Home Furnishings,
Accessories, Design,
& Sleep Shop
P.O.Box 637
122 N. Highway B-288
Clute, Brazoria County
Texas 77531
Carlyn Luke Reding, a sixth generation Texan with Native American roots stretching to south Louisiana, was born in Freeport. She earned degrees at the University of Texas and the University of Houston/Clear Lake, taught English and social studies in the Brazosport Independent School District, and now lives in Austin. She has been published in numerous books, journals, and anthologies. Reding is also a member of the Writers' League of Texas. She supports both the Texas Exes and the Little Theatre of Brazosport as a lifetime member.
© Copyright
2003, 2005, 2008
Carlyn Luke Reding
All Rights Reserved
Two Rivers Poetry

by Carlyn Luke Reding.
Poetry in the Arts, Inc., 2008
Second Edition Printing
Softback, 56 pages, poetry.
$12.95 plus shipping.
Freeport Bottle Works

by Carlyn Luke Reding.
Old River Productions, 2005
Softback, 77 pages, poetry.
$12.95 plus shipping.
Antonelli’s River Inn

by Carlyn Luke Reding.
Old River Productions, 2003
Softback, 123 pages, poetry.
$12.95 plus shipping.
For any sale originating in Texas,
an additional 8.25% sales tax will apply.
Selected poetry from
Two Rivers Poetry

Evolution of a Heart

With face dark as winter,
the heart cockle
grieves for her lost mate,
huddles half-buried
beside the turquoise sea.

Battered barnacle and coral
accent her tattered gown,
once trimmed
in beach-umbrella stripes
of creamy tan and honey bronze.

Defaced with filigree,
chipped on the edge
like a beloved tea cup,
the broken heart
still claims admiration.

jelli 21
       — after William Carlos Williams

Along the shoreline,
a lost gull feather
rising and falling

in the breeze
over and over ...

rolling past
terns and pelicans bumping
over driftwood

shark parts,
bleached sundials,
and shiny olives

then resting

before flying
a few feet
down the beach

but never flying
over gulf and jetty
as it flew before.


Mama — always the naturalist —
tied ropes around our waists.
She held on tight
as one sibling after the other
scurried across the front porch,
leaned over the edge
and looked up —
into stars sparkling
above the eye of the hurricane.

Within the Shadow

Underneath the solar eclipse,
false twilight dims
the Umlauf sculpture garden
and the acclaimed Poetess
in theatrical subtlety.

Mystery enhances the moment —
she folds her gown
in rippled undulations
of sensuous pleats and waves
following the flow of the creek
beneath her gaze.

A poet stops, stares, ensnared
in sculpted feminine poetry.
Within the momentary trance,
he perceives an eclipse phenomenon
        tiny crescent shapes
        filter through the trees
       and stencil
the femme fatale of stone
in a shawl of shadowed lace.

The Poetess almost breathes.
The poet catches his breath.

Selected poetry from
Freeport Bottle Works


Walk along Quintana Jetty
below swirling pelicans and gulls.
Hear the grumble as gulf
and dredge carve and recarve
the Old River.

Wait on water-marked granite
as sand and clay,
scoured from the channel,
shift and steam
into a salty caffè latte.

Imagine bubbles frothing
within the sinuous pipe
stretching over the levee,
into the thirsty settling pond
craving liquid refreshment.

Climb the driftwood sculpture
wedged between pink boulders.
In time, latte evaporates
as wetlands vanish
under gooey spoil.

Linger on the jetty
studded in salt and silica.
Listen to the waves
spreading up the channel.
Coming in. Going out.
Selected poetry from
Freeport Bottle Works

Dreamer Sterling’s Wife

Violet shivers despite the heat,
surveys dry stalks through the screen door.
Aromas of smothered chicken and cornbread
float across the porch, while sliced tomatoes
and sweet tea cool in the icebox.

A blue ribbon, a crisp fifty dollar bill,
and watermelon pickles crowd
Dreamer Sterling’s place at the kitchen table.
Supper untouched,
she waits through long shadows,

then draws a bath in a claw foot tub.
Soaks. Steps to the porch in a towel.
Dark heat sparks static in her auburn hair. 
Jergens Lotion soothes long limbs.
Sprinkles of Cashmere Bouquet create mild thrills.

When headlights turn toward the house,
she pulls a batiste gown over her head,
ties her hair with an old blue ribbon. 
Fluffs her pillow. Fluffs his pillow.
Slips between smooth, starched sheets.

Dreamer Sterling carries two nicknames.
A silver cup for his first birthday
decided Sterling. 
Dreamer — dreams
oil and poetry like his father.

Heat-lightning to the East exposes all.
Seedy house. Thirsty fields.
He shivers. Walks inside.
Unlocks the whiskey cabinet, slams it shut,
slams the screen door, follows the lightning.

Mulled Wine

No one noticed
the flirtation —
the almost kiss.

No one noticed
the kiss
spinning the two
across the dance floor.
Out of sight.
Out of mind.

No one noticed
the light-years
they were gone —
years of ambrosia for breakfast,
years of poetry and wine in the backpack,
years bathed in the honey of the moon.

No one noticed
when they returned.

Texas Ice

Last evening
a late cold snap
pulsing Pacific moisture 
scorched radar images,
singed redbuds blooming
in the narrow canyon
below the house. 

Sleet and hail
born above Enchanted Rock
shredded peach orchards
before sandblasting
the Capitol windows. Near dawn,
a dustcloth of snow
buffed the panes smooth again.

