Watching TV

Georgia O'Keeffe passed away today

And then Jacob Javits

And Richard Manuel

What's three less people?

I sit here and watch

The babies being made

Within their mommy's bodies

And see that it doesn't matter.

Life is so full of lives

One for us, some for them

Another for us?

Give or take a few.

Country Dirge for City Dancers


When Mark DiSuervo was on TV They

Showed a Whitney Opening

Rock away, rock away

Black tuxedo tempo

Shined shoes with frills

Two times three, two times four.

Quiahna flows, silk ties

Stocking rock extension

Spaghetti straps

Whirl a twirl, whirl a twirl.

Each other, each other

Clattered waltz and diamonds

Reflect emeralds.

​They look intensely stable.

The Walk In

There is a shadow over us

Mountain air and hearts desire is

What's going on behind my back

Probably nothing I'd want to find out about.

And to the future

If I'd only know

Just what he was doing

And where.

Ripped up mail

Chairs, chains and figures

You are standing behind me

In those low mountains

Beyond the glass and vertical stripes

My tears are dry, my heart still splitting

Sitting here inside, looking outside

Wishing for the future.

I feel like a walk-in

To your life,

Into which I will

When the time comes.


As you men raise your tankards and toast us lassies,
We are sitting here wondering at your words.
Are they pure as whispered flannel vows in winter, 
Or fresh posies picked and presented in Spring?
Or would it be inebriant spirits loosing blabbering tongue wags, alias: masculinity?
So, we ladies look at each other and wink.
“Let them keep at it,” we delicately declare because we know
That they will soon be deep in their cups 
Which runneth over with good cheer and good will as it were,
All the same while congratulating their wee selves on their pompous
Self proclaimed greatness and conveniently forgetting reality. 
And as us “fairer” sex watch our great men getting absolutely tipsy, 
We are chattering about how we love them so,
How they earn a decent wage and take such good care of the weeuns
And what they did to beget these heirs and 
How they wear so well their merry bright kilts, 
We quite wholly know what is under them
Lest it be working or not tonight. 
Being so very crocked could befuddle their bash.  Hmmmmm.
Oh we eavesdrop, giggling, monitoring how they advocate their lot.
Their boisterous gang bragging and swaggering,
Battles mounted, maidens captured, castles conquered.
All boasts lit brightly by hootch.
So here we are
In virtue of Mr. Rabbie Burns, hero of words beguiling, enticing
A seductive genius, clarifying the common man’s plight, granting options,
Abillitating a relate or dream these days to be like him,
Working class rock star in mirrored sunglasses and a chiseled gait
Promising fun absurd things; love, sex, scandal, turbulence
Fuel for limp gossip rags and such, as we, simple plebeian women 
In boring, slow moving, checkout lines, purchase, to depart our daily absoluteness.
Clock ticking. Valiant virile men, sometimes you are just dandy play-toys
For us. Your bona fide hair splayed lassies, gathered here 
Watching you extol and slosh smokey sauterne casked whiskey, shot by shot by shot.
Fabricated romances swaying through supple willow branches and wispy pine boughs. 
There is no better time to observe our lads
As they sing and bombast the haggis.
It’s as old as time immortal, a manly gasconade.
Our feathered male nest mates, resplendently parading,
Blustering in the name of love, Scotland and St. Valentine.
We love them so because what a pale world it would be,
Not swooning in their strong arms?
Not watching them shower, shave, play, dance, or sing?
Not hearing their laugh as they enter a party, or continue at one?
Not tracing a warm kid leather gloved hand down from neck to tail?
Never grasping what is under that bonny plaid?
We admire them, as we perch and ponder as to what is
Swirling within one’s thick maned or balding skull.
Prodigious intellects, getting sloppy by warmed whiskies,
Slipping as a new skater on ice, we help them stand again and again.
These beings! These creatures!
Our men, champions, sullen grumps, illustrious dandies, fertile progeny!
Brothers, cousins, neighbors, husbands, fathers, grand and great grand fathers,
No. Never can we ever be equals.
We stitch their wounds, 
We flirt and tease and taunt, and dye our hair.
We wear lipstick and have breasts and doe eyes,
We are liquid puzzles to them, as solvent as the boozy snorting and grunts.
We bear their children. 
Instinctuitivity hunches us over as we chortle together
Toasting up and drinking down equally as many shots as they. 
Laughing, whooping, chuckling, guffawing, and tittering and teetering
Over these big potent swain,
Our men,
Whom we do love as the splendiferous men they are because,
We neither can live with,
Nor live without!

