Tag Archives: Tricia Knoll

Pola Vortex

A badass poem about the polar vortex, defined as “a low pressure area—a wide expanse of swirling cold air—that is parked in polar regions.” We know it as the force that wreaked havoc here in the U.S. last week.

Tricia Knoll first published Pola Vortex as part of a “poetry marathon” put on by Tupelo Press, an indie press that publishes books of poetry. It was part of a 30-30 challenge—30 poems in 30 days.

The poems will be up through February here.

Thanks, Tricia, for sharing this one with us.

— S.K.

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“Bodypainted Snow Queen” by by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer, via Wikimedia Commons. Licensing agreement can be viewed here.

Pola Vortex 

am the witch’s tit.

You people never get me right. My bitch bra is made of silver, not brass. I make mirrors and hand you froth. I go by many names, but call me Pola. The lusty wind diva. Cringe all you like.

Be warned: Jail break! I am no longer stuck to the cloverleaf of north. I swoop down to kick ass on your sad little towns, clog your straight-arrow roads, shiver your timbers, and kill your weak. ICE? You ain’t seen nothing yet. I lock you homebound.

I rub you raw. Push me with plows? I keep coming. I’m higher than your kites, clouds, skyscrapers and drones. My slip shows – flakey lace. White and quite long-wear-you-down. Hah! I’m a swirling hurl-a-girl layback spin, skating your way every chance I get on ice-sharp blades. Flashing my flowing skirts – silver thaw and midnight blue.

You ignored me. You favored rant-chants about warming. While the sea beneath me went soft. We are going to dance, you and me. Like it or not, I lead. Buckle up your boots. Snowshoes. All-wheel drive and all-weather coats.

You don’t have time to tame me. I’m counter-clockwise. Pola revolutionary.

Fools unlocked the gate. I’m no more stay-at-home dame. Good times Pola Mama. You get what you deserve.

—Tricia Knoll

 

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Tricia Knoll’s latest poetry book, “How I Learned To Be White“, delves into how ancestry, childhood, education, and more form a concept of white privilege . . . and what work is required to see through that privilege and live in this multicultural world. She lives in Vermont and you can read more about Tricia and her books at her website.

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Garden Dangers

Garden-Dangers-Knoll-Buddha

Photo by Tricia Knoll.

Garden Dangers

 Five days of rain blur boundaries.

The sword ferns sharpen fiddle heads
in stretching days.

Where the wind felled the alder crown,
Buddha wears slimy leaves and algae.

How soon the woods strawberries
send out their skinny creepers.

The sun shaft stabs silence
at fungi on the alder roots.

The creek runs off its mouth
where no one cares to listen.

—Tricia Knoll

Tricia Knoll (2)
Tricia Knoll’s new poetry book, “How I Learned To Be White“, delves into how ancestry, childhood, education, and more form a concept of white privilege . . . and what work is required to see through that privilege and live in this multicultural world. She tends lavish gardens.

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The December Rose

rose-tricia-knoll-photoshopped

Photo by Tricia Knoll.

The December Rose

From so many, so few,
survivors of first pruning,
waywards scrabbling
sideways for some sun,
as Lenten roses plump
up their buds, those faux
first flowers of late winter.

Where summer gives
full-blown,
lush of reds in silk,
just these, orphans
of short days, of freeze,
they narrow
the number
of months
without roses,
that darkness
of impossible
hope.

—Tricia Knoll

Tricia Knoll (2)
Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet whose rose garden keeps expanding. In 2018 her new poetry collection How I Learned to Be White is coming out from Antrim House. Her 2017 collection Broadfork Farm (The Poetry Box) focuses on life on a small family-run organic farm in Trout Lake, Washington where Knoll farmsits when the farmers need to go away.

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Four Days Away

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“Cedar Flags” by Tricia Knoll.

Four Days Away

A small time gone to see the first snow
on the gold hills near the mountain.

A return to tomato plants turning black,
the hosta succumbed to a frost.

