The flimsy spaghetti straps cannot
hold on to the peeling paint
of this last metal hanger.
Crinoline wants to stand in starched salute, but sags like butter
from the left breast.
The scent of saffron on threads,
its shapely bodice remembers his hand wedded to the curve of her back,
the supple navigation of flesh through smears of night, through zippers and skirts, the girl drifts up from taffeta, from catechism and golden rules.

Angels grow angry bird wings.
Unfurl the ghost of swans, I am yellow
as beaks. Passion hatches its magical egg. I am sewn into feathers and sky,
a secret tugging at the never-never,
no one points at my ribs.
I dance in the cage of all secrets, twirl
from ashes, the moon blushes my sleep. Did Adam really break his rib in two?
I am leaving my old body,
the fallen angel's resurrection.
Yolk-colored Monarchs remember
the way to Brazil, taffeta in swarms
of wings. The silent pulse in the tabernacleof her heart always dances.
she is the yolk that feeds the night.


Come Mother and Father, stand at the top of the hill with me. It is time
to walk down to the river.
We hang out clothes on the thorny branches of the wild rose.
The stones of the path are obtrusive
and sharp, but with each step
they elongate to warm and smooth
the soles of our feet.
The winter snow has made the river
fast and deep.
We gaze into its immeasurable current, fall on our knees and listen.

Sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, there are no more keepers, only givers
and receivers. In me you will find the reasonfor unity. I have no measure, definition or time, only the perfection of swirls and currents that always
find their way forward.
Immerse your body in the oblivion of my water for you are liquid and forever changing.

Do not damn up your beauty or forsake
the pleasure of brightness.
I will smooth you like the stones of heaven. There is no more stumbling or entanglement. Your inner elements are soft like powder, ground to your finest voice you will evaporateand reconfigure
in the sequence of love.

Trust the constancy of circles.
You are each a dot that extends outward
in a rotating line until you become a circle and all circles are the interlacing geometry that speaks without a mouth.
You are blood and bones, genitals
and heart, breath and tears,
yet so much more. You will float in the brilliance of bending and curving
when you untie every lifetime knot by knot and offer them as jewels to the sun.


Frayed wings of skirts climb toward
the moon hollow, toward hope hanging
on the thread of a sparkless sky.
Lost in the Banyan, the swallow
grieves for the golden
bough, sky-nymph longing
for the exhilaration of sadness,
for mother sky’s vaulted, veinless
arms. Yesterday’s mourning;
last chance for supplication.
Are we skyward:
can we be taught in a short breath
the truth of wings?
The moon flies up and down,
feet crusted with bagworms
and dying mud. Tiny wings
tattoo between shoulders:
blades rending the weightlessness
of ribs and lungs.
Pull the dry skirts over my head.
Bare legs like silver snakes
circle the moonlight. Wings
are footprints falling upward.
Why do we pretend to be bodies?
Bone, blood, fluid not contained
by skin: We are earth-birds
in the unscrubbed sky.
Pull the dead skirts up over my head.
The rains will come tomorrow.
We will drink
the sky.

published in Friction Magazine, 2000


After the verdant thrust of summer:
scraggly brown,
the explicit vivacity of life
preparing for its inward pull.
Somehow the pink geraniums
in the flower box
have completely disappeared.
The petunias resign
to the frailty of vines stretching
towards sun’s last fingers.
I have a picture of you
in my head.
My fingers still want damp
soil with all its vitamins
and insignificant creatures
humming the miniature song
that never goes away.
The hosta’s broad leaves
bleach into corn husks
and decaying lace.
My picture curls its edges,
subsides into dull yellow
like old photos dislodged
from their little black triangles
in a broken-down family album.
Soon it will be time
for the long walk between
shadow and sleep.
The grief of a body that knows
it must succumb:
the hand of winter waiting to spread
its exquisite silence.


after Two Calla Lilies on Pink by Georgia O’Keefe

Two Calla Lilies on pink
pink that never ends
just falls like grace, like manna, like the moment
of a swollen
  berry falling to grass, this
grass that is sweet and green
beyond the hills, beyond your name or mine, can
stiff yellow rods
stand apart but know the way
I fall from your lips
in pools of delicate rain, the sound of your mouth
on my heart, this
  silk wrapped in August rain, yes
Calla Lilies pressing so
tight their breath cannot escape petals
curving only
one line, straight lines have lost
it is bending that curves in
and out so sometimes we forget where you end
and I begin.

published in the Best Love Poems of Stirring 2002


Poetry & Music Gathering

The third Sunday of the month

2:00-4:00 pm


Hannan House
4750 Woodward, Detroit, 48201
Between Warren and Forest on the East side

Sunday April 27


Ken Meisel
Author of 5 poetry books and published in Rattle, Cream City Review, Perine’s Fountain and Lake Effect and a 2012 Kresge Fellow. His work transforms the ordinary into the sublime.
Kevin Meisel
Recording on the Brambus label out of Switzerland, Kevin’s music is rooted in the Americana/Roots tradition with a lyrical and narrative approach that shows great compassion. 1st place International Songwriting Competition, 2009.


248 583-7765










“Some of the finest poetry we've come across in a while, the images are amazing."

Stirring Magazine

The poetry of Ann Holdreith merges the mythical with the everyday. A chapter of her work is included in "Beyond the Lines", an anthology of Michigan authors published by Plainview Press. Her publishing credits also include: Wayne State University, Gravity Presses, Dixie Phoenix, Poetry Motel, Free Fall, Snakeskin, Gravity Webzine, Stirring, Aether, Friction Magazine and a 1999 Pushcart Prize Nomination. Ann teaches classes for the Detroit Writer's Voice and is a Magna Cum Laude graduate in Fine Art and Literature from the University of Detroit. She has featured at the Michigan Opera Theatre, The Detroit Festival for the Arts and Spring Fed Arts of Detroit. Her riveting performance synthesizes her background as an actress, vocalist, dancer and performance artist. Her writing, performance and teaching are dedicated to the full expression of the human spirit.