Spring Arrives Late One Night

The sky was a bowl of stars tonight.
Peepers shouting out of black swamp’s density
Loons hollering from behind tall trees’ swayings
Earthy sand smell of Spring.
I thought of how it is
And how it was.
My dog jingling by my feet
And glowing white cat prancing in cold unison
Hiding when I’d peer back
It too shouting at me if I got just so far ahead
My nightly routine.
A billion stars couldn’t change it,

Once We Had Panned to be Married on 9-ll

Laundry around here, usually takes a few days,
Thinking about it, clear starry above,
Driving through rows of browning rattling corn,
Getting the kids home from yet another function.

I usually hang it out at night, to save energy.
Brilliant Milky Way, predicting a nice day tomorrow.
Five loads. Eight hours later, I drove to work,
Arriving on time for a change.
Getting it all set up before 9:00,
Things going well.
Johnny calls to say that a plane hit the World Trade.

Radio on, talk show, eye witnesses, crashes, speculation,
Teletubbies, still being broadcast on TV, panic.
Disbelief, all day, TV. All day, radio. Sadness.
Black. Horrific.

Business was great that morning, it was so odd, selling things
That had no meaning anymore.
Seeing a two week old baby, and not knowing her future,
Keeping smiles on for the kids, smiling kids, laughing,
One of those loud cars passed me in traffic,
I wanted to silence it but couldn't get angry.

No airplanes at all.  A plus. No noise.
Not many trucks at night.  A military airplane went over as I was typing,
My heart jumped into my throat.
As a child of the 50's, I was taught to hide under desks or go to the hall under a coat.
Death is scary. The World Trades were not there anymore.

Oh, it was a brilliant day weather wise.  
Our dog, didn't know that life as we knew it changed and begged to be walked.
No amount of watching it, could make it real.
Pre fall coolness.  Another beautiful night.

And I was getting to work early today, because of Jumbo George.
A tune was playing with voices of victims/survivors/witnesses
Cut soulfully in among musical lyrics,
Turning onto Noble, I lost it,
Tenants had hung a huge American flag on the apartments.
I cried formally.

All friends accounted for by Wednesday.
Another fine day for the laundry to hang out.
Laughing kids celebrating a birthday.
Kind words of wisdom.
Tears from others.
Red sky at night, but that wash must come in,
Fresh sunset smells as I folded
Memories of New York,
Stunted with horrendousness,
Blackened by smoke,
Remained by a screech owl in the woods.

Splendid Mansions

White shirts, white pants, white snow, white space,
A robin seen along early road,
you flirt with me in dark halls former splendor

Magnificent we, who are bored with it,
Smell each other's untouchable bodies,
Sweet longing, I hunt you in radar.

You get up and giggle next to me and I am
Happy for you, who seems so lonely in God and
Here.  I want to throw you thru the snowy yard
And tell you about Kenney and other secrets.

Scared and sacred you won't budge in Spring.
I am bricked for life by true set love and don't you rub it in
your thin arm around me in dark plush laughter
Oh so bad it taps your soul.

You look better in black or blue,
Beaten up
Like the car you drive and your clothes
Sticking to your ribs,
Showing everything that isn't.

Midnight Ramble

Two dogs had to go out.
Bundled against negatives
Black, orange, yellow, red stripes both
They headed out
Two mismatched whitewashed spirits
Born twenty six years too early
Died twenty six thousand light years ago

Existing together for one.

Unleashed twilight emotions sing
Traipsing boots and swishy nylon noise
Up and down tinted meadow
Piercing moon
Casting long shadows of thick creaking trees
Against napped velour lake
Pointing out
How cruel whiskey hurts hearts.

Glowing specters, fishing huts,
Laughing at their slow progress,
Hairy clinky dog

Far off, too far to see
Anymore, anyone would not notice
Those two kindred minstrels
Howling, raving, reeling
Echoing against an audience
Of a billion stars screaming back
At them kneeling against time and 
Frozen air.

A Father Passes

We sign in, press two and remark that this
Elevator always smells like my old record player.
Daddy is still, mouth agape, breaths gurgling.
Hanging on to dear life,
Which is draining ever so slowly.
Love surrounds him. Beethoven music softly playing
Wife, daughters, grandchildren,
Sweet lilac scents swirl around us
Because it is that time of year, 
May, my favorite month.

We take turns telling memories.
Hopscotch squares, trips, costumes, manner lessons, 
Fireworks, books, careers, friends.
We relate around his bed,
Checking his pulse, touching his warm forehead, 
We talk to him, hoping that he can hear our lovely words
Encouraging him to let go of his anchourous body.
Go to Grandma, and Grandpa Paul, Grandpa Gorton,
His little brother Paul, Chris and of course, Don Klein and Joe Bender.
Who helped him in the business of explaining jokes
Way back when in Lititz.

