Sometimes I can’t get going -
my arms, legs and mostly my heart wooden.
And lethargy rules.
I want to curl up with the two
sleeping dogs in their cushioned basket.
or disappear into the back room
with a good program on the radio
about somebody else’s life
how they got up and achieved great things
against all odds while I lie under warm blankets.
Outside the plum is blossoming purple pink
bamboo beginning to shoot new
calligraphy into the chilly wind
and the lately pruned apple tree
getting ready for a stunning performance
looking at me through the window
with the question,
“what is your problem?”
That man riding a bike through
Queen Anne’s lace is mine,
large frame and shoulders
castle of bone and beauty.
How can this be happening?
how can some vagrant
cell march like Hitler through
his bones and liver?
As if dark occupation
can silence him.
To think ahead is to unravel.
This step is enough.
Images are confining,
mystery more potent,
more imaginative, more lightly
to welcome the one guest
who like a prayer flag dances in high winds.
Pass the musical instruments
while variables calculate and weep;
life is woken not by a morning alarm,
but by the middle of the night
with its tonnage of threat
insistent shadow and
sobering cry of impermanence.
And by day a new authenticity
as if the bag of neurosis has vanished
scattered in a drained ocean,
in it’s place a simple sweet melody
I could sing it for you,
I have listened to the birds,
apprenticed myself to the flowers
to the breeze that softens the islands
and the beautiful melody that
moves through our hearts
as if hope did not matter anymore.
And almost under my descending foot,
beneath the long thighs of pine,
cedar and distant geometry of blue,
and below Salal and huckleberry,
her wings slightly lifting
her grey eyes fogged and dimmed,
her breath ebbing.
This June morning a small
bird dying and no record,
no tiny gravestone
hidden in the woods,
nothing written in gold letters
of her lineage, her fledgling’s
desiring above the green field.
I wanted to pick her up
and take her to a leafy church
in the undergrowth for her
memorial, but already her name
is being born by the wind to the
branches, to the clouds
where she is most at ease.
And the dappled owl preparing
a tribute, a cosmic chant.
Squirrels in every direction
announcing her death
to the forest as
My favorite poet is Anon.
She locked her poems in a drawer,
supposed to be doing the laundry or
putting slippers on her husband’s feet.
My mother told us in the 70s, would you believe,
make sure you are made up,
a gin and tonic ready when he returns.
I was working twenty four hour shifts,
and I too would like slippers and a drink.
If the poet did put a name to anything,
it had to be male like George Sand.
I would like to take my pussy hat
and hurl it at the wasted centuries.
To put up neon lights on all sex shops,
only for women’s pleasure.
To say to little girls “shout
everything you care about.”
I would fill the senate with
women who disband
the band of brothers in their
house of violence.
God cringes at the word cunt.
It hurts her, it offends the
beauty of the holy entrance
to what is soft and loving.
Anon has endured since the cruel
burning of her sisters because their
poems were healing and a threat
to the ledgers of power.
Still she flees the most despicable weapon of war.
For her the angels weep and for the
perpetrators, even the devil is ashamed.
Hauling the boat over rocks
your unshod feet tenderised
by barnacles and embalming sea weed’s
oily flowers cushioned in a rusty under green.
Take all of your self, your whole history;
the past hour’s neurosis into this small
container and be no more than blue
to where the water is turning silver
at the meeting of currents.
When you are far enough away from
the cabin, the dock, the washing
drying the afternoon,
let the paddles rest and rock
and be taken.
You are more than you ever imagined.
Look at the horizon in the mist below
the mountains, the silent islands
communicating from familiar distance
Can you go on living your life
on the shore as if the kitchen of things mattered?
Drifting in unhitched expanse
you belong elsewhere.
Sooner or later in a random
hour released into unfamiliar territory
with no idea of it’s mind blowing contours.
Untangle from the morning’s imperative
and paddle out of your mind to an
intimacy beyond yourself.
Abundance leaps from the latin
abundia; the verb abundare;
a shit load, three bags full!
a host, quantities, scores, a slew
oodles of blackberries.
Single mellow moon and sovereign sun,
and the night sounds from the
marshes to catch to shoe.
lace and light of matins
diffuse in the chapel of bird song.
The country side looks
through your window,
your open door -
Do you have any idea
how expensive you are,
the industry it takes to keep
you amazed, and grateful?
Oh Lordy lord!