Saturday, November 15, 2014

Published online at Silver Birch Press Nov. 2014

In Memory of Bessie, Kathleen, Addie, Cora

Farmwoman's Initiation (after the style of Sappho)

When you were young, Bessie,
with golden hair tumbling to your knees
you caught rain in a magic bowl
and washed your hair there.
The goddess knew what you were about.
Then rain and mystery you gave my mother,
she, the sweet one, of silvery laughter’s darling,
and then to me, the uninitiated.

I was brought to rain’s softness
and you called me to be brave
go out and walk barefoot in the dew
with nothing on but my nightgown
made of pale moonlight
now diaphanous in the morning sun.

Is there no relief or understanding
of the pain in my womb, mothers?
These nymphs have dug up
the sacred sassafras root
boiled it and blessed it
given it to me to drink.
A potion from mothers to daughters
from that sacred thicket
and all is well—only good has come of these things
since Aphrodite blew her kisses.

Featured Poem on June 2014

Curious and Rich

When I walk past
the fragrant forest
after heavy rain,
which smells like
the freshest salad
you ever ate,
some vegetation
from Otherworld
that when eaten
makes you feel alive,

then I listen, listen
and there is
nothing, nothing but.

When it is almost dusk
and the horizon is tinged
with the most delicate
hint of lavender,
against it dark
silhouettes of tiny
fruit-tree branches,

I listen, listen
there is nothing, nothing but.

When I pass the small mountain
rising like a god
impressing the night
and the still liquid sky,

I listen, listen
and there is nothing, nothing.

But nothing is something
curious and rich,
and I have heard it.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Texas Myth

I’m Gonne’ Whup Your Ass
(Deep in the Heart of Texas)

In mid of night
storm speaks
insisting on fierce:
“I am wind
great with conflict
north cold and south warm
here I meet
to whup your ass
yeah, try to light little candles
stick your toe in the bath
that smells of rose
your incantations
only make clash
as I rattle the blinds
on the windows lowered.”
A whistle of blast
pushes through as if
through clenched teeth.
One waits and listens
for in the land of sky
messages come from
deliberate wind.
John Wayne
gallops through
alone in the night
on his black horse.