On Paper
By Paula Tohline Calhoun

For just a slipping moment
it lingered in my mind.
too tightly held, I saw it break, then
piece by word, fall away from me.

Delicate and spitefully fragile,
razor-like shards – forever shattered;
visions, feelings, vague dreams
cut deeply, but leave no scars.

No pieces of crystalline perfection
to reconstruct and seal, as in a jar –
preserved, perfectly imprinted, sharply carved
inscribed indelibly, static, unchanging; no

All that I have: the smudged lens –
a faulty memory aching for recall
of all I held in that slipping moment.
I wish for soldered memory –

Impermeable, tightly sealed,
capturing forever the holiness
of the seamless revelation
once intact within my mind.

I write of what I briefly held,
and trace onto paper
my fragile, slipping-down moment, a gift
of perfect words, imperfectly expressed.

Paula Tohline Calhoun is a 61 years old, and a life-long lover and writer of poetry – as long as she has been able to read and write, that is. She started at age 4 when her Dad first read to her from Ogden Nash’s collection. She is currently working on a collection in which she is collaborating with a poet from South Africa. This collection (untitled as yet) is her first publishing effort. Her poetry interests are very eclectic, and she employs a number of styles – whatever strikes her fancy.

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