16 February 2016

River

too big to fail, too
old to trust, the
water sullied by
glowing particulates, threading
thick through the life-blood
of this landscape

and who shall hear her
call, soft through the
night, winding through
the trees, now bare in winter,
waiting for the green garb of
spring?

will it come again?

or shall the rivulets shine,
doubling and redoubling mutations,
reworking our DNA until we are
what?

fault lines and faulty
thinking: a poor pairing
indeed, piercing the ground
with poisoned daggers, killing
the one who bore us


Charnel

scraping the plates, the
heaped bones into the
charnel of a bin, kitchen
meat-fragrant, redolent of
blood burnt over a steady
flame and she thinks of
him and his dear bones,
that finest of frameworks
and how she (once)
pressed her lips to his

still, there are greens to
be chopped with a blade,
silver steady, pressed
against the board, the
ribbons adorning a blue
bowl, crowning the cool
china like a triumphal
wreath, waiting for a
fine seasoning

as she would season your
brow with kisses, peppering
his cheeks until she was
hungry no more.....

and still, the pitchers to
be filled and the linen
cloths, these winding sheets,
to be pressed and put
away

oh my dear, my darling one,
do not abandon me!

Fairy Tales

drops--that will not pierce
the skin--pelt the flesh
like pennies against the
wall--a coin toss, the
rolling of bones, all in
life a chance, the
chancers standing on the
corner with their matchbook
manifestos, eyes snapping
like a leather belt around
the ears.

this too
shall pass
shall pass

and all will be light
again, the unnerving glory
of a spring day encapsulated
in a single pill, to be
taken with a glass of
milk

we are good children (or
were, once-upon-a-time)
when we still believed
in happily-ever-after

keeping company with the
kith and kin of the forest,
those familiar gnomish elves
who practice good magic
and reward the
simple and deserving, answering
thick riddles with
common courtesy


Carpet, Electrified

the boards shake under a
multitude of hooves, a
tremendous trembling of all
about her, the very fibers of
her clothes quiver, the
carpet is electrified, shining
beneath her feet, the
hot coals to walk across,
a straight line makes for
the shortest distance--
moving the clobber of clothes there, here,
there

bend and stoop and move,
move, move.  up down, up down,
from black to black and the
mouth, always, looking to be
filled


Sunday

sit, stand, sit, stand,
kneel.

kneel and count the
colors in the glass bordered
by metal, thick scent and
always the bells, crisp linen,
fluttering bills, the words-words-
words--the smoothness of
wood and glass, the
quiet-cool of marble, the
water daubed crossways, and
then the returning, blinking, molelike,
to the glare of the sun outside,
blinded, but only for a moment

Farmyard

ah, the bleating and the
bellowing of this season would
fill a zeppelin with hot air to bear
us away from these ill-
tempered contentions, the
rancorous neighing and
pawing of the ground in the
barnyard fit only for
animal tempers, ungoverned,
ungovernable, beribboned and
bewigged, grandly suited in
their suits for our affections,
lapels pin-pricked, noose-tied
red or blue, all this
sound and fury

05 June 2015

So Poetry and Art Walk Hand in Hand

so--poetry and art walk hand
in hand, each keeping close track
of the time, internal
rhythms ticking away, turning somersaults,
this capering pair

trundling past once shuttered
storefronts now blazing with
music, adorned with tinseled
crosses at the crossroads

they do not rush through the
thrum hum of the traffic--they
take note of the ever changing
composition of the sunset over the river, the
evensong of the birds, metrical and sweet,
dripping honey as the sky darkens to dusk,
then night

using every crayon in the box
to write their manifestos, while the
blades of grass pierce the sky, the
lamb lying down with the lion,
and she asks "what is not
art, when I am with you?"

the china, twice fired, their
roses not yet off the bloom,
shudder, slightly, as poetry
and art, now arm in arm,
tramp past the shop window,
mixing desire with memory thickly
upon their palette, the pages
of their book no longer reproachful in
their blankness


Framed by Light

framed by light, the lines
graved in his face a studied relief, a
map of all that has been, a hint
of what may be yet

as he (so noisily) hammers out
a new piece of art and
the crickets sing in counterpoint,
our summer chorus

his ranging limbs forming the metal
into the shape he wills, forcing the
detritus of last night's battle into

the shining baby, knife sharpened,
sprung from the slick grey coils ever
tightening and relaxing, directing those

messy digits to sift through the
dross for gleaming gold,
the path lit by fireflies blinking out
their morse code


Weaving and Unweaving

weaving and unweaving she listens
for the noise of suitors in the
anteroom, waiting on her word

as the scenes in fine wool are
worked and unworked, the strands of cadmium red, the
cobalt blue, twisted, nooselike, round her
finger, cutting the blood off, distaff and spindle in hand,

imagined scenes of her husband's journey, the
roiling waters between rocks, born
along by pride and brawn, this

circumnavigation as the threads pass through
the heddle, the labor of the day patiently
undone as she waits, as she wonders