Spring 2006

Gary Charles Wilkens


Gary Charles Wilkens Gary Charles Wilkens teaches composition at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. His poems have appeared in The Texas Review, The Anemone Sidecar, The Adirondack Review, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and Pemmican. His first collection, The Red Light was My Mind, is forthcoming from the Texas Review Press.
The Samurai's Wife    Click to hear in real audio

Are we to look upon blossoms
only in full bloom?
The moon only when cloudless?

I looked into his face for
the moon and saw only rain,
only lines of sorrow.

The beauty of passing spring
moved my heart then--
he would not come to me.

Coins and swords are metals
that ruin a man. Emperors
are men of hollow metal.

He sits zazen gray mornings,
and has sold the mats
from within the tea chamber.

Warriors sell cheaply like saki.
We wives are forgotten, only
rat-faced bill collectors call on us.

Yoshi has not touched you.
You are pale like me.
Will you not go to the city?

Do not leave candles burning.
I do not wear my silks when
I go into the city.

I tell you, sister, that men are gentle.
Do not look away from my stain.
Faded flowers fill this garden.



Gary Charles Wilkens: Poetry
Copyright © 2006 The Cortland Review Issue 31The Cortland Review