OPEN STUDIO POEM #14

14

life

vigil

tune

mute

Life goes on. Really.

We keep vigil together .

It is possible to be friends

on a screen. David 

mutes to tune. Kathy C’s

computer is down

but she’s here, there,

and we know she is,

making art. Kathy H

met Wanda

in a parking lot

and  reports that,

as we suspected,

she is three-dimensional.

DISAPPOINTED

 

DISAPPOINTED

You were good all year.

You kept the rules, even

the ones you made up:

Always say “please’ to the dog.

Don’t eat chocolate on Tuesdays.

(new stanza)

You’ve learned all the magic words:

not only please  and thank you kindly,

Hocus Pocus and Abracadabra,

but the secret ones, the ones

you’d never dare write down.

new stanza

You know the gestures:

The morning bows 

the evening pirouettes

and everything else

in between.

(new stanza)

You believe there are enough

ponies to go around,

and more. They tell you that

 all the time. Abundance,

they tell you.

(new stanza)

So every year, you write

the letter, asking. 

It’s all you want,

you say. You’re not

greedy. And you’ve made

(new stanza)

space—a little barn,

a fenced-in pasture.

You can afford grain and hay

and apples and sugar

and vet bills.

(new stanza)

But every year,

when you wake

on that morning

and look outside

there is no pony.

(new stanza)

Only the sun rising.

Only your breath

clouding the window.

Only your beating heart.

Only the trees against the snow.

 

 

 

I paid wordpress some more money so I could format poetry properly, and I cannot do it. Sorry about the “new stanza” business, but stanzas are important. I’m asking for a refund!

OPEN STUDIO POEM #13: FOR THE LAST DAY OF 2020

OPEN STUDIO POEM #13

bobble

bauble

clarity

celebration

POEM FOR THE LAST DAY OF 2020

With smiles and nods, thumbs up

and applauses, with bright baubles 

 

of technologies—our new necessities—

we’ve bobbled through this hardest time. 

 

We have more courage than we knew,

our loves are stronger than we thought.

 

Now, let us begin a celebration, now, 

as we tiptoe toward the clarity of light 

 

at the far side of this dark passageway.

We are beginning to know 

 

how tender we are; beginning

to know how gentle we can be.

With thanks to Wanda, Kathy H, David and Kathy C for their words.

Metaphor

METAPHOR
 Last night, a theater company 
 zoomed a Hanukkah play 
 written by a woman I met
 in a zoomed playwrights’ group.
 My friend Kathy spends her evenings
 taping the alto parts of Christmas anthems.
 My husband’s coffee group zooms.
 We see the grandchildren once a week
 running around in their backyard
 or sitting at their art table,
 or practicing reading and singing.
 

 This morning, I drove to town.
 Stopped a minute for two runners
 on opposite sides of the road. 
 (Something that used to irritate me.)
 Masked women, still running together.
 

 I went to Old People’s Hour 
 at the food coöp: silent shoppers,
 all those kids stocking shelves.
 

 I listened to my Christmas playlist 
 on the drive home: Revels,
 Paul Winter, the Polish carols
 from my Warsaw cousins. 
 All jolly till “Lulajże Jezuniu,”
 a lullaby the homesick Chopin
 quoted in Scherzo No. 1.
 I had to pull over to cry.
 

 We’re so sad.
 And so brave.
 

 Yesterday my new friend Sherry told me 
 she saw a single blade of grass
 rising up through a cow pat in a field.  
 Not a poetic image like, say,
 a young oak sprouting in leaf mould.
 But still. 
 Can you think of a better metaphor?
 Perhaps something even less polite.  
 They spread manure on fields.
 Cowshit gets on your boots.
 Whatever you call it, it’s full of seeds.
 It’s food for seeds.
 For seeds.
 

 

OPEN STUDIO POEM #10

OPEN STUDIO POEM #10
 

 riff-raff
 heart
 glue
 synchronicity
 

 

 SYNCHRONICITY
 

 I dream of unmasked riff-raff.
 Anxiety is collaging my heart:
 scraps torn from memory,
 the flattened faces of my friends,
 a quarter of my granddaughter’s life.
 Will I ever have glue enough
 to paste it together?
 

 Emergency.
 Emergence.
 Emerge.
 Resurge.

OPEN STUDIO POEM #9

OPEN STUDIO POEM #9


coats
coax
helm
ochre
 

 

 

 A captain stands at the helm
 in his ochre coat,
 coaxing the wind
 into the sails.
 

 The artist in her rusty coat
 coaxes the ochre
 from the leaves.
 Her easel is the helm
 of a ship sailing
 into the winter sky.
 

 His coat of arms:
 a purple coat 
 on an ochre field,
 crowned with a silver helm.
 

 too many suit coats,
 too much ochre light,
 too many vying for the helm,
 too many trying to coax 
 a resolution from the deep