Tag Archives: poetry

Our Lady, Robin

Abundant and widespread.
So familiar. Cities,
towns, lawns, farmland, forests.

Running and hopping with
upright stance. Robin’s
rich caroling is the

earliest song in Spring.
Heard at dawn, beginning
just before fall. Gather,

roaming, running, pausing.
Hear the move. “Robin’s-egg
blue.” Young leave the nest, tend,

defend territories
by singing. Most buildings:
horizontal ledges,

houses, barns, bridges, cup
of grass, twigs, debris, worked
into mud, lined with fine

grasses. Migrate in flocks
by day. With the breakup,
it may be a bird that

wintered only a few
miles away. All seasons
common. All seasons un-

common. Song is rich notes,
rising, falling: cheer-up,
cheerily, cheer-up, cheer.


An erasure poem from “The Audubon Field Guide, American Robin, Turdus migratoriushttps://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/american-robin

Sonnet

His voice in her darkness, her voice in his light.
Walls she believed firm tumble into waves and wells.
The horn of his voice sounds, and there are shells
where eggs were, at a touch she is water and white.

Mornings everywhere. This something new and yet not.
Transparency. What is a window? What a wall?
Veils play at tents. She takes off her clothes, opens all,
does not pretend. And does — wishing so she were caught

up in his all — sweet reedy cries and sighs
in that wilderness, wind stripping the blossoms bare.
When will I find you? she does not ask, When and where?
knowing the tender roughness of his voice implies

only tenderness as fact. They both ride the wind
of One voice, blowing them wherever they will end.


A very old poem. I thought I’d already shared it here a long time ago. Sharing it now because someone sent me a gift of some lovely broadsides, and this poem is as close as I could come to those shared with me.

The 180th Birthday of Miss Emily Dickinson

One of my poetry friend, Dave Bonta at Morning Porch was trying to corral folk to record readings of Emily Dickinson’s poetry in honor of her birthday today. This is something I’ve wanted to learn how to do, but have never done. I have been home sick all week, and am sick of being sick. This is a skill that would serve me well in my job, but which I will never have free time to learn while at work. I decided to give it a try, and hope my laryngitis didn’t kick in while I was trying. Dave liked it and said nice things, so I decided to take it to the next level and try to make a Youtube video with pictures. Yeah, yeah, everyone does this, they are all over, but I have never done it. So I learned another new skill. I spent literally the entire day on this. So easy for so many people, but it wasn’t for me. Still, despite that, I am proud of how it turned out. Not perfect, but pretty fair for a first try.

Creation of Meatloaf

Playing twenty questions with the kids always starts the same and then changes, like confession or saying grace, but instead of “Bless me, Father” or “Bless us, O Lord,” it’s the question, “Is it animal, vegetable, or mineral?” Meatloaf is like that. Ask me how to make a meatloaf. Go ahead, ask me! I could reply, “Animal, vegetable, mineral.” Really! Think about it. Infinite variations on a theme, but they all start with ground meat, some sort of grain or starchy vegetable, and salt. Meat, starch, salt. From region to region, family to family, the traditions change, but always as absolute as prayer. “It isn’t meatloaf without ketchup,” “without spaghetti sauce,” “without salsa,” “without chili,” without whatever savory spice makes that heart say Home. Meatloaf comes from the poor, but not so poor there is no meat, just not much and not the best. The meat is whatever the deity has provided, what is easy to use and easy to find, ground fine to use bits that aren’t most wanted, and stretched out to make it fill many mouths. Beef, pork, sausage, turkey, chicken, lamb, in some places fish or eggs, or even beans (the vegetable meat). Bean loaf? Yes, bean loaf. Every evening, somewhere, someone is making meatloaf of one sort or another, as if it is a fundamental human act. Just change the names and shapes. Meatloaf, bean loaf, tuna loaf, spaghetti loaf; meatloaf wrapped instead of square — pasties, kibbeh, kubbeh, dolmas; who knows? Maybe even sushi is meatloaf. Meat, starch, salt. Cook kibbeh in a pie, in a loaf, in a leaf, in a crust, in cabbage. What is a quiche but a flat round cheese & egg loaf? Where are the boundaries of the transcendental quintessential Meatloaf? Does meatloaf even need boundaries? Begin with bread, rice, potatoes, noodles, tortillas, bulgar, burghul, couscous, quinoa, lentils, whatever is to hand. Layer beans and tabbouleh and brine. Meat, starch, salt. Whatever is spare, and there. Be humble. Let the food be humble. Bury your hands in the mix. Meat, starch, salt. Touch it. Play with it. Cook it, share it. Let the meatloaf be our meal. Let the making of meatloaf be our prayer.

