Issue > Poetry
Candice M. Kelsey

Candice M. Kelsey

Candice Kelsey is a passionate educator of 18 years. She earned her master’s degree in literature from Loyola Marymount. Her poems have been published in Hobart Pulp, Burningword Literary Journal, 13th Floor Magazine, Wilderness House, Leveler, and Assaracus; she has read at various LitQuake and open mic events. Candice is also the author of a book exploring social media’s impact on adolescent identity. She lives in Los Angeles where she happily cares for her three children and nine pets.

This Is the Place


This is where
a marriage
happened
in early morning
leaf shadows
cast like tiny hands
reaching
for tomorrow.
It happened
in midnight
canoe-stroke
whispers
this marriage.
It marked time
to the rhythms
of varying breaths.
I watched it
open the gate
with care
unhinging
countless promises
that rode the air
like late afternoon
monarchs.
It happened—
I swear
it was
here.

At the DMV with My Pocket Haiku


I can't help contemplating the lord's vast wealth
And its transient dew-like nature, hardly as
Lovely as the wild turnip whose budding
Causes birdsong to rocket toward the sun,
But as I look around reflecting the eye of
The dragonfly at this miserable old village,
I see people like distant mountains stagnant
Waiting for some autumn wind, and I listen
For my number, a heart full of gratitude, like a
Lazy dog listens to the worksongs of the worms.
And I wonder now about Basho's neighbors
Who missed the way of elegance too blind for
Imagery, dead to emotion, or rudely unaware  
That the bee emerges from deep within the peony,
And I lament Buson's relatives who were
Responsible enough to wear their underrobes,
No bare butts suddenly exposed to that cool
Flurry of spring wind, and I really wish I could
Shake some sense into the rice-planters singing
Not far from Issa's window disrupting his
Noontime nap when I am alerted to approach
Window 46 finally for which I have been patiently
Waiting. I taste delight, then sorrow, as I--
Like a cormorant in its fishing noose--cannot
Have what I came for. Of course, I leave content
Knowing I will always have Shinano moons,
Wooden buddhas, good noodles, and haiku.

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