NEWS FROM THE FRONT

NEWS FROM THE FRONT

Meanwhile, the wrens who nest

in the wooden pole that holds up

the clothesline are feeding their hatchlings.

 

All day long, they come and go,

poke bugs into the dark hole

where the babies eat, and grow.

 

The dog barks on the porch.

A great-crested flycatcher rests

for a minute on a blooming branch

 

of dogwood. I sit on an overturned

flowerpot in the garage, watching

through a dirty window.  A chipmunk

 

squeals and runs away. A breeze

flashes through the grass. A red-eyed

vireo sings on and on.

IT’S A WINDY DAY

IT’S A WINDY DAY

 

Mother Hölle’s coiling 

       up thin threads of whirling

             rain. Tick, I hear her reel 

click. Deer on tiptoe carve a twisty 

         path to the curving

               creek where swallows gyre

at hatching flies encircling

         boys who cast and spool

                 at trout turning

through water’s whorl.  

          In the spinning

               sky, silk  dragons entwine,

                                             their tails entangle

                                                      in the wind.

 

 

June 5, 2009

PROMISE

PROMISE

 

We keep showing you:

 

The little frogs, the birds.

Islands and mountains,

drowned rivers, 

fertile fields.

Brown leaves out of season.

 

Trees move so slowly.

 

Don’t let dread freeze you;

ice is deadly as heat.

Keep moving. 

Stay together.

Stamp your feet.

 

And promise us 

 

you’ll save something:

one sparrow, 

one sapling.

One patch 

of hallowed ground.

 

From 2015.

WALPURGIS NACHT

WALPURGIS NACHT

Last hold of winter, grip of dark and cold,

our times of gathering close by the fire.

Tomorrow the maiden will strew flowers,

tomorrow the furrow, the scattered seed.

But tonight, once more belongs to the old

who know to sit quiet and count the stars.

Blessed sameness in the passing of years—

mountain snows flowing from river to sea,

trout lily leaves poking out from the mould,

rhythm of courting and birthing and tears.

Shall we gather tonight on the mountain?

Shall we sing together the last winter hymn?

Already the children dance by the fountain.

In the light of the sun, our fire grows dim. 

March Prompts #6: Snufkin

SNUFKIN

 

People who stay and people

who go, or something like,

and one must decide, and

oh, I’ve stayed and stayed,

a Moomin behind the stove,

a Fillyjonk unwilling to open

the curtains to the light.

And there are things: tassels

and white seashells, my handbag,

the equipment I need to make

pancakes and poems, things a tent

could never hold. And yet, in Spring,

in Fall, when the geese are going

or coming, sometimes I wonder

why I am staying.

 

If you don’t know Tove Jansson’s Moomintrolls, it’s time you met them.

PERSEPHONE’S WISH SONG

 

PERSEPHONE’S WISH SONG

 

I will not be forever

maiden—that flimsy dress,

the little bouquet.

I am tired, so tired of helping

Mother with the spring.

Nor do I want to sit, solemn,

beside my ancient lord.

I am too old to be innocent,

too young to be still.

 

I want to be Queen of November,

Queen of March,

of coming snow and melting snow,

of browning leaf and stirring root.

Queen of half-moon, gibbous moon.

Queen of labor room, death bed,

first cry,  last word.

 

I want long bright corridors,

doors and windows open

to the music of water

and changing wind.

A land where every step is new.

 

I want to be Queen

of sketchbook, unrehearsed script,

melody stirring in the throat.

Queen of poems that twitch

just out of reach,

Queen of stories emerging

from the dark.