Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Great White Wolf

The great white wolf bounds out over the field
And the vast herd of nimble russet deer
Fly with great graceful leaps before her: yield
To her bold brave passionate pursuit, their fear
Palpable, pervasive. Freckled fauns
Turn and flee, terrified, away: their doe,
White-eyed, drives them before her, for they know
The savage beast behind them masters all:
Her long white fangs, her tufted pelt, her claws,
Her terrifying terrier pursuit, her small
Strong canine ears, and rasping bark: she awes
Her trembling prey, however large, and they
All bound, as on springs, outrageously away.

Anissa Nedzel Gage copyright 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Sonet to Kween Titanya" by Botum the Weever

My dear sweet readers, I have received this rhyme in a strange manner of Providence, and I consider it my duty to convey this poem to the appropriate public. The discovery of the piece was as follows: one golden-tipped June morning, around Midsummer's Eve, while walking in an abandoned garden in long grass, scattering the chilly pearls of dew with each step, I found a minute scrap of what appeared to be tattered parchment bound tightly to an apple twig with what appeared to be clematis tendrils. As I unwrapped the fragment, I looked down, distracted by the shattered petals falling; I noticed, with a shock, that I was standing in the middle of a fairy ring! Every tiny toadstool parasol was neatly plucked, and laid down head to stem in a cirque, and some indeed seemed to be decorated with tiny flowers, some of which were out of season! I realized that these were classic signs that the old neglected garden was visited recently by the wee-folk. Musing, I turned back to the tiny scroll, which I unrolled carefully, noticing what appeared to be almost microscopic marks inscribed on its inner surface. I ran into the house, got out my large magnifying glass from my condensed OED, and started to examine the document, realizing that it was obviously extremely ancient, yet due to some strange magic (or fairy-glamor) I could actually decipher it! The letters seemed to leap around pookah fashion, then settled down, till it resulted in this, which my gentle readers, with its full title, follows:


O if my pristeen dewey joy of yooth
Shood lose one drop of elipser deevine,
O if. Forsooth? Oh chance. Perhaps O trooth
O woe is me? She smuffer a deecline"
Then. I shall curse that dreadful dratted time
That dooms all dreamy dears to direful death"
And that my love, O love so sweeet sublime!
Has sailed the streems of Syx. and river Leth.
Due to so horrid concourse, then I'll die.
For surely her dispuse shall wrack me so
But not before with revelection high
In fine anigh immoral line she'll grow.

O grant A Muse so sune its not too late
That she should be embalmed in mireful date.

Botum, the Weever

Naturally, upon reading this I was thunderstruck. This proves beyond all questioning, that Shakespeare was one of the greatest fairy historians England has ever produced, along with C.S.Lewis and J.R.R.Tolkein and that magnificent Rawling.
It proves, without a doubt, that Midsummer Night's Dream is a seminal work of history. It also proves that time and location mean little to fairies, who can easily "put a girdle round the earth" etc.

Anissa Nedzel Gage copyright 2009

Portrait of a Cat:: Baby Boy Part Three

My baby boy! My Puss-in-Bootsky boy!
My silvery-bluesky snowshoe-siamese!
My,toosky, perhaps bitsky tonkinese!
My shoesky bootsky boy! My jiminy joy!

My bouncing baby boy! How I enjoy
Your long gray elegant nose! Yes, if you please,
It's swank and so svelte even if you sneeze,
My oriental lion from Illinois.

You have those almond aquamarine eyes!
My babykins, you're draped over my chest,
Your nose and paws entangled in the nest
You've made out of my hair: apologize!

My purring pouncing purrfessional puss
Who makes me such an amateurish wuss!

Anissa Nedzel Gage copyright 2009

Portrait of a Cat : Baby Boy Part Two

Well, first your widdle shoesies settled in:
Yes, they stayed white while your long legs turned blue;
And then your snazzy cravat seemed to win
A snowier hue, in place under your chin.

A lovely twilight color: snowshoe true!
O how you, though then bottle-fed, then grew!
With ever squeaky purr and murrp and mew:
A macho pussycat, so masculine!

With your long elegant poise and lovely line,
I tried the Earl of Aquamarine once:
You're such a cuddlepuss that just didn't fit,
You Puss-in-Bootsky! Baby Boy Feline!
So I now ransack all my rusty wit,
A great big unimaginative dunce!

