tell whoever it is I'm busy.'"
 Unstoppable laughter peeled out of me, "That is so funny!
I think I would have said that too. That reminds me
of a Saturday Night Live routine."
"Really? You think so?" she asked, hope in her voice.
"I always wanted to be a comedian.  But mom
said I was no good."
"Well, a friend told me once that no one makes money at writing poetry,
but I keep writing because... I love it more than anything."
"I like talking to you." the caller smiled through the phone. "What's your name?"
"Annabelle." I answered.
"Hi Annabelle.  I promise not to drive you bananas."
I laughed.  "No worries.  I'm banana proof."


Monday, July 23, 2012

So much to love in the world --
I block out the rest,
let it pass by, fiery clouds,
disappearing, unattended.
TV never on.  Do I choose
to read, listen to what leads
towards an early burial,
my day, my bed in a grave,
like an album stuck on a phrase
and no one is home?

No.  There's much to love in the world --
I focus my passion on heros...
ghandi, keats, einstein,
galileo, renior, beethoven, tolle,
kate bush, joni mitchell, spinoza,
and what I perceive in my midst...

his sweetness like blueberries,
his brown-gold eyes, a pisco sour -
sour and sweet, handed to me
on his knees - a lord to his lady,
a lady to her lord. I'll give him a world
to love.  Mine filling with light...

So much to love in the world --
gold finches, oak trees, moms telling
about their days, friends elevating
consciousness up to K2 - Balti - Sarikoli
and beyond, who laugh out loud often,
want you to grow, who love you forever.
Just as parents love their children.
Just as whales love their pods.

So much to love in the world --

Sunday, July 22, 2012

She iced into a cold fish,
hardened into granite,
became a gray rose,
touched loneliness
of no feeling --

although 
she swims in warm water,
is sky from a stone, 
loves yellow roses,
tears at the break of a butterflies wing.

For 30 minutes in skin of steel,
impenetrable, she remained
hiding from her heart until
her spirit forced her out.
She cannot turn away from
loving,
even with the risk of feeling
sorrow.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

If I could write a sculpture, 
she would have a soft face, 
an airy, moonstone countenance. 
She would be a breathing sculpture,
eyes soft as kittens ears,
sparkling clear, like sunned, morning water.  
Every breath, a freeing of form,
every breath, a being of form.
Her mouth would say nothing,
yet speak without speaking.
Scenting you, she's inspired to relay,
"Your spirit is shining!
 Can you tell?"
Aware of all sounds and all touch,
her shoulders love birds
as they land.  It is a kiss,
an honor, to be a resting place
for a winged creature.
All gentleness without moving,
all moving in slow gentleness,
sensing energy in stone and without,
all beginning with the softening of her face.
Her peace-filled reach would travel far 
far beyond, far beyond
her statue.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

His rate increased
to three-quarters --
no longer a half friend!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I woke up singing this morning
wandering also around, in my mind,
a mystical green place of sparkling sun and dew.

It is where we go when we die,
drawn toward light from the dark
gate to living things.

It is where we are when we rise
high, inspired by an inner voice,
the voice that says, go forth and create.

It is why I am dying to live,
letting go of worn visions,
returning to the beginning.

From love I perceive his hand
touch my face and do not think,
but feel conciousness, clear --

contented beyond contentment
from a simple caress.  Why is he here for me?
Why am I here for him?

For this dying to live,
this touch on my face,
this singing in the morning.

I need to mow my lawn,
a sauna sun, a thick air awaits,
as does the grass growing
this way and that like
Einstein's hair.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The cat tails are now hale, taller
  than me, with delicate-looking,
long, slender leaves, slowly swaying,
    laborless in the sunlit breeze.

Most wear true green, green, vibrant
  tended golf-course green, yet some
are golden from lack of rain and heat.
  The candle sticks reach up in
mountain pose, with soft-rust,
  brown-orange flowers.

All are layered like leaves of any
  tree, any forest, flower bed, field
of corn.  Life, full of infinite layers.
  Onyx and I are outsiders again.
Last winter we stood within,
  beyond the cat tails, upon the
white ice of mallard pond.

Today she finds something grounded
  within this growing fortress,
her black tail wooshing back and forth.
  I silently watch.  She listens
and smells, smells with a wolf nose.
   "What is in there Onyx?"
  I ask her. She looks up at me
and back at the cat tail forest floor.

  I'd like to stay, float like a she elf
or Indian through the forest.
  But I am neither.
For all my trying, it would be
  like breaking words, a world
of words.

So we walk home, shined upon.
  I feel my skin green, with a sudden
blending of allowing and joy.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Under the gracious sun this afternoon,
trying to outrun approaching thunder 
clouds is futile.  I look up at the sky.
Allowing, accepting would be wiser.
                Rain on me.

Today my house is dark early.
This is what Moon must have felt
without us home.  She has finally
stopped her mournful meowing -
               being alone.

Yes, I am here, but also there,
of Michigan and Minnesota
a duo citizen, an artist mom. 
Sarie can't come over till Sunday.
               I miss Orion. 
             
             And tomorrow?
What will tomorrow bring?
Michael.  Michael of Minnesota
and more.  I smile at the thought of him.
He is a contented citizen of the world,

               the universe.
We're all citizens, awakening consciousness
of the universe.  We just don't know it.
I am of the mind, one day we will.
What will our earth be like then?  

Thursday, July 12, 2012


This morning with my Elantra loaded -
suitcase, cds, books, hummus, crackers,
Michigan blueberries, chocolate, water,
and Little Running Horse filling up the back seat -
I drove west following the constant, cheery sun.
I must have tapped together the heals
of my leather bjorn shoes, three times,
because we are home, honey home already,
where the buffalo used to roam,
where a million lakes still layer the land,
and loons are loved.  Minnesota home.



