A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

Carol Hamblen


If only dust were to settle yearly
and not each day.
I could accept once-a-year dusting,
each April when the urge to clean
blossoms with the pear trees.
This was on my mind
when I heard on NPR
that you and I are made
of age-old atoms from around the universe,
and–the scientist said this–
there’s stardust in all of us.
Presumably on tabletops, too.


first appeared in  the chapbook Parameters, published by Finishing Line Press. 



I live in a house of armchairs–
one to a room, some duct-taped,
all upholstered succulent grape
in color. I spend my days
going from purple to purple. 
I totter. Sometimes I topple. 
Still, by day’s end,
numerous crisscrossings.

A vase of irises by the bathroom chair. 

Within reach of the chair in the kitchen,
a bowl of plums. 
I do my sleeping on the bedroom recliner,
not the vacant bed
where the haze from dreams
is less lavender.

I use up my days. I wobble. 
You will know me by the bruises.


My souvenirs are memory keepsakes. Two-year-olds, Octobers in West Virginia, and the colors burnt sienna and delft blue–these are among my favorite “things.” 

Carol Howe Hamblen’s chapbook Parameters was published by Finishing Line Press in 2015. The poem “Tabletops” was included in the chapbook. Two of her other poems will appear in Voices from the Attic, Volume XXI, in 2015. Carol enjoys bicycling, viola lessons and Pilates classes. She takes her coffee black, and she doesn’t share desserts.