Anissa Nedzel Gage copyright 2009

Portrait of a Cat : Baby Boy,

Sir Edmund Hilary was not as brave!
Paw over paw you scaled the mattress blue:
Your tiny claws like pitons, stave on stave:
A valiant heart, magnificent and true!

You were still white, from tip of nose to tail!
Your eyes not even fully open yet;
Although you turned your mama's whiskers pale,
Upon a polar expedition set,

You crawled up spring and mattress every night,
And every morn she kitten-napped you home,
While you put up a fuss, acted a fright:
I'm still so honored, little honeycomb!

How could I find a name for one so rare?
You purring puddy hamster in my hair!

Anissa Nedzel Gage copyrignt 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Swimming Pool

The glorious jeweled beauty of our pool!
Like moonlight, starlight, sacred like the sun!
As sweet as shadows on a dune: a cool
And mesmerizing thing when work is done,
When work's undone a tantalizing jewel!
With each warm breeze the turquoise ripples run
And water shadows move, like a swift school
Of shimmering minnows, or silk spun
From liquid diamonds: bright, and clear, and cool.
On sultry summer days an orison,
Oasis where innocent pleasures rule,
In languorous nights a blithe oblivion!
A glorious thing! Like Debussy's Image!
Alas, now gone, it's only a mirage.

Copyright 2002 Anissa Nedzel Gage

In Memorium: Shura Nedzel

He showed me okra when I was a child.
He walked with me; I ran holding his hand.
He showed me their whole yard, each garden-bed,
And gradually taught me, as he smiled.

Those swift thin little lizards that beguiled
My eyes with green and gold, that fairyland
Of flowers and fruiting trees that rose from sand,
In Florida where winter winds are mild.

All this, the litchis and gardenias were
An Eden with no apple tree in view,
A Paradise, a place beyond the years,
Where old folks go, with frankincense and myrrh:

When I was little, long before I knew
Where heaven really is, through seas of tears.

Copyright 2000 Anissa Nedzel Gage

The Folly of Carnage

Russia! The land that should by rights be mine.
The land of my grandparents, who fled the shores
Of the Black Sea while the bone-shaking roars
Of cannon, Red artillery, back in nine-
Teen twenty, fired their last flaming volleys
On Odessa, and the White Army died,
Or fled defeat in murder-suicide.
Russia! The land of all my ancestors! Follies
Without number and without end have wrenched me
From my home to this land of exile: for I
Who have never touched your soil nor
Broken your bread have been raised on Russian tea,
And on meals made by Russian hands, while nearby,
Balalaikas played and Cossacks danced till four.

Copyright 1995 Anissa Nedzel Gage

Tiny Prometheus

The goldfinch in his spring, his gladsome prime,
Curvets and dives in the bright fields of air.
He sports high in the hawthorn and the lime.
He sings, while winging, songs joyous and rare.

In June the elm seeds, an enticement rich,
Have drawn him, feathered miracle, to feed.
From every pool deep in each greenwood niche
He dips his beak to taste the rainy mead.

In the last lazy reaches of July
He settles down, with the green wife he's wooed,
In nested thistledown. Don't ask me why
He chooses now to nourish a full brood.

Perhaps because he's brave or good and bored
He strives to strive with Nature or the Lord.

Copyright 1995 Anissa Nedzel Gage

Daddy's Birthday Poem

I too remember, when I was a child,
The prairie with its flowers running free
In waves before the winds -- a verdurous sea
Of rippling rivulets still undefiled.

In modest beauty, quiet, lazy, mild,
The flittering butterfly and humble bee
And singing grasshopper sipped dewdrop tea
From every flowering weed that winked and smiled.

It once sustained a thousand thousand herds:
In summer storms the bisons' histories
Resound again in bright thunderbirds wings.
Winds whisper ancient privacies: the words
Of Indians who moved in mysteries,
And all their secrets, safe in sacred things.

Copyright 2005 Anissa Nedzel Gage

Portrait of a Cat: Blaize Pandamonium

I hear a sudden crash and I go numb.
I hope that no one's hurt. Another lamp?
Aw, heck! You manic moth-hunter, you scamp!
How many have you shipwrecked, smashing chum?

Do you expect some high encomium?
Some florid phrase to glorify your stamp,
Wherein, you dashing enemy of the amp,
I celebrate Blaize Pandamonium?

