Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

The Winter of Dreaming Bears (Revised)

July 21, 2018

The Winter of Dreaming Bears

It began with grubs,
which the bears felt, instinctively,
were the hub
of the universe.

Bears always dream a little
of grubs,
but that was a winter of
false starts, faked ends,
and the slips from freeze to thaw,
from thaw to bone rawness, drip back
to ice pick, unmanacled the bears
from their annual
mummification, nudging them
to a snail’s swim,
where their ursine minds churned, overturning
remembered stones, and their paws mimed a scratch
for those whose burrows they could surely feel
within their fur,

while the grubs, also disturbed
by the fits of damp, stayed far
from bear furrows, dreaming as grubs do
of the dead; a corpse a kind of copse to them,
the old home place.

And the dead–-what did they dream of?
They will not say; we can’t surmise–-only
that when we walk a lace of snow pierced
by persistent grasses,
under a sky heavy with new powder
turning to sleet,
we want to believe that we animate
their wintering subconsciousness,

that they long for us in the rapids of their unmoving eyes
not as a bear longs for grubs,
but maybe as that same bear yearns
for the sun when it swathes the night sky,

its glints guiding us
as if we were ships dreaming
that we had sprouted feet
that could walk on water,

and as if we could walk that water,
into a direction that would take us far
from that starred bear, those dreaming dead,
those whom we in fact long for
in those times of cold and dark,
faked ends, false starts.
 
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This is a somewhat changed revision of an earlier poem, this revised for Brendan’s prompt on Real Toads about dreams.  The earlier version may be found here.  The pic is mine; all rights reserved.

Heading somewhere certainly

June 24, 2018

Acrylic on canvas panel, 2018, all rights reserved.

Looking

June 23, 2018

Donate to ACLU or some organization that will help here.

Pulled apart

June 23, 2018

June 2018; all rights reserved.

“Parkinson’s (Father)”

June 17, 2018

Parkinson’s (Father)

My brain, see, now has to consciously
tell my feet to move.

I mean, he tries a laugh, your brain
always tells your feet to move
on some level, but now
I have to remind them how.

I do see what he means soon enough, as
my father, the opener of all
that needs to be opened, the keeper
of all that needs to be kept safe, targets a key towards a door
as one might aim a dart,
his forearm moving back and forth as if to throw it,
though he pushes–here–here–trying spots about the knob
as one might poke a needle into fabric
backing a button, pricking one’s way to its eyes,
or as one might thread the eye
of the needle itself, poignantly.

But the disease progresses, as territorial
as Genghis Khan, and soon all
the buttons in his world are blocked, refuse
to be battened, will not be pushed,
until finally, his own eyes seem locked
behind the placket of stiff lids.

I see the strain of forehead, the
conscious manipulation of muscle, nerve,
above his pushed chest, until at last
the marled blue of his pupils targets
our own. I love you, he says, the opener
of all that needs to be opened, the keeper
of all things safe.

 

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I wrote the above a few years ago now, but have edited it a bit and am reposting it for Brendan McOdrum’s wonderful prompt on Real Toads and for father’s day.

The Grass Said to Me (as I thought of Whitman)

June 14, 2018

The Grass Said To Me  (As I Thought of Whitman)

The grass said to me
”what is a child?”
I did not know how to answer the grass for I do not speak
in shush or spring-back
or any of the many tongues
of green.
I do not feel that I know
how to regroup,
or how to take a death at my roots
and smile it almost equally
into sun and rain–

But this much I do know:
that when a child crawls across me and grass alike,
we all three
grow more alive.
What grounds us cups us gently (even as
laughs tumble)
while what lies beneath that ground strains hard to listen,
and does, in fact, hear,
for the cup that holds us fits too
about its dark grained ear,
oh yes.

 

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Drafty poem for my own prompt on Real Toads to write of “what is….”  Pic is mine .

Hi all!  I’ve missed you. k. 

D is for–

April 4, 2018

D is for

I found me in a whole behind the bookshelf, there in the molding, hanging on to a spine of the Junior Britannica, our set covered in leathery red.

The volume was D; I snuck a letter into it to my dog once because I had killed her and I didn’t know how else to send mail to a dead dog.

Of course, I had not meant to kill my dog but, for a child, result is not mitigated by intention.

