Carol Hamilton

Carol Hamilton has recent and upcoming publications in Pinyon, Sandy River Review, The Big Window, Commonweal, Bluestem, Southwestern American Literature, Pour Vida, Adirondack Review, The Maynard, Sanskrit Literary  Magazine, U.S.1 Worksheet, Broad River Review, Homestead Review, Shot Glass Journal, Poem, I-70 Review, Louisiana Literature, Haight Ashbury Poetry Journal, The Aurorean, Blue Unicorn,  Birmingham Poetry Review, Pigeonholes Review, Oddevill Press and others.  She has published 17 books: children’s novels, legends and poetry, most recently, SUCH DEATHS from Virtual Arts Cooperative Press Purple Flag Series. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma.


Though painted in as himself

at the easel in “Las Meninas,”

what artist is so hidden,

so “not there” in his works?

His subjects are somehow revealed,

yet there are many unknowns

behind the artist’s eyes,

so sympathetic but with no taste

for flattery. His works fill

the page, the wall, captivate,

some grand and others tiny.

His hand of creation slips

behind the impasto, modest,

but is thus so present

in the impact of the work itself.

The palette, though dark,

is powered by light.

I see no ego there, but assurance.

As I turn the pages or stand

in the museum, his works pull

me in, over and over, asking ….

what? Perhaps just an invitation

to enter and seek who

we are in his dark eyes.

Manner of Travel to the End of the Trail

“I will fight no more forever.”

Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Tribe

For some, the trail we march

before we reach the dead end,

the boxed-in corner, the last hope,

is hard. For most the way

is lined with glitter, twinkly

led lights in the trees

that line the paths, new purchases,

filled houses, full garages

and packed-tight driveways,

storage buildings needed.

The Nez Perce struggled

and hoped for a thousand miles.

They did not have a say

in their fate. Our flinty eyes,

filled with wants, go merrily

along the pathway,

dreaming Nirvana.

We devour the trees

and their fruits as we go,

assured of our rights.

A no-exit canyon awaits

us all, the jolly day trippers

and the desperate strugglers,

the one creating, the other suffering

the path leading to the same trap.