Later, alone with him and my thousand mile an hour thoughts, 
Leaning over into his neck and pillow
I weep and babble all those things a
Daughter may want to confess
To her dying father.
It doesn’t make me feel better

I stroke his full head of hair, 
Contemplating if I should clip a lock to put in my treasure box,
And all Daddy can do is twitch his eyebrow.
All day drags on and on,
Turning into afternoon when they bring in the baby
And hold him face to face to meet his Great Pop Pop,
Eighty five years between them.
And Clint, that little wondrous bundle of genetics,
Starts to smile and squeal and do all things delightful,
In a way that only ten week olds can.
Bright lightning zips between blue eyes staring.
We are awestruck by it’s simplicity and power.
My camera clicks furiously.
Somewhere I read that T.S. Elliot wrote,
“What we call the beginning is often the end.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.”

Now it is obvious.
And then everyone leaves and it’s just me and Daddy again.
He has been in this room with it’s unopening window garden view, this bed, that TV
Those bizarre sounds from an over and over lady,
He has been in this place too long.
So, I continue to encourage.
“It’s OK Daddy, break free and fly, go to that other side,
Be with your mother and father and baby brother.
Don, Joe, Arnold, Grandpa, Neon, Barry, Jeanne, Kathy so many I said.
And say hello to Chris, have a beer with him
And tell him that we love him.
It is morbid.
Telling one who loved life and was loved fully, by me, by everyone, to leave.
Waiting around for his time.

Daddy lays there, clinging to what we so cherish.
Too stubborn, not ready to spin off that helix of being.
His love still oozes from those last rattly breaths,
And then, a funny thing happens,
Because as we all know, Daddy was the master of humor,
Of all things witty, wise and gay (the old fashioned definition that is)
All of us, who were standing vigil, these weeks and days and minutes,
Were caught off guard as,
The professor decides to depart when we weren’t looking.
When all sentries had gone on break

He simply slipped away, escaped
So quietly, so calmly, so quickly those last few seconds,
And we are left here on Earth,

Alabaster Walls         for H.G.     

Silver strands floating free
Cotton candy whispers
White angels in green willows
Humming towards sincere heavens

Clear air it will be, but,
Your love is too young to see
So desperate for thee,
So desperately

(this has music to it...humming part-might have to be

shortened or words go over it.)

Gold rivers swimming through,
Ripples in molten love
Can you not hear swift answers
Of an astounding thunder

Puts us in our place down under
Outstanding thunder
and lightning
Down under thunder

A white mansion in New York
Gleaming plated glass black windows
I know I've seen here before
When brooks, trees and horses abounded

Astounded, I stand and look
Looking with tears in my heart
Knowing that visions, of the past
For ever floating free.

Silver strands and mansions float
water and land and air
Fire consumes hearts paces
Knowing embers glow orange

Know this deep in that place,
Secrets are worth keeping
Keep the flame of your passions
Forever burning.
Forever and ever
And ever. And ever and ever...

     Song for Mike and Anna

     Green day, hot excitement

     Your wedding best

     White heat, rock it,

     Rock it, rocket.

     Like a kiss, sealed and smooth

     Shoot, why not?

​     Outlaws have no rules when

     Gypsies laugh in the dark.

     So Summer's begun. Hot sward, sharp sword

     Brilliant diamonds and birch beer.

     The baby's on it's way, so

     Rock it. Rock it. Rocket.

     Deeper into space you'll glide,

     Further than anybody can guess

     Your happiness together,

     And why not,

     There are no rules to this game,

     Only love,

     And that's enough.

Mother's Day

I now have 4 hearts, 8 legs, 8 arms,

40 fingers, 4 brains

And 2 sexes.

Now my eyes are brown and blue,

My hair curly, dark or light

Because I have loved

A lot of times.

God has given this magic to me.

As he has to every woman

That ever bore children.


It's November 1993.

If you hadn't died, you'd have been 88

Keys on your beloved piano

Notes found in sock drawers.

You were so bossy in your day

But through that hardness was a 

Glowing spirit. Strong. Persistant

For. Ever.

Not squashed by war

Never shadowed by your husband's ego,

Nor felled by deceit or infidelity.

You were usually one or even 

Two steps ahead,

Your body too strong to leave us.

So you suffered bravely

Until that last moment


In my dream,

You hovered over me

Wearing a red and white gingham

Tablecloth dress

Curled like a fetus 

To be born again 

​Within me.

Copyright 2016 Lisa Eshleman Foster. All Rights Reserved.

No reproductions of any kind without permission from the artist.

