A Compendium of Notional Words
a kind of weeping through the night, the gentle
flowing of river water, which has tumbled out of
mountain streams to slowly meander along grass
lined meadow-banks. It’s burbling sounds like
those of the mourning dove’s cooing and the soft
pattering of a light rain, bringing forth longing for
the mountain’s wildness, and birdsong in the trees,
of deer drinking from the brook, and trout
jumping pools.

feeling of being shook or struck (as in by
lightning) by the presence of another, causing a
kind of fundamental change in one’s being, an
awareness that one now stands on new ground.
Often accompanied with a sense of disquiet, not
knowing the consequences of such shifting, a
rustling of dry leaves coming from just under the
rock outcrop, from the bear’s den, in early spring.

a kind of love that conveys the sense of having
known the beloved from before recognized time;
where the feelings of love are attributed to the
continued blossoming of hardy lilac shrubs and
ancient apple trees, often located on untended
homesteads at the end of long unkempt dirt roads
within wooded areas that nature has reclaimed.

the act of coming up behind another causing the
other to feel, simultaneously, the sensation of
easing into the warmth of a hot spring, a resting
place enclosed by frosted greenery discovered
while walking though the mountains in cold
winter, and the sense of lifting into the sky as a
flock of pigeons from a rooftop, wings slapping the
air so as to make a whooshing sound, and to
momentarily disappear in a tight turn of flight.

the inability to remove a person from one’s
thoughts, most often accompanied by a kind of
vibration in the chest similar to the flickering light
of fireflies over a summer meadow or minnows in
a shallow pool; their silver dartings.

The Medicine of Blues

dusk enters me / inside I am night / I am dream / the hills are crow
filled / a man touches my hand / no, before that, his voice like bird
flight / a Japanese poem / an unraveling in wind / enters like ink /
now, his hand on my hand / the lustrous wings rustle / my heart beats
dye stained text / mountain reaches toward sky / moon reflects on
water / a plum / blossom of fallen snow / this dawn rising


I swallow sky / blue vault strewn with bird / so far the horizon / thin
calligraphy of mountains / between here and there / I am song / or
soaring / a boundless surge of script / these crane bodies flying / the
tenor of his voice / rustling flight / I am riding the poem’s thermals /
a snow field melts / intimate mist holds close / the fragile grace of
blooming orchid


scavenge blue stone / in my hand, sky / rainfall / earth and heavens
joined / poem carving into me a long river / peacock’s plume / bird’s
cry / I have been so thirsty / the desert ground / cracked vessel / his
voice a soaking inscription / dormant seed sprout / grasses, a lyrical
fan / the wind like fingers caressing my face / a silk curtain / a
thousand petals / the scent of wet clay


I sing rain-showers / my tongue a deep sea / each word a wing against
wind / swan flight / lifting white beacon / his hand in mine / belonging
lives on the edge of kindness / a scroll unwound / path through the
mountains / lingering mist / fluted brook / the blue-green light of a
bamboo forest / fingers intertwined / roots / the feathered moon lands
amongst the reeds / sails forth


ball of blue light / in my dream, a gift / his love inscribed like
tenderness / cipher / noon sky / flocked buntings splinter like
sunbeams / bone light / to take his hand / flying white winged across
rice paper / cinnabar sealed / the heart noted in the lucent body /
beating / call from the mountain temple / scattered fireflies in the
valley / shimmering assertion / his shoulder to rest my head / to rest

Photo by nitram242

Karla Van Vliet
Latest posts by Karla Van Vliet (see all)