Throwing off the covers and other poems

by Charles F. Thielman


Throwing off the covers

I decide to keep my appointment

with what light remains, still hearing

the voice before waking.


Boot-prints in blue snow to a barn,

thick blanket waiting on stall rail.


Hands and breath on coarse mane,

we canter into what dawn skies offer.


Twin trails of breath fog dissolving

while branch shadows form


and begin to pull back

from a white field.

  Owls fly into dream,

 my throat close to her muscled neck.



My transit across thin crust


A cliff’s turned collar sheds sunset gold.


Bare rock darkens to accept

what the night sky lowers

through dense steam onto stone,


into river breath and this truck driver’s gaze.

Pulling freight between white lines and starlight,


wanting to hitchhike upriver, scrape the dust

of many roads into a slow, cool swirl near

rapids, then lay out naked beneath shimmer,


breathing in and out, waiting for a crescent

to silver a clear path to needed change.


I see all women in the sway of river birch.


I lay out on warm stone while bats

wing-brush ciphers, dusk rolling

dark blue thighs onto the burlaps of sky,


my transit across thin crust is a mural

hinged on trust and faith. I imagine


the moon lowering a lace sari onto two lovers

sleeping back-to-back. Raising my arms,

I spread the ten roads of my fingers


inside cool river breath and this light.



Outtakes and Embers


You rock on a wooden porch,

ignoring the blurs of passing freight.


A train’s wail shrapnels the forest

as pain ricochets inside arthritic joints.


Night bends down onto all fours and enters

the river as you wave to the paper-boy,


his fingers darkened by newsprint.

Your veins grown thick carrying


a host of illusions, hands cupping a lock

of hair, dream dissolving from touch


on touch, outtakes and embers

shelved close to an unfinished painting.


The portrait of her, graying in oak shade,

carved initials barely visible,


first love in an oval of green moss.

Her voice glides out of river fog,


birds singing to the sun-melted horizon,

easel and canvas waiting near houseplants.




Charles F. Thielman was raised in Charleston, S.C., and Chicago, educated at red-bricked universities and on city streets, Charles has worked as a youth counselor, truck driver, city bus driver and enthused bookstore clerk.

Married on a Kauai beach in 2011, a loving Grandfather for five free spirits, Charles’ inspired work as Poet and shareholder in an independent Bookstore’s collective continues! He organizes readings at the store.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-5-G_jaoJY for a sample of Charles participating in a group reading at said store, Tsunami Books.

And not a few of his poems have been accepted by literary journals, such as The Pedestal, Poetry365, The Criterion [India], Poetry Salzburg [Austria], Battered Suitcase, Future Cycle, The Oyez Review, Poetry Kanto [Japan], Tiger’s Eye, Every Writer’s Resource and Rio Grande Review!

Art by Sheila Lanham




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