Monday, April 30, 2018

April Twilights

To the arms of Edith I cling
as a thistle to wind and weather
of soil I taste--
salt-dirt upon a tongue weary of said wind
Spring here-
a crucible
one moment Winter
one moment Summer
and back
again
before noon
during which we will scoop a plate of tender-rich ham to lie
besides field corn and snap peas
bright the dust-motes in slanted rays of shine
hollow the hand but ripe the heart
linen has no give and take
only take and take
this weight of mine which I drape upon shoulders thick
and loved
by
her 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Pratum Leporidae











Home Home on the Range
Where the Deer & the Jakalope Play

Oh Leporidae of prairie & plain!
vigilante rabbit-banty
grown unfettered under western skies
vast
endless
vista
from horizon to horizon unbound
antler crowned
companion of bovine & ovis aries & stars

giddy-up-hey-di-ho
yippee-ki-yay

here we go!







April 5, 1962

Hearing his name
evokes a wild tender loss
the last imprinted image still & gone
yet in this late April wind,
I call his name for winds sake
Percy,
just to anticipate his ghost coming
there is the smell of turned earth & lonicera
spotted-gray hidden behind paeonia waking
not fazed by roses thorns or rubus brambles
I am fazed
so will stand in this wind
under this sun
against the white birch tree
and
drink in the rebirth of viridi




Among the Narcissi - Sylvia Plath
Spry, wry, and gray as these March sticks, Percy bows, in his blue peajacket, among the narcissi. He is recuperating from something on the lung. The narcissi, too, are bowing to some big thing : It rattles their stars on the green hill where Percy Nurses the hardship of his stitches, and walks and walks. There is a dignity to this; there is a formality- The flowers vivid as bandages, and the man mending. They bow and stand : they suffer such attacks! And the octogenarian loves the little flocks. He is quite blue; the terrible wind tries his breathing. The narcissi look up like children, quickly and whitely.

Friday, April 27, 2018

5 of Cups


















transparent
thin & feathered in shards of sapphire
sharply observational
all that I am rests easy deep inside this cut-chasm of quartz moonlight
basking in the resin of stillness
speech is sorrow pink
extraneous
ahh --
  this
    oddly
      sacred
           night
falls
lights upon skin ice-fire melting
one cup remains
one cup to hold truth's sun
sacred parchment golden & bound with paper-dragon-chains
pause
breathe the thread of ruby-fire that binds my throat to the fist of my sex

if
I
allow

if I choose

choose the pause
choose this amber intent
the pause takes a soft turn
two steps
stop!
pause
slip inside this cashmere nectarine
where
vulnerability hides
wrapped--folded
gifted






Thursday, April 26, 2018

tacitly
















upon her back 
flat and still between the cool sheets staring up at the ceiling fan and the ceiling painted grass green thoughts spinning round and round and it was like spinning round and round the way she used to do when she was young upon her back staring up through the trees to the clouds she could not focus or stop stop and hold onto a thought for very long she watched things blur past while now and then a blinding bright light flickered like the sun thru the leaves she saw the river as luminous ribbons weaving amongst the tall golden grass and a face stoically masked with intense laughing dark eyes and he was asking her how much she was willing to risk

patterns of moonlight on blue snow


a doe with 3 fawn wading across a creek bed her mother's legs starkly tan crossed beneath an orange sun-dress the full-length sensation of prickly grass underneath her as she lay imagining a tender miniature world there in the roots and earth all floating by random and transparent the smell of pristine baby skin and the peach-fuzz feel of her hair against her lips smells of tabu blended with cigarettes and pine these dangling stirrings would not hold still and be counted 


