Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy, October 29, 2012

Watching bands of grey as they stretch across the sky,
I am holding up my pointer finger and thumb to measure
the way they expand and contract against eerie white.

We splay bodies all over the house, open curtains and internet,
checking the winds, what they mean on their scales, changes
in the trajectory of the storm, what debris may accumulate.

We check weather like this here, usually in Winter time,
as we wonder about the days that follow storms, how far down
will the ground be, when we will see it again through dull ice.

But these winds and rains are foreign, imported from a watery
place, and they will chase themselves down storm drains, seep
into the ground, and we will drink them months from now.

And I feel, coming on wind from somewhere south, a lowness—
a familiar knowledge of fruitless anticipation, after the storm
this landscape will be barren, unchanged for many feet or inches.

All our watching, and there will still be naked street and yard,
and we’ll be able to walk barefoot, and work, drive, make
our coffee—life will go on for us if we’re lucky, changeless,
with a long, low tone, covering us like a heavy, invisible blanket.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fawn Road

The season of butterflies has past,
when I would screech in secret joy
at the way they’d thrash against
the windshield, and in my mind
I’d clap my hands, sweet lord!,
having made contact, before
they’d lift off like nothing else
because nothing is so light,
not the bright white bones
of deer, dressed in tawny skins
that start to creep away from
gravel burns, leaving a mottled
magenta mess—
                               but today
there was a fawn, as much like
delicate patterned wings
as anything ever was,
with her—her?—white
spots, like lacey, red-inked,
toppled dominoes stamped
against her sides, and I didn’t
imagine the way her slender
leg would snap or go dust
beneath my wheels,
rather I imagined the way
she must have smelled
and how honored I should
have been to smell her,
had the traffic not been so fast,
I’d have taught my children
about the smell of new deer
to does, and I’d have photographed
her tiny hip, white as her marks,
just begun to poke from her
sweet rotting flank, or her
black nose and lips turned up, oh!,  
toward her first visage of monarch,
the last of the season.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Not a poem.

Noticing things?  So what.  Am I noticing.  Anything I haven't noticed before.

I noticed how the earliest leaves fall in the shape of tiny cups.  Turned upward.  What would I have thought of that before?  I'd never have stepped on them, angry at their optimism.  Years ago, if I'd seen them, I'd have picked them up, so delicately.  And their slow drifts from life would have caught my tears.  I'd have looked at their veins, still green and live inside.  And I would have shaken my head, maybe even run the outside of their cups along my cheek, close to the lips, smelled deeply.  Today, I stare at them from a distance, seeing how they collect on the lawn.  There are too many to count, and they fall as I watch.  Why are they all falling?  If I got down close, squatted down, I think I would see how they hold air.  I would wonder if the air inside was just ever so slightly warmer than the air outside.  I would dip my finger inside, as if into holy water, or checking the temperature of warming liquid.  I would lick my finger.  Taste whatever is in those tiny cups, fallen early from trees.

This is something to try tomorrow.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hi. Old. Poems.

Well, shit.  Too many things to say.  Blogger isn't even the same anymore.  I don't even know how to change the fonts.  I accidentally deleted my pages.  I got my Master's degree.  I'm teaching some college.  My kids are getting old.  I'm (getting) old. I haven't written a poem in a month.  And I'm getting this odd feeling of being behind. I don't want to write, though, because I know the first thing that I smash out won't cut it.  The words will be insufficient, halting, ungraceful. And still it's fall again--it seems to happen every year.  So I'm starting to notice things.  So, here I am.  Old dog-woman, new trick-blogger.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Stillborn, adj.

One week later, I looked up stillborn.
Feeling too done-before, and shocking
in its frequency, and like a dirty word
that was something that described us,
science or statistics that made my mouth
constrict and then soften with moisture.

I went to the library to do it, feeling
guilty and disgusted reading about
myself in my own dictionary, but
theirs was great yellowed white,
crackling pages, millions of words
and people looking for themselves

there, I found a moth pressed
between the pages, like its own
little translucent, ephmeral leaf,
with veins for words, and blood
drained out, and more years dead
than living, and through its forewing

I read (of an infant) born dead.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Floating Haiku

fruit dye and water
horsehair sutured to slim wood
paints a butterfly

fold down the middle
so flat wings mimic flapping
sit her like resting

imagine she lifts
wings become brushes themselves
and she paints a girl

Feast of Flowers

Aconite.  Anemone.  Autumn Crocus.
Fat purple pads, succulent and sliced
by stripes of indigo drizzled or heaped
like angel hair over bone china
on a lazy susan.  Baneberry,
Christmas Rose, Deadly Nightshade,
Foxglove, and the Iris. 
                                       Neighbors watched
her build the greenhouse last winter—
first in her dark jacket with dark
buttons, then shirtless, just sweating
and raising walls in white sun
with bare arms and a strong back—
they watched for her mouth and
several times they shook while
pouring water into glasses, but
never offered.
                          Ivy, Jimson Weed,
the root of one Mandrake, curled like a
fetal Medusa.  Each day, they watched
as the glass fogged and breathed clear,
until green began to grow up along
its insides and shut the world out
for good.  Brave boys almost climbed
the frame and followed the sun inside,
but they heard a shuffle and the clang
of a spade and their hair stood up.  Oleander,
Rock Poppy, Spring Adonis.
                                               So they waited
late into springtime, watched her mostly—
naked with boots, shorn hair, heavy glasses,
carrying armloads of cut flowers inside—
thought they saw her bite a May Apple—
eight trips for wisteria, heavy like grapes—
wondered should they bring vases and
how her fingers must have looked,
how red or purple they must be, how deep
were the thorns, how chartreuse the thumbnails.