Friday, November 30, 2007

Winter Barters

Chopped wood brings soup to boil.
Hungry nights bait steel eyed traps.
Evening light tugs at velvet shadows.
Summer poems travel under woolen wraps.

Frosty panes obscure coy pleasures.
Sizzling onions infuse a kitchen’s bouquet.
Gray days savor old love letters.
Rusted fenders feed a salted way.

Simple soups honor last summer’s labor
Razored winds chap purple lips.
Barren snow banks beget spring flowers
Arctic nights hang with shimmering slips.

Cluttered coat pegs announce new company.
Comatose hound runs in his sleep.
Sappy boughs pop a fiery chorus.
Stealth rodents cruise with nary a peep.

Winter barters settle around us,
shuffling softly as a saffroned nun.
We strike the bargains to inspire
that lackadaisical solstice sun.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Slowly Rolling into the Cold

Getting ready
for winter
takes most of fall
and we're still
not willing
even by January
for skies to split
with liquid glass
to coat
the world greasy
in rainbows
to bury
our hearts
neck deep
in stiff mud
to leave us
with one
wool sock on
a three dog night
to crave butterscotch
early Sunday morning
and the Pig is closed
to stoke
a fire
instead and
sip on
yellow
root
tea
to settle for
first light
chickadees
and blue.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Winter Cottonwoods East V – 1952

“From experiences of one kind or another shapes and colors come to me very clearly.”
– Georgia O’Keeffe

She painted her canvas in my protoplasmic days.
Decades later
I drifted into its bramble of
burnt umber
raw sienna
mars brown
contradicting my assumptions of winter
disrobing them with her stark truths
so they could recline silhouetted
among naked trees.
She smudged branching crowns
but painted each cottonwood's body
with watchmaker precision.

She smudged branching crowns,
they haloed a deeper alchemy
each aerial poke
of Populous fremontii
melded
sky with tree
I felt tree tips
fray like fabric in the wind
drawing breaths of magnetic mists
pulling apart ionic swarms
swooning for photic kisses
each arboreal moment titillating and redefined.

I come home from desert and canyon,
filled with cottonwoods and tammies.
Their halos have blurred
my edges; I toddle back
blessed with ambivalence,
freshly plied
by wild water
strong light, my tips
feathering sand and stars.
Her painting has replaced my mirror.
I am winter cottonwoods,
titillated and redefined.
Redefining home
where it's simple
to seek the old folds,
return like willow root grooved into granite.
Hard to make space
for new shoots.
Put away the pruning shears!

Now I pray for my rain forest
heart to sing with my desert edges?
Share the words for
mother
sister
daughter.
Learn to paint in
burnt umber
raw sienna
mars brown.
Trust the naked alchemy
in my mirror of Georgia's trees.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Eden

"..to be wild and perfect for a moment.."
- Mary Oliver

Before words, perfection dwells ubiquitous
as spores on the wind, roiling over
and into each molecule and moment.
This little planet has emerged out of miracles five billion years.
Chaos hones its lineage of mud and sun.

Before words, every kaleidescoping morsel of matter
enters in beauty right here, right now
heartbreaking as an autumn morning, cocooned
in a worship of mother to freshly born. Perfection is
tragedy, perfection is harmony, perfection is lost and found.

Before words, balance spans ebb and flow, underpinning
what stumbles, what stands. Perfection fills a moment
and moves on. Bloodhounding its trail, tongues wag
and follow ever vigilant; stretching cheeks and cerebrum
reaching, reaching - never quite here.

Haiku Run Amok

you teased my i pod
like there were no royalties
like music runs free

hurry bring it in
old laundry crowding the line
we've lost tomorrow

why fiddle fuck a
round, you dig our moments best
when nothing's promised

news slaps my ears - ow!!
and tight jeans girdle my breath
just feed me kisses

tugged your hair uphill
forgot to tie it tightly
bed heads fly away

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Likely Liable

Daylight cracks its brittle seam snapping apart
a wish bone night. Venus has mounted Jupiter

already headed for the barn; water simmers
in a cracked kettle, just enough for two.

