Winter Prompt #12: Aroma

AROMA

Winter Prompts #12

 

Between the gift shop and the archive,

the museum dining room wafts—

yes, wafts—me across times

beyond another dining room

to the tower room.

Paint-spotted floor,

a crooked ping-pong table,

the long bell rope hanging.

Rickety stairs in the corner—

first landing to the sacristy door,

second to the ladder to the belfry

with its bats and the bell

I was the last, with human hands, to ring

Winter Prompt #11: Spells

SPELLS

Winter Prompt #11

1.

Great spider, untangle

the threads you’ve spun.

Turn to dust the husks of bees

and flies sucked dry.

Bits of leaf and fur let fall

and in the dark a new web weave

so in the dawn’s light

we may see the shining shape

of all set free.

2.

Audmula lick us from the ice,

Skadi, hunt up the sun,

free us from this Niflheim.

Bragi, loosen my tongue.

Winter Prompts #10: Prophecy

PROPHECY

Winter Prompt #10

The same thing as always, saith the Lord.

You people (O my people) will never learn

You rich loll—not on ivory couches—but still you loll.  

Still you sell my poor.

Wars and rumors.

Every mountain and hill made low,  but—

and this is important—not by me.

It’s not odd

that so many of you don’t believe.

Everything I can do, you can do better.

So this is official, saith the Lord.

I give up.

You’re on your own.

I’m the one whose faith

is gone.

Winter Prompt #9: Ice Jam

ICE JAM

Winter Prompt # 9

I like it for texture—

gravels, the chunks of rock

like glacial rock carried

from the hills,

from the cold sources.

And twigs broken

by autumn winds

or winter winds.

Some years—this year—

limbs and trees, too—

the old overhanging willows

that couldn’t hold on

and fell and were carried.

Dead things have been

dissolved, or mostly

dissolved into nothing

but a tang, a crunch of bone.

Winter Prompts #8: Bless what there is

BLESS WHAT THERE IS FOR BEING

      ~Rilke

Winter Prompt #8

Bless this runny nose.

I am alive.

Bless the ancient white cat

whose long hair covers my clothes.

Bless the darkness outside my window

and the brass lamp that shines

till the dark goes down

the west rim of the horizon.

Bless the notebook and pen,

the words on slips of paper,

the red book, the green-rimmed bowl.

Bless Debbee’s art, and the one bud

on the cactus that always blooms late.

Bless the crack beside my thumbnail

that reminds to to pray

for everyone in pain.

Winter Prompts #7: Gear I Can’t Live Without

GEAR I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT?

Winter Prompt #7

It’s six a.m., an easy time to answer.

This pen—silver, with a gold arrow clip,

a gold nib. My real godmother (not

my official one) gave it to me.

It was her mother’s. I cannot

write in my notebook without it.

 

This coffee mug—the blue one,

made by a local potter whose name

I keep forgetting. Jim somebody?

It’s pear-shaped, textured,

with a pattern around the top,

an underglaze and interior

of honey-color. I can fit all

of my big fingers through the handle,

and either hold the handle itself

or wrap my hand around the cup.

 

A notebook—this one is spiral bound.

And unlined. Always, always unlined.

There’s something about lines on pages—

perhaps it has to do with school,

with blue-books. But lines on pages,

like ball-point pens and cups

with delicate handles, tighten my hands,

pinch my nerve, keep me in.

Winter Prompt #6: Someone Else’s Shoes

SOMEONE ELSE’S SHOES

Winter Prompt #6

I would be someone else

in those lucite heels

with steam-punk gears

and holy cards; someone

else in orange stilettos.

 

Who would I be

in red leather dancing boots

like the ones on my Polish doll,

or in brown brogues or yellow clogs?

 

I was someone else, for awhile,

in the wellies I wore for apple-picking,

in the black flats that went with my robes.

 

Come to think of it,

who am I now

in these purple oxfords

or rusty hiking boots?

The sheepskin slippers I wear

when I prowl around the house

with the cats, at night.