Staking Claim

She brims with enamor over the notion

Of the rolling curves; the fat

Of the land.

She forages through the land’s lovely crevices,

Prospecting for the offering of its fallen fruits.

The pristine, primeval soil lays dormant.

Like her, its surface is only stirred by

Sporadic storms.

Unlike the beasts that ruled the land

Before the cruelty of humanity devoured it,

She scorns the challenge of brutish pursuit.


The land is her darling.

It never challenges her place to tramp on it.

It cannot threaten her with infidelity.


The supple, comfortable nature of

The fat of humanity repels her.

Its complexity, uncertainty,

And the manner in which it moves, thinks,

And refuses to regard her.


She reserves the right to sink her stake

Into the gritty soil, the unresponsive regions,

Of others.

And only into the parts that allow themselves

To safely be walked on.


But the soil shelters something,

Rooted far beneath the fathoming of man.

Beneath its layers that are marked by

Innumerable manufactured years,

Hidden within its body of powdery rock,

And profoundly inexplicable parts,

Which were fiercely forced asunder by the

Fervor of floods,

The icy blanket of inclement winters,

Slashed and scorched, but never consumed,

By ancient flame:

A secret.


She, a mere sliver

Of rapidly disintegrating sinew,

Will never know

That the dirt of the earth

Won’t be owned.


The Cards Are Stacked Against Me

In a drab den

that clings to a buzzing Brooklyn block,

a woman performs

experiments of the spirit

with her mind.

Though, perhaps,

not of the supernatural kind.

The pallid paper of her hand

is a map of ink blue veins,

like worn river beds

alongside well trodden tracks

of rickety gypsy caravans.

Or maybe just a printed map

of New York subway trains.


The withered tips of her fingers

rasp dryly over the faces

of battered cornered cards.

These relics of Celtic eccentrics,

whose minds danced with runes and romance;

The Hierophant,

The Hanged Man;

Dealt into a hasty mound with barely a glance.


You will find love…

You will find happiness…

You will find luck…


I recall a film that I once saw

A star of Scandinavian cinema

adorned in a costume cloak

(hoop earrings, and the like),

The cliché, not yet tired or trite.

The mid century model of modern novelty

in flickering black and white.


The hard young hearts of New York

won’t open for her lore.

Her lair, unchanged through the ages,

beside a vintage clothing store.


She sags in her worn costume cloak,

and cloaks her Brooklyn accent.

You will find love…

The Lovers.

You will find happiness…

The Magician.

For a twenty dollar fine…


The Fool.


Foolishly lured by neon words.

A Psychic Readings sign.

The cards should be aligned;

And their meanings: cryptic, wise.

Instead, they pile and pile.

And I smile and smile

at this aimless act.

My charity is hers,

And hers is mine.


Do you have a boyfriend?


You will! You will!


Do you have a job?


Oh, but you will!


Do you have friends?

Not really.

Oh. But you will.


She has cast her wicked spell:

The old fashioned feeling of good will.


I step outside to sidelong glances;

The cheeky faces of two hip girls.

They scan me with pious surprise.

You have been scammed,

Cool eyes imply.


He likes you, I can tell,

one girl remarks to her forlorn friend.

Her words are free and flippant

as she flips her cool hair cut,

but mine cost twenty bucks:

I will find love,

I will find luck.


Celeste Walke is a writer, visual artist, designer, and musician. She is currently looking for agent representation for her first novel, “The Roar of the Dandelion”. Her passion for writing is equaled by her passion for the visual arts. After living in New York for six years, she now resides in Los Angeles. She has displayed her art in galleries in New York and Los Angeles. She loves to use rich metaphor to explore the internal dynamics of relationships and the human condition.

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