Sticky Bun Brother

Clear snow water flowing over solid green river rocks

Loudly drowning out old visions

Rushing towards future haphazard joy

Churning by two bright cardinals

Frightened up, clashing against opaque blue

Tumbling in quick cold wind gusts.

We walk slowly, deliberately through sighing forests song

Leaves still softly crunchy underfoot.

Earth not quite frozen below first white flakes.

We talk, and as we do so, we realize what

Was lost, could be continued as found.

We looked at each other laughing,

As two dreamers would.

Eyes, azure and gray, hitching up two nicked hearts,

Expectant visions prophetic, taking care not to touch

Sitting, watching, breathing as

Roiling clear black river frothed forward,

Speaking rhythms channeling diamond's taut bounce.

They couldn't help it this time

And it was as good as before memory.



All day long I look out those windows.

There's lots of traffic and city down there where

My mind is with him today.

And I notice to press G

For ground and whizz down to think that

He has black eyes

And the sexiest body

In a long while.

He said, this is a pleasant surprise

And meant it

I said, time to go plblic

And mean it.

I hope for more more more

And have it to give

For a lot has been kept inside

All these years.

I haven't laughed so hard for anyone.

She said hearts get broken easily

When you're seventeen,

But my heart's been broken in anyway

I'm older now and 

It's my body that craves him with

His long smooth back against my belly

In the morning.

                  The Confusion of Being Brilliant

You storm up my driveway and burst into the house
Curly hair blowing akimbo
Beard shorter than before
Eyes piercing as ever.
Those eyes deep in thoughts beyond my sphere
Hovering around a bee line you,
A little here, a little there
A lot always.
Your enthusiasm is contagious, your energy
Your youth unparalleled to my crotchety legs
Your wisdom, fresh and entertaining
How can you be, prince of air?
Dancing on life
Flying in ideals 
Polishing diamonds in your mind
And you question everything
And you answer yourself
In a way that exudes neurons of light
Years ahead
Of us mortals.

Rocking Chair

Don't bother asking what's wrong

Righto up on top of that 

Pile of laundry slouched over

On our new plaid couch or

While wading through 300

Hot Wheels, I find someone else's

Phone number.

How did the kids know it wasn't scrap paper?

So I clean and pretend that

Three voices can't cry at one time

Or that my body won't fit into

Most fabric creations in two oak dressers upstairs,


There is hope. Beauty at 3 am.

Hoot hooting in nights noonight

To each other from stately,

I know

Rust colored oak trees, as I nurse

Yet another baby.

That owl was there before, 

With Jane and the Indians.

R D 1 Kutztown

I noticed you were back in there

Between mud and pines, hands in pockets

Looking through, to three months ahead

Snow thick upon wooden shingles, delft blue sidings

Clear glass forest of dreams, as you saw me.

Sway to five summers ago, magic, deep

Night, hot crickets, your dusty heave,

On two occasional hills outside,

I got my way with you at last.

My transparentness was lost that year.

My dreams came true an brought steady

Gold happiness that is yet there, as you see me.

May you know, still burning inside are

White hot flames flaring

With no explanation, at moments while I am

Gazing out your perfectly positioned windows

Enabling me the freedom of these visions

Even though the doors are shut, you will see me.

Moments In Wax

Old post cards
New puppy,
False phone calls,
No future,
That's the way the ball rolls.

Fast sports cars
Loud music,
New lovers,
Old past life,
Can you believe it's here?

Your body,
My heartbeat,
Typed letters
Sent message,
Your love has come my way.

A family
Two people
In orbit
With disregard for all.

A mistake,
A sadness,
Turned upright
To gladness,
Your love has changed it all.

for Willie Nelson 


For Chris Who Died

        There was work to be done
        And only I could do it
        Shoveling the path,
        Getting hot water
        Cleaning downstairs and up
        Stairs I heard you call
        I looked out back window,
        Facing clearly into a wild
        Vast basin of black trees and white
        Spinning blue clouds overhead.
        I lay on the bed looking outward
        Upside down
        You flew over.


                           A New Year

          Royal breakfast with faint whites

          Secondary thoughts

          Too many people, too many clouds

          The city was dead, hesitating before snow.

          We all were hanging out in front of the pharmacy

          Wearing mittens and keeping busy

          Since there was nothing else to do.

          Grey light made his cat eyes match his coat.

          Great freedom cobbled on Philadelphia streets

          Better mysteries between abandoned transaxles.

          Brick work from the turn of the century

          Walls of expectations and windows of black pools.

          For a moment that was all there was.

          Silver tracks, broken metal, idle chatter.

          A bell pierced thin ice and the light turned green,

​          They couldn't stop it.

To Mellors

Golden straw against my itch

Staring up at leaking nail hole

Spike of light spotting a bale wire below.

