Maggie's writing has been published in Ceramics Monthly, Pottery Making Illustrated, Studio Potter, Cecil Soil Magazine, Mason Dixon Arrive and the Cecil Whig. Copies of her artists' books are in the collections of the New York Public Library and the Newark Art Museum. Maggie has won awards for her poetry, and her poem "Why Losing a Job seems so Unimportant Now" is included in Alternatives to Surrender, a collection of works about cancer. And get this! -- her undergraduate thesis on Mary and John Nichols and their hydrotheraphy colony is cited as a reference in a Real Book, Sex Radicals and the Quest for Women's Equality by Joanne Ellen Passet.
He looks so tired, looks so worn and worn apart, long past the point of breaking down to pieces small enough to mend. And yet he carries on, he soldiers on, he puts one
foot just so and so and so again.And every day is much the same: the pills to take, the words to say, the hopes deferred, desire quenched. And every day has its routine, its sequence still of food and drink, of bowel, blood and bed.
Dear man, I find you father to your wife, and I, no longer child, can truly say that I love you.
Some say when city birds forget their songs,
when sand bleeds oil, and oily sands spawn death,
when graying mothers bear their daughters' sons,
when locusts strip the trees to bark and twigs,
when terror's colored yellow, orange, red,
this world we know will burn itself to ash.
The woman wails and marks her face with ash
She hears the men beat drums and sing their songs.
Men sing until their throats are raw and red.
They sing of honor, insults, vengeance, death.
They strike their drums with sticks and stones and twigs,
then give the broken pieces to their sons.
Those very men were once some country's sons
who ran together, and cut swords from ash.
They all climbed trees, they tore off sticks and twigs.
They drummed on stumps, they sang their fathers' songs.
They caught a squirrel and beat it to its death,
and chewed the flesh until their mouths were red.
Old sailors say when morning skies are red
Earth gives a warning to her many sons
(since water's not the only place for death).
When buildings blaze, when stone burns down to ash,
when insects swarm, when birds forget their songs,
men lose their way and make their maps from twigs.
If rotten fruits are borne from barren twigs,
if blood from different races still is red,
if words turn sour in the sweetest songs,
if daughters wish to change themselves to sons,
if cities die to cinders, embers, ash,
this world we know is coming close to death.
When acts of love breed blindness, madness, death,
when children play on legs as thin as twigs,
when ancient mountains burn themselves to ash,
when rivers boil, when green turns into red,
when women pray their wombs will bear no sons,
then birds fly north for winter with their songs.
We see that death is black, while life is red:
so as the trees have twigs, if men have sons,
then from cold ash the wind will sing their songs.M Creshkoff 2005
Fathers aren’t like anybody else,
aren’t like mothers, with their
tender smiles, who are
happy just to hear you breathe
eager to see you take your first step,
right or wrong.
Fathers aren’t like anybody else, they’re
anxious, impatient, always
ready to correct. They
expect to see you do
whatever you’ve done, done better.
Excellence is what they leave you, an almost unattainable excellence in
For Mary Anne:
On Sunday, all her words came slow
And pale and weak from spitting blood
The chemo kills her faster than the cancer ever did.
Her face is old, all skin, all bones
Her body’s like a starving child’s,
A belly swollen full with no new life for her
Twelve years ago they found that lump,
They took her breasts, they burned her bones
A dozen years of hope and poisoned pills
and all for this:
to feel the wind through hair as thin as thread
to see the sun through leaves of newest green
to hear the birds call through the slender trees
to touch her mother’s face despite the dark.
M Creshkoff 5/07
Before I leave,
please listen to these words
You kiss my lips, then place your hand on mine,
they fit so well together: fingers, palm,
the corresponding marks, the fated line
that crossed our lives. Together such a calm
can fill me, even when our blood is hot
enough to turn your tears to steam. My love,
you are as real to me when here, or not.
I carry you inside me, something of
the child I never had, the man within,
my other half, the missing tone, the chord
I longed to hear throughout my life. No sin
could feel like this, or all hearts would have whored
long since. You’re with me when I go away,
your soul’s in mine, a silent stowaway.
M Creshkoff 12/28/04
There is such beauty all around us...