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Diane Webster Poetry


by Diane Webster

The keyhole maws like a cave opening
until the spelunker’s key wiggles, jiggles,
slides backside down into the gap
dodging stalactites jutting
into jigsaw-puzzle-like jags
until fit tightens at extremity;
the key rotates to free its form-fitting grip,
and a tunnel opens into a cavern
unlocking a room to wander treasures
until exploration halts, and the key
reverses, shimmies out
leaving a keyhole gaping again.


Beside the river the stone’s footprint
betrays its passing to the hunter
who kneels and presses his hand
into the imprint letting his fingertips
trace how long ago it had passed,
how much it weighed,
how long this had been home.

He searches the trail ahead for tossed
skid marks or broken shards,
but only this sole indenture
pocks the nearest horizon.

The river’s runoff rumbles
over sisters, brothers, cousins
perhaps this stone itself
holding its breath until the shore
carves farther east around the bend,
and dry land welcomes the stone
into its nest again.


Like a clock
in silence –
tick, tick, tick.
Waiting for the alarm
to go off; waiting
for the alarm
not to go off.

Wanting the clock
to stop ticking!
But what if it does?
Listening to
tick, tick, tick.


At the same time
two crows leap
from the same branch
of the same dead tree.

One flies east; one flies west.
One flies at 12 miles per hour;
one flies at 15 miles per hour.
One flies into a head wind
blowing at 20 miles per hour;
one flies with the tail wind
of 20 miles per hour.
In 31 minutes how far
will each crow be from the other?

Who cares?
One crow spots a deer carcass
alongside the road and swoops
down for a snack.
One crow dips its wing
and spirals into the sky
then dives down to land
lightly on a fence post.
It faces the wind and pretends
to fly like a dog
poking its head out a car window.


Feral cats
like homeless people
slink around the edges.

Wary of eye-to-eye
contact they lie low
in you-don’t-really-
see-me mode.

Comfortable only
in their own clowders
of tents, cardboard boxes,
sleeping bags coiled
together like curled up cats
lying in cinnamon roll buns
ready for the baking
when the sun rises.


Diane Webster‘s work has appeared in El Portal, North Dakota Quarterly, New English Review, Verdad and other literary magazines. She had a micro-chap published by Origami Poetry Press in 2022, 2023 and 2024. One of Diane’s poems was nominated for Best of the Net in 2022. Diane retired in 2022 after 40 years in the newspaper industry.

The Writing Disorder is a quarterly literary journal. We publish exceptional new works of fiction, poetry, nonfiction and art. We also feature interviews with writers and artists, as well as reviews.



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