Tuesday, August 25, 2009

If . . .

If I truly understood nature,
I would say all is mathematics,
the deepest blue of morning glory
balanced at day's end,
a summer night so hot,
I long to add
my own rhetoric
to crickets' endless call,
all intricately connected
in smaller and smaller
until, as night falls still,
I see the stars
through heavy, humid trees.

This summer, access to internet is more than sporadic. I'm participating in Postcard Poetry, though, just for August, sending a poem a day out to people who've signed up. And we'll be in Atlantic City this weekend, ah, internet access for nearly three days straight!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Famous . . .

I’m at the deli, entranced:
Whitefish salad, herring in cream,
chopped liver, knishes and fishes
smoked, kippered or Nova.

It’s crowded, the aisles too narrow;
behind the counter, five men in
white aprons: Who’s next?
Who wants salty black olives,
rye bread, seeded or plain,
Swiss cheese or American,
corned beef or fresh chicken.
Try the home-made coleslaw.
You won’t regret it.
The tomatoes, field corn still tasseled.
You wanted what, sweetie?

Ah, a litany of tastes:
Life could be simpler:
Whitefish salad on fresh rye, to go.

Yesterday we stopped at Famous, the only deli in Northeast Philadelphia I know. Famous IS famous in Philadelphia. It's always crowded, and no matter how many years pass, unchanged. I'm without internet for these three weeks in Philadelphia, and for some reason, the unseasonable heat means that even internet at the nearby coffee shop is tempermental.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

#175: Osha's Star . . .

At 96, she remembers very clearly
the colors she chose, where the quilt was made
and when. Her fingers outline the pattern,
one of her own making.
She smoothes the coverlet
and notes a torn stitch that needs repair.
I start a fabric copy,
stitch and turn and stitch again,
making something new from this old quilt.
We talk of days far in the past, her life on
the oil fields of Michigan in the 1930s,
what the children said when they were small.
She smiles and remembers
and folds the quilt away.

Sunday Scribblings' prompt for something "new" seemed to fit this afternoon of talk, for this pattern will stay in my family now.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Michigan in July . . .

Last night a thunderstorm,
covered the stars, darkness;
a crack of lightening sudden, complete.
I hid my weakness:
Nature doesn't patronize.

Out near Duck Lake,
I heard a loon cry this morning,
one small trill, then silence.
A barred owl sat on the fence for the longest time.
Under these Jack-pine trees, I feel safe,
safe from even the strongest rain.

NOTE: This poem is in response to Three Word Wednesday (darkness, patronize, weaken), and is the first poem I've written in a while. Perhaps it's because we've traveled across country, on our way to Philadelphia, then Scotland, and our car is loaded with boxes for three different kinds of journeys.

Today's quote on i-Google Literary Quotes widget highlights Gertrude Stein who says "In the portraits of really great writers, the mouths are always firmly closed." This made me smile. I'm a writer, not a great writer, but I'm deep in the midst of editing, editing, and even more editing. I could say the work goes reasonably well, that I'm on schedule, more or less. But every time I look at another photo of Inverness, Orkney, or Edinburgh, where we're headed in September, my heart feels lighter and lighter. I will really see these places where part of my story takes place. An amazing dream. So perhaps it's ok to hover a bit with my writing.