SNOW GEESE

They don’t come around here anymore,
All that day in gray November
I watched, quiet, by the field, under trees.

They wheeled and called, wings whistled
close enough to reach and touch.
I would have welcomed death that day–

clay and corn, the sound of snow
geese–nothing left to wish for,
nothing more wonderful to see.

Now the trees are gone.
The corn is plowed.
I have grown old with doubt.

The geese don’t come around.
When gods descend,
the very ground is changed,

and when they rise?
The air is empty, nothing
flies white against the clouds.

 

October, 2012

They’re back.

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SELF PORTRAIT: An April Prompt

Green sedges, buckthorn,
wild apple and willow,
grew in the hollow
where I hid, and cried.

Today, at dawn,
a single robin outside my window.
Later, ten thousand
blackbirds returned.

In overgrown pastures
beneath the weight of sunlight,
I steal blackberries
from the bears

who inhabit my dreams.
They rumble by the doors,
they prowl with the wolves
that no one sees but me.

If I were free,
I’d dig through ice,
cut away dead branches,
rake dead leaves.

My hands
are strong, my fingers
long.  Under my nails
the dirt of ten thousand springs.

Inside myself
I keep things
frozen, remote.
Sometimes I sing.

 

Written during Poetry Month, but it has raking leaves in it, so it counts as a fall poem.

IMPOSSIBLE UMBRELLA

~for J.B.

The hardest rain of the season–
great thick panes of water
sheeting from shopfront awnings–
we were standing on the corner
as we do every Saturday
with our homemade pasteboard signs

and you came
out of the book store
in your snazzy short skirt and tights,
your black leather jacket,
that great haircut,
and an impossible
umbrella–
a joke umbrella,
scrap of tattered pink and green
on broken ribs,
an umbrella
to make Charlie Chaplin proud–

carried over your head
in all seriousness, as if
somehow it would keep
you dry–not unlike
the words
we were holding
up against the endless
swamping,
this inundation washing away
truth’s last
levees,
this epic soaking that never stops,
this hurricanic
Noahtic
Gilgameshic flood.

 

 

Nov. 1, 2006
Published in Hazmat Review, in 2010. Interestingly, it was their last issue.