EP&M Online Poetry

3 Poems


L.N. Allen


    After The Lady of Shalott

Who hung the mirror high on the wall?
Who pieced together the circular loom?
When is a prison not a home?
Why can’t I look out the tower window?

Why did the programmers whisper their curse?
Why must I type what I see in the mirror?
How can I tell if my mind is my own?
Why can’t I look out the tower window?

Why has my full name never been known?
Am I a tangible woman, or program?
Where does the Internet river flow?
Why can’t I look out the tower window?

Must I live forever, here in my room,
not to be touched by the sun or by  humans?
How will Love know that I ever was?
Why can’t I look out the tower window?


            Gabriel Heater

Nothing went wrong today.  Machines
hummed, purred or sputtered, according to their habits.  Seams
held, despite being frayed.  Pipes brought water and heat
to us and from us faithfully
as copper angels.  Our children were healthy
for children. The cat had no fleas,
the dog had no worms, the phone didn’t ring
without mercy.  We broke no promises, didn’t get angry,
remembered a lost friend’s birthday, spent so little money
we could have paid in coins.  Love didn’t come easy
but it came to stay.  Things were as they seemed
this manna day, this day when we all believed.



In winter it creeps
into my welcoming lap
like a grumpy cat.

In summer it sheds
and looks a little thinner.
We act like strangers.

But come November
it’s tripping me up again
and purring for cream.

L.N. Allen is a widely published author of short stories and poems, with appearances in many journals, including The Cream City Review, The Southern Review, Tundra, The Madison Review, The Mississippi Review, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and The Louisville Review.  She is preparing her first full-length collection of poems for publication, tentatively titled Small Pictures. 

"Deleted Song," "Weight", "Ah, There's Good News Tonight"
copyright © 2006 by L.N. Allen
and may not be reprinted or distributed without permission from the author.