My hands behind my head spinning,

With you aside on side,

Head on hand, tracing arcs with your finger

Slicing dust sparkles.

​Declaration of jokes, old sleds, rest skates,

Outlaw bats stirring in lofty rafters,

We had our fun behind all backs.

You shifted in toward me, knowing

Your abandoned morals

​Felt so good, so many times here

Hidden, In full view, of seven ancients.

Oh yes, you loved me so hard, so bad.

A front blows in quick, It chills

Brown eyes round as cold rain

Begins to remind us of just what 

Were we doing?

You reluctantly pull your muddy boots on.

I pull my white sweatshirt down,

But you can't leave me alone just yet.

Footfall on thunder, clap panic, frozen

A shot of lightning,

Red heat of your whiskers against my flushed cheek,

Your weight on me bearing ill.

​We stumble out onto a wicked side road,

Not knowing what hit.

And I see all. Facing you,

I force a paper heart over your stained chest.

You fall, your knees, your moment.

You lie on black oily macadam

Life's blood boiling over tears and rain.

A sad grey ghost hovers in swaying pines

​Answering in briefed cadence,

Some loud chorus of saw whet owls,

Tattoo hollow promises downstream

​As strifed life oozes into shale lined mill run.

I cannot be your wife here anymore.

Wind whipped back roads singe with Noah's stroke.

My long hair caked.

Lover's knots cloak you, but cannot save

Your wailing spirit, my screaming cringe.

Your beautiful hands are still,

Your eyes are closed,

You die with me on top.


Our sins have not gone unnoticed.

Curly Memories

Your handwriting ink hasn't changed

It arrived today, two hundred, eighty-six illegible months

Later. Modern modems now allow for instant everything

Except these memories aren't so fast.

Hard driven, long sepulchered Princess

For meanness seeking brief freedom, pounding

Energetic big city island juke.

Gaining everything found, having life for

Years without so much as a nod of you

Quiet poet, clear genius curly mop.

Caught in a mall bookstore, your name,

Hidden behind a fuzzy of remote.

Tenderness.  Touched some blank heart spot

That I thought was long long gone

To the files of yester.

Our path trains never crossed everland.

Living and working blocks from one zero zero zero three,

It wasn't meant to be it was.

Now this, a milkshake of bright text.

Our children, lives, days begets without regrets,

Vacations, deaths, singing new songs. Say!

History is a funny thing.

There's nothing can be done with it but make more.

Poetry is in my blood; my great-grandfathers and grandmother wrote; my father writes, my step-mother writes and my sisters write. I however, concentrate on the visual arts and keep poetry for a private world that is an integral part for my paintings and drawings. This symbiosis has been happening since I was very young.  

The poems are the nerves and the paintings are the body. Paintings are meant to be public. They both come from a creative process that has nothing to do with convention, convenience or worry. It is a freedom from within the heart and soul.

I never wanted to publish my poems because I felt that they have no redeeming social value. There are few political messages and some (most) may be meaningless to other people. They are like dreams, only interesting to the dreamer.

I must thank a high school teacher, Mr. Willam Shaw, for introducing other poets, his constructive criticism and his major enthusiasm toward words. To this day I'm positive that he gave me the courage to continue writing. He was there when I needed somebody.

Herstory, Mystory, Mystery

Where am I?

Did I catch that orange leaf this fall for luck

And make a wish?

Or was I too busy delivering another


Yeah, that's right, he was ten pounds-

Seven ounces...

Born on my Dad's birthday, a grey cool day,

Not that I cared of weather conditions

That day of the stock market crash 65 years ago.

Where was I?

Maybe dancing down sunny

Fifth Avenue with Holly and Greg,

Me wearing a short denim skirt, my favorite

​With a cool purple metallic belt

And of course, shiny lime green sunglasses, just strutting

Knowing that my painting was hanging

On the island of Manhattan, drying,

With others in a not so tropical breeze typical to New York Octobers.

Was I there?

At the marshmallow fight brought on by

Louisa's pillowcase full of multi sized puffs?

A gift for my sweet sixteen thousand million

Years on Planet Earth?

​Mother, what was she doing where?  Why

That's when my record collection started-

Thirty-two albums, 33 1/3, sure,

I invited everybody and they all showed up!

Even the person I'm married to now,

Who I had broken up with then.

We all played soccer and ate

Cake in the sticky white and green backyard.

I had a sugar cube corsage with pink and blue ribbons;

Tucked it away in a box until it disintegrated 

One humid summer thunderstorm.

Was it I?

