BROWN ANOLES

BROWN ANOLES

1.

Everglades in the dry season. 

Alligator tracks in mudflats, 

mangroves reaching for wet. 

A turtle with a red head, 

one swallowtail kite, 

a brown canal of white birds. 

So much itself, so damaged, 

but when we are gone 

and the river of grass 

overtakes the canals, and the sea 

takes the highrises and malls 

our bones will join the shells

on the shores.

 

2.

Beside a turquoise pool, 

lizards appear and vanish 

on the edges of sight, 

discrete motions, 

particles, not waves. 

Brown anoles, delicate 

and charming wisps of life, 

invasive killers, displacers—

so lovely, so terrible.

 

3.

What could they give me to get me to stay? 

No money, surely, no luxurious house. 

Not here, this land of traffic and noise 

where people live by selling things 

and fixing things and cleaning things—

streets and pools and lawns 

and the tops of the walls built 

to keep out people like themselves 

unless they’re cleaning or fixing.

 

4.

The plastic dinosaurs in the botanical garden 

roar above the calling birds. 

The screen house is filled with butterflies. 

Brown anoles eat them. 

Anoles eat everything—their own babies, 

their own molted skins, their broken tails. 

Anoles everywhere. 

One climbs an orchid stem, 

puffs out his orange throat in threat.

One of the dinosaurs looks like a chicken. 

T. rex’s tiny forelimbs are disturbing. 

It’s hot, too hot even for Florida in May. 

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

March Prompts #4: TALK IN MARCH

TALK IN MARCH

What does one do about talk

in March? An hour

of medicines, what-he-said,

the kitchen needs paint.

When it’s March and snow

again and sidewalks and roadsides

are full of slush and one can’t

stretch out. When no one can.

When all our talk is weather

and how terrible the news

and how hard to sleep.

When minds need color

and clear space, just one

thing clean and new born.

THE CRUELEST MONTH

THE CRUELEST MONTH

Here, it’s March.

The back door was opened.

Now it’s closed.

We don’t know what to wear,

where to turn.

The petals of yesterday’s crocuses

are frightened stiff today.

And Lent, of course,

our season of deprivation.

The less you eat, the longer you live.

 

The dog has to go out, never mind chill below zero.

On this deserted street, through my muffled head

I hear the nine o’clock bells ringing

from the steeple of the Federated Church.

An old familiar carol.

I stop to listen while the dog sniffs

a plastic tricycle left beside the sidewalk.

“The world in solemn stillness lay” is it?

“To hear the angels sing”? Yes.

A pause, and then “Once in Royal David’s City.”

Through carelessness or a great kindness,

through the misery of March,

Christmas rises triumphant.

Now, through the instability of things,

I need this wild sweet music so much more

than I did in December’s beginning time.

 

There is a time to sing,

to eat and drink abundance,

a time to remember the return of light,

youth and brilliance, salvation,

the givenness of everything.

There is no one else on the street,

so I begin to sing along:

with the poor, and mean, and lowly. . .”

The dog looks up at me, puzzling,

and wags her tail.

Winter Prompt #11: Spells

SPELLS

Winter Prompt #11

1.

Great spider, untangle

the threads you’ve spun.

Turn to dust the husks of bees

and flies sucked dry.

Bits of leaf and fur let fall

and in the dark a new web weave

so in the dawn’s light

we may see the shining shape

of all set free.

2.

Audmula lick us from the ice,

Skadi, hunt up the sun,

free us from this Niflheim.

Bragi, loosen my tongue.