National Poetry Day Poems part 1: Two poems by Rachel Carney



Billow up out into space,

because you can, because the air is there,

waiting like a solid cotton

entity of hope, and hold your breath –

cold, clear as glass – gliding fresh on your tongue, like snow.


Go. Taste it. Then release your breath as you count the way out,

lifting your wings – a dragonfly into light.


Don’t rush. The dawn has only just begun.

And don’t look down.

Ignore the shadows under you, the water’s swell.

Fix your eyes on skies of royal blue, and for the first time in your life,

decide to be the you inside –

the maverick, the brave philanthropist. Fly off.


Now stop right there and watch

as that old stub of you begins to flake

away – an empty shell.





(inspired by the Biblical story of Hosea)



Freedom was not what she wanted. Freedom was not her thing.

But he rescued her anyway, paying the ransom, and took her away with him.


She couldn’t believe it was real. She couldn’t stand the bliss.

So she ran back to where she thought she belonged – back to the hardship she missed.


At first, he just ached with abandon, sought refuge in work and pain.

But then he gathered the courage to rescue her again.


This time there was a child. The child was not his own.

He rescued her anyway, forgiving, welcoming both of them home.


At first, she was grateful and happy, in the arms of the man she loved.

But then she began to yearn for something to heighten the blood.


She stole away in the night, tiptoeing out like a thief,

leaving her child behind, searching for lust and grief.


She went back to where she began, back to the work she hated,

back to the old cruel master, hoping her thirst would be sated.


It was not what she hoped at all. She longed for that far off home.

She cried and cried for his rescue, knowing he would not come.


In fact, he was out there waiting, hoping to hear her cry.

He marched in like a god, squashing the guard like a fly,


he found her battered and bruised and begged her to come away,

but she pointed at her master, and there was just one way:


he had to pay the ransom, paid like he paid before.

It was more than money this time. He came out bruised and sore.


So off they went together. She couldn’t believe what he’d done.

But he told her he’d do it again and again, because that was the meaning of love.




Rachel Carney has had poems published in The High Window Journal and Sarasvati Magazine. She also writes articles for various magazines and runs a book blog –



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