Saturday 1 August 2020


by tree riesener

let us be thankful

when they make love to you
support some of their weight on their arms
so you don’t get all squashed and out-of-breath

you can keep your gin in the freezer
but it doesn’t get solid
just icy-cold and syrupy
so you can put it on summer pancakes

slants of light from passing headlights
slide around  children’s haunted rooms
and make the vampires run away

bathtub plugs
below the shining porcelain
keep back the bubbling muck of our polluted earth

nurses cuddle you with heated blankets
in those icy operating rooms
and oh yes  the nice clean knives that slice open your heart

bombers stay so high above the clouds
their shadows get lost on the way down
we can pretend the engines are the drone
            of honey-laden summer bees

the priest puts god in your mouth
like a gaudy-feathered mother bird feeding
            a hungry baby sparrow

we’re made to die in fear and pain
so we have one last chance to say

I’m sorry I’ll never do it again

for all these things let us be truly thankful

* * * * *

"thanksgiving" is from Tree Riesener's new poetry collection Quodlibet (Ravenna Press, 2020).

Author's note: Quodlibet is a Latin word meaning “whatever it pleases.” In essence, a quodlibet is a practice whereby a question or proposition (or poem) on any subject may be proposed for thought and discussion (recently often referring to a musical composition that combines several different melodies). The discussive practice of quodlibet originated in medieval universities, where such opportunities allowed teachers, students, passersby, workers, clergy, lay people-anyone-to discuss, disagree, modify. The word is ideal to describe a poetry collection that offers poems on many subjects.

Tree Riesener is the author of Sleepers Awake, a collection of fiction, winner of the Eludia Award (Sowilo Press, Hidden River Arts). She has written The Hubble Cantos, poems inspired by astronomy (Aldrich Press), EK-ekphrastic poems (Cervena Barva Press), Angel Fever/Triple No. 5 (Ravenna Press), and three poetry chapbooks, Liminalog, Angel Poison, and Inscapes. She has published numerous poems in literary magazines and anthologies. Her new collection, Quodlibet (Ravenna Press), is a collection of poems on many subjects under the sun. Her website is  She loves to hear from readers.

1 comment:

  1. Chuckles and gasps. And "one last chance to say I’m sorry I’ll never do it again." This one belongs under a magnet on every refrigerator in the world!