No,
the textured fabric on the palm of her hand from the sofa as she lay there letting him taste her a surprising bolt of thunder and lightening as it played outside the window allowing his voice back in to infiltrate her bones and fear fleeting gusts of electricity his weight upon her hand
slipped underneath his thigh in his car a sudden blade of pain sharp and resolute making its home nestled in the bones and sinews of her soul


patterns of moonlight on blue snow 

welcome pain welcome kiss welcome the taste of him honey swirled heat his hands
vivid and distinct  each memory encased in gossamer yet rendered in wire and bound up with a fragile reflection that resembled the configuration and rhythm of a knowing heart

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

don't feed the wildlife

wildlife

wild
life:
could be dangerous to your ordinary

you may find a mandala burned into your soul
resembling the Ghost of Jupiter Nebulae
compounded
by a road rash upon the palms of your hands

don't be predictable
don't be an asshole
be curious
be kind
learn to lean in with awakened mind

wild
life

find the amber nugget of today
open your hand
and
blow it away


65 miles to Hazard

turn from the highway
fields of prairie grass
north to the river
beyond the moon's grasp
thrumming of tires
rumble of gravel bare
timeless movement
'neath stars & night air
solitary becomes the warrior
weight & welter silver
silent grey-white of bone
harsh will come the winter
yet here of smallness
amongst fields harvest
here one with evening
light greets darkness
nocturne velvet cooling
trees to whispers dance
lonely sits the broken
clarity enchants
easy will break daylight
swift the days will fly
heart touches all sorrow
joy rides the fireflies
turn from the highway
fields of prairie grass
north to the river
embrace the moon's grasp


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

JSB

You.
filled the air about you with
cigarettes
and
summer
your words were your work
your laughter a providence of eternity
steeped in scotch & soda
your blue eyes clear-seeing-truth-seeking
everyone's friend, everyone's brother
my father
who would sit up all night to watch
lightning & thunder
protected
loved
respected
lifted

You.

I believed you immortal
until the very end
when the coolness of your skin
bruised my soul
leaving me breathless
you left me on a morning in October
emptiness became the air
sorrow my prayer
an ancestral charm dropped from the heavens to land
upon this phoenix heart
in summer's endless blue land

fierce love rising





victorious moon

transformed
by wind
by storm
and rivers of golden cups
linear burning from the hyacinth
poised
     upon
          the
               sill of day
rest beneath the three swords
magic manifesting
opal
and
blue
blue
bluer
bluest

transformed poppy to sunshine whiskey
a sparrow lands and takes it all away

Ahh, Perseus

my heart has been pinched between
the Milky Way
and the raspberry bush
and
left to die

Monday, April 23, 2018

before you go

You told me that you loved me
while
I was listening to Between The World and Me
by
Ta-Nehisi-Coates
your telling coated me in armor Jupiter thick
tasting of vanillahoneycherry pie
this telling carved a notch in the inner rings of pink beating tissue
and soothed the scarred edges
quieting my ghosts and tempering the blue

have a good day darlin'
... see you come the moonlight



Saturday, April 21, 2018

the kind



i am not the kind of girl with a golden heart and wide open arms
no narcissus, no contrite orchid blooming
I am not one who coos at babies and vulnerability 
am not of pink bows and kneeling in pews alabaster 
too much love burns the kindness and soft spots 
too much bruise thickens the viscera and sharpens awareness 
no lace, no tempered pane--no black and white 
gray is the tea I brew, the color I wrap about these bones 
contrast defines, knowing binds 
no sympathy for the devil, no hymns to the heavens 
I am not the kind of girl who opens the door without thinking about the door 
for a thousand and ten years 
so if you're waiting ...
learn a song and steal my burnished heart 
with your unbridled burn 
with your hands for craft and edges enfolding 
with your sure-fast gaze for a thousand and ten years  
I am not of pepper, monster trucks and short shorts 
no black-velvet-elvis upon my wall
no tether to the birch of a smokey mountain morning 
hyacinth nectar tethers me 
something better wakes me 
what drips from these arms is 
not moved by the ordinary 
not stilled by love 
I am not the kind of girl who believes in temperance, jesus and circuses 
I am not unlike the honey bee 
honey bees cling to the sweetness, the sting and the soar 
of wind and weather 
and
the better than love kind 



