Phase

New moon: (moon)

Pale crescent in aqua clarity summer sky: (sow)

First quarter, cloud-wracked: (feed)

Full: (dance   rage   bask   weep)

Last quarter: (make peace; reap)

 

 

Oh, Annigan, Annigan, why do you chase

Wear yourself thin searching

For that elixir meaningless

?

(Love. Doom. Repeat)

 

 

I have washed them all

Sent them on their way

Twelve moons this year

And each one slips on stumbling rocks

Worn down by constant tides

Tired so very tired

 

My mother of the wolf-moon

We ate berries but yesterday

We reach back for the cold shore

It slides away in darkness

To Albrecht Dürer, at the Städel Museum

I am in awe of your talent. Moreover

I am astonished by your output. The detail alone—

curly hair, drapery, skin and bones, grimness

softness, colored flesh and glowing clothes

 

Were you distracted by the weight of your own oeuvre?

The ponderous scholarship that defined your genius?

 

But the question I have is did you squint

over those cross-hatchings did you rub your eyes

or curse new commissions? Did your wife suffer

your fits of melancholy or did you put on a brave

face or simply close the workshop door?

 

There is relief in busyness. Or did you truly

believe every pencil line paint stroke wood cut

important and a great legacy to the world?

Believe in your art because you were praised

or because you had no dark pit waiting

whenever the eye or hand took a rest?

Invocation

We can make it an homage

to ancient arts

Blood spattering the wound

of carelessness

Needle bent to represent

fallow fields

failure

the sword’s edge dulled

 

We can chant to call forth

the shades of old gods

honeyed weight of latent passion

Earth-buried and forgotten

a well-spring

first love

 

We can find a symbol

in anything

Slow-parched fields

under baleful sun

Rain through fissures

of crumbling stone

Lone spoon on the counter

Muddied ticket on the floor

Bright moon pulsing

covered in cloud

Damage Control

I gave up shorts, first. For a while

it was also jeans sometimes sleeveless

tops or dresses though the heat can push me

back and after all I’m not always in public. Given

a choice it would be my eyes the dark circles that sagging

bit on my neck that belies the whole impression of youth

conveyed by straight shoulders fashionable boots

20-minute gray-coverage box-corrected hair. So

I’m building my scarf collection one can work

wonders and if big enough cover the whole

shooting match. I will muddle along inside

it I’m not hiding from you but myself.

Autumn Again

The sun waxes and wanes

and in bright moments

the bugs are limned in frenzy

In these snatches of light

they weave-work

their recurring mystery

 

The wind blows harder today

romping through russet crowns

Damp curling leaves

collect in corners in droves

Droning, the bees are still at it

driven to and from their nest

outside my window

 

Could we but rest and soak in

the gleam-shot wind-tossed

fleeting beauty

but it’s imprinted on our instincts

this hurrying harvest