One other year, on a rolling ferry

​Between birthday days,

Sick as a dog,

​Never really turning twenty-two anywhere,

While those famous white cliffs of Dover

Chalked up yet another inexperienced traveler on the way

To knowing that I was older

Upon arrival in Dieppe,

Land of wine, cheese and fondue

Where my mother was born

And bombed on, who

Lived to tell the tale and

Cry whenever airplanes flew low over

Her suburban housewife summer backyard picnics

That she eventually abandoned along with us.

My dad proposed we'd go back to celebrate when I was half

His age but...

I am where

Are your shoes Jane, we're late? Roy are you dressed yet?

Yes, I'll tie them. Wait, your hair barrettes Jane. Stop!

Roy get dressed now! I'll be right up, let me

Get Harry,

My baby,

My third baby, precious golden being.

Happy Hawee, don't cry.

I rescue him from his crib,

Lifting him into a laugh, telling him, and others that

I am here.


Easter Bunny, April Fool

Hunt time arrived and as if by magic,
Brisk winds raced any clouds away,
Then calmed, letting
Bright sun warm crisp late March air.
Thousands of plastic colored eggs had been cast
On sloping hillside.
In amongst early dandelions they hid,
Even bold navy blue ones, rare they may be,
Creating a patchwork of
Children everywhere.
Scattered shouts and scrambled glee as treasures were picked among bright
Jewels laying in new grass and clover.
And there,
There was the obligatory Easter bunny,
With such hairy arms, tall legs, sporting a shiny purple vest and bow tie.
Sweaty. Posing for pictures,
Giving  thumb ups for the bright day.

Frantic gathering finished and all baskets filled.
Parents milled around talking, comparing prizes, between park benches and picnic tables.
Keeping cool under old tin canopy, delaying their departures.
And that furry bunny kept looking at me.
But he stayed in the sun, being really hot.

How suddenly,
There was no one left, but me and that hare.
Hanging out on top of an eggless hill sward.
All prizes having been distributed evenly, of course.
We sat close, looking up at long afternoon sky, not saying much,
Thick trees glowing pink behind us, fat buds waiting to burst green.
Costumed heat radiating through supporting arms,
Touching. Spinning thoughts and intentions,
Still muffled by large white oversized head and eyes.
Not wanting to disappoint any stragglers, he stayed true to form,
As a bunny.
And, I understood, I could tell.
He smelled really fine inside his skin of plush.

As sunset sank, he removed his cumbersome headdress
And leaned toward me, in fresh.
He was beautiful as we began to do
What foolish rabbits consider hip hop.                 

Splendid Mansions

​White shirts, white pants, white snow, white space,

A robin seen along early road,

You flirt with me in dark halls former splendor.

Magnificent we, who are bored with it,

Smell each other's untouchable bodies,

Sweet longing, I hunt you in radar.

You get up and giggle next to me and I am

Happy for you, who seems so lonely in God and

Here. I want to throw you thru the snowy yard

And tell you about Kenney and other secrets.

Scared and sacred you won't budge in Spring.

I am bricked for life by true set love,

And don't you rub it in,

Your thin arm around me in dark plush laughter,

Oh so bad it taps your soul.

You look better in black or blue,

Beaten up

Like the car you drive and your clothes

Sticking to your ribs,

Showing everything that isn't.

For Those Who Like Worlds of Words     

I woke up with bright sun.
Flannel sheets still sleepy 
With a shaggy dog
Two cats.
Long red nightshirt, twisted around
A dark turquoise dream sky
Where interesting birds chirped
And clear multi-colored carved glass antique bowls
Filled with beads and arrowheads lined up
A spiraling carpeted stairway
Up into an attic, of mine,
All mine.  
There was a bookcase,
With beautiful books
And you picked one with a tooled leather binding,
Intricate morning glories,
About diesel train engines,
Appropriate for we were going
To a swap, or meet, or sale, or somewhere
That had significance.
I don’t know why.
I do know you took my hand and I looked at you quickly
Honestly piqued,
And wondered if you were right in doing so, 
In front of people, who were trying to see through us,
Standing near rippled casement windows,
To watch
Flowing yellow green willow tree, and those birds,
Their numbers doubled.
You took my hand, in front of everyone,
Wanting me to go with you
Onto a bookbench behind oaken steps.
I looked up at the stained glass chandelier,
Spun around inside my eyes,
And fell into your spelling.

Walking Through Life at Easter

We sacrificed white lambs
For dinner,
We sat with wine.
And bird song this time
Now spring, fresh air windows opening to sunshined meadows.

Your beautiful hands fluent with laughter
Pointing out painted blossoms.
Swift running stream,
Where just yesterday we skated on glass,
Thick in water and fish
Plowed fields sweetly healing
Under blue Easter sky.