one spring day in winter when

Is hard to write of sorrow that
knows the depth of three thousand years
from stardust to rooted human
braided, branded, shackled and fallen
thriving on rebellion's call
Oh! the mercy and grace of compassion's armor
truth feather wings
slick with sweat
and the blood of pathos
no reason
unreason
cooling tides of design
here within this sculpted heart
of
breath and beat
we strive
Oh!
we strive
Oh fingers spill the words
that rest in bones white and weary of winters bite
awaken to the eros-ink of black night
thick
with
promise
and
coming moonlight ...

Oh sorrow, you cloaked, elusive imp
tucked into the maple's shadowed root
golden Narcissus arrow
this battle cry of equipoise
Oh!



Friday, April 20, 2018

Betrayal

a tumult of thunder west of the river
no dotted line no wasted time
sorrow's cut deep visceral wide
clouds darken--sun hides

ochre solitude defines time and will
lightning readies in grayness ripe
rolling chaos nears deep
pierced swiftly-sky weeps

a swelling sadness resides
no veiled shine beside
prairie fires alight the loam
love glides home



Thursday, April 19, 2018

For April 19th



rambling easy
emotion bleeds enchanted milk
from a porch light in space
pain ricochets
against
the
sudden awakening to let go





From post: For December 13th ....




Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—


Yet could life and death not be the strength of breath
     One must be the very air
To never sleep perhaps the bitterest bite
     Fall and swell and fall endlessly--Oh! that sweep of faith
Do not so much as move or swallow as I reside here
Sacrifice the vulnerable--the softest gesture
     Of rain upon the fallow fields
Lying there broken with eyes of amethyst
Circle round the sun once more
     Dedication and Renunciation
To hermit myself evermore against sorrow's surrender
Silent hope of death's shores gazing
     One star--caught in one indigo moment stolen
Merely human this light be





Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art— 
         Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night 
And watching, with eternal lids apart, 
         Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite, 
The moving waters at their priestlike task 
         Of pure ablution round earth's human shores, 
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask 
         Of snow upon the mountains and the moors— 
No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable, 
         Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast, 
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, 
         Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, 
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, 
And so live ever—or else swoon to death - John Keats 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Ada & John

before i was born

in proper polished shoes
they walked
on a summer night
I wonder--was she wearing the red ones?
the red shoes-
they had a gold buckle
stockings
the girdle kind
a dress with a matching light coat
a hat
she had a navy one with an edge of veil perched on the side
was it that?
a peach
she loved blue
he
a dandy
gray suit
thin lapels
cuffs at the hem
tall
angular
they walked across Locust St.
down a few blocks south
to Dreisbachs' steak house
fancy
where he played poker
with priests & the proprietor
several nights
a week
in a basement kept
for priests & poker
he won often
dandy
he loved whiskey
tonight was a fine dinner
Ada & John
whatever the slight
a remark casually thrown
as they waited for a table
the comment to her
Irish
proud
and
poor
he knocked the man
thru the plate glass window

fancy




Monday, April 16, 2018

home

hollers
whoops
lasso loops
marauding  miniature
wagontrains
cowboys, indians and fields of grain
i--the palomino
    (horse of Chief Sitting Bull)
    (of course!)
Cherry Maraschino
wily, fierce prairie steed
pony of heroic deeds
giddy-up red rover!
send childhood right over
trains, planes & meadowlarks
hide-n-seek long after dark
mom whistles
past rooftops--river thistles
dinnertime
piercing-shrill--fine
TV--music always on
Beatles, Peggy Lee, Sinatra songs
voice of dad ... mom
souls essential golden balm
Oh! .. to be six evermore!!
come back to me
1964