Fate had thrown me a hard ball.  It had not been a particularly hand throw, but it was a base ball, and in that game of catch, the trees blurred green and the grass smoothed to ground where I stood beneath a locust’s grape-fingered shade and I just missed–my hands and glove knock knees (at least for that catch), which meant that the ball hit the trunk of the locust, rebounded to the side, then tagged the small dog as she barked and darted at the back of our game in what was somehow the perfect place in the neck to break it, and the dog’s lithe little body immediately lay limp, and though I probably screamed, my re-creations all seem silent except for my mother who ran out of the house, shrieking ”oh no oh no oh no” and not to bring the dog inside.

So my father and I huddled the little body over to the car me kissing its nose in an almost surreptitious way as I wondered frantically whether you could do mouth-to-muzzle resuscitation on a dog, but somehow felt too embarrassed even in extremity to ask, while my dad in his own extremity careened us to the vet’s, and when the vet was closed, our family doctor, heaving with every gear shift, even as I kind of calmed, feeling, after my lap wet with warm, that surely if the dog peed she must still be alive.

And I said to the little girl in the molding, who held the spine of the D Junior Britannica, “what are you doing,” and she simply said ‘I’m sorry,” which sounded at first as if she hadn’t heard me but meant, I realized then, that she was simply being sorry over there, actively being sorry, being sorry her/my whole life long, and I said to her/me, “but look, that was many years ago,” and she said, “I know.”

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This is actually a short excerpt from a little book I am working on; it is very much a draft. I am posting it today for Brendan MacOdrum”s prompt on Real Toads, which I am interpreting as a prompt about the panoply of things that make us sing (or at least write.) 

The pic doesn’t really go with the piece!  It’s actually from a different book I am working on!  (A children’s book)  (I have all sorts of highly unfinished projects!)  But anyway, there it is.  It is my drawing, charcoal and pastel.  All rights reserved. 

Morning (Not Quite Sprung)

March 31, 2018

Morning (Not Quite Sprung)

In this house, we hear the stream summers,
but now the burble of humidifier shushes
the dawns,
which still shell us latish
what with the time change.

When I say ”shell’, I speak of opalescence–
not firey bursts of wake-up–old houses built as shields
against weather.

We lie together, bundled oblongs
beneath that pearled arc, waiting to be
cracked open or boiled whole–the days have been
hard lately.

You nest in the covers murmuring
in the blended burble of humidifier and
my elbowed apologies (for all those shifts and sips),
that I’m not bothering you, meaning
stay next to me,
and I say, I will.

 

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Poem belatedly posted for Shay (Fireblossom)’s wonderful prompt on Real Toads urging the use of metaphoric language.   The pic is of a light sculpture by Jason Martin. 

Martello

March 18, 2018

Martello

my best memory of Ireland,
was the woman outside
Joyce’s Castle, who had just stepped from
the Irish Sea–it was early December-
and whose entire body – rumple
of belly, thigh, brest bobbed
over a gleaming interlace of morn and underwear
like the chill-blossomed cheeks
about her smile– a bright blow
of a woman, her hair a curl of raven against
a fleeting sun–

I kept thinking of the fresh thick milk Stephen Dedalus and his mocked friends pour into their strong tea at the beginning of
Ulysses, and how
I wanted some, me who was not robust
that trip and so cold and so
lonely that I did not take off my wool turtleneck even
to bathe but rather shivered in a shallow tin tub, submerging only
my nether regions.

So many years ago, still, I fear going back–
some memories you do not wish
to replace,
but weave them again and again like an older
Penelope, happy for the feel of familiar warps–
you know the way yarns wave
with re-use.

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Draft poem for Brendan’s post on Real Toads stemming from some kind of Irish blarney, or not, on St. Patrick’s Day.  Martello is the little castle James Joyce lived in while beginning his novel, Ulysses, and also where his character Stephen Dedalus lives during the novel.  Pastel is mine – the woman was not quite so shoulder heavy!  

 

(Apologies – an earlier version of the post misspelled Stephen Dedalus.)

Dear Place

March 15, 2018

Dear Place

Dear place at the back of my brain
where my grandfather straps skates to his shoes
and glides,
a blue wind with rose face,
along a sweep of my mother’s memory—

my mother loved to sweep—hand her a broom
and you kept her happy
for an hour—

I never saw my grandfather to recall—
he is a flash in the grey of old Kodachrome
where I am a shock of pale bang and sparked
round eyes – I must be quiet for some time to find
that horizon where he skates and
where my mother who was so wounded,

smiles, and where what is ice
is only shine and we all stretch out against it
like strings that might make music
when bowed.

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Here is a poem for my prompt “Dear Poems” on Real Toads. I am sorry to have been so absent; working a great deal.