by Dana Carlisle


A Portrait of Ivan*

Ivan in the Red Wings shirt
Wearing his winter jacket in April
With his hands up his sleeves
Until he gets his Dad's white jacket
Because everyone wears white jackets in the spring
Listening to "Rag Doll" in the library
Sitting next to Frankie
Because Frankie's the only one he can talk to
Reading Tom Sawyer for English
He thinks of his girlfriend
'Cuz Tom writes Becky in the sand
He can't stop thinking of her
Can he now?
Spring days on the front lawn
Cruising faster and faster through the streets
On a small red moped
Century 21 signs collected in a car
Only the Seventh Sign will tell.

-Winter, 1988



You must have known how much I loved you
You must have known how much I cared
But you went ahead and did it anyway
You let him shatter all that we shared
I got over it after a while
Because you remained a friend
Everything was going fine
Until, once again, he brought it to an end
So I held my head as high as I could
And collected the remnants of my pride
I cursed him for what he had done to us
And you because you lied.
Now so many months later
After you've treated me so bad
You say that you love me again
And expect me to be glad.
But I cannot be happy
For you hurt me before
And I'm not really sure
I could go through that once more
But I'll wait and I'll watch
While you try to earn my trust
And then, only then,
Will I think about us.

 -December, 1987


The Biggest Lie of All*

Okay, so I lied
I have to admit it
But you shouldn't have pried -
What right did you have?
You blame me for lying
Did I have a choice?
A part of me was dying
And you didn't care
Don't speak to me of lies
Because before the fall
It was your lie
That was the biggest lie of all.

-November, 1987


Stay Away

What happened to us?
We were so good
You said you loved me
Like only you could
But that suddenly stopped
And you wouldn't talk to me
What did I do?
What made you leave?
We remained friends
But I found out the truth
He told you to leave me
He always was uncouth
And you the spineless
Jumped at his call
Not really caring
That I took the fall.
I've tried to be friends
But now you're a snob
You won't talk to me
My self-confidence you rob
And now you tell me
You know something to "blow my mind"
Leave me alone with your silly games
I don't like your kind.

-October, 1987


On a cold snowy night, staring into the snow, you feel the
          absence and the attraction of that all consuming feeling
Burning deep within your
Every thought and movement programmed by this desire.
Sight and sound and all other senses, feelings, and emotions
          drown under its captivating spell.
Soothing moments come only in the presence of the cause of
          this searing emotion.
Isolation comes in the form of dreams and realities running
          together as one.
Only chance to rest is to break free of this power that neither
          time nor distance can fully quench and lessens only after
          several eternities.
Never be coquettish with this feeling, because this chain is
          stronger than you and you will surely be burned by the

- December, 1988


Sapphire and Amethyst*

The hazy pink ball
Dips beyond the blue mass
Which reflects the golden pink colours
Of sunset.
Hungry sapphire waves sweep slowly,
Slowly at the shore.
A lonely wisp of sea grass bends,
As if whispering an important
Secret to the pale sand

The ball has dropped,
And only a few streaks of amethyst
Are left drifting across the navy sky
The only proof that the golden chariot
Really did float across the heavens.
I am safe in my bed
And as I lay in the dark and listen
The gently waves sing a lullabye,
Rocking me to sleep.

-Spring, 1986

My first published poem.


Summer Memories

Green, blue,
                      white, yellow, red.
Hot, warm, cold,
                             windy, sunny.
Sun, sun, sun,
                         sun, sun, sun.
Heat, sizzle,
                     warmth, fire.
Gulls, laughing,
                            splashing, lapping.
Lazy, lying, careless days,

-September, 1988


Legend: A Sonnet

The brown haired girl is gone for good
No one shall ever see dear Norma Jean
Another soul is lost to Hollywood
An innocent girl is no longer clean
Her smold'ring eyes attract and mystify
And platinum blonde hair excites the senses
Her pouting lips seem to justify
Why men follow her at great expenses
But Norma Jean is a tragic heroine
Led to a fall by her insecurities
Her whole life she simply tried to win
Her whole life she simply tried to please
And this sad tale is how the story goes
The tragic life of Marilyn Monroe.

-Fall, 1988



Your words you lashed out
I couldn't believe their audacity,
But you continue to shout
Was it speaking your hidden voracity?

Biting words were meant to sting
But their impudence I found hilarious
You seemed to say I was a silly thing,
You know we both find that ludicrous.

You're really quite droll, you know
Some might even say you're amphigoric,
But I think that's just your show,
We both know you're imbecilic.

It was admitted on the other hand
That your emotion was simple jealousy.
If these words you don't understand
I'll excuse your mental deficiency.

 -Spring, 1988


Forever Didn't Last

The friendship we shared
Was all that I had,
And now that it's over
I can't help but feel sad.
We had some good times -
But underneath it all
There was no foundation,
Nothing to stop the fall.
We thought that there was
I guess we were wrong,
And now it's all over -
Forever didn't last very long.

 - March, 1987


A Wish

I hope some day someone will love you
And say the things I never could.
She'll love you as much as I did
But do the things I never would.

I hope she's as happy as I was
But when you are gone
I hope she won't wonder why
And cry until dawn.

But since I know she will
Just tell her you love her
That it wasn't her fault.
Talk to her, trust her, reassure her.

If you will do this,
And here is the key,
Please, please tell her
The things you never could tell me.

-Spring, 1987


Those Younger Days

Where are those olden days of happiness?
The golden days of the young?
They were so close just yesterday
But now they seem to have faded away.
Or were they ever really there at all?
Was it just yesterday I ran and played
With my best friend of those younger days
Without a worry, without a care?
Those days seemed close just yesterday
But now they're gone
Those carefree days
Those play days
Those younger days
Those golden days of the young.

-May, 1985

Author's note: Yes, I was 13 when I wrote
this but you'd think I was grandma, huh? :)

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*These poems were previously published in various editions of Spectrum, a poetry anthology, but I retained the copyright.

Poems and graphics copyright GSDana