Dienstag, 27. Oktober 2020

Berlin in the Morning

coffee running through 
the porcelain filter 

it's hardly dawn

outside a raven 
is croaking early 
as the pine floors 
creak under naked 
feet & the regular 
breathing from 
the other room 
quiets my heart

the disembodied 
muezzin's voice from 
the apartment below 
is part of this morning's
sound pattern
all is well

©beatrix brockman

Donnerstag, 13. August 2020


for six years you 
stood outside — nose
pressed to the window
of whispered words 
stamped confidential 
now you stand at
the threshold, hesitant
to walk through the door
— whether you want to or not — 
your turn has come to 


© beatrix brockman


a cut

a gash


incisions (six)

daVinci* style 


though healed

they’ve separated 


the seams of life 



while ring and rings 

stay closeted 


©beatrix brockman


Mittwoch, 12. August 2020




in photography 

you’re still alive, 

one young and wiry, 

beautiful, the other 

her long hair coiffed, 

bouffant above the brows

in sepia forever frozen

both the soprano 

and the baritone. 


past your frames 

my path leads every day

but rarely do I focus 

on the woman or the man 

my parents captured

too in kodak-color.


so loving was your voice 

so rare on paper, too afraid 

that seven years 

of schooling only 

might yield mockery


how precious now

the cursive speaks  

to the “little one, beloved 

and so far away” 

whose heart crossed 

oceans every day.


and so I linger and reflect 

head bent over words 

– more valuable to me

than gold – and stand before 

your pictures that once

will perish until nothing 

shall remain of us.

© beatrix brockman

Freitag, 17. Juli 2020



tentatively I set my foot
onto this week, uncertain
whether one or another cobble
stone will crumble to dust. 
if anything, it seems to 

support my weight; but again 
and again doubt sticks its ugly 
head around the bend 
as if it were the salt 
one needs to spice up hope

From December 2019


zaghaft setze ich den fuß
auf diese woche, ungewiss
ob nicht der eine oder
andere kopfstein zu staub
zerfällt. noch scheint sie zu

tragen doch die skepsis streckt
ihr hässliches gesicht immer
wieder ums eck als wäre
sie das salz mit dem man
die hoffnung würzt

©beatrix brockman


(A Sestina)

My mother’s always been a nightingale
eleisons soaring from her catholic lips
although her wings were roughly clipped
like branches in a sprouting apple tree.
It was her gardener whose rigid faith
in God was just as strong as in himself.

He knew what he expected of himself
and sacrificed the godly nightingale
on altars of his misplaced Roman faith.
Still she found freedom pouring from her lips.
High in the branches of her fancy’s tree,
she could sing, her puppet strings were clipped.

Her heart was free, as if he’d never clipped
those quills to keep her solely to himself.
While for her children she was maple tree
she praised the Lord of man and nightingales
who gave her freedom flowing from kind lips
and strength when weakness all but broke her faith.

My mother’s never wavered, as she faith-
fully made sure that no-one ever clipped
her daughters’ wings. So when she kissed our lips
and buttoned our clothes she’d made herself,
with tears and heartstrings of a nightingale
we knew, she’d push us off the family tree.

Today, there is no orchard, gone the trees,
just ashes, embers of the fossil faith,
a ghost of her, the only nightingale
he’s ever known to soar, although he’d clipped
her feathers with the rosary beads himself,
Hail-Maries streaming from his withered lips.

As night now slowly calms those foolish lips
and darkness puddles down the apple tree;
the window shows an image of himself:
wrapping virgin after virgin in the silks of faith,
he mourns each feather that he ever clipped
from joyous wings of gracious nightingales.

His lips attend the tiny orbs of faith
as high in trees – translucent wings unclipped –
his self is soaring in the nightly gales.

© Beatrix Brockman  (2009)

Mittwoch, 20. Mai 2020


Aus 2009, als ich in Nashville Doktorandin war:

legen sich sonntags
wieder meilen
zwischen ein leben in zwei
städten kommst du mitt'
woch in meinen süden

eiche aus spokane

als liebhaber nur -- ohne
den vater und ernährer --

dann bohren sich
meine wurzeln wieder
tiefer in die erde
will ich ausschlagen nur


in deinem schatten blühen

© Beatrix Brockman