Archive for November, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving: I Bring You Bug

November 25, 2008



3 Poems Grateful for Gifts

November 24, 2008

Poem 1
Flowers for Your Rivals *

the names of your rivals
are beautiful        are holy
you must bring them flowers
armfuls of blooming clemency
tokens of respect        don’t burn
their photographs or spit on their names
printed in newspapers
don’t call and listen to their questioning
hello         you are a creature        pure
oxygen and highly flammable
make note of this
when red-tipped emotions scratch
against your rough tongue desiring nothing more
than conflagration
open your mouth to the rain
cool yourself with patience
count the wistful stars behind your eyes
lay flowers for your rivals

Poem 2
A Pigeon on the Sidewalk

fattening on breadcrumbs
under closer inspection        dramatically
iridescent in the sunlight
but drab at dusk
black bead of an eye dreaming
of being a Harris hawk
but with a wingspan wide enough
to eclipse the world

Poem 3
Because Everyday **

Gravity swings,
flings us around
in a Mayday dance; giddy
warm, we shed our skin,
roll in the new grass.

The world swirls through Spring,
colors blossom and run;
we push through the hard bark
of well-rooted thought,
reach for the fire of the sun.

We have spilled our Winter faces;
fresh, we fly through fields,
happily open ourselves like presents,
celebrate everyday
as a birthday.


* previously appeared in Nomad’s Choir, Summer 2002, Vol.10, Issue 3
**previously appeared in Gift (Daniel Sobel, pub/ed), Tucson, July 1997


Hungry Little Mouth: Dogfish

November 11, 2008



Three Dog Poems

November 11, 2008

Poem 1
On the Screened Porch *

in a square tile of sun
the dog sleeps
the dog stretches       runs

in his dreams       his grunts
muffled under the cozy blanket
of unconsciousness       clouds

muscle their way across the sky
in this bright place
we relinquish our tongues

open our eyes       the dreams of this dog
leap barking through
the ivory fields of our bones

Poem 2
In Summer

girls with ponytails
in the twilight of streetlights
dogs begin to bark

Poem 3
A Walk in McRae Provincial Park **

The snow is deep; the dogs
pull against the leash,

curiosity pulling
their canine instinct

of the hard-packed path
into the snowbound

cedar and pine.
Like an upturned sled,

you follow, clumsy,
unable to take your eyes

of the terrain
directly before you.

They detect the subtle
scent of black squirrels

and birds long gone, they
nuzzle the snow bank; joyous

steam smoking out
of their hoary muzzles.

The leap through the snow
like seals through the sea,

as you wade behind,
the anchor dragging

their progress. Drop the leashes,
don’t be afraid

to let them run;
when you call them,

they will come.
* Poem previously appeared in The Midwest Quarterly, Autumn 1995, Vol. XXXVII, No.1
** Poem previously appeared in The Markham Group of Poets: A Collection, 1994, First Edition (Canada)


Rainbow Makes It All Better

November 7, 2008



Three Poems About Three Old Friends

November 5, 2008

Poem 1

briefly one summer lesbian
though bisexual the rest of the year
had money for groceries but not the rent
too busy making wearable art out of
typewriter keys chicken wire fake pearls
cat skulls broken glass plastic devils
clock guts melted albums cigarette butts
anything thrown into the swamp
surrounding our careening suburbia
she was wild rose talons feathered throat fur pendant
affecting a bottomland nonchalance
traipsing over tremulous terra firma
feline drunk on mouse-blood
and the airborne bones of birds
ensconced in enchantment she was
the limp paper tongue lolling
out of the typewriter
the poem always left undone

Poem 2
Karen of the Blue Sky**

Where did it take you, that road,
that little pill rolled out before you,
a single wheel spilling from the amber
bottle into the map of your palm?

Are you serene, now passing
through this little town, the same little town
you found in Texas, in New Mexico,
in New York, in Nod.

Where does that highway go to,
the path inscribed on the microchip
calling to you through your fingertips
every time you touch the keyboard?

Are you resting now, is Katherine Hepburn
back in your closet, a wardrobe of tailored khaki
and navy blue sky rolled into a ball
like so much yarn in the bottom of a knitting bag?

Are you receiving me? Do broadcasts of concern
filter out of your car’s radio, the great poems
of unknowns set to the tunes of Orpheus,
do they get your head bobbing

with recognition? Karen,
our days drop down like sugar cubes
in cups of steaming tea, and our past is revised
with a scarlet pen. Get your keys,

close the door The world is a movie
on the screen of your windshield.
Directions are what we make of them.
We all have to improvise.

Poem 3
The Sound of Wings
for Julie

Your voice on my worn out answering machine
played back so slowly
it became the beating of moth’s wings
against the mouth piece,

as if the telephone was the light
your words could not resist
and flew against, again and again,
trying to get past

the machine itself
and alight hundreds of miles
away on the stiff, curved lip
of my ear. Fast forwarded,

your message came through, a quavering
soft announcement
of a baby’s birth; perhaps
the purring wing-song

was an exultation sung
by something else,
something bright and wrinkled,
and new to the world


*Poem originally appeared in Erete’s Bloom, Spring 2000, No.1
**Poem originally appeared in Erete’s Bloom, Fall 2000, No.1