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Read the poem again.
Read it when you're happy, he said,
when you are hungry, frustrated,
simply waiting for the train,
during breaks and moments made,
while cooking mushroom stroganoff,
doing dishes and after you've put your feet up.
When your eyes start to close,
open them and read it aloud again.
Say it to your friends, your children,
to your love, between conversations,
drinking a cup of coffee, munching on
dark chocolate covered coffee beans.
Whatever it takes, persist,
persist until you memorize it,
until it becomes your heart,
blood flowing through your veins,
effortless as breathing.

Then write a poem.
Write as the sun goes down, when you wake
in the middle of the night, in the morning
when your room is dark purple,
as birds begin to speak and neighbors sleep,
when you're sitting at a restaurant, sipping a mojito,
between scales on the piano.  Write when
you have a quiet moment, at the art institute,
outside during lunch hour, on the train.
Say it to your friends, your children,
to your love, between conversations.
Whatever it takes, persist,
persist until it flows from your heart,
bleeding words onto paper,
effortless as breathing.



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I tried,
limping along
on a tired knee
so I stopped.

Sometimes,
we just need
to swing
with the wind
and sip water.

Especially
when it's
90 degrees!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sara says Moon is mad we left,
following her around the house
meowing.
I have not called.
It passed my mind,
like a street car several times.

I'm sorry for not calling, I tell her -
sad, self absorbed in my own happiness -
actually forgetting for moments,
forgetting for moments! -
I am a mother.
For years being a mom was me,
the most important, worthwhile part of myself.

We've talked of living on the same block,
my three children with their families
and me and my happiness -
my happiness I'm finding,
will continue to practice
more and more, each day.

My happiness - the greatest gift
I will give my children.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Here is my hand,
held out to you,
my curtsy or bow,
if you like.
Namaste.
Here, too, is my apology,
for a poem unwritten.
I could bake you
a chocolate cake,
decorated with raspberries,
filled with raspberry liqueur,
and dark chocolate frosting
or sing you a song.

What is a woman to do
taking in all the world in one city -
all symphonies in The Cleveland Orchestra,
all music ever written in Hungarian dances by Brahms,
every pianist in one Emanuel Ax,
all pianos in Peter's soul-filled piano,
every conversation in one conversation?
While time may be a concept, last night
my body turned into a sleeping pumpkin.
Pumpkins can't write.
I woke up a refreshed woman -
no longer a gourd -
a woman ready to take in all the world!

Here is one poem.
with some poems in it -
wheel barrels,
nests in beards,
how do I love thee.
Move letters around;
you will find them.

In the mean time,
I give you my hand,
my curtsy or bow,
if you like. 
Namaste.
I'll sing you my songs,
bake you a dark chocolate raspberry cake
because... you read my poetry.
Thank you for reading my poetry!
I promise to find my voice.
I am finding my voice...

May be one day...
one of my poems will
have all the poems of the world in it.

Friday, July 6, 2012

I am part; I'm wind in a violet sky,
  listening to exquisite notes...
    that I am playing.

I'm playing to my Creator...
  Peter's working and I'm living 
   my day with his Steinway,
a Steinway grand that sounds
  like a cello, an ethereal cello.
    I'm drawing a cello bow.

This resonance is from 1912
when Steinway aged sounding boards
  composing metal harps with the finest 
    metals on earth.

I'm playing, too, for all animals...
  for the keys are ivory
    and move themselves.

It doesn't matter what I hear,
  my own songs, Claire de Lune,
   or one note repeated pianissimo,
     the sounds echo like waves
       in my heart.

         I will never forget it
           for as long as I live.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

In Cleveland at The Wellness Center
this computer seems like a alien object.
Staring, writing, deleting, the gavel pounding ...
words.  I love them and yet... 

Down the hall there is a wooden floored
yoga room, with a mirror on one wall -
side to side, floor to ceiling, 
tall windows on the other.  I told Peter
all it needs is a ballet barre.

I'm going in there to dance.
Tomorrow, I'll write at a coffee shop
about holistic cranial sacral massage
and how healing and heavenly it is -
the world would benefit to know! -
like dancing.
Born in the USA
July fourth fireworks
Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra flying
1812 Overture
Music from Apollo 13
American Salute

Cleveland tomorrow
going to bed 1:30am
zzzzzzzzz
(a Matsuo Basho plop!)

dreaming of singing
singing in my sleep

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

To Matsuo Basho -

Startling frog -
low and loud -
mooing like a cow.


Every time I visit my mom, we drive to Fernwood, a botanical garden, 35 miles from Dowagiac.  We walk among the ponds, gardens, forest trails down, down to the St Joe River.  This time as we passed a pond with tall grasses, golden-green in the sun and lily pads in pretty patterns, we heard a frog with a, kind of, typical croak.  We stood there listening for a curious moment. Suddenly a low, loud, sound, truly like a cow's slow, continuing, melodious moo filled the area around the pond.  We looked at each other surprised and amazed.  Never had we heard a frog sound like that!  Immediately, I thought of Matsuo Basho and his timeless haiku I so love - Old Pond.  

Old pond,
frog jumps in:
plop!

by Matsuo Basho

Monday, July 2, 2012

It's like I'm wondering
what to wear at the last minute,
with so many choices I can't think.
There's no one to help me, but me.
The world full of 10,000 things.
Covered with blankets,
with my lap top on my lap,
a fan swirling above me,
a clock ticking beside me.
Lightning bugs fly
outside my window... okay.
I'm dreaming of my day.
I'm dreaming of love too -
how I want it.
How love makes life worth
everything, everything.
How giving makes life worth
everything, everything.
I'm going to choose with my soul
this time, wearing my choices,
every day, every moment,
never looking back.