William Tilleczek’s “The Idea of Eleanor” and Carolyn Cushing’s “Messenger”

The Idea of Eleanor

William Tilleczek

Hail, corner-rounder and surprise
Under the table! We are your luck,
You ours. We await even your hiccups:
There is nothing to prove. Every radiant
Love is in your face, now forming at
Its break-neck pace each day. We wait
To hail you, impossible child! Raspberry
From the void, our smiling, crying,
Mystery—our future, and our past.

*Writing Prompt: Think aboutor rather recall the feeling ofa sentiment you don’t have an easy name for. Describe it in a poem. Then rewrite the poem and/or re-describe the same sentiment again (without looking at your original version) the following day; do this as many times as you like. Compare the two (or more) versions.


Carolyn Cushing

Este pichón del Turia que te mando,
            de dulces ojos y de blanca pluma

            Federico García Lorca

I’d pinch you if I could
like boys on the playground
torment the girls because they lack 
the courage to say: I like you!

I pause and grow up.
Decide instead to send 
a dove, gray with pearl
around the eyes
and luminescent throat.

Yes, this bird is full of mourning
but also life, announcing itself
with riffled cry when lifting
from ground to highest branches.

My bird is untrained.
At the boundary 
will lose the note I wrote
but you could tend its throat
with soft caress. Imagine 
the words sent and the heart 
that beat to write them.

Writing Prompt: Read a poem in a language other than your own. Don’t peek at the English translation if there is one. No need to understand the language or the poem’s original intent, but instead let the sound, the rhythm, and the associations that come from this kind of reading through the veil of another language suggest your own words and images.

William Tilleczek is a parent, student, teacher and, time permitting, poet. He is from Sudbury, ON (Canada) but has lived in Canada, the USA, and France.

Carolyn Cushing is a poet inspired by nature and focused on the places where life and death meet, as well as the facilitator of Soul Path Sanctuary, which offers spiritual mentoring, Tarot sessions, and online and in-person retreats to attune to the wisdom of the seasons. She has been a finalist for the Philbrick Poetry Award of the Providence Athenaeum (2012) and the Tarantula Poetry Contest of Pilgrimage Journal (2018). Find her online at soulpathsanctuary.com.