width=61 height=87> Voracious Verses
Winter / Spring 2013


Janet Lee Butler



She stirred her coffee absently, absorbed 
in the minute drama on the window pane.   
A fly crawled in frantic longing, caught behind
a slice of transparency, barrier to the blue world beyond, 
colors and sky a summer perfection
it yearned for,  thin wings fluttering in despair
for air and release.  

She longed to catch it, cup it in hands, gently, 
carry it to an open window.  
At least it might fly free, away 
from this pain that held her, prisoner in a house 
where love sat nearby and distant,  looking at the blue world beyond, 
while she fluttered in frantic longing, tired wings 
beating against glass walls.
© 2013 Janet Lee Butler


Julie's Garden

Wind agitates leaves
like startled little bats.
They  shudder and shift
shadows that bubble
over my book.

Wings an ecstasy
of summer
that suddenly fold
in sleep
as breeze leaves. 

© 2013 Janet Lee Butler



Even longing has its dusky scent,
a musk of faded yellows, blossoms

once tight bright buds, sun and summer leaning 
nonchalant on window sills

or seated at a small round table, a porcelain demitasse
casting blue shadows on white linen,

you walking towards me across, perhaps,
an ancient piazza, stones worn by the hurried feet

of lovers who also dreamed of rushing 
into waiting arms.
© 2013 Janet Lee Butler


In The Fast Lane

I dreamed again of Italy, its winding Tuscan roads
shadowed by slim cypress casting lattice-work
of light and shade that slide over our open car 
like the flicker of an old movie reel,
puzzle pieces that broke then fell together,
love in the driverís seat, foot pressed hard to the floor 
speeding towards an ever-vanishing point of arrival.

© 2013 Janet Lee Butler


Hooked on You

The lapping of water soothes
in an August night clear with stars. 

I sit alone on a beach still warm with day, 
a sprinkle of sun melting beneath  buried toes

sands phosphorescent in the glow of moonlight.

I sense the broad powers of an ocean
moving in massive currents

me a toy that bobs and splashes and commands
a sheen of surface in lazy daydreams.

Waves ebb and pull me, bait snared yet struggling.
tail flashing, desperate, against  soft nets that hold

hooked on you.
© 2013 Janet Lee Butler


Janet Butler relocated to the Bay Area in 2005 after many years in central Italy. She teaches ESL in San Francisco and lives in Alameda with Fulmi, a lovely Spaniel mix she rescued in Italy and brought back with her. Some current or forthcoming publications are The Blue Bear Review, The Chaffey Review, Miller's Pond, Town Creek Poetry, and Red Ochre Lit. Her most recent chapbook is "Searching for Eden" from Finishing Line Press. Her website is: http://www.janetleebutler.com

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