The trick is you're so passionately sweet.
You with your pink-nosed decent panda face
Are so devotedly affectionate
That even though you, in your madcap race,
Bring lamps, drapes, crystal to a sad defeat,
You have us charmed so we don't mind one bit!

Copyright 2005 Anissa Nedzel Gage

Portrait of a Cat: Siberian Iris

O Iris, glittering apple of my eye!
You dainty silver imp, just like an elf
You magically appear upon a shelf
So arcane and so acrobatically high,
Then like a snow-leopard, you nimbly fly
Say eight feet down or so upon my bed
To land right on the pillow near my head,
My will-o-the-wisp, elusive butterfly!
As light as the feather of a seagull,
You fluttering flower-petal, by the breeze
Of your own inspiration you're impelled
To flit across the world with dazzling ease,
As free as alabaster clouds that scull
Across the firmament, never excelled!

Copyright 2005 Anissa Nedzel Gage

Icy Pride

I couldn't bear things getting out of hand.
You'd no idea what I had known too well.
No. Not protective you stripped of command.
This was my life; you were no ward of hell.

And so I did, without any finesse,
What any other honest woman would no doubt:
Lied like a dog, scorned you senseless,
And tied you to the last safe lifeboat out.

I felt I'd clearly picked the lesser wrong.
Why should my heartache scramble up your head?
My feelings on this point were rather strong:
You share this mess? I'd rather have been dead!

Don't think I didn't miss you. How I died
When I ignored you with smooth icy pride!

Copyright 1995 Anissa Nedzel Gage

Monday, January 12, 2009


To worlds that seem to have no need of light
I've come as a beggar, begging alms of sight.

I've come to walk and walk and walk until
Deep in my mind decisions have been made.

I've come alone to walk till dawn alone...but still
I've come to ask the dark for aid.

I felt the echoed longing for departure
And would ease my pain in something that would balm...

For all that brought me to the dark disturbed,
I seek to, in the darkness, calm.

Copyright 1990 Anissa Nedzel Gage

The Prince of Tigers

My prince of tigers, who knows how to stalk,
In terrible dignity, the grizzly mouse,
That lurking thief of granaries, that louse:
Richard the Lionhearted! You are my hawk!

You make the fierce foe scatter and squeak and squawk.
You chastise them from their tipsy carouse;
For these gray ruffians all sup and bowse
And batten on our batter, and jaywalk.

I know that any time I hear you meow,
If I glimpse a crazed mouse gnawing a meal,
I need not fear: you're here: you are the law;
And you, my prince of tigers, you prove how
The minions of the devil skitter and squeal
At the stern touch of God's majestic paw.

Copyright 1995 Anissa Nedzel Gage

A Walk With Dad at Midnight

The night walk alone - shared solitude!
Our dogs rooting out the tracks of vanished rabbits...
The bare trees on the banks below us all askew:
All black in a white tracery of darkness.

Then the temple cut like a gem across the sky:
Rivaling the moon for eminence
And the red ember of my father's pipe
Moving with its slow, serene, sweet gestures.

The snow squealing in glacial utterance
The pleasant woofling of each snuffling hound
All these, safe in remembrance
Speak with a silence stronger than a sound.

They'll battle time's unceasing tyranny
Boldly, with an all constant dignity.

Copyright 2008 Anissa Nedzel Gage

Reasonable Grace

When two young rosebuds blushingly endeavor
To kiss they must harmoniously agree
To wait, with pursing lips, until whenever
Conspiring winds will let caresses be.
It wouldn't do for a swashbuckling thorn
To rend a bloom or tear a tender leaf.
There should be nothing for them both to mourn,
And nothing to make tears stream out in grief.
We, like the rosebuds, nodded once to kiss.
As sweethearts, like them, parted from embrace.
And lest we share our pain and not our bliss
We must part now with seasonable grace:
Part with a thousand kisses, all in rhyme,
With love to waft us on the winds of time.

Copyright Anissa Nedzel Gage 1990

Old Hat

I didn't write these lines to buy your love!
I wouldn't blackmail you. I'm not a brat!
I'm an old sap: a googly turtledove
Who cries at things that are a bit old hat.
Don't act as if I'm a compulsive liar!
Whatever makes you happy makes me gain.
I love you. Come. So why would I conspire
To rob you of your rights and bring me pain.
If you're in love now then well life is hard.
Excuse my butting in! I've about-faced.
I'm a mad, mortal, and myopic bard:
Sometimes my better judgment I've misplaced.