Saturday, April 14, 2018

medra



to see a teacup;
inhabit vessel'd fragility
porcelain to stone
establishing boundaries between worlds
water & wealth
grain to gold
hollow waiting

to see a hammer;
discovered tool
of
trade or tempest
destroyer
creator
we hold these truths
precisely poised

to see a seagull;
empty
untethered creature
compassed to ethereal imaginings
searching for shore & sun
finding only solitary vastness
blue

to see a ballet slipper;
ribboned feminine
inhabit vessel'd fragility
precisely poised
ethereal creature

becoming something more













Friday, April 13, 2018

once in a blue moon

Perhaps it was the moon -
disingenuous fool!

secretive intentions
allowing the scalding drip of a thousand lightning strikes
upon fields awash in violet chants
each
marked by a single white birch cake
and
velvet paintings
Elvis
and
sleeping dogs in moonlight
waking
to
thundersnow
by eight o'clock tonight
one, two, three, four
a penny thrown against the door
melting to sky
overcast
and
doomed by forecast's gloaming
Come!
Waltz me into the frail blessing
of
Mad Hatters & cats

timeless cooling















Thursday, April 12, 2018

the color of the sky on the river in April

The river curls east and west from this bridge overlook rippling swooshing river rushing underneath the dancing wings and chattering calls of a hundred thousand sandhill cranes waking from their overnight roost between the banks of pale golden fields waiting for their plows & seeds as these red-capped ethereal birds wait for this pastel morning to welcome the sun.
The rattling roar of life grows colliding with the scent of day spring's soil warming earth warming pale yellow stalks brush grassland sweeping against the cottonwoods and pines teasing the pale dawn with branches budding marsh shores teeming with these primal gray forms

swelling burst of joy
tattooed resplendent thunder
feathers rise to blue

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

a day in June

I walk in gardens
replete with forgiveness & daffodils
cedar wax wings reside upon white birch branches
outstretched to a fading opal moon
melting into this cotton morning
memory dust
drifting into corners bricked--shadowed
no regret amidst soil turned
on that warm day
a week ago
a year ago
a breath ago
lined golden & apricot
there is a sparrow in my coffee
a cup half-full of equal parts honey & darkness
left forgotten under the yew
hyacinth bones become sun become the forecast
of rain
by wednesday

here
I am here

as sky awaits the blue





Tuesday, April 10, 2018

glancing

Which bird sings first...
here in the darkness of morning
six twenty-five o'clock
no Sun
yet
winking peering over the horizon
one bird singing
robin--wren--cardinal--jay?
a tint of peacock blue against the black blackness of night
from the east a softness rising
neighbors' lights;
one, two, three then four
behind windows where the tumble of waking
occurs with coffee & breath
more birds join the branched fray
heard
thru windows closed tight
(twenty-eight degrees feels like nineteen)
i listen
Ah! a richer blueness now--indigo
a fire lit
warming dogs with no intention of beginning their day
slumbered & tucked
prussian blue fills the sky outside
domed perfect in its endlessness
birds still their song against this brightening
bird-self-conscious?
bird-chores take precedence over song?
suddenly lapis
i rise from blankets & dogs & weariness
deep breath stretching
a yellow finch lands upon the closest tree
curious--bold but quiet
shaking off the dark slumber
this day unfurls its call to movement
of breath
of bones
of birdsong beginning once more
a westerly wind now rousing these naked April branches
cerulean becomes this day

(pretty sure it was the blue jay)




Monday, April 9, 2018

seminal

hard to see a thing one way
a single brushstroke becomes
a
sky
a sky over river rolling
over plains waking
over a road gamboling thru to rock & water far
where a single feather found after the cat has been gone for 22 days
(so he had no part)
no single brushstroke
to account for this one feather
here
a blue jay's blue-striped element
a single brushstroke
one of a sky of birds
over this earth
turning rolling holding its place against
the
endless cosmos
of
endless constellations
star to star
dot to dot
sky stories
where the cat had no part
he has been gone for 22 days
a single brushstroke
a road
a feather
a sky
a place / this earth
to star
to cat