Yellow and orange daffodils
Screaming toward fast water's edge
Shaded mallow, Cinquefoil, Indian Lili,
Smiling along
As children squealed and so did we

Earlier a booming minister
Jack in Pulpit,
Declared that if one hasn't experienced pain,
This holiday may have no meaning
But if you experience overwhelming joy,
And sorrow becomes happiness
You understand.

Time stood still into far future.
Children brought their children
To creekside for flowers
Everblooming fifty years hence.
We stood together holding hands,
Yours still beautiful,
And hearts,
Still beating loudly
Our sorrows behind us this day
An ancient renewal,
As if there were no years
Meant to be for Easter. 

Two Witches


Glowing at it's peak,

​Winding down a season

Sunning in left-overs

Just enjoying the day when


They enter the mind

Previously clear and free

Bringing with them their excess baggage,

Cluttering tight passageways

Spilling over with it

Pulling dark clouds for cover, so

I cut the line and decide

To leave them all back there.

I will go on to my future aloneness

Of one less.

What a mess, what a mess.

All photographs are original and property of Lisa Eshleman Foster.

 May not be reprinted without consent from the artist.

Copies available upon request for a small fee

​Poems are the purest form of expression. They are paintings with words instead of paint. I have been writing for as long as I have been painting. Sometimes I combine the words and images, but never on the same side of the canvas.  I love words as much as I love color. I come from a long line of wordsmiths but found the thrill of showing off paintings to be more rewarding than reading my poetry in public. Poems are of the air, paint is visual, you can't be forgetting what you see before you as with lyrics (unless you learn them). So, I do both and broadcast that I paint. I like having a secret stash of ideas within words.

What's Right Was Then

I was wondering

Where you are now, intelligent,

Beautiful man? What are you doing at this moment?

Waiting under dirty marble steps,

To jump out and blue eyeball

Someone carrying sacks of groceries or paint

To lofty ateliers?

Such high ambitions,

Entwined, like these clouds I watch,

Floating on russet icy water.

Our souls,

Anxious for another reason or rhyme.

Burning taut with each other's cleverness.

Nervous secret neon caresses

Hardening slick arteries fast.

Now alone thinking

In that kingdom far away.

Your notches are skyscrapers, still.

Mine, moose antlers and wind rattled leaves,


Are you whistling, bag slung, through dark subway's clatter?

I'm listening to green and gold tunes of frogs returning.

Climbing up Dixville, birds, water rambling everywhere.

Somewhere, your faucet drips,

A phone jangles, a taxi screeches, a fire engine blasts

Our gated windows, your reflection,

Splayed naked on your wife's handy quilt,

Laughing, legs akimbo.

Not caring how to quit such guilt.

No then.

It wasn't like that at all, was it?

Here, basking on granite, watching snow melt, I know now

We were right there, as you will always be.

But as wrong as this forest,

Clipped down from ccanopied glory.

Nipping it in the bud was impossible.

We just couldn't keep our eyes and hands and brains off

Pilgrims' progression.

And that was bad, as we never got caught.

And that was so good on blinding sward of sandstone,

With groceries, 40 stories ago.

Cannister Weather

Front comes in quick

and bleats around

the corners and through

the seeming dead

trees.  But it is

winter and things are





in the moonlight, suddenly

slipping in the icy snow



A Day With Poetry and Pecan Pie

You live upstairs
It’s like where I grew up
In Lititz, above the safe and office equipment
I always dreamt of flying down
That steep staircase lined with Daddy’s books.

Your kids are excited
Both of them so happy and thrilled
To see me, and better yet my daughter
With a bonus friend.
Jack falls in love immediately.

You are frantically cooking
Something that smells good
I am a bit nervous but decide
To hang out with you
Instead of my favorite kids.

As we chatter a mile a minute
You put me to work
Mixing garlic bread
I feel as though I never made garlic bread before
But quickly get a grip and start crushing the cloves.
I drink no alcohol
To keep myself steady and aware
At all times to learn
If what I feel is real
Or just a fragment of my ever imagination.

We finish with pecan pie
Then hug crookedly, awkwardly
I think the kids were watching
I held myself back, I know I did
For fear of falling down the stairs

It poured all the way home.
Slow drivers impeded our progress
By the time we got to Burke
We were engulfed in pure white out conditions
But I made it safely
With no regrets
And a touch of past reality, 
With a little future of dream.

Lightning and Distelfinks

I stand here

On two feet

Getting chills on my new tattoo

And tears in my eyes 

For being so stubborn and loose.

I stand here

Alone in my room

Listening to his voice

Velvet from plastered wall

Oh, life is so mysterious.

I stand here

Not opening my eyes

Reality is not what I know

Darkness and cobalt

Alchemy and magic are my friends.

