Monday, August 12, 2013


Karen wrote many poems, in fact several poems made their way into the California Quarterly, a fact for which she was very proud.  "I'm a published poet!" she said when she got her copy in the mail.  Here is a poem I found that seem appropriate at this time - Karen, by the way, loved trees.  Stephen.


In a little month the men will come
and screw unscrew the screeching trees
uncorked, unable, not to grow again
Replaced by many many things that we call houses
we stupid angular masses that move only to the rhythm of success and failure
to build that which likens to us:
square houses , drab in colour, never fetching to the eye
square homes milky gray and khaki
vomit peach and sometimes a hope of blue
eight of them on the place where my trees have been.
I went , of course, for a talk,
a last goodbye.
There is one, oh there is one that I must mention.
I know it cradles, circles , embraces the old homestead
with a crafty needle- birch - eye!
For how else could it assiduously escape the roofing enclosure!
It bends back just now, moves over the rafters when it may!
And in so doing, paying little attention to the winding snakey direction of its own limbs,
it comes up more fragile, formed with attenuated grace,
in fact more of an explosion of bark and tiny greens than all the rest.
Ah well, that’s the nature of giving, isn’t it?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder of that which gives.
And then: a Christmas tree! Two stories tall, sporting the pointed reflective leaf,
lacking only berries. All hail! The last Christmas!
But there are rattan trees
proffering only sprouts of fading green
one bony trunk and then another and another
pointing to the sky,
simple, like simple children pointing effortlessly with tiny bodies at the sky

And the fruit trees are pregnant.
They bulge with the fumes of life,

more highly scented and ambrosiac than a vagina.
And they will die
they will all be cast down by red metal in a month.
No I will continue:
I picked a small orange from one,
It was underneath the white thunderously scented white stars on branches above.
And now,
before its better birth,
the aborted ball in my hand smelled only of perfumed flowers.
It doesn’t know.
No one has told it:
The heavens will be empty soon.


Diane Bay said...

Mommy you know I love trees too.

Unknown said...

so your heart dear K

Jim Johst said...

"We have lost a beauty, of the ages, and a sage, of the apparent."

Anonymous said...


Landrew said...

Thank you for sharing that poem of Karen's.

Landrew said...

Thank you for sharing that. God bless you and your family.

Paula Costanzo said...

As young girls, my sister and I were obsessed with Karen Black, her endless talents, we didnt even KNOW of her songwriting and singing abilities, just the acting, now i see the writings, how deep a river she was. I recently learned she had been a birth mother to the most wonderful children, she gave of herself to this world in ways she never spoke of. Her talents came spurting out of her, surprising i think ever herself. A giver of life, a nurturer of all things beautiful, i just keep coming back to the giving. It grieves me that we couldnt give back more - how i wish she could have gone to Europe for experimental treatment, which honestly would have actually turned out to be MORE giving on Karens part. I have had cancer. I had Blood cancer, which I am forever thankful was a curable one. What Karen had was IN no circumstances curable, experimental treatment would have given her maybe time, and findings for researchers and doctors to help others, again, giving...In the end she passed from this world to another with great panache, tremendous dignity, as much as you can have with cancer. I will console myself with the thought that she passed quietly with loved ones near, her eyes closed and a slight smile of knowing on her face ~into the unknown ~ dying as she lived ~ with a slight excitement to float into a new sphere of life - where I have no doubt her giving will continue....with much respect for Karen , Paula xoxo My condolences