22 endless days 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

weave of who

that which makes me vulnerable
also makes me strong
held against the wind of day
the struggle becomes the song

of weight
of weather
and of heart
kept in check by fear
measure each & every moment
against love's atmosphere

grandmother--poet
broken or whole
each mask dissolves in rain
the sophomoric nature of this verse
belies its visceral refrain

unbuckle the light
that lies in lies in old bones
and grab the golden moon
the conversation between my ghosts
will be over at half past noon




gloaming












circle skirts & purple sky
ring around the moon
we contrast our fringe against the core
to down reluctance by noon
pow wows
pinecones
smoke-tales told by night
thunder rolls across our path
yet still we do not fight

fight
to
reach
and breathe
and grasp
to wipe our vision clear
of knowing the common dance that ties
each
to our darkest fear

kick up the dust--ride 'em fast
bareback 'neath shooting-stars
smells of prairie, wheat & sage
enhance the sweat & scars
haunting ghosts of rattlesnakes
and echoed sky divine
mark our passage here tonight
hold fast against the thyme

circle skirts & purple sky
ring around the moon
coyotes & bone & earth collide
to invite
the fire
of
June




Friday, April 6, 2018

orientation

if
our world
our ordinary hours

becamesuddenly

pǝddᴉlɟ

where

we

w

    a

        l

            k

                e

                    d

upon ceiling-floors adorned with more

(or less)

popcorn-textured-coved-traced-fresh-broken-white-trimmed-fractured-hole-whole

light fixtures at attention

hands & heads

ᗷᑌᗰᑭ

against the  uʍop ǝpᴉsdn

tables, chairs, dressers, sofas, beds, ottomans, cedar chests, islands, appliances
carpets & rugs woolen wonder

d       n       l      n
   a         g     i        g

OoH how delightful

our world

would

be

if we could 👀

Thursday, April 5, 2018

An Sgrìobhaiche Gàidhlig














Sacred wandering calls the year away from amusement 
a glance at the world outside reveals contrast 
wild these 60 years wrapped this snow mantle 
draped in grace and burn 

One never anticipates the gap 
wild we came here 

Mar chleasaiche-sorcais ann an cartùn-TV,    
a’ dàibhigeadh le snasmhorachd ghlan
bho chòmhnard bheag 60 troigh a dh’ àirde
a-steach dha ghlainne làn bùirn.

Ri bas-bhualadh sgapte
bho chorra ròn.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Perseus


Under a waning moon
within the span of twelve hours
he is lost to me
pressed and folded somewhere in this clear night
six days until the first of Spring
too cold to wander these rolling cracked sidewalks
in this hundred-acre-wood
of pines
and
lindens
waiting
waiting
no wind rattling their barked attention
no rabbit nest to pirate
as tender toys
(he would plop them into the bathtub) (super)
no warming earth to cradle his slumber
no gardens lush with secret hiding places
too brown
too cold
too winter
too void
too bare
of green growing things

I walk the sidewalks before the sun comes
worry bundled in layers of old wool sweaters
whisper-shouting his name against this quiet darkness
walking
walking
shuffled steps
walking
the tan neat bungalow to the east
the white stucco two-story on the corner
turning back west to the victorian corner house trimmed in sullen amber
folks quietly waking--rising in these hours
beyond the tan
beyond the white and sullen
even the stars are stilled
so quiet out--no birds yet trilling their song
no bluejays, cardinals or Carolina wrens
silent & soft this morning
walking closer to the houses
pressing my unease
into
slender bare dogwood
ivy darkest green
maple
and pokey barberry sharp
listening for rustling and an answer not coming