I stand here

With power

Knowing not what to do with it

Dinking out pictures

Trying to write it all down.

I stand here 

Thinking aloud

No one will hear me though

As it is quiet

And only clackity trolleys spark.

I stand here and 

I will stay

And continue to exsist

Green jumpsuit, yellow and black paint

Liquid as glass.


                 Almost June

Cold rain ends, chased by cloud
Puffs swirling into blue skies
Spring sun backs along, at long last.
Imagine walking over Europe 
In your own town for an hour or so,
Observing slate rooftops, 
Antique buttresses,
Wood and brick lines,
Wire weather vanes.
As if it was a foreign sunny land, and
Then it was so much better.
You beside me,
Walking up the hill,
Tapping your decorated stick on cobblestoned carpet,
Puffing and laughing at every batted eyelash,
With only a slight chance of Spring joining us,
Still wearing mittens and leather.
Now I am swimming.
Through heavy lilaced air,
At every corner, around every block.
I could take that and paint it,
Purple, pink, white, bushes and bushes and bushes
With fragrance zephyring upwards
I’m floating in it.

You hold my hand, never more.
You heave your love, never more.
You have disappeared in a bottle of rum
And pirate ships.
Yo ho ho.

It’s where you deserve to go I suppose.
Why would you throw away everything for 
Everlasting madness?
Because, in parallel universes,
Anything is possible.

Lisa Eshleman Foster

                            Merlin's Boots

          Perhaps you didn't notice, being a scurry man

          In a hurry.

          You brushed by dramatic, punctual tens,

          Black cape furling

          Tumbled against lofts of blinding snow.


          Pray not, so blind to see only

          First a cost equal

          To none or everything.

          Cashing in stacks of checkered chips

          So as not to disgrace your 

          Well mannered manicure.

          Hell, You'd never notice plankton blinking

          Away sub winter dreaming.

          Blazed summer crickets sawing

          Heated pools of air

          Thickly resting on those slim and graceful hands

          Stretched out above,

          Sharp eyes scanning for shooting stars,

          Blocking fierce desires.

          Alas, I lay here alone.

          Your countenance is still in your hip pocket

          Or stashed in a locker somewhere alone harms way.

          But my friend, hope has no fear since,

          There is, lying on your dresser upstairs

          Under some dust and ticket stubs,

          A clue.


I love words almost as much as I love paint​

Crystalized Span

I laced up my ice skates

that propelled

through time

the universe below,

smooth as glass, constellations

whizzed by clusters

of speed

only to turn into brights

and lush the meadows


and the scent

of woolen sweaters worn

by meteors

caused fluid

fish of the seven sisters

to freeze with seaweed

under us in the 

atmosphere, that really wasn't

but a fragment of a minute.

Queen of Cups

I am the queen of cups today

Walking downtown to work.

It's raining and my palm is flat skyward

Lifting golden rimmed bullions around,

They weigh a ton.

Black and white world of yours

Now your'e gone.

I'm back into color and it's a bitchin' time

Hauling ass to work

Being poor and horny and employee of the month,

Eating lots of shrimp.

I idolize rocks and crevices.

I swim into deep azure sunlight

I listen to Hendrix and let your body detach

From these bankers hours.

Compared to life,

Computer screens can only flatly describe space,

No matter how hard they try.

The belief in nature as a whole is essential

Beauty of life,

Life on Earth,

Multi-facets glinting in a field of energy

Power and guilt.

The queen of cups rolls over.

Rain at Christmas

Fat cats hop on my lap as I relax
And admire my
Christmas tree with at least one thousand ornaments
Glass, all different,
I squint through strands of colored lights
Drifting behind beaded glass chains

This tree is full
Of it,
Like you,
Were trying to be nice,
With your words and kind innuendos
Your happy smile and long legged walk
And your sparkling laugh,
Is what I will fall for again and again.
I say to myself,
I was on that other side once
I cannot be here
As you should be there
And you are somewhere,
My phone doesn’t ring

As it shouldn’t, but,
I wonder, as I sit,
If you thought of me at all today
As I thought of you all too often.

Copyright 2016 Lisa Eshleman Foster. All Rights Reserved.

No reproductions of any kind without permission from the artist.

​                    Invisibly Visible

          Cold air slaps me into dawn.

          Harsh water rushing and cobblestones

          Rounding every corner

          Softens to feather sheets.

          Alone and thinking of trees

          And hills and waking up


          Back on the streets, buying glittery strings

          I danced a thousand fires

          For the Hexen Loch

          Invisible as it is to all.

          And they carried you through the streets

          That night as I watched

          Curved steel slipping

          Coldly away with love and doubts.