And you, dark man, curled like a leather belt
in the back of a dresser drawer,

unfurl; I’m curled too, like paperback
pages in August; we’ll meld mauve dreams

and first light. I study you
like a self portrait, you hover

pretending to understand the chaos of shoes
about the room, they lay like punctuations,

a tactile Morse Code. I study these dots and dashes,
you haunt my sleepy head; we crawl under apostrophes

behind question marks. Your gesticulations play
havoc with runway lights as I struggle to lower landing gear.

Our best intentions for enhancing this entry,
have arrived confused. Even so I’m grateful for
awkward aubades, dark coffee and you inside my skin.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Local Heroes

Fold the letters E P I C around you,
let them be your mithril with room for
elbows and air. The hero's quest bugles,
already it's late morning. You have slept in.

It's pointless to step beyond this frame,
or soften steely gazes already snagging
the long view. Catch up with your dreams, erstwhile
claiming script and masque. Don't be late for rehearsal.

If the fox can come to the hunters house with
lights blazing like the fourth of July; you'd best listen
to her story, watch her pace. In myths of vixen couriers,
the moment is the message.

Friday, November 23, 2007

When the Moon Needs a Nap

"Whose turn is it to watch for paradise?"
- Sarah Provence

First shake of daylight lets loose the hounds
of dark roast, growling in the grinder. Escorted
to the north panes of the bedroom a bright
blustery landscape drops by to affirm the hour of rise
and shine, shakes her shoulder twice more. She's no
ground hog seeking a shadow for six more weeks of sleep.

She's waxing gibbous across November with cirrus clouds
accreting in penumbra's halo where a shadow's a shadow
and a girl has to dream out the wrinkled blueprints
for birthing a season. Once seeded, she could
blame the warts of her temperament on splotched
indigestion from fetid sumac and green persimmons,
blame her impatience on the milky chains of water and earth
that wouldn't hold up their end of a bargain.

Millstones of great lakes, menses, horseshoe crabs,
frazzled lunatics tug at their mucilaged
tethers, her rise and shine dims; her gifts for epiphany long
retired to Miami, velvet gloves that cradled so many
sallow silhouettes have grown thin. Morning light
in winter, that cruel taskmaster, exposes
every naked line of forest and field. With no blood
to blush, best thing to do is shiver.

She prays for sleep, be it broken and shattered, wormy
with worry or deeply deltoid gliding along her orbit
on graphite bearings. Count on her keystones to keep
empty the space between dawn and daylight, the split seconds
past dusk. The moon may be capricious at heart, undecided
but count on her changing her tune thrice more -
once as the alabaster solstice climaxes across her belly
once more to meddle in milkshake skies,
and once to revive her robust hunger for pastels and perfume.

Listen to her croon on about neap tides, pomegranates
and February thunder and as she slips toward crescent,
her snores arousing clouds of offspring who forget
respect for the weary. Hounds loose, java grinding;
it's a ruckus promising paradise. This month
she'll settle for warm beer and ten winks.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Kundalini of Gratitude

gratitude pools red
we return home

no mission to accomplish
gratitude penetrates orange

finally consummating
daylight and dream

gratitude occupies yellow
so gangly arms can wrangle

stove loads of oak
gratitude spirals green

generation upon generation
fill four thousand years

gratitude bellows blue
I am, I am, I am, I am

breaks open an afternoon
gratitude summits violet

loving fingers cradle
empty porcelain cups

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Drinking with Jameson

first pour
smooth as a sonnet
cuts a rug, lord of the dance
last drink toasts its progress toward
rainbow's end

