Tamara to Emily

for Emily Dickinson

We viewed the lighted houses well below,
whose roads ran serpentine through mounding snow,
zoomed in on walls that formed each hollowed room,
then juxtaposed the gaiety and gloom.

While crumbs were sprinkled sparsely on the floor
to fatten the emaciated poor,
the great were filled, their bellies stuffed like hogs.
“I’m Nobody,” but loathe these “public frogs.”

We passed the citrine disc that sweeps the night,
our horseman veering blindly to the right.
The carriage caromed off the fields of faith,
where I, the passenger, and you, the wraith,

abruptly stopped to hear a clock that chimed,
the empty midnight notes of “Auld Lang Syne.”



The Monarch’s Touch 

Her scepter raised in majesty, she dares
to rule this jeweled star Britannia though
dark eyes of former Kings and current heirs,
gaze down on her from portraits. Does she know

or even care what they may think? You see,
she rides a horse as well as any man,
then dons her crown and welcomes Dukes to tea,
while scrutinizing every battle plan.

Elizabeth! This gown of dignity
that flows, the river Thames reflects her grace;
her confidence. Behind doors privately,
she smiles back at the chamber mirror’s face,

then states in perfect English, as she should,
“Elizabeth the Second, you done good.”



Frozen Mannequin 

The woods are painted white this winter’s eve.
A landscape portrait splashed with shards of ice.
I long to go; yet, find I cannot leave,
my thoughts of you alone have to suffice.

The cold and loneliness surround me here,
but winds that whisper yearn for me to stay.
My eyes, no more than wells of frozen tears,
completely empty problems of the day.

Yet, herein lies the great poetic sin!
The poet in me fails; no muse, no rhyme.
As words escape this frozen mannequin,
I find the woods a comfort in this time.

Soon evening Saints cast light upon the snow,
then genuflect imploring that I go.



Tamara Beryl Latham is a retired Research and Development chemist who is originally from Brisbane, Australia, but currently resides in Virginia. Tamara was the Forum Moderator for Metric Poetry on the Moontown Cafe.com internet site. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, anthologies and literary reviews. 

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8 Responses

  1. Sally Cook

    You capture ED very well; her disassociation from the fold of Amherst. As a lone poetic figure of the 19th century, even as a multitude of mediocre poetesses came and went, she remained, a symbol of excellence who set her own standards, as I feel you do.

    • Tamara Beryl Latham

      Thank you, Sally. I appreciate your constructive critique. Emily was an
      admired poet and one of my favorites. 🙂

  2. Margaret Coats

    What a ghostly midnight ride with Emily! Very effective as an imaginative video of trying to accompany an admired deceased poet. “The Monarch’s Touch” reads mostly as poem of praise, but becomes something of a joke with the last line. I suppose the queen is touching meaningful but ungrammatical words with her special ability to turn them into The Queen’s English, just as former kings were supposed to cure scrofula by their touch. Good description of one kind of writer’s block in “Frozen Mannequin,” although I don’t quite comprehend the couplet concluding this one.

    • Tamara Beryl Latham

      Thank you Margaret for having taken the time to read and respond. I did get a letter from the Queen’s “Lady-in-Waiting” indicating she liked the sonnet very much.

      With regard to “Frozen Mannequin,” the couplet should clarify that even though I didn’t have sense enough to leave the icy cold (due to sadness over a disagreement with my partner) the Saints did. 🙂

    • Tamara Beryl Latham

      You’re welcome, Allegra, and thank you for commenting. I’m elated you enjoyed them. 🙂

  3. Paul Freeman

    Thanks for the reads, Tamara.

    I loved the end couplet of ‘The Monarch’s Touch’. I was reminded of the scene in ‘The King’s Speech’ where Colin Firth reels off all the swear words he knows.

    Thanks again.

    • Tamara Beryl Latham

      Too funny, Paul. LOL!

      I really do admire Queen Elizabeth II. She’s such a perfectionist.

      Thanks for commenting.


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