CC Willow art store

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Made My Bed

Made My Bed

I make my bed every morning
            After I discipline my body with 2 miles of exercise
            And after my husband rises.
A  habit cultivated, I cannot leave
            For the day until my bed is made.

Exhausted, I return to my bed
            & pull off the 12 year old blankets
Then straighten the wrinkles out of the sheets
            & pull their patterns flat.
Pick up the musty lavender velour, spread
            & pull its corners ‘til arranged
Letting its heavy sides cover the full bed
            & pull its sides until
                        Almost reaching the ground
                        Almost completely covering my bed frame.
And then the bedspread falls, arranging corners
            & pull down the sides until
Lilacs fall off my be, their flat patterns float
            & pull down & over.
I then gather the dark curtains that make my headboard
            & pull them back, morning light growing in them,
& then the pillows. I gather them
            & pull & plump & fluff then stand them
Arranging them until my bed looks
like a magazine cover
that would catch someone’s eye
at a newsstand until they reach over
            & pull it off the shelf to examine;
A flat picture that hints of rest & comfort
            & pulls you out of reality.
A habit cultivated, I cannot leave
            For the day until my bed is made.

Oct 6, 2005

Lilac Spray by CC Willow



I am wary of being tossed about
Tired of bars and parties
They leave me unsatisfied and adrift.
Yet I am also tired
Of the sleepless nights of watching the stars
And the cravings, Lover,
That act like scurvy, eating away at my belly.

So I have taken another
And though he offers a safe port for my passion,
Though he dams the tide of need,
Though he releases me to sleep -
He does not release me from needing you.
Being with him feels empty
Going through the motions
Having no real substance.
A false wind that does not sustain.

A ship with a false bottom
And I am still sinking.
I’m trying to watch the stars
But the October night is overcast
Leaving me navigating in the dark
For right answers
Which keep pointing to you.

That overwhelms and scares me
For my want of you is not good for you
And when you send me adrift
You are left feeling guilty
You insist you do not love me & am
Unable to be what I need
You insist I belong to another.
Unable to reconcile,
I am not a vessel you trust
But dammed, unable to refuse me.

I am both connected and held apart by you
By a sea composed of our past.
And without you, I am sinking,
Navigating in the dark
In a ship with a false bottom

Sept 2005

Reflections on Water by CC Willow

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I haunted you with the look
Laden with boiling sensual desire.

Going between naked wine
            And the red river of tears.

September 2005

Wine Bottle 1 by CC Willow

Some Scars Remain Unseen

Some Scars Remain Unseen

Some scars remain unseen
            So it stays when I scarred you.

Sixteen years ago, my greatest shame
            And pain that I thought truncated

Still tears at your mind, leaving you
            Still battle-scarred and battle-wary.

Given the choice, that is the one moment
            I would change – my greatest shame

Hurting you. I suppose I didn’t want to
            Give up hope. I wanted

A new beginning, a chance to
            Make more informed choices,

To walk away from recovered wounds
            With our own reclaimed skin.

But I cannot see your scar –
            You hold me still at a distance.

Some scars remain unseen
             And I cannot heal them;

History refuses to close - the same wound
            Still causes you to reject me,

Removes me from you, leaving me
            Feeling like falling debris.

Some scars remain unseen …
            Why can we not rectify them?

August 3, 2005

Ariel Red by CC Willow

Tuesday, January 29, 2013



My wings are clipped
            And I am earth-bound.

I gaze up at ancient trees,
            So immense and immoveable,
And it comes to me in an instant –
My life is as transitory as a butterfly’s in their sight.

Their lives began before me
And will continue after.
Unlike my mobile being –
            Moving to and fro,
            Trying to make meaning;
A tree’s job if simply to stand there
And hold its ground,
Weave it with their roots
To give a living net
So the rain and wind
Do not wash it away.

I, a transitory creature with a span of years
Just a blink to those giants,
My feet touch the ground
But do not penetrate.
Any net I construct last only
            As long as I am physically there.
I am too often washed away
With desire, my roots fail to hold
You, slipping away like quicksilver;
Your presence a gossamer instant.

