A poem a week until the entire book is blogged. See also Collected Poems

Monday, August 28, 2017

Praying for Rain

Perhaps the seedlings were better off inside,
Really. She's never sure what's best for them,
All down the years trying peat pots, blocks,
Yanking down flats from storage, penciling markers,
Ingratiating herself with baked soils,
Now trying perlite, vermiculite, moss,
Getting out lamps and heaters, rotating flats,

Fighting intruding snails, mice and rats
Or even knotweed and bindweed
Running their tendrils up through brick.

Right now, she wishes she hadn't hurried.
All her helpless babies in cracked clay!
If it doesn't rain tonight, she tells herself,
Never again shall I call April May.




Monday, August 21, 2017

Bent Umbrella

Upon slowly waking, she rouses from a dream
of fear. Was it her life threatened by someone, waving
rusted weaponry, or had she herself sought to destroy

a trusted neighbor or loved parent? Suppressing
a moan, spine filled with fluids overnight,
yes, again, and ankles still in pain, across

the flanks of her beloved she now crawls,
stumbles round the room to find the handle
of her life, or only the door, sliding her feet along.

A floor creaks with dry rot as she steps among
the objects that reshape her: bloomers, slips,
half-slips, girdles, bras, tights, stockings.

She feels, Braille-fingered, for the small room where
all who seek may find that men or women are
only men or women; here they see themselves

before any other's eyes, and by a harsh light.
Her eye looks deeply through her from the glass;
tells her that her sorrows are contemptible. So?

She does not plan to die today, no, nor call in
sick, returning to the now cold sheets, seeking
to resolve that awful dream. Call it what you will,

habit if you like, but she carries herself into
the living room, satisfactory sight, remodeled
somehow, despite poverty: white walls

and ceiling, cleanly textured, fireplace patched,
mantel graced with oil lamps and seemly books:
here she dresses. Outside, darkness, low

clouds, and the rattling of busy downspouts.
She shrugs. Through kitchen to the cold mudroom,
listening to the change in foot-fall of her heels,

from wood to tile, to concrete, she moves on,
pace quickening. No entropy now stops her.
Gathering her bent umbrella and stained coat,

she opens a door. She walks out to the world.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Today and Tomorrow

Polyhymnia walks between beds
critical of eye, noting the way blades
of corn have curled upon themselves,

rattling in hardly any breeze at all.
They'd like to make believe it's Autumn now,
would they? Playing at getting past the part

where seed heads form, waving silky hair
but then departing, leaving leaves bereft
of any purpose but to leave this world --

except, of course, they don't: that is the gift
of mulch. She brings a hose and couples to
its end a yellow whirligig, made to sing

the holy song of water to those leaves.
Today, green fulness. Tomorrow, living grain.




Monday, August 7, 2017

Gift

When Polyhymnia sends refracted light
shimmering toward parched and shriveled roots,
seeking some semblance of promise kept alive

between her hands, her well, her seeds and soil,
A bit of fluff, a female Anna's, comes
to perch nearby, cocking its tiny head

and waiting. Waiting for the hose to steady
its cold blast toward some fainting eggplant
or tomatillo, ready for a burst of aimed

delight, to catch one rainbowed drop of water
short, then flit haphazard to the fence again,
shivering. To the Muse of hymns and farmers it's

a game, to the throbbing ball of feathers more.
Its heart will stop without the gift of rain.




Terrified of Them

Terrified of them she was through long Experience being swarmed with stings, Running, her hands over eyes and mouth, Running to the house o...