Creation of Storms

Blowing hot and cold,
isn’t that the phrase?
That’s how it begins, you know.

It begins with wind’s laughter
lightly drawing a line dance
upon the water. Water

slips sideways to draw
another line, another …
and then the wind is blowing

all the lines to some far shore
that doesn’t yet exist, but
looms gray on the horizon.

There is a faint ache, an edge;
the hint of salt in the mouth,
on the tongue, abrupt & sore;

a vague discomfort, restless.
The wind whines, whimpers, dies down.
The sudden cold silence is

charged with incipient loss,
an electric hurt.
Hot/cold, hot/cold – what is it?

What do you want?
Trees and waves work out
with unusual vigor.

Right/left, right/left, exercise,
work it, work it out.
There is a rhythm to it —

the dark deep drumming
of thunder, the ache.
Hot bubbles’ warning startles.

The air is so turbulent
it feels as if the wind is
catching the words from

right out of your mouth
and sucks them right up,
claims them for its own.

The sky has turned a sickly
yellow green, still dry.
The unbearable waiting.

It begins with the water
flinging her salty sweat right
into the face of the wind.

Wind tastes salt and howls.
Waves roar back and weep.
That is just the beginning.

It builds from there. Into what?
The howling of hurricanes,
the wounded broken silence

in the black eye of the storm,
finally — cataclysmic
and devasting,

the orgasms of planets.

Creation of Rhythm

Before rhythm was in the drum, it was in the skin;
before rhythm was in the drum, it was in the tree.

Before rhythm was in the tree, it was in the leaves;
before rhythm was in the tree, it was in the hands.

Before rhythm was in the hands, it was in the feet
raising staggered clouds of dust from the hard-packed earth.

Before rhythm was in the feet, it was in the voice
panting, crying, howling, or murmuring far away.

Before rhythm was in the voice, it was in the breath,
just breathing, breathing again and again, nothing more.

Before rhythm was in the breath, it was in the eyes
blinking, shivering with the pulse, it was in the heart.

Before rhythm was in the heart, it was in the body;
before rhythm was in the body, it was in the day —

the day and the night, the sun and the moon, the seasons
of mating and birthing, sleeping and waking, and death.

Before rhythm was in our deaths, it was in being,
it was in being, it was in being, it was, is.

Rhythm is in the being, rhythm is in the air;
rhythm is in the smallest element of atoms,

rhythm is in the spaces between all the atoms,
between all the stars or galaxies or clusters.

What are we when we are moved by rhythms we hear not?
What are we when we are moved by rhythms, and aware?

Rhythm was not created. Creation was rhythm —
the pulse that opened all still echoes, echoes, echoes.

Rhythm is not created. Creation is rhythm —
begin & bend, pulse & pause & point, guide & full stop.

Rhythm was not created. Creation was rhythm.
Rhythm is not created. Creation is rhythm.

Creation of Dance

Dance began with the first
separation of elements,
of wind and of water.

Dance began with the wind —
the faintest slightest shift of air
against the skin of the water.

Awareness of surface tension.

Dance began with water —
the tidal swelling without words,
“lift me up,” “lay me down,”

a slow slow silent sigh.