Poetry by Bess Kemp

Bess Kemp lives and writes north of San Francisco in the beautiful Napa Valley
Ca.  Her work has appeared in a variety of on-line and print places such as
Mind Fire Poetry Journal, Thunder Sandwich, The Poetry repair Shop,
Neiderngasse, Cerberus, Papyrus, Medicinal Purposes, The Plowman, ZZZ Zyne,
Soul to Soul, Napkin Notes, Disquieting Muses, and Gray Matter Tapestry
among others.  She has also published B&W line art and is also the editor of
the award winning on-line poetry publication Some Words Poetry at :



the paint is blurred
but you can almost see
a woman seated by
the edge of tomorrow

she glances to the left
of what is not there
and riddles and chants
her way to immortality

she places a small stone
on the ledge
and as she leaves
she takes the sunset
with her


she says
and wordlessly
a second martini
with three olives
is served by
the bartender

in a few minutes
she repeats
her order
and then later
hit me again
she demands

and so the evening goes
until finally
she and the bottle
are completely drained
without mercy

Undo Time

muddy dreams stand stagnant
in the bayou
swirls of mosquitoes
have had their fill
of the night air

their final restitution
dances in moonlight
above the bog
as transparent wings
sound out
cautionary tales

but i walk alone at night
not heeding to the demons
not noticing
the way moonlight spills like
a fountain untamed

i follow those paths spread out
before i was born
melting lemon rainbows
on the ground
sound and fury guiding my soul
to take the high road out

while time stands still
like the moon
signifying the end of
my journey
with a sigh


we are a confused
tangle of days
a grapevine of emotions
hanging on with
brittle grasp
at the end of the harvest

we wither in our solitude
against the climate
and simply refuse
to give up

hope and pride flourish
when all else
has failed
making us cling
and cling
to what is already
long gone


linked by virtue
of greed
they crawl from woodwork
grasping at
material nothingness
uttering incantations
to keep the fates at bay

pity them
for they never knew
where to cultivate
the true pearls
of this life

Shower in Suburbia

Whispering rains in
tamborine dreams
jingle through the
tree limbs
a chorus of the
life flows through paths cut
in the predictable though
some small rivulets claim victory
as they seek
artistic outlet in
in the impending


A full vase sits on the table
and an empty sky waits outside
my thoughts drift and drift
like heroes from the old west
refusing to settle down
for long

so I let them go like
children off to school
out into the world to
make their way

and I stay behind
not expecting much
but content all the same

Bess Kemp



the green of her eyes found
no match in the grassy field
nor newly resuscitated garden
she worked long hours there
during the spring
through unforgiving summer heat
until finally the last bulb
had gone to sleep again
removed and hidden away
like most of the dreams
she no longer tended to

along the paths
sinewy tendrils reach for her
like needy children as she passes
she cares for them through
any rains that bestow life-blood
forming in puddles
like mirrors in mud frames
reflecting leathery aging features

soon there would be empty ground
an expanse of cold hard dirt
greeting her, leaving her useless
as a single match for eternity's

Long Before Midnight

broken down yesterdays
place roadblocks
at every turn
no trees grow in empty
fields of reverie
the mocking sky
will drop a black tarp
ruining the party
long before the last

About 11:30pm

the wind's contribution
to night
is softly tinkling chimes
on the neighbor's porch
and a fluttering of webs
like clothesline
strung between rosebushes

dead leaves
hasten to find shelter
skittering along like beetles
afraid of day's visit

the moon
is frozen in one corner
of the sky
a silent observer
biding time

Care Facility

their smiles
spilled forth
like tumbling cubes
of unnaturally colorful

tell me another one
about saving my life
he said

they gave him
a bed
in front of a window
that faced east