I found him beside the brick steps
upon the daffodil blades
at 11:11
somnolent--sprawled
last year's colorless mulch mandala'd around him
as if merely asleep beneath a tempered Sun
his gray coat lush--perfect in its felineness
begging to be stroked
held
gathering him in arms suddenly sure of function
his form unyielding
his stillness a forlorn cradle
Perseus never graceful
yet now
an exquisite grace
I carry him a few steps
walking in circles on the front lawn
grass pale-yellow-green beneath every step
this dance of despair and grief
rising
rising
crashing
rising
nobody notices
no one is home in this neighborhood now
but I want someone to be home
to acknowledge this passing
this infinite impossible hole cut across the fabric of this March morning

suddenly forsaken



Tuesday, April 3, 2018

submissions accepted until noon

Saturday Survivors
China Flight
Kansas Waterslide
Up On High
Deserts & Dog Rattles
Sigh
West Falling
Year in Bloom
Under Worth
Herringbone Will
Wide Tomorrow
Rising Jill
Blueberry Crow
Gospel Road
Hill of Sparrows
Door
Sally Wrench
Glassmore
Plaid Cake
Horn Cumulous
Incept Moon
Push to Amber
Gossamer Hewn
Wool
Saturn's Bite
Axter Biscuit
Gulp Fish Blue
Koan Jay
Glue
Halcyon's Languor
Only After Kelter
Hottack
Fisherman's Boo
HoneyRIse
KooKooKaChoo
Dashly
Poptart Surly
Chasing the Leopard Tree
Haver Pie
Sorrow's Quiche
Wily Bye
Gone Elysian
Vagary Gray
April Come the Elephant
Spring Thoreau
Usual Fernweh
Bungalow Poe
Sweat Monkeys
Weary Rebellion
Petrichor
Come the Ophelia
57
Gossamer Tequila
Java Branch
Late for Tuesday
Musty Oatmeal
Kilt Fire
O'doodle Pixie
The Dead Sapphires












Monday, April 2, 2018

paraffin & pigment

I will be a 72 degree day at 3 o'clock on an October afternoon
lying against you like Levi 501's
with one oval warm spot on the back of your right thigh where my hand fits
perfectly
I will be sunshine warmly speckled-brilliant on the weathered wood floor
as wind whips & shimmers the maple outside
I will be a bike ride sleek & silent
  beating back the wind & the world like a 13 year old superhero named Lilly Alabaster
I am music coming from around the corner, down the hall
music that hits the sternum
  scooping a trench straight to the heart and reaching
                 down
                          down
grabbing a hold
of
your golden core

(always the music)

I will be sheets cotton-cool-crisp that toss & invite
I will be rain pounding, pounding down intense & grey
with a thunder-green petrichor rising
I
will
be
and
I will not for one minute forget the sureness of an embrace or the roller coaster ride promised
  or the wonderland of this path
nor
will I demand maple syrup on a July night as
monarch butterflies find their home
in December
I am the gypsy-child-joy of hot chocolate
  wool mittens & rosy-cheek-snow-fort-building
the gingersnap of a winter walk
iridescent
and
glimmered--pearly-blue
magic & timeless
I am the view looking up thru Christmas tree lights from the floor
and when it is seven degrees below
I am flannel-sheet-surrender
fuzzy & plush like new white socks
  surrender's silence
here
perfectly outlined
pulled
scored
tucked
wrapped

She is
(you know)
more than you can carry upon your feathered back
unable to be pressed between pages
ink doesn't take to her opal skin
she flies against dread & discomfort so--
against the darkening that has pierced her bones
so long ago
so long ago
tempest & thyme'd

she flies

Defined

of boys & briars

blue love thinning
thinking
girlsong feeling
bumblebee listens to fortune's song
night swelling
anticipation
drawing the red line long
pressing into shadow's pages
and
kisses beneath pine boughs
belonging
filling the hole thunder-strong
reduction
seduction
of
sparrows & rhymes
briefly held against the shine