Davyne Verstandig


Mad Men exits

David Lettermen exits
Hunger, Homeless, Hiding
Tent cities trying to shelter 60,000,000 displaced people in the world
100,000 people and more wandering, escaping in boats through high seas
On foot through deserts
fleeing tyrants and death
Death running or death staying

Boys trained as suicide bombers
Girls used as receptacles for semen and disease
Boys and girls sold into slavery

Lettermen exits
Mad Men fill the world

5/20/15 7:42 am

Poemings: "echoes and fragments"

In silence I write words I cannot speak

I wonder if being too careful is harmful

In the lines of my face I see the edge of sorrow and the memory of laughter

How complex simplicity can seem

I can't find the name for what I long for

I strain to hear silence


I carry lovers and husbands inside me to places we were never together –

What would happen if I were forced to listen to the sounds of torture?

A bowl of pink and orange peaches blushes in the light of the full moon

Is there any space at the edge of safety?

Desire sleeps beneath forgetfulness

Do the deaf recognize silence

Your words try crossing the road

This is not the right time

This is the only time

The bruises of morning

I long for this something I can't name


I don't know how this story begins or how it ends

Before I know what God was there was salt water

What would it be like if bombs, drones, guns and knives felt guilt

Grief is a pulse

If I ate your words, really digested them, could I write your poems?

Is it the aroma of baking bread I remember – or the anticipation of the taste
of the bread

On the median of the Penn Turnpike my gravel bitten brown calf skin vol 3 (of 8) of Bryon's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage lies

I must find the island of lost words


beneath flickering stars lightning daggers and frogs speak of fleeting things

8 swans stir the pond

clothed in a torn sweater and words -I wake

a leaf clings to the window waiting for flight-like me

where is the boat that carries sorrow away

in the snow I cried for the love that tasted like spring

sometimes only pleasure fills the empty cup of longing

a butterfly on the window - memory and sadness
a woman trembles in a distant country

I drink red wine until the stars weep then everything begins again

I must find the island of lost words

Island Solitary

I want to be a Solitary, a recluse, a hermit again
Once I was a wandering Irish monk on Skillig Island
1500 years ago

I want to live in a stone hut
On a cliff beside the sea

I want nothing but bird song and wind for conversation
And to eavesdrop on the dialogue of waves with rocky shore

I want to be forgiveness
To become unconditional love

I want to live apart from human discourse
Human distraction
Human suffering

To remember it all in a life of silent prayer

– BI 5/15

Daffodils I longed to see this winter
already browning and gone by

Bleeding hearts hang heavy
as mine does

Apple blossoms and magnolias
shake loose rotting into soil

Lilacs too will blossom and die
leaving nothing but a fragile memory of their fragrance
this wrenching spring

– davyne


Some people talk of mapping out the future
Others speak of shaping theirs
As if they have the power to do either
The future unfolds – shocking us with how little we know

birthday moon

This shadow moon lightens my bedroom
Leaving the corners dark
Outside tree shadows fall across the yard
The house is silent

70 years ago, a few days after Thanksgiving,
I was born in Grace New Haven Hospital

thank you to my long dead parents
for this astonishing life
your spirits live with and within me –

There has been lasting sorrow
guilt, regret, good laughter
Joy – two grandsons lift me higher than imagination
3 loving children fill my days –
with two husbands I made these great gifts –
Deven, Deva and Emerson

The hands of my clock move forward
Time in its circle opened for me 70 years ago
Will close someday
My love will outlive time

I will be in words
I will be here in a shadow moon
In the change of  tide
In the lift of wind
In the fire's flame
in beach stones and waves
in the deer and the bark of a lilac tree
when the deepest silence whispers
I will remain in the dusky confusing times
I will be here in the joyous juice of daily life
when stars climb the night sky
when bittersweet twines
when winter berries boast red in the snow

I will be within


i shall make a covenant with silence
live as an anchoress on a wild island
a nun of my own order
build a hermitage and live my days
free from the community of men and women
in the still moment of a turning tide

the vibration of all that is terrible and beautiful
will carry me away from broken words

i will have no name, no weight
i will be helpless yet strong

i will be laid bare of will and shame
of ego and desire
the wind will bathe me
there will be no wounds where I go

there will be no mirrors
no one to gaze at
no one and nothing to remember
no one and nothing to forget

there will be no spirals, circles or angles
no shadows no shade
no sunlight nor darkness
no history no fantasy

i will not hurt or be hurt

i shall make a covenant with silence
live as an anchoress on a wild island
a nun of my own order
build a hermitage and live my days
free from the community of men and women
in the still moment of a turning tide

on this wild isle i will finally be without effort of being


it wasn't expensive
the box of 12 bars of Chinese sandalwood soap
she gave her lover
an untraceable gift
one that disappears

his wife asked
"why sandalwood soap
since when?"

he loved  Nora
remembered their evenings
firelight, cognac, sex
bathing together with sandalwood soap

when he couldn't be with her
he enjoyed the teasing torture
of her scent

they exchanged no written words of any kind
not letters not books
theirs was just the scent of sandalwood and sex

a suite of longing

"I like a look of agony/ because I know it's true." – Emily Dickinson

alone by the lake
a little drunk
the woman with the broken heart
wishes for a lover to make dinner for

she wants to make pasta
heat up her homemade sauce
place a loaf of peasant bread
on the pine trestle table
open a bottle of good red wine
light candles
fill two goblets
dish the pasta and sauce
onto two white plates
beside sky blue napkins
eat slowly
talk quietly
or not at all
the company of a lover enough

after dinner she breaks
a bar of dark chocolate
into pieces
sets them beside slices of apple

finds her bottle of cognac
fills the snifters
takes her lover's hand
climbs the stairs

alone by the lake
with cigarettes and a bottle of beer
notebook and pen
a little drunk perhaps
the woman wishes


love poem

watching an ant
carrying its dead

how little humans
know of loving