The cedar loosed its fall flags
in the west wind and turned the deck

to gold wonder of a forest floor.
Four days under a record rain

and first thing we carried inside,
that heavy temple bell, a gong

too noisy for gusts that attack
our coming winter nights.

—Tricia Knoll

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Tricia Knoll’s most recent book is Broadfork Farm, a series of love poems for the creatures, family, and gardens at a small organic farm in Trout Lake, Washington. In a time of urban disturbance, retreating to the farm brings a measure of peace.

 

Website: triciaknoll.com

 

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Woolly Bears and Rose Hips

Wooly_Bear_(2)

“Wooly Bear” by By Gerry Dincher from Hope Mills, NC (Uploaded by GrapedApe), via Wikimedia Commons

Fall 

You could opine that leaves burnished too early,
too hot this summer, too dry, the drifts
of wildfire smoke cured garden plants
like old tobacco. Then the woolly bears
seek sun-warmed cement, roses force
dwindling charms to make hips on forked canes,
last tomatoes announce they will only get green,
and powdery mildew silvers up the cucumber vines
like a harvest moon. Then it is fall.

—Tricia Knoll

 

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Tricia Knoll’s most recent book is Broadfork Farm, a series of love poems for the creatures, family, and gardens at a small organic farm in Trout Lake, Washington. In a time of urban disturbance, retreating to the farm brings a measure of peace.

 

Website: triciaknoll.com

 

(Note on wooly/woolly bear from the photographer on the Wikimedia Commons page:
“Legend in my part of Pennsylvania states that you can predict the winter weather by looking at the coloring of a wooly bear caterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella). This guy says that Pennsylvania will have a cold start and finish to winter with a mild period in between. Either way I am glad I live in North Carolina. This critter was photographed at

Cowanesque Lake in Lawrence Township, Tioga County, Pennsylvania.”)—SK

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From the Compost Pile

Compost_2017

Image from a corner of Sandra Knauf’s compost pile, August 2017, featuring a surprise potato plant.

 

From the Compost Pile

Voluptuous vines mix in
with basil stems and potatoes,
sprouting from last winter’s seeds.

We come from something, some egg,
virus, dirt, but in my vegetable bed
this vigorous survivor fittest
tangling-with-everything

does not look like any melon
I ate last summer. Its squashes
are blander orange butternuts.
The what I grew is not what I knew.

—Tricia Knoll

 

Tricia Knoll (2)

Tricia Knoll is a contented gardener come late August. Four harvests of basil mixed up as pesto. The Romas about to explode bright red very soon. Her most recent book is Broadfork Farm, a series of love poems for the creatures, family, and gardens at a small organic farm in Trout Lake, Washington. In a time of urban disturbance, retreating to the farm brings a measure of peace.

 

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The Woods With No Name

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“Hever Castle and Gardens, A White Camellia” by Michael Garlick, via Wikimedia Commons

The Woods With No Name

Morning coffee and my attempt to think of news as stones
that I can shake through a screen to separate
pea gravel from those as big as eggs or golf balls.
The pope gifting his thoughts on climate change.
A man running for Congress assaulting a reporter.
Budget chicanery and bells that toll in Manchester.
All the rocks stayed upside the screen, glommed
to words I meant to string up for a social justice website.

I went to a woods, the woods with no name
where thought senses soft breezes, old firs,
and a few tall weeds. Bending toward the sun,
at the edge of the woods, a camellia that dropped
white blooms weeks ago. Dead twigs as innards,
branches the snow snapped or draped onto the mud.

Thinking in visuals. Open a sightline
to the obelisk raised for a dead son. Gut
what is dead or yellowed. Help what bowed
in defeat to lift up again. Encourage nodes that promise
next year’s bloom, next year’s leaves.

When I was done, a pleasing camellia poem
stood on the verge of the woods with no name.
Pruned so that no one would say who did that?
what happened? Pruned to a shape it yearned
to be but somehow lost in the traffic of daily life.

—Tricia Knoll

In summer 2017 Tricia’s new book, Broadfork Farm, is coming out from The Poetry Box. It salutes life on a small organic farm in Trout Lake, Washington.

Website: triciaknoll.com
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