Shishir 2022 Poems - Raymond Ziemer


By Raymond Ziemer


You may be tempted
off the trail
by that clearing in the woods
awash in sunshine you
may want to go exploring
venture off the trodden path you
may just think you
see a shortcut
to avoid the buckthorn thickets
grasping wild rose so you
step out on the mud flakes
cracked and curling on the edges
looking firm enough – hoho!
and there you go --
sinking to your knees in theblackest muck
the ooze
a-suckingat your shoes and
stinking reek of marshland mire and rank decay
and then
mayhaps a name will come to mind
or a long-forgotten face
and a pain that lingers like the stain
you try to scrub away
you scrub until you bleed.



Freed from bleak and frigid winter,
I revel in sunshine
surprised to feel heat
on my naked skin.
perhaps I forgot
when the spark of a touch
meets the inside fire
didn’t I once call that
Perhaps I forgot
how painfully bright
the blinding white
of sun on snow.
Blue halos escape from behind my eyes
where something hides
wavering between discovery
and remembrance.
And isn’t that the ache of
And those soot-spattered patches
of melting snow
lurk back of the hedge,
sink into the ground
like forgotten promises


R. G. Ziemer was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. He has taught English, worked in construction and genealogy, and currently teaches writing at the College of DuPage. He is an avid outdoorsman. He is the author of numerous short stories and the novel "The Ghost of Jamie McVay." His poetry chapbook "Blood and Remembrance" was published in October 2022.


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