Apr 25 2017

how high’s the water, mama?

there are so many things i cannot reach
so many miracles behind glass and
roses i’ll never cultivate
and all these days filled with bugs
and better thans and never enoughs

there is always that sky
through the tall short-lived poplars
growing faster than posterity

there is always a kitten
causing trouble in a field
of grey mice

there is always hope and
disappointment
always love
(that cliche of a word
even poets
can’t define)

and this one
grape hyacinth
growing stubborn
along the road
refusing to care
if i notice

.

.

.


Apr 24 2017

the bones of her face

mirror-moon and barely broken
downward dog and faintly spoken

i am hollow
i am raw
i am forgotten

i am refusal and predication
spitting out bitters
and smiling at wind-loose shutters

this is age and
this is mo(u)rning

and the narcissistic
narcissus
will never reveal
the long-etched key
to revival

.

.

.

 


Apr 23 2017

time passes when
no one is looking

there’s an oak tree
in the brush line
by the driveway

with a branch
that’s been hanging
since the ice storm
of 1991

i remember my sadness
at the damage of trees

i remember being young
and appalled
at life’s cruelty

i remember how
the basement flooded and
the lack of electricity

i remember that my parents
came to stay

it’s been 26 years
and that branch
is still hanging

and i wish i remembered
how to cling with tenacity
to a tree still growing
through bad storm

.

.

.


Apr 22 2017

on the corner of chelsea and 57th

they said youth was the currency
and beauty the price

but we knew better
on the streets
of anarchy

where blossom
was never
as fragile
as ego
and thorn
was the tally
of vice

.

.

.


Apr 21 2017

frills

prom dress pretty
and filled
with fresh hope

the irony
of this tall vase of tulips
primp-sitting
all bare and innocent
amidst kitchen-table clutter
and the convoluted
detritus
of a too-busy week

but these are my days
and no matter how messy

there are always flowers

sometimes fresh

sometimes dying

sometimes too long
past gone
for shame’s sake

always
flowers

always a smile

on a short-sheet friday

and life’s
funny bone
antics

silk purse
sow’s ear
and all that

.

.

.


Apr 20 2017

field of dreams

i live
in the land
of farms

people from
cities
don’t understand
what that
means
(i learned this
from a former
city dweller)

in my world
there is

space

.

.

.

wide field

deep sky

lone tree
standing tall
to guard
corn
wheat
or soy

in the
evening
driving
home

a lone car
on the road
in the
distance

becomes
beacon
for a
journey
never
traveled

.

.

.


Apr 19 2017

eulogy

i spent a year
listening

to grief and
revelation

hope and
degradation

i lost my voice
in the sound
of life
moving on

or death
pounding hooves
down fresh
black pavement

i’m here
now
on the
other side
of something

listening

again

to storm
and blossom

holding stories
in a heart

scarred from
blade

.

.

.


Apr 18 2017

totem

the face of truth
is marked
by shadow

you and i
think
we know better

but symbol
is all
that’s
necessary
in a world
molded by
glyph

we’re sure
we invented
shorthand
clever acronym
monument

but

we’re going
backward
in a world
losing time

carving lives
from bits
and pixels
and love
from empty
promises

filtered
imagination

so little
left

to recognize

.

.

.


Apr 17 2017

blue on blue

suddenly
there is all this color
all this light
shining green through
blue glass
and
it seems absurd
to think winter
equals hibernation
but i awaken
and there it is
a new year
that did not exist
yesterday

.

.

.

 


Apr 16 2017

blur

the sun is shining
and the windows are open
and i am up early
making pierogies

i think about tradition
and the millions of women
who have stood at a sink
or a stove or a counter
smiling and singing
in a warm ray of sunshine
as they filled small houses
with smells of love

i am crying
(all these onions)
and i don’t need
to do all this work
this chopping
this repetitive
standing-up
oh-my-back labor

we could have had
scalloped or mashed
or baked, but

the sun is shining
and the windows are open
and i am up early
making pierogies

feeling blessed

and the voices
of those women
(those ghosts)
who came before me
are singing right along
in a harmony
of light

.

.

.