The Sunday Poem: Kathleen Browning...Measure of Time

Good morning, Albuquerque! It's soooooo early! Who is up and about at this time of day? Are you up? Why are you up? Why is anybody up at this hour?! It has to be the poetry, yes? I'm still bleary-eyed from last night's Southwest Shootout Poetry Slam Finals at the Kimo Theater! So, I must say that this (helming the Ditch Rider in Jon’s stead while he is away) has been both a challenge (in the fun way) and a joy thus far, and I hope that you all have been enjoying what’s been happening on here. While I have the wheel in my hands, I want to try some different things and see how they resonate with you all. For instance, I'm going to be adding a Local Poetry Event News update on the bottom of each Ditch Rider entry during my time as Guest Editor; I hope you like it! Now, would you like a poem? Because I brought one with me...

...I enjoy what Kathleen does with her poem here, in terms of both the choices she makes with the rhetorical and poetic devices, and with her imagery. From the personification of the wind's "murmurs" to the catachresistic "muted grey cry", Kathleen's poem abounds with clever device and tight rhythm and ends on a sudden, inwardly-focused note. I admire the ability of the poet to boil all things down, to symbolize so much in just a few words. On the personal tip, I got a hold of Kathleen this past week and asked her what her favorite thing about Albuquerque is, and she told me that as a Northerner, what she loves the most about Albuquerque is "seeing the sunlight painting the Sandias as I'm driving into town, closely rivaled by winter walks in the Bosque with friends who live therabouts." Nicely put, Kathleen. 

Measure of Time




Close to dawn,

inches of icicle

drip from the roof

in long lazy fingers.

A talkative wind

murmurs and sighs,


a mourning dove’s

muted grey cry

sounds in the

chromium light.

As a yardstick

of pale light


takes careful measure

of your

sleeping face,

I am reminded

that you are

here just for now,


much like the

wind’s measured sighs

the fingers of icicle,

inches of sunlight

flutter of dove;




Kathleen Browning seeks poetry in the everyday, and often finds it.  Her poems are published in various print anthologies, and she is a two-time winner of Shadow Poetry's Annual Chapbook Competition, resulting in the publication of "Counting Sparrows," and "Icarus Dreams."  When she isn't writing, she is busy being a Reference Librarian and hanging out with her baby granddaughter, Pidgie.  




Poetry submissions are welcome.  Email

Local Poetry Event News: Jules Nyquist (who has had her work published here before) is conducting and teaching a class on the sestina. Would you be interested in that? Here are the details: The "Lonesome Sestina Class" will be held Wednesday evenings from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM for six weeks at Jules' Poetry Playhouse, which is located at 1814 Old Town Road NW in Albuquerque. The dates for the classes are: September 26, October 2, October 9, October 23, October 30 and November 6. The cost is $125 for the six-week course, payable by check or credit card. Folks can also pay/register via PayPal. For more information on the course and how to register and pay, call (505) 252-9988 or email Jules at 

Views: 212

Comment by Dee Cohen on June 16, 2013 at 9:47am

Hi Kathleen, This is a sweet poem. I like how you capture a moment in time and also remind us that it is only a 'measured' moment, destined to be replaced. I also like your hat in the pic.Dee

Comment by Mr. Potato Head on June 16, 2013 at 11:35am

Great poem!

But would the editor please explain to this country spud what "catachresistic" means?  I googled it, but that just made me more confused.  


Comment by Rich Boucher on June 16, 2013 at 6:23pm

Hi Mr. Potato Head,

Rich here. "Catachresistic" is the adjectival version of catachresis, a form of speech in which a word is used in the "wrong" context for an inventive or rhetorical or poetic purpose. Assigning a colour to a sound, for example, is a form of catachresis. There are more than a few definitions of catachresis, actually, and I was going with this definition for today's post. 

I'm glad you liked the poem!

Comment by Izquierdo on June 16, 2013 at 6:42pm

I've always loved Browning poetry. Clear and concise. Turns serious at the end. Catachresistic? Sounds like a perfect word with which to begin a limerick, or maybe a syllable too long? depending on how you spit it out.



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