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.
REPORT: December 1, 2020, 6:45 a.m. Fog. The moon an hour past full. Gold through silver. Each oak branch an oak tree branched through the fog, across the moon.
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
OPEN STUDIO POEM #8 ribbons ukelele spew The sky spews rain from silver ribbons of cloud. It patters on the roof, unabating: Beethoven’s fifth symphony played by a ukelele orchestra in the park on a moonless November night.
This is inspired by Hannah Dennison's Quarry Project. The dancers float above the water, above the stone, not dancing, floating, below the dancing clouds, the unknowing clouds, above the stillness of the stone.
CAMP FIRE WOMEN
My friend Julie is a Fire Keeper.
Sometimes all night she watches,
holds the flame at the center
of the world. It is her sacred way.
And mine? To search the forest,
to gather the wood: This for kindling,
this for tinder, this for cleansing,
this for a long and steady burn.
OPEN STUDIO POEM #7
words: legs along fire
We go along and along,
our legs aching, shoulders
sore from the burdens
we bear. So many, so
heavy. But the year will
end, this terrible year
will end. It will. We will
build fires on the beaches,
fires on the hilltops,
fires in the deserts,
fires in our own backyards.
We will throw our burdens
in the fires, throw them down,
throw them down in the fires,
open our arms,
embrace our friends
We will remember
how it feels to laugh.
We will remember.
We will. We will.
My ancestors did this, so I can.
I’ve practiced for this all my life—
to be suspended between cliff edges
above a chasm filled with rapids and rocks.
Without a net.
I’ve done the high wire a zillion times.
It makes no difference
whether there’s a chasm or a sawdust floor.
The far edge is in sight.
My thin-slippered feet
move along the cable.
Cloud shadows, a bird shadow.
One foot in front of the other.
Eyes ahead, toward the edge—
where someone is bending
picking at the cable with a little knife
and no one is there to stop him.
Will it hold? Will it hold?
I can not take time to be afraid.
My ancestors did this, so I can.
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
One step, one step, one step
My neck always hurts in October. All
my life. This year, also my right knee and
my left thumb. Do I mumble now or is
his hearing worse and worse? Things to expect
at my age. Some things I don’t mind so much
and the world being what it is, I don’t
expect to feel happiness too often.
This year, not a single black-and-yellow
garden spider, and I saw only two
mosquitoes all summer long. I look for
congruities all the time and wonder
if this is another. I remember
with some amusement reading all those things
about becoming a crone. Written by
women who weren’t, whose knees didn’t hurt. Who
had spiders in their gardens and lovers
who listened, enthralled, to their every word.
REPORT: OCTOBER 20, 2020
Dark clouds over Buck Mountain.
It will rain.
More sugar-maple leaves on the ground than on the trees.
The oaks and popples are turning.
Soybean fields amber, hay fields cut and green.
Luke’s old milking shed is falling apart.
It’s just a storage shed now,
with the old SURGE and AG JOURNAL signs rusting on the wall
and the little lightning rods standing bravely on the roof.
Last year, a young man took the bend in the road too fast
and the laws of physics being what they are,
he glanced off a telephone pole and ran into the shed.
And died. One of the dead
elms has fallen. Now it’s raining,
and taking pity on the dog, I turn.
Sumac is mostly red along the east side of the road.
If it were colder, I’d swear it was snowing in the mountains.
Jim’s VETERANS AGAINST TRUMP flag is up on his porch.
At the far end of her pasture, his old horse Molly crops the grass.