Friday, October 9, 2015

I Wish I'd Written This

her beaded dress
by Kate Steere

her beaded dress, his fingers tangle in her hair

breathless, he watches her eyes change

in her reflection, he remembers the first time

a brief hesitation, the ring becomes part of the tides

his's playing their song

hand in hand, they dance in the silence

I’ve known Kate Steere, shown here with her youngest child Tim, for some time on facebook. She describes herself as a writer, artist, mother of four and admirer of all things Sherlock and Benedict Cumberbatch related.  (I share her passion for Benedict and Sherlock.)

She was born in Philadelphia, raised in the South as a child, spent her late childhood and early adulthood in Colorado, and most of two decades in Charlottesville, Virginia. She currently resides in Albany, New York with her partner of 12 years, and her assorted children. 

I love this romantic poem, which avoids cliché and creates a sensual scenario both delicate and vivid.

Kate usually writes short form poetry, explaining that her time and patience are limited at the best of times. With four young children, the latest born only a few months ago, I can well imagine!

Not university trained – though she assures us that she knows a haiku from a sonnet – her writing comes from her observations of nature, and of the characters in her life. 

At the moment she doesn’t feel the need to do a book. She says, ‘I really write only when I feel a need to, then I let it go. I tend to not revisit them, so editing enough for a book would be a bit of a chore. LOL.’ Again, I think those children might have priority. (Smile.)

As for her paintings, she tells me she usually gives them away or hangs them in her house to ‘torture’ herself! I guess she means she thinks she could do better, but I love the ones I’ve seen posted on facebook, such as this (a section of a larger work):

Because the poem I chose is short, I’ll give you another. Some of the words in the following piece are unfamiliar to me, but obviously they’re regional and I’m guessing USA readers will understand. The poem works anyway, in its strong sense of identity and belonging.

my roots

are in the memory of
the trees that are long gone
trees entwined by time
weather and space

yankee by birth
tarheel as child
accent lost in the rocky mtns
(not by choice)

my children are wahoos
(according to wikipedia, a fish)
raised on chaps, bodos
and bad football

my roots were chosen
not by birth, not given
not so easily broken
as that tree

Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders (usually their authors).


  1. I am lucky enough to know Kate in person, and she is every bit as amazing as this post makes her out! I am continually blown away by her work. She is a talented poet and artist, and I count myself lucky to have her as a friend.

  2. How I resonate with "my roots are in the memory of the trees that are long gone" ! What a wonderful poet to feature, Rosemary. Four children and writing poems. That is impressive. Kate, I raised four too as a single mom, and am doing books now, in my 60's, when I finally have time. Your books will come. Thank you for brightening my Friday, Kate and Rosemary.

    1. Thank you, Sherry for reading. I wrote a lot more when I only had one. :) Now I write when the bug hits. :) I truly appreciate your kind words.

  3. thank you Rosemary for featuring this amazing poet and artist..

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thank you, Sumana, your words are deeply appreciated. :)

  4. Love. The tree roots! I write lots about them in my book "reMothering" and am happy to see them here! And the first poem is Breathtaking! I live in Philadelphia now, but lived happily in Albany, NY for 9 years. We crossed in the wind. And your poetry is BEAUTIFUL.

    1. :) We love Albany, we moved here because my partner did his residency here, I'm hoping we will be here for years. :) Thank you for your kind words.

  5. I loved the trees and their roots here--thank you Rosemary--amazing work!

  6. Delicate and poignant, and I like how Kate calls her muse :) ~ Respect and Love ~ Thank you, Rosemary!

  7. I like her style of writing. I think I might have time for grocery lists with so many to feed.

    1. ;) it's funny, I didn't really start writing until I started having kids :) thank you for your kind words, Gail.

  8. Oh what a beautiful poem "her beaded dress" is. I love the romantic quality in a subtle understated way! Enjoyed the 'my roots' poem as well. Enjoyed the bit of family history included within. Ha, even as an American though I don't know what a 'bodo' is though. I do like writing only when one feels they need to. I used to do that....before the blogosphere. Smiles. Rosemary, thanks for such an interesting article this time. Kate, thanks for responding!

    1. Thank you, Mary. :) A Bodos is a bagel shop in Charlottesville, Virginia. It's a local chain of three shops, and the best bagels ever. And chaps is a diner/ice cream place in the same town.Both poems are little love poems really, I've had far more love affairs with places rather than people, and places have changed me far more than people have. That being said, the roots poem is also a bit of a remembrance of a specific person, only he would know it. ;)

  9. Raising children is a work of art. I'm always amazed when artists can produce beauty while leading very, very full lives. Kate's poetry is lovely. I like the grounding in the trees, and the gentle love poem. I'm thoroughly impressed that she can paint too.
    Thank you Rosemary for introduicng us to Kate. She is an inspiration to me.

    1. Thank you, Myrna, your words are deeply appreciated, I grew up drawing and making things, never thought I'd have a houseful of kids. I realized when my time was limited that I needed to write and paint in that time, so I had something that belonged to me. :)

  10. I really love the first poem.. the ringtone playing their song.. what a beautiful contemporary touch.. and dancing in silence. That is the way love is when passion is alive.

  11. It's amazing what rosemary can find week after week. :)
    "her beaded dress" is beautiful, a poem which i really like to say, "i wish i'd written this".


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