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Daphne's Warning

don't bury your wildness
that rakish salvation from soap and Jane Austin
it is neither silk purse nor sow's ear and
you can chase it all you like, down stone steps
all the way to Mongolia
toward worm holes tunneling into a ninth dimension
along tracks of spidery shoots tracing runic mementos
lost until February; remember how
subtly your own reflection fills
with cobwebs because still pools dried up last fall
remember every beveled lip of crystal between
you and this feral kin has bent light so obliquely,
shapes shift, and when you look up, the sky is full
of beet roots teeming with trichomes
they have cornered a herd of little girls
striped skirts billowing in undercurrents, blowing east
don't bother running, each wilderness waits
instead find the nerve to follow ivory laced
fissures defining your own fault lines
find the nerve to reconcile with Persephone
embrace your Palestine, knowing even mealy faced
scalawags dance with the rain, and when
you finally catch the golden salmon, cook
a little past burned, feed the best morsels
to your wildness and don’t bury it again

Monday, November 19, 2007

How We Manage Droughts

One
monitor closely the red amoeba smearing the southeast

Two
heed secret signals that codify absolution from squander

Three
find justice in a five minute shower

Four
sing out - victory is assured!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

For Eve

"Happiness exists in action."
- Eve Ensler

Om Pushne Namaha
Salutations to the giver of strength!

She rises spring fed,
bodhisattva brook with vagina,
one of countless cosmic centers
on Earth. Opening her mouth
she births revolution-strong
as good whiskey; her stories
turn hearts to wet nurses.

Om Ravaye Namaha
Salutations to the shining one!

She gathers up in her saffron folds
lost voices exiled to dark ditches
simmers a bruised Juarez, Mogadishu
Islamabad, New York in mauve dawn
inspires every breaking bud to
rejuvenate the ghettos of domestic deserts
with cryptobiotic resolve.

Om Suryqua Namaha
Salutation to she who induces action!

A conspiracy of joyful return rallies
every precious thing to fly away
amassing trust so critical, just around the corner
bringing simmer to boil, dawn to daylight
ruddy candor to fresh intention, and bold
vaginas zigzag together the threadbare, quilting
morale with beautiful herringbone stitches

Om Hiranya Garbhaya Namaha
Salutations to the golden cosmic self!

sisters mothers
aunts daughters
nieces nuns
all flower
in the song of Eve.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

While Walking North

I wanted to match the magic
in a Nordic photologue; it was November

and I followed my feet past photo #2, #18, #99
and 100 of a man swaddled in family, surely

each birthed from the sweat of a frost giant's armpits,
pocked by starvation, now so real each hunger

is never sated. Three fates lured me to peer in,
nose to nose with a photographer's anguish,

his new bride, his naked heart, his penis, her
breasts, his dying mother, those brilliant sons, and

himself over and over - all was open to me.
I followed arms, legs, fingers, ears - neglecting

how macabre was the path I trailed, until yellow
air brittled my breath and a soft sadness settled in.

I lingered longest before the grayscale man
swallowing his fist, photo #73 - my belly clenched

in collusion, sure to staunch some eminent arrival
my fascination welded to his wide eyed stare

lured me toward Grendel's cave. The magic I met
swelled into rage rancid; was rimmed in skull-piled

grief and guile. If Odin's eye had drawn us
up from roots of ash and elm, how easily

we came together and fell apart to make
the Earth and Sky with our blood and bones;

how easily we forgot the wages of this perfect life
gutted mountains, strangled streams

exploding children, broken hearths - Grendel
resurrected and Beowulf lost and gone

magic met in the photologue eased me
gently into a dark season of pathos, into

caverns of surrender, no rescue needed;
only to gather strength for Spring.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Two Brothers Frame a Yellow Door

my breast pocket is full of moons
they rise and fly each morning
i stand beside you, we touch crowns
and two brothers frame a yellow door

they rise and fly each morning
where heroes surface like cream
and two brothers frame a yellow door
in moments perfect - almost here

where heroes surface like cream
there a muddy track churns red
in moments perfect - almost here
we douse our lamps to save the night

there a muddy track churns red
i stand beside you, we touch crowns
we douse our lamps to save the night
my breast pocket is full of moons

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Local Table

right here
steamy yams melt
sweet butter, thinly pooled
with vinegar under dark kale
and cornbread

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thunderstorm

blue whales
swim November
deftly dance with lightning
ocher elms run and duck skin drenched
in wonder

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What Complains, Hangs Around

