17 July 2014

Sunday Morning, Sunday Afternoon

Saturday night dissolves into
Sunday morning, the music
and talk died away now, slipping
on blackened shoes, securing the goldbead
clasp of a handbag with a
snap, hem straightened, and, powdered and
lipsticked, off to Mass

later, picking up soft rolls and the
bulk of a Sunday paper, inky fingers pressed
Silly-Putty upon the funnies,
turning it to see the image
you have created, this
duplicate of a duplicate, another
and another

later still, listening for the
jingle-music of change in a pocket
foreshadowing thick curds of
ice cream in a crisp cone, the
paths cut into the grass of the
park strips of brown earth
worn bare, naked as
open wounds

Christmas Cards Tell the Weather

Christmas cards tell the weather
report, the deaths and
illnesses,

borne by red robins wreathed in
a gleaming sparkle of snow, gritty to
the fingertips, caught by the light, the handwriting
fainter and fainter until it is
no more

still others enclose photos
of grave-faced children, familiar
yet unfamiliar, mouths silent,
name and number on their
reverse

as we stir the batter for
the Christmas cake we make
wishes, always wishes, how
wonderful the things the mind
can conceive.

the foreign taste of dates a
meaty sweetness, the
custard, hot, poured over
pudding and Christmas
yet to come

the bulbs burning on
the tree are hot to the touch,
the tinsel a magic of silver



Dresser

two blue birds, their meeting
forever forestalled under the
china glaze, repeated, endlessly,
over teapot, dinner plates, side-
plates, teacups, and saucers

so smooth to her fingers, laundry-
chapped, as she sees the story
of lost love repeated, repeated,
repeated in blue and white,
upon the shelf, the shelf, the shelf

of blond wood that she stares at,
puzzling at some small imperfection
she cannot correct, the motes of
dust in a ray of sunlight mocking
her and still the dinner to be done,
be done, be done


12 July 2014

McCarra/Poetry on YouTube


Red Birds

two red birds settled upon
a bush, bare yet, of leaves,
one greyblack insect, manylegged,
scuttles across the stoop

one heart and stomach
provoked and
unsettled, protected by
a cage of bone and
gristle, quietly resistant to
any cutting tongues or
thick stupidities

dust, settling, upon a baseboard,
wiped off by a gloved hand,
the debris of past days settled,
brownboxed, overspilling

the quiet that settles
after chaos and strife (better
than the blankness of an April morning unfurling),
comfort of settling into
an attitude of rest,
curved into the quilts
finally
settled


Last Straw Spun to Gold

the last straw she spun to
gold before falling into a swoon,
finger pricked upon the spindle,

glaring step-sisters pleased at such
a coma, leaving the field clear,
for them, so to speak

to have at all the eligible
princes carrying their coffers of
gold, cutting through thorniest underbrush,

vanquishing dragons, answering riddles, and carrying
out all manner of princely duties
while their old fathers, the Kings,

balanced their budgets on the
back of their peasants, making them stretch
their black bread a little longer, as

Hansel and Gretel were
turned out into the forest and
our spinning Princess sleeps in quietude,

immured from the carping harpies
who would steal her children from her


At Water's Edge

at water's edge
tarblack rocks
shelter small pools where
tiniest of fish dart, safe
for the moment, secure,
locked in constant
movement,
rippling causing circles
that intersect, then
break, repetitive as breath

(greyshelled, a collection of blood, sinew
flesh, bone, all bound
together by twining filaments clinging to
an opalescent interior, smooth, curving,
rainbow-threaded, mother of pearl
sleekness within, without an exterior dark grey, ribbed, striated,
edges sharp enough to gouge the fingertips, bony teeth
tasting blood mixed with
salt water)

until the tide rushes in, noisy,
untrammeled, unmannered, pounding over
this threshold of sand and rock,
thick with green ribbons of kelp,
briny, stunted flowers, washing over, salt-green,
the salt-green sea,
over stinking carcasses of horseshoe
crabs, to wrest the fishes from
their pools, sending them
to certain death



City of Words

see the city of words, city of
gold, a-shimmer in the
distance, upon closer
inspection

the branches in the
parks are heavy laden with
verbs, adjectives, nouns, adverbs, all
manner of portmanteau
words, who fall down

to the ground, and, finding
their feet, stride along
the boulevards, atwitter along the tree-
lined streets, once quiet as mid-
night, the narrow alleyways, too,
beneath blinking lights

squeezing out the, wringing out
the dregs of meaning to be
held in the palm of
your hand, inhaled as air


Night, Star-Pocked

why? because, with you, she should like
to stretch the blackness of the
night, star-pocked, as she would an elastic band, pulling it out
so that it lasts a thousand hours before dawn cracks the sky, no,

more, so that she could, for all time,
delineate the lines of you, as if blind, with her fingertips,
the scent of you, too, the speech and intonations, write
it all down on a map to be referred to in those moments of urgency

when all seems lost, the sense of the
world sadly lacking, thrust into this alternate
universe where yes is no and it is all
tied up in a thickly twisting bouquet of red tape,
bulging and bursting out, situation normal, all........

the prize for the Queen of this Carnival is
listening to lies, each as headily fragrant as last month's trash laid
lying out in the sun, curbside, stinking, fish heads a gawping

oh, the seven plagues
falling on the house, the breaking of crockery, and mirrors, the
car trouble, false friends, funerals, the endless mendacities of
paid caretakers

before night, finally, draws the curtains again


Going On

I can't go on, I'll go on.

sitting on the rubbish heap,
pouring out the dregs of
tea so that they puddle
at your feet, the sun
reflected in the murkiness of brown
liquid muted, so
you can stare at it
without fear of injury--
generator of all good things--
the flowers borne out of the
heap of pig manure, stinking to
high heaven,
wiping it from your shoes
as you go on
and on and on
eternal