So please forget me but forgive me first.
Please! Meaning well we often do the worst.

Copyright 1992 Anissa Nedzel Gage

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Our Ruined Castle

We dwelt in a gold palace in the sun
Set in the silver of a magian sea,
A sea more bright than diamonds and as free
Of tears as dewdrops are, and we were one.

Our love beat like the brazen waves that run
Eternally home to kiss the level lea.
As mingled foams upon the waves were we
Or so it seemed, until our day was done.

I woke to tears and knew the tears were mine.
My shattered castle was an echoing tomb.
All magic: the wild singing of the elves
Echoing on the hill-winds faint and fine
Dissolved and rains swept through each empty room
And quiet spiders spun on empty shelves.

Copyright 2002 Anissa Nedzel Gage

Blue Moons and Blue Roses

The nightingale, in heartbreak,
Trills out in dulcet pain
And you and I are green and hale
And fresh as April rain.

The Prince of all my Charmings
A paragon of dreams,
My Puss in Boots, in your catsuits,
I, the white kitten, it seems.

O you whose fiery nature glows
Stole on me unaware,
And made my dreary life a rose:
A blue rose, wild and rare!

Our rose was never gathered.
The rosebud never bloomed.
You dandelion! You've gathered
All the gold and I the gloom.

You've hoarded each great miracle!
(Fool's Paradise discloses)
While I, your fool, inherit all
Blue moons and all blue roses.

Copyright 2009 Anissa Nedzel Gage


You're Eden now! You're Paradise! And me?
I wish I had God's powers: I wish that I were free
To fulfill every wish in the sea
Of dreams: to give you a gift for every
Breath you take and a thousand worlds for every
Sigh; but I stand here mortal, with
Time, loss and change flowing through my hands
Like the old hourglass and all of its sands.
Now in this hollow age
That stretches on before me, this gray age,
This stone tunnel closing in around me, I pray
For miracles in words, for some magic rhymes to say
That I adore you, distant as Mercury,
Like leaves love light and white dunes kiss the sea,
But words are old and have no sanctity.
So still, I search for something
More precious than poems to give you
Knowing I can't bring
Wildflowers to spring
Or afford the song
That nightingales sing
In heartbreak to themselves.
I long
For the stars: to pour them out before you!

Copyright 1990 Anissa Nedzel Gage


A cool silk-pillowing sweetness, like a bed
Of smooth sweet fragrant linens comforts me.
A heady peace, like indolent petals shed
In humming orchards drowns me in ennui.
Impressions, long one, ring in me like bells:
Like west winds whispering over blowing sands
They roll and echo down the years in spells
For me to gather in my empty hands.
And thus the length of time's dispelled between us:
Days, like the clouds, dissolve in open sky.
Oh God! Your arms erase my loneliness,
Like easy breezes bear away July!

Copyright 1995 Anissa Nedzel Gage

In Memorium Eterne: to Rudolph Nureyev, from the Ballerina in Every Little Girl

The sun, the moon, a galaxy of stars,
A bashful boy, a wizardry of fun,
The ultimate Prince Charming with no mars,
And Father Christmas rolled up into one.
You were an Indian Sultan in a dream,
The god of poetry who gave me flowers,
The earth's wild purity, a laughing stream
Who leaps from darkness into golden hours.
Ballet was sacrament: holy, bright, pure:
Filled with grand passion and elfin allure!
Before you one long midnight of the soul
Consumed me: nothing served to make me whole:
Then you alighted, like a laughing star,
A lionhearted flame: just who you are!

Copyright 1995 Anissa Nedzel Gage

Nature vs. Nurture

As deep as silence by a woodland pool,
In dream's solemnity, this pensive girl
Glows with the luster of a living jewel:
As fresh in her sweet greenness as a beryl!
See the soft sacredness about her! The duel
Of Nature vs. Nurture sleeps: thoughts swirl
Pure as a forest spring: clear, calm and cool:
There's truce within her. O, this subtle pearl
Her soul, in patient meditative poise
Is one with God and at one with itself.
She's one with the world! This satin hair
And these sweet earrings murmur she enjoys
A tranquil loving life: our quiet elf,
So Buddha-like: serene, bright and aware!

Copyright 2008 Anissa Nedzel Gage