He hears the chair talk back day in,
day out, hears it groan and gripe
like a fishwife on Monday; so he just
settles slowly onto the cracked leather pad,
still sagging from his uncle's abundance.
Joints loose threaten and tease-
it's as he's always known them,
a little shaky and grimly strong.
One day, he thinks, gorilla glue to
the rescue; shore up this damn thing.
The chair has been an heirloom of intentions,
everyone's favorite throne to give 'em hell!
It holds more than bottoms and legs,
it's collected countless conversations:
Murrow's report from Warsaw, the bickering
when Cronkite questioned the TET. Now
Garrels has exposed her days in Baghdad
as Rivera pled for New Orleans.
This chair is tired; it creaks because
it's full and worn bone thin. The patina
along its arms glows mocha, oiled over decades
by hands bearing up under the news.
It could tell him- what complains usually
hangs around - sturdy as the bottom note
in a dirge, inflated as the bitter edge
of sweet. What complains builds gravity,
a reason to sit a little longer.
It could tell him even the sturdiest ones
welcome empty moments because
thoughts must settle like dust; and it hopes
tomorrow, he remembers the gorilla glue.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Gathering Rain with Poets

" Where is your water? Know your garden"
-Hopi Elders' Prophecy 2000

Last summer we rolled in
a polyvinyl puffball - two thousand
gallons empty. Today it sits dusted,
bathed and bored in the basement -
black beauty, Sunday ready
for the rain harvester; tomorrow
he'll plumb it up to our downspouts.
Maybe it's just a cistern to you,
but it's our banner of green allegiance -
off the grid - onto the web,
drinking rain like crawdads;
exchanging fluids with new middlemen,
with poplars and hawks -
Snyder called it joyful interpenetration.
Just add water and cracked concretions dissolve -
joyful interpenetration burns past pavement,
breaks up bricked over Edens,
finds the dirt even
in us where
so much depends on the red wheelbarrow
glazed with rain; and tomorrow in our basement,
on the tools beside the blue ladder.
When our black barrel sprouts its white pipes
like hyphae to suck up water
from the red roof whenever the bottom falls out,
we'll listen to the gathering
of liquid sky, right under our feet.
Amid the rabble of rain, we'll dream of next August,
of pulling peppers and zucchini from the vine;
dream of an unburdened Eden
and fresh dirt.

Rain harvester, better hurry it up -
clouds are gathering and
so much depends on
this joyful interpenetration for all.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Belly

belly be
blossom budding
billowing sheet on a line

patience gone, never more ready
please baby come

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Over a Sneeze

Caroline sneezed today!
News arrived so loud and clear
I pulled out my handkerchief
just in case,
cause we all knew
she would never sneeze again.
Chapter and verse, that comes with the injury.
It's pretty definitive.
Never...Some things stop at C5,
like sneezing..well behind her Berlin Wall,
not even waiting.
Gone...They said.
I knew it.
And this morning, they busted out!
Two healthy sneezes,
ACHOO ONE, ACHOO TWO escaped over the wall -
signaled nerves well below her injury -
Zing...and belly muscles suddenly attended.
Unpredictable, maddening
Never, never
Now...I thought I could count on sneezing
being gone forever
and then it's back from some incredible journey.
Unpredictable, head clearing and
Now...It's exactly why
I can count on sneezing - best when
it's unexpected like snow flakes in July,
like daffadils in November.
Now...and ever since,
we're flying over a sneeze.
Imagine that.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Arboraphile

She's given up on men -
it's the green ash down the street
she wants to marry. Every autumn
when the mantle of leaves
blush crimson and tassels
drape as epithets along countless shoulders,
her knees turn to putty and
her hummingbird heart must carry her home.
Love is like that - abundantly it handles
every handicap. And while
her left brain points out the madness
of this trans-kingdom infatuation,
imploring her to reconsider;
its logic leapfrogs over her dreams
of this most perfect life: tree and woman
endlessly exchanging sighs,
feasting on the sun dawn to dusk.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Aqualine - 1

Be as water -
transparent in thin air - dispersing
like pioneers in Conestoga wagons
heading across the Oregon Trail