Now, remnants of fog and ice
drape redbuds in crinoline, 
sweater the limestone slope  
in extra layers of white.
The melt starts tomorrow
after the wake for lost peaches.
Perhaps, the redbuds will last.

La Serenissima

Her image, blue and nude and squared
across the white banner, announces Matisse in Italy,
camouflages the shadowed arcade of San Marco.
Pigeons swirl muted rainbows
and gray clouds over la piazza,
as a sun-bronzed son of the Adriatic
clad in a white linen suit without smudge or wrinkle
ignores birds and tourists, glances up,
caresses her with a whispered, “La Serenissima.”

Above the gaze of approval, the Blue Nude
relinquishes veils and gauze of odalisques,
disregards the elegant gowns of Carnevale,
smoothes her puzzle pieces
most serene — nods to the man,
surveys the Basilica beyond
whose splendid arches and domes 
intimately entwine feminine splendor
with mysteries of Byzantium.

Selected poetry from
Antonelli’s River Inn

First Coffee First Snow

Early morning snow flurries
surprise Old River shrimp boats
and the salt grass prairie.
Sticky flakes drizzle the bays and beaches.

Inside the Port Café, idled fishermen
guzzle first coffee and recall first snow.
A few blocks away,
Daddy stirs his first coffee and shouts,
Wake-up. It’s snowing. It’s the winter of 1949.
Mama skips her coffee.
Layers us in sweaters, coats, hats, gloves, and excitement.
Then, roly-poly creations threaten
the edges of the hall mirror.
stretch our shoes.
Snow boots
exist in Mama’s imagination,
not on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Outside, we waddle and slip
and roll a penguin-sized snowman
as arctic air sears noses, insides, and toes.    
Later, we salute the grass-stained statue
melting in a patch of trampled mud.

The winter of 1950 spends the night on the Old River.
Wraps the shrimp boats in crystal nets.
Ensnares the salt grass in icy webs.  
Next morning, at the Port Café,
local folks savor first coffee.
Recall first snow.
Selected poetry from
Antonelli’s River Inn

Saturday Morning at Sainte-Mere-Eglise
                  Dedicated to Senator George McGovern
                 In memory of Dr. Stephen E. Ambrose

Operation Overlord

      June 6, 1944. D-Day.
Normandy. Invasion beaches.
Omaha.  Utah.  Gold.  Juno.  Sword.
Pegasus Bridge.
Major John Howard’s gliders.
Pointe de Hoc.
Lt. Col. James E. Rudder’s allee.
La Roche-Guyon.
Field Marshal Rommel’s command post.
Colonel Hans von Luck and his panzers.
Officers and Gentlemen.
Pawns in a world-class game of chance.

Operation Ambrose

      July 17, 1987.
Overnight train, Innsbruck to Paris.
American students stuff backpacks
with The Longest Day and Pegasus Bridge.
D-Day codes:
Overlord and Ham and Jam,
agitate sleep and invade dreams.

      July 18, 1987.
Paris to Bayeux by overland coach.
Rain falls at Utah Beach.
Students run for the coach
where American soldiers
once ran for cover.
Tears fall at Omaha Beach
where white crosses mark
the final home of the brave.

Words carved in marble
salute Jews and Christians alike:
Think not only upon their passing
but the glory of their spirit.
Through the gate of death they pass
to their joyful resurrection.
In ‘44, American paratroopers jumped
at Ste.-Mere-Eglise, and years later
Red Buttons jumped in the movie
The Longest Day.
In ‘87, the Romanesque church
of a thousand years shimmers,
a jewel of Norman ingenuity.

Stained glass windows,
stacks of votive candles,
and age-old aroma of incense
intrigue and mystify.
Haunting melodies
unleashed from ancient pipes
reverberate about the nave
previewing the Sunday celebration.

Altar society ladies whisper,
Bonjour, mon Dieu.
Cross themselves.
Arrange fresh lilies  
and stretch the starched altar cloth.
They genuflect again
before polishing the pews.

The music ceases.
The altar society genuflects once more
then retreats to the sacristy.

Outside, the sun still splashes
Rue de Eisenhower and
a mannequin and a tangled parachute
cling to the bell tower — a sad memory
of the grim beginning of D-Day
and a final tribute in cloth and silk
to the valiant American liberators
and their courageous defense of liberty.

The Style of Two Rivers

As she considers
and reconsiders
the creative act
of writing a poem,
she believes
personal freedom
is paramount.

As the pen travels across
the page freely as a brush
caressing a canvas —
anything can happen.

Suddenly, without
forethought or plan,
freedom and the unknown
must and do appear.

The final process,
the final position of words
is destined to become
the product of regeneration
past memories relit
and gelled under present light
into a new creation.

White Feathers

The Karánkaway
watch the sky and
read the cloud ceremony
when white feathers float
into horsetails
expanding the sky
above hill, prairie, and gulf.

They know the sky.
They plan their retreat.

Harbingers of rain
weave the cloud ceremony.
Horsetails trail across the sky
fly sidesaddle with the wind
forecasting gales
predicting the hurricane.

The Karánkaway watch
the clouds change.
They know the sky.
© Copyright
2003, 2005, 2008
Carlyn Luke Reding
All Rights Reserved

Contact our office for specifics,
limitations, book sales,
and permissions.
Home Furnishings,
Accessories, Design,
& Sleep Shop
P.O.Box 637
122 N. Highway B-288
Clute, Brazoria County
Texas 77531
© Copyright
2003, 2005, 2008
Carlyn Luke Reding
All Rights Reserved