OPEN STUDIO POEM #9

OPEN STUDIO POEM #9


coats
coax
helm
ochre
 

 

 

 A captain stands at the helm
 in his ochre coat,
 coaxing the wind
 into the sails.
 

 The artist in her rusty coat
 coaxes the ochre
 from the leaves.
 Her easel is the helm
 of a ship sailing
 into the winter sky.
 

 His coat of arms:
 a purple coat 
 on an ochre field,
 crowned with a silver helm.
 

 too many suit coats,
 too much ochre light,
 too many vying for the helm,
 too many trying to coax 
 a resolution from the deep

CAMP FIRE WOMEN

CAMP FIRE WOMEN

My friend Julie is a Fire Keeper.

Sometimes all night she watches,

holds the flame at the center

of the world. It is her sacred way.

 

And mine? To search the forest,

to gather the wood: This for kindling,

this for tinder, this for cleansing,

this for a long and steady burn.


			

Open Studio Poem #7

OPEN STUDIO POEM #7

words:  legs   along   fire

 

We go along and along,

our legs aching, shoulders

sore from the burdens

we bear. So many, so

heavy. But the year will

end, this terrible year

will end. It will. We will

build fires on the beaches,

fires on the hilltops,

fires in the deserts,

fires in our own backyards.

We will throw our burdens 

in the fires, throw them down,

throw them down in the fires,

open our arms,

embrace our friends 

We will remember 

how it feels to laugh.

We will remember.

We will. We will.

CONGRUITY

CONGRUITY

My neck always hurts in October. All

my life. This year, also my right knee and

my left thumb. Do I mumble now or is

his hearing worse and worse? Things to expect

at my age. Some things I don’t mind so much

and the world being what it is, I don’t

expect to feel happiness too often.

This year, not a single black-and-yellow

garden spider, and I saw only two

mosquitoes all summer long. I look for

congruities all the time and wonder

if this is another. I remember 

with some amusement reading all those things

about becoming a crone. Written by

women who weren’t, whose knees didn’t hurt. Who

had spiders in their gardens and lovers

who listened, enthralled, to their every word.

REPORT: OCTOBER 20, 2020

REPORT:  OCTOBER 20, 2020

Dark clouds over Buck Mountain. 

It will rain.

More sugar-maple leaves on the ground than on the trees. 

The oaks and popples are turning.

Soybean fields amber, hay fields cut and green. 

Luke’s old milking shed is falling apart. 

It’s just a storage shed now,

with the old SURGE and AG JOURNAL signs rusting on the wall 

and the little lightning rods standing bravely on the roof. 

Last year, a young man took the bend in the road too fast

and the laws of physics being what they are,

he glanced off a telephone pole and ran into the shed. 

And died. One of the dead

elms has fallen. Now it’s raining, 

and taking pity on the dog, I turn. 

Sumac is mostly red along the east side of the road.

If it were colder, I’d swear it was snowing in the mountains. 

Jim’s VETERANS AGAINST TRUMP flag is up on his porch.

At the far end of her pasture, his old horse Molly crops the grass. 

RECASTING

By nature I am vigilant.

These days, I watch everyone with extra care:

the clerks in the coöp, the pharmacy, the feedstore

where we buy food for the dog and cats and birds,

 

my friends. Oh, I trust my friends, but—

the friends of my friends? 

Where have they been?

How can they do me harm?

 

This morning, walking the dog

on the sidewalk in town, pulling

my mask up whenever I saw someone coming

 a block away, I found myself tired

 

of myself. We’re all just trying to get by,

doing what we can, what we think is right.

And what malevolence do I carry,

what contagion is concealed behind my mask?

ON MY WAY





ON MY WAY


It was all so familiar—the icy road, the falling snow.
The tricycle was bigger than it used to be, less
embarrassing for an adult to ride. It took awhile
to get across the city street, awhile to see
a safe crossing under the glaze of snow.
The other side was fine, and I was on my way.


Home at last, but boxes all over the table.
I opened them one by one, each filled
with plastic things: flutophones,
cheap bath toys, disposable cups and spoons. 
Or tin automatons: monkeys playing drums, 
jumping mice, walking quacking ducks.


Box after box until the house was full.
When I awakened, I laughed at it all.
Not a nightmare, a description.
How full I am, these days, of things
I do not want or need. And how far
must I ride my little trike, in this storm.


words: Open Studio Poem #3

Open Studio Poem #3:  USE THE WHOLE PAGE

The point is growth toward beginning.

Start againnothing flat or square

this time learn to move in three

dimensionscubic, spherical. Can you

write like a dancer? Paint

like an actor? Draw like

a potter? Remember knitting

how to turn a heel, shape

a sleeve from a strand.

DO THAT WITH WORDS.

USE THE WHOLE PAGE.

FILL IT WITH SHAPE AND

COLOR AND SOUND AND FLAVOR

BITTER GREENS AND HOT PEPPERS

AND LEMON ZEST.  WRITE 

BIG AND ROUND.

USE THE WHOLE PAGE