Be as water-
latticed in crystal networks - intertwined
elbow to elbow, laced sturdy as willow
now basket, now lifeboat

Be as water -
filling empty spaces - courageous
enough to surrender and plunge
five hundred feet in full song

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Half Moon Mutiny

It was after the seventh sun salute
when the flow of plank, cobra, dog
lead me to my half moon pose -
it's a stork like posture,
body forms a T - imagine
one leg presses
a footprint into the purple foam only millimeters
away some hardwood pushing back -
and my standing leg has cooperated
dutifully for the first five breaths; but it knows
it is the moon and the sun at the moment,
and just ahead of the sixth breath,
it mutinies! sends a shot over the bow with a warning quiver -
I've got no mind over matter - no pull to convince it
to just stand firm, and what can I do?
I surrender my half moon - retreat to
the safe harbor of downward facing dog -
I'll make peace for that moment and when it
believes it has rallied the rest of my limbs
to go home, I'm quick with a bribe
ginger cookies and mint tea
if we can only get six more breaths
of half moon once again.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Revolution among the glaciers

So it does matter
this mix of chemicals
spewed
silent and deadly

invisible, check
potent, check
melting ice caps, check
reaking havoc on a planet, check

goes away by itself, negatory
silver bullets at hand, negatory
silver buckshot in the barrel, check
should we be worried, check

Monday, November 5, 2007

Free to choose - Amen

Every day rises precious -
precious as icebergs calving along
the Ross Shelf...
they're independent now and dwindling.
As these flocks scatter like liquid sand,
don't forget to count the moments
you watched them bob away
sapphire and regal.

Each Sunday some wiry lad wobbles
across taut ropes - slack lining,
where balance is cool.
Free to take a flying leap
on a galloping goose.
Free to stretch another line to the moon,
stitch up the ozone, resurrect islands,
renew Lake Chad.

Free to shiver off kilter and
believe it's just to our knees
we fall...begging for bruised elbows,
twisted limbs - something simple to swaddle
something small to bathe
in orange amber with an iodine swab,
better by morning.
Keep the choices easy.

Each sunny day clouds our memory
for rain, brightens this good gooey life;
soft and sweet feeds a fat bottom line
but it feels pithy to the rock
hard resolve of the Nile or the Rhine,
swallowing mountains since Methuselah.
Soft and sweet melts away in their maws.
Bare bones pray.

Precious elbow of the galloping goose,
please tip cool my wiry independence
stitch it in amber orange and wobble
the gooey ozone free, swaddling islands
tucked under liquid sand, and as
twisted lines slack abundantly toward Sunday;
bruise not the bobbing Rhine,
rising regal as our days.
Amen

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Inviting Calamity

I keep reminding myself
tough times wring out diamond days
and that I'm forgetting to
welcome calamity to breakfast every Tuesday
and I'm shying away from the promises that poverty
can't keep about the simple life,
and she knows it... remember, remember, remember
that only sun and sky honor the rhythms holding
this place together... capricious is the rest of creation.
and maybe I've noticed
enshrined in the coils of a bristlecone
lie the secrets to longevity
but I won't seek them now...
not before I can dream one more time of Pollyanna
in delusions of safe and sound...
with her tales spun like
ultraviolet rays that nourish my freckled hide -
and not until I can muster up the bawdy amazon,
with quiver full and bow string taut,
ready to defend this November night,
against darkness that deepens
blood belly red - exacting its price
to the penny, and come Tuesday
daylight dawns purring around my ankles like
some calico and breakfast suits us both
just fine.

Just past All Hallows

Here goes...my initiation into the blogosphere. My pledge is to write and write and write verse for the next collection. Ahhh, November - it feels ripe with opportunity, spring like... a southern hemisphere thing, feeling vernal so far north of the equator even with the light in retreat. Subtly changes the planet, and might I just be heeding some deeper urge - starting something new at the end of a season... a hair in the pudding, a molecule drawn toward a larger shift - on the magnitude of magnetic poles ... why not, even now?