Friday, April 23, 2010

Two Spring Poems . . .

Where were you
when the orchid cactus opened
its petals, yellow and red,
and the flower fell
of its own weight
across the spiked leaves
of spring?

Today I walked in a garden alone.
Two carp swam together, golden and black,
their shadow shapes floated
on the bottom of the pool.
Early rhododendron flowers
opened in the shade of bottlebrush pines.
The first cherry blossoms, palest pink,
shimmered against gnarled dark wood,
covering the signs of winter.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Your world explained in graphs and charts

I see no ending
to data sets, tea leaves that predict
your future bright and bold,
shown here on this graph in red,
time ascending, and, on the x-axis,
passion unfolding.

A friend sent me one of those funny e-mails and the subjectline alone called for a poem. The graphics in the e-mail were considerably darker, but I'm feeling hopeful. Outside my window the most beautiful white blossoms have sprouted up the limbs of a tree some 30 feet high. I think this tree may be an apple, but my search suggests it could also be a cherry tree, hawthorn, thorn, elder tree, and, most fascinating, a guelder-rose. In the early days of spring, today foggy, I will hope for a guelder-rose.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Far from the Golden Arches

Day three of eating vegan:
that's brown rice, long grain,
mixed with wild,
then chopped spinach, carrots,
mushrooms, celery,
then chick peas for protein;
at the last, crushed garlic
that lingers on my fingers.
This savory supper just needs
a raw tomato, once a love apple,
sliced, the seeds spilling out.
Did I forget the nutritional yeast,
the tofu, the sunflower seeds?
My mouth tastes different.
I look out my window at spring
and think differently
about the growing season that comes
and harvest.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Walking to Stirling Castle, Scotland

People still stare out windows
in houses like these
built centuries ago,
towers and turrets,
defensive stone, arched windows,
and yet the poplar tree leans
against this wall,
a few yellow leaves cling
to its wintered branches,
like souls to history,
unforgettable, a few
where once many
shivered and burst into spring.

Writing a poem a day is challenging. This poem came from a photo I took during September's trip to Scotland, an unforgettable time. Here in Spokane, spring has finally arrived with 75 degree weather, cherry trees in bloom, green grass, and the very first tulips.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

#6 Deadlines

No one saw the long hours.
I could never have done that, they said
and waited for more.
And more years passed,
each one a matter of balance
this with that,
an office without a window,
too many clocks,
too many meetings,
endless, then an end.
I watch hummingbirds instead,
admire the yellow-crowned sparrow,
and make deadlines for myself.

I'm working without internet access this week and hope to keep up with April's poems. Sunday Scribblings' prompt this week is simply deadlines. My own writing comes along steadily; I'll begin sending queries out in May.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

#5 Little sparrows . . .

Little sparrows rustle in the walls
of this apartment building. I can hear
them chirping, signs of spring,
the tree, poplar, redbud, I don't know,
sprigs of buds decorate its winter limbs.
Across the parking lot, another row of apartments
looks back at me, windows blank.
Only the birds that flit past this window,
and the pine trees clumped together,
the frogs croaking in the reeds,
and the sun that crosses the sky,
as the moon rises in the night,
as the earth twirls its elliptical round,
all these are finite,
they move to some grand finale
I choose to not understand.

This morning's poem came as the birds did rustle in the wall just outside my office. We leave for Oregon sometime later today. Despite missing my internet connection (and Rachel and Nick), I will try to honor NaPoWrMo for National Poetry Month. Every day.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

#5 Coming to the mountains . . .

We drove up from the belly of Spokane
into pine-tree studded lakelands,
rolling grassy hills, saw a few cows,
turned west past Ritzville,
clipping along at 70 towards Seattle,
stopped for coffee twice,
then those cloud-shrouded hills came into view,
foothills of the Cascades,
flanked by just plowed fields with signs:
wheat, radishes,
more wheat, more radishes,
apple trees and cherry trees, tidy orchards
barely in bloom, into the Wenatchee Valley,
closer, always closer to the mountains,
unexpected triangles to the sky,
snow-covered, pine-dotted, sky-glazed,
this place
a home for the soul.

Monday, April 05, 2010

#4 April Haiku . . .

Late snow falls; three deer
graze the brown and white winter grasses.
Frogs rest hidden in reeds.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

#4: Partly here . . .

My lips part, another breath,
I am partly here,
partly virtual, a presence
on the keyboard, shifting, tapping,
simply breathing.
Right next to my computer,
purple African violets pulse,
little buds on tiny stalks almost open,
stretch and float.
A few flowers now fold
in on themselves, their yellow anthers,
faintly dusted with yellow pollen,
still bright, their green fuzzy leaves
cup anticipation for sun, for water.
I turn the pot. Each part should have
what it needs in this new house.
Just now, I am content
with morning blooms.

This poem was inspired by Robert Lee Brewer's Challenge for Day 3 of National Poetry Month. He asks writers to consider “Partly . . .(blank)” as the title and then write the poem. I chose “Partly here . . .” for I'm still not sure I will be able to write a poem a day through the month of April. He wrote “Partly Dangerous”.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

#209 Mentor . . .

This April afternoon,
sweeping sheets of sleet swirl
and cover this grassy field;
a young deer shelters under pines,
almost invisible.
I'm remembering a hike last summer.
Deep into a nature preserve,
we stood at the edge of the path
to watch a deer come fearlessly
towards us. Nose lifted,
she hesitated for long moments.
We held our breath.
Together we stood very still by the path.
Not a sound.
Not a bird.
Around us the warmth of summer,
the cool of the woods.
Come, trusted love, guide me into spring,
Let us begin anew.

This week's prompt from Sunday Scribblings is simply "mentor".

Friday, April 02, 2010

Dialogue . . .

The moon rises in the night,
bright and sure, a temporary brightness
someone cannot fall asleep,
a thousand, thousand cry out,
in fear and pain, unheard.
And so my morning begins, a rising
of the most grave preparations, reflections,
dreams shaken, memories of
dusty seeds blown away
in the ordinary waking
to another day.
If even here poetry survives,
I can write again.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Spring Song to Witches

All hail to the merry, merry month of May.
We're wayward dancers celebrating spring.
The moon shall rise,
e'en the night doth smell of sweet green grass,
and the frogs call from deep in the reeds.
We'll lift our skirts, insatiable;
we'll twist and twirl,
eyes closed to forget that last dance,
gibbets placed at every cross road.
Confess: Take back each word, every curse.
Undo Death. Ah, April Fools we.
Except the red bud blooms,
and my bare feet want to dance.

April begins National Poetry Month. Last night faint sleet fell, tiny bits of ice, and yet, the red bud does bloom here; a shimmering red haze covers bare trees. Crocus blossoms and the first iris leaves poke from the ground. For some reason I thought of the persecution of witches during the late middle ages, those thousands and thousands of people, primarily women, who were killed. That might have begun after a particularly hard winter.