Monday, November 29, 2010

Music from the Corner of Winter

We are wearing thin the rooftops
of the castles and the cabins
and the carpet in the doorway
is a pathway built of summer

You can hear the fingers knocking
slipping sea into the canyon
you can feel the moon regretful
drawing ridges on the pillow

They are wearing thin the blanket
lost the warmth in new of winter
gone is the open skin sigh
in the softly floating midnight

and you can hear the naked trees
release the moan of morning
you can feel the sky exhale
like a filling open vessel

and the cuddle is all curled up
not long or delicious slowly
it is under blanket fast-wrap
in the frozen sheets of evening

you can see the frost on windows
you can hear the teeth of singing
you can feel the arms of winter
as your slumber groans and mumbles

and you want to travel sideways
when you see the world turn crystal
then new magic takes a window
and fills it full of softness

and you know the perfect blessing
in a sudden turn of insight
is the music from the corner
of going home

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Simply Ordinary

Quiet the morning
takes the song from birds
and wakes the sweater of silence

Who can disturb the air there?

Wings fluff,
diffused by sky and funnelled
along edges of lavender
where waiting is sweet
and there's no need to fly.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Love Story

One summer day, hot and humid,
she, with windows open, fans going, was standing
letting the air blow an ice cube
up and down her arms, around her neck,
thinking, a man to run his finger up her arm
like this ice cube, making goose bumps
as a knock on the door made her jump,
feeling guilty somehow for her thoughts.

On the porch was a man looking with a grin
at her feelings, she thought,
selling Bibles, he said.
She watched his face, not listening;
the way his lips moved, the straight line of his teeth,
the crease that appeared, then disappeared
from the corner of his eye.
She had wished for a man and this one had appeared.

He told her about college and selling Bibles door to door
to support himself, to help his family.
He told her about his three young sisters
and one brother, how his mom was sick
his dad having trouble.

She bought a Bible, of course.
She bought a Bible, even though she already had one.
How could she not buy a Bible from this man?

Usually, words flowed from her like music
from an early morning song- bird.
How to make him stay, after the Bible was in her hand
and the dull day was threatening return?

The ice melted slowly in her hand
making a wet spot on the bodice of her dress.
She thought of the heat and this man trudging with his
sacred suitcase full of the Word, and the ice slowly melting
on her chances.

He stayed drinking ice tea as shadows fell on the day
and the afternoon breeze curled the pages
of the Bible that lay on the table between them.

They were married in the spring
and they had just planted a garden,
when he was drafted.

She kept him safe under her pillow
where his love touched her
with long and passionate letters.

Killing was not in him and he was sick
from the fear of it, he said.
He had seen his friend turn in the middle of a laugh
into a land mine and disappear.
After that he kept to himself, afraid friendship would breed more pain.

One cool evening as she turned the bed down
and touched the stack of envelops as tenderly as skin,
she was with him in the trenches watching
the quiet of the morning.
She could hear the birds, her love's loud breathing
and a frantic heart-beat.

Was it his? Was it hers?

Be still, she said,
but, he was running up the hill
away, away,

then the hill exploded
like red rain.
First published in the anthology, Reflections on the Web in poetic version.  Now a part of my novella, Sweet William

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Walking the Gravel Path

I take the thistle from dog's paw
and walk the gravel path,
passed the dried belief of limp
that was the past.
The wind muscled through
and took a limb from tree,
now it rests on the path like sculpted tomb,
a dwelling space for a seed some bird forgot
in favor of a worm.
What if I were to imagine she was skipping
on the mountain of her grave
and gave this thought to me in note of breeze,
to say, let go of the past that too long believed
that time was actually something that she woke to?
Steady sure time takes the leaf from hold
that seemed so sturdy true, when first it knew
how spring greenly gave itself the lie
and forgot that all must die.
I've plunged the knife into the wounded bark
that gave my years the memory, so often,
that art lost its form and words their diction.
Now I see around me truth, not fiction.
Backwards is no longer true
and even now the sky behind the clouds, is blue;
for across the water rocked with dimpled rain,
regret has drained.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's About Time

I look back and see time,
soft and folded to keep out the creases
made of cotton's constant bending,
it flows and turns magenta
just as the sun moves
and caresses the hard line of night.

Sometimes I feel I need to hurry,
to lap up truth
and with a hammer make dents
in the fabric that covers
the texture of life.

Tools, not weapons,
that I can make myself,
(I tell time's long face as it ticks in my ear)
made out of the swift current of my breath
from the boat of my hands,
not a scream tethering the spirit
to the whipping ball of some miraculous power
I know is heard even by the jellyfish
as they dance to the tides,
down in that place called,
More Than I Know.

Time remakes itself when we think it grows
and ages and groans and cries,
instead it is brand new and waiting
for someone to acknowledge
that it isn't very important, after all.