And I, a clipped butterfly shorn of my wings,
            Am earth-bound, unbound and undone.

Aug, 5, 2005
written at Blowout Creek,
near Detroit, Oregon
Leaning Tree by CC Willow

Driving To Dallas

Driving To Dallas

There is no pretending I don’t need you.

My passion driving
            Like an Audi at eighty-five miles.

I won’t pretend I’m not being consumed by need.

I again turn to him
            And he cared for me,
As I cared for his needs
            When he was broken,
And he took me in
            Knowing of my need.
There is a long history there;
            We are not lovers but friends who love.

I won’t need to pretend he is you.

No tears this time will be shed -
            We retreat to his bed.
Not lovers,
            But friends who love;
He will shut the world out
            As we fall into his bed,
So familiar as when it lay
            Beneath his parents’ bedroom,
And he raised his passion
            To meet my desperate need –
I had immediate need of you
            And he filled it.

There is no pretending.

And as hunger and hope emptied,
            He filled that too.
For this time, my dammed need
            Is allowed to set our rhythm
And he allows me, passion
            Releasing and releasing again.

Exhausted, we laid entwined
            In his arms and long legs.
There is no pretending they are yours.
            Not lovers, but friends who love.
But as he slept, still driven by you,
            I rose & purged myself of him;
Purged his sweat from my body,
            My body of his food,
My mouth of his taste,
            My core of his seed.
Purged it of everything that was not you
            And then, stripped again to my essence
I again returned to his bed;
            His arms habitually enfold me.
Not lovers, but friends who love.

There is no pretending they are yours.

He did not take offense,
            Even knowing as he did
The precautions I took – filling my womb
            Inhospitable to his seed.
We are not lovers.

In the morning
            He will rise above me again
Aware that, heartbroken, passion unmatched
            Will drive me again without reason.
On instinct, on impulse;
            It will not be safe.
The day must be met
            But not alone – My layers fall,
Peeled away and our rhythm again
            Is paced by my incessant need.
He will console my desire again
            And then feed me as you will not,
Take me back into his life for that brief time
            Then let me drive away.

We are not lovers now
            But friends who love.

There is no pretending he is you.

We are not lovers. Now.

Aug 4, 2005

This is both a Tiger & a Stranger poem.
State Street, Salem, Oregon -photo form city archives,
color-editting by CC Willow

Monday, January 28, 2013



Every current pushes me
Towards your battered door
But often I successfully scurry back out
With the tide
Before you know I’m there.

Aug 4, 2005
Viw From The Seagull by CC Willow

Much More

There is much more to me
            Than wanting you
            Than being an unrequited lover.

I am a poet
            A married Emily Dickenson
            With no need for white.

An artist who is finding
            Her own vision
            Who can learn from others but cannot follow

Aug 4, 2005
Lower Blowout Creek by CC Willow

Don't Tell - a senryu

Don’t Tell

To you I admit
I no longer want any
Surrogate lovers.


Friday, January 25, 2013

We Both Know - Previously published on The UK Poetry Library

>We Both Know

It is the storm's forgetting in silence I fear.

We both know how the rain can

hit concrete and turn to ice

We both know how gathering clouds and disbursing clouds

will change a person's visage; pale thin light

does something to a person's skin, to their eyes.
We know how wind focused through the canyon of buildings

causes people to hunker in on themselves,

bunker arms tight around their layers

to protect, not allow frigid air to get a fingers grip.

We know a winter can last a long time;

the quieted pause giving us a chance to step outside

and survey what damage was wrought.

But we also know how a stripped tree glows

when the sunlight finally wins.

Even in a city of blacktop, storied buildings and commercial lights,

with thin pale light refracted by the crystalline layers and magnified,

a naked tree requires sunglasses for viewing,

its shape a single typed character against a stark white page,

a shock in the middle of blankness, an awakening,

It's limbs remembering to reach out, remembering its structure

Even in the city, a stripped tree is a thing to admire.


Dec 30 2012