Thursday, May 29, 2014

Newer poems



Moonlight Found Me

Last night the moon
secreted its way
through my window
through a tiny space in the curtain
and fell on the pillow
next to me.
It just happened.
So I put my hand
in that soft light
and caught a little
with open palm.


The White Curtain

Just there
the white curtain
lifts out from the window
as I pass by,
and I glimpse…
oh, that something.
Words are almost
coming from that image.
The suggestion of change,
the good that comes
on a breeze.
So I go back
through the kitchen door
turn around to repeat
and stop at that
one enchanted spot
to listen and feel
it once again.



Would You Mind

Would you mind if I
stop the car here
on top of this little mountain?
I speak to the would-be angry
drivers, but no one is
in the rear view mirror.
I catch my breath
which was captured away
by the purple clouds
scattered across the sky
above the violet blue ridge
mountains in the distance,
misty jewels all along the throat
of the wintry earth.

 

Refuge

In the dark night
I remember a refuge
in the middle of the great city.
The grounds were thick
with old growth trees
and peacocks strolled
or perched on stone walls,
luxuriant feathers
stretched out behind.
A towering sanctuary
was at the end of the drive
and the school of happy children
where I worked.
It is the walk
through these grounds
where my soul wanders
at 3:00 am,
my eyes lingering
on the white rose
that always blooms
and follows me.



The Unused Room

Here is the quiet
and the bells,
again I hesitate
to venture with
the heart wings
into this unused room
even with such
a small offering,
just a whisper
of the deep.
A glimpse of
the golden palace. 

 

Wind in the Trees

 I sleep deeply
gone to visit
Other worlds
the wind rustles
the spring trees
curtains move gently
at the open window
suddenly I am awake
deep in my blankets
I hear the subtle wind
I want to wander barefoot
out in the soft breezes
whispering in the leaves
in otherworldly quiet,
I want to be free.



Alchemy

 I once had a dream
that haunts after years:
my beloved and I,
sit in the library
of a village priest.
The deep dark wood of walls
from floor to ceiling
are lined with books,
there is a fire burning
and the priest is pouring tea.
The building is ancient
it smells of leather, books, time,
comfort, kindness, and humor.
Everything comes together
in this ancient architecture;
what’s in the books,
and what’s in our hearts,
and we three are one.
I wake and feel fairy-dust
still lingering, and know
the comfort of old spaces.
Over time I watch
for all these elements
that were in the dream
to recreate and
catch me up to joy again.



Music of Starlings

My wounded arm and I
rest on the sofa
with a book
after a day of
overdoing it.
Winter has arrived
as a surprise,
and I have not
taken gifts to the altar
of season’s change.
Out the window the sunset
is sublime and far-seeing.
Caught by time and circumstance
I can only be,
watching the swirl
of Starling patterns
around and around
like music far up in
the bare tree branches. 



Life Drops By and Stays

Waiting for the coffee to brew
waiting for the muffins to toast,
the orange cat waits for
drops of butter left on the plate,
the gray cat waits by the door
so she can go and wait
for a bird to lose its footing,
and then she waits
by the door to come in
as the sky grows dark
and rain waits to fall.
I wait to consider whether
she gets bells around her neck,
though it seems much of life
drops by without my action:
the yellow daffodils
the purple azalea and
the ivy all over everything
have come to me,
I never planted them.
The gray cat came to me
with suitcase in hand
meowing in the rain
under my bedroom window.
The orange cat came hidden
in a child’s backpack
so many years ago,
and it wasn’t even my child,
(so many children showed up).
This quilt, that dresser,
that ancient hope chest,
and all the people who
have changed my life:
those I was born with,
met through others,
or who walked through the door,
I never sought them out initially,
then nothing was ever the same,
I have to count them every night
on my fingers and toes.
There is so much and yet
nothing to show incarnation-ally.

The beauty and anxiety
of never knowing what
is going to happen next.
The responsibility of keeping
so many stories leaves
me speechless.
All the stories stack up
over time, so much time.
It’s not that I am aging
but that there is so much
so many interweavings
that have dropped by.
Now I am rather a bore
as I prefer to let it all
filter through my mind’s
eye in quietness, sorting
an extraordinary inventory
unable to ever express
the enormity of just living.



The Homecoming King and I

I sat by a stream
that ran by
the local elementary school
and sobbed,
my first broken heart.
You, homecoming king,
football hero,
wandered by
found me, stopped,
and asked
what was wrong,
was there anything
you could do?
I had sought the stream
in solitude.
I jumped up and ran
away from you.
Later, just out of high school,
on the eve of
your marriage
we ran into each other
outside People’s drug store.
I congratulated you –
didn’t know what else
to say.
I was off to college
out of this one-horse town.
You asked me to marry you
(instead of your homecoming queen).
I laughed,
but you didn’t.
Later, someone said
that you sat with pot belly and beer
in front of the TV,
and she was in curlers
and a moo-moo,
as big as a house.
Then you died early.
That was all I knew.

I had two other
marriage proposals
that year
and two declarations of love.
I treated them just as frivolously
by silences.

I’ve come to realize
these painful stories
we have with others
are written in stone.
So this is our story,
I’m sorry and glad,
and that’s all
I know


She Shall Have Culture

My teacher asked me,
and gave me a letter.
I gave the letter to my mother,
who asked my father,
and he made a decision
that would change
my life forever.
I didn’t even know
its meaning
so foreign
was the assignment.
It sat lightly
on my twelve-year-old
shoulders
so engrossed was I
in my dolls,
reading and writing
my first novel,
Women and the West!
I would much rather
he had spent
that money
towards a canopy bed
I so wanted.
He declared:
“She should have
some culture.”
Since landing in the new world
I was the first
of many generations of farmers
to do it.
Reminiscent of some old
social custom
of having the girl
be civilized and exposing her.
With that, my mother
got busy at the sewing machine
to make me a dress.
So for three times,
at three dollars per trip,
I got out of school,
got on a school bus,
and rode into
Washington, D.C.
to the national theater,
into the wonder
of red velvet chairs,
the darkened room,
and watched the lights
come up
on Leonard Bernstein
and the young people’s
orchestra.