Esther Mathieu writes poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. She has written for various school publications and online journals. Below are a sample of her online pieces and five poems selected from Constellations.
Essays and Journalism
There is no night beneath city skies,
only softer shades of day
when fewer eyes are open.
the way life continues beyond mantles of sleep
and ticks past forgetfulness.
The sky is lit from below,
the meandering of streetlights
become heaven’s nightly magnificence,
the stars run into one yellow tinting
which tells of smog and rain and
someone with the window open,
feet on the cool of a fire escape—
no sleep in this place,
which hands built in grasping fragments,
and feet have filled in joy and desperation—
perhaps she will feel the stagnant absence of wind
and revel in this ceaselessness,
a harsh laugh from below, a forgotten umbrella,
and so many rooftops,
the lives below peopled with the silence of sleep.
Be Not Brash or Faint
Be also gentle,
oh you sanguine creatures
full with humming hearts and sovereign solemnity.
Be also full of the memory of ocean
and heavy grey evenings touched by shores and surety.
Know your seams like letters,
like the turning face of thoughtfulness.
Be mindful in your meager gatherings,
scraping at the bottom of this vastness.
oh those fractured stumblings
pull desperate at the cords you trail from your eagerness.
Be also watchful,
you sanguine creatures,
as you wander below swinging stars.
Be also brave
and remember the deep touch of evening.
The Dance Of Dark Beyond the Day
in the quiet day settled like oil
at the bottom of the dish of the world
and above, night swirled back and forth in darkness,
settling in arcs swept through with gentle gleaming:
the stars set small bright slivers
across the navy satin of the heavens,
nestled in the folds and turns in the fabric,
only so many lights, far off and lonely,
like the creatures they look down upon,
but warm in their pockets of the world beyond,
in their settled homes amid the turns of space
For I Have Known Summer, and Watch How it Fades
The roses are blooming.
Bushels of bushes bursting into fiery crescendos of color.
The roses are blooming, love,
and summer is falling.
Caught amongst the sway of pendulous, pantomimed waltzing
as curtains, caught fire with buds and blooms and
promise, settle into evening.
We are strolling into evening,
the stars lazily lighting amongst the pastel-painted sky.
The breeze is lilting metronome tunes through the branches
and thorny tangles are caught amongst the stillness.
Everything is coming down to murmuring and muttering
and metropolitan skyscapes tinged with the longing for seascapes touched by rain.
We miss storm clouds, with their heaviness
and the way they send down lightning and slow rumblings
The roses are blooming.
I am breaking into fractures and fragments and
slivers of self, forgotten
amongst the topiary.
We will wander amid the gathering of clockwork things
and as they tick out endings and growing things
we will stand amongst the roses,
watch as they fall slowly out of season,
out of time, and out of tide.
The roses are blooming in movements and measures
and I will stand in the metropolis,
stand amongst the roses and watch the sauntering of summer
and the slow arrival of the stars.
These homemade miracles,
spun from habit and force of will,
and thriving at the far edges of emptiness,
are taken like swallows of too-hot tea
and are comfort,
after their unanticipated scalding.
They are taken with forbearance,
with open eyes and weathered, weary faces,
which know them for their heaviness,
but also for the light that they bestow,
drop by gently slipping drop.
softly sheltered lights in the dark garden
beneath the salted sky,
between the hedgerows and the beckoning of the rosebushes,
caught in quiet footfalls and soft sighing breaths
and attendance to their harshness and their healing.
They are pocketable,
slip into seams and selves,
listening for daylight.