Robbi Nester: Poet and Writer

Now that I have a couple of  books to my name and many published poems, essays, and reviews out there on the web and in print, I want to make it easier for people to find and read these pieces all in one place.

I have a writer’s page at (and haven’t updated that very recently!). You are welcome to visit that.

I also have a travel blog on Blogspot that I produced on a trip to Israel last spring to visit family. That is Traveling Home To A Strange Land–

And there are some recent publications you can check out as well, such as my poem “October Wish,” winner of Painted Bride‘s Sidecar poetry contest for this month at, and my recent poem “Medusa–An Unnatural History,” published by Silver Birch Press at

Here is another poem, published in my book, A Likely Story (Moon Tide Press, 2014) as well as in the anthology Memento Mori that seems appropriate for this Halloween Season.

I met a fellow at a party who began
between two sips of wine, to tell about
the winter he had rats. “As big as goats!”
he swore, and told me how they pulled the books
off shelves, and gnawed the boiler till it bled
white steam. The cellar steps were theirs, until
he set out poison and the scratching stopped.
They bloated bigger than before. Outside,
they kept till summer on the compost heap.
A woman I once heard of had an awful night.
She lay in bed not sleeping, though the moon
had risen and stars burned clear.
The room seemed wrong—too close
for autumn, and her arms were stiff.
Awake, she pried her fingers from the quilt’s
hard edge, and realized her anaconda,
Sam, was loose and she was in his mouth.
Snake’s muscles only wind one way, it seems.
She pulled the other way,
got out of him as some might shed a skin,
and shut that snake down cellar with the dog.
How about the lake that travelers found?
It’s said to be so deep and clear they saw
one-hundred years of kittens in their sacks,
a cow, and people, fully dressed. So cold
these beings hang as in a dance. The miller,
still wearing his white smock, sifts water
through an open hand. A lady, skirts
around her head, takes one stiff step. The current
falls; I can’t be sure my source was factual.
Some man in Kansas or Dakota swears
his TV’s spooked. As he sat picking figures
from the pine wall’s grain, the set
came on all by itself. He jumped, upset
his sleeping dog. It was the test pattern
from a station ten years off the air.
He wondered if the dead were still around
like that, and tried like hell to switch the dial,
but no success. The signal played three hours
and a half. He called the papers and police,
a cousin in Dubuque. They all agreed:
Matter and energy are never lost.

In Spartanburg, a missing person found
his way back home. The way I heard it told,
a widowed hairdresser in town, who tired
of Saturdays alone, once did the hair
of unclaimed corpses at the funeral home.
She trilled like Brenda Lee, what charity!
An endless line for permanents and lacquer
glaze. But getting up to leave, she met
her nephew, gone since April when he left
for church. They found his car out by the lake.
Those corn-blue eyes were faded, yellow hair
needed a part. She guessed he looked okay—

Memento Mori, as if we could forget.
We like to think we would prefer if life
went on and on. But where would be the shape
we’ve come to know so well? The barometric
plunge, the fire burning all to ash
is half of its felicity. So tell
your stories and avert your eyes.


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