Moon

A sea-storm of cloud over just-dark:

brightness beneath, bats whispering

the air out of reach, breath held

 

breeze rattles black cherry

and the moon-rim rises, pulls clear

quivering against blue-black

 

Something more than five hundred

full moons I’ve been alive and why

this one night it transfixes me—

 

How many of those hundreds have I

completely ignored, blind to looking,

blinder to not be transfixed?

 

If it were ten times brighter, twenty

times, would I not soon forget it

just the same? Take all for granted:

 

bat-wing silence, leaves unfurling

in daylight, the rise and fall of waves,

countless fruits dropping to the ground

 

What good is it to notice the fruit

if I don’t look up to the tree? What good

is it to be transfixed by the moon

 

in a sea-storm cloud with you in bed

waiting for me to lower the blinds?

 

Inspired by last night’s moon-sky and a little interchange I had with Meg at Pigspittle, Ohio about Noticing.

Prosing

unwind one of those days

that I cringe from (yearn

toward) human touch

 

no one likes to be accused

of failure—in the street

in the heart or anywhere

 

cookies aren’t the cure

nor a brisk walk! nor any bottle

don’t sell me your solutions

 

blessed are they who make

beauty: their fruit shines

over rivers of bitterness

 

don’t blame someone else

don’t blame yourself; leave

your sentence open-ended

 

Youngest

I’ve watched you on the beam,

all long legs and determination.

Over and over the cartwheel

launched with good vision,

feet seeking blindly the graceful

finish, perfection.

 

I have to tell you now,

there is no perfection

on this gravity-massive earth.

But there is always-getting-better.

 

I’ll tell you this as well, though

you are not the girl for metaphor—

You need these same skills

for every challenge: balance,

trust, strength in the core.

 

Desperate Times

I suspect we grew up believing

that Darkness wore only a monster’s face

or swirled, shrouded, in a mushroom cloud;

that one day our own children could go

past the garden gate and safely to school,

returning unshot, unstabbed, unstolen.

 

Perhaps our ideals—ages of ideas—

freedom, opportunity and all the lofty

stump-speech words are hogwash,

mere castings of mis-aimed minds.

Perhaps we are meant to be enslaved

by want, greed, violence,

misinformation and mistrust.

 

Except: Why the unquenched desire

for better? Why these frail,

beautiful humans endowed

with soul-language of every art?

 

Inspired by this fortnight’s Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Expectations.

But Wishes Breed Not

Fallow time, moon-dark: no power

of words nor healing much less

smiles tears or beauty-making

(feeble light flickers in clouded lantern)

 

You know the black river under

starless skies ever cold and silent

No remedy but surrender

touch bottom (source-love)

and resurface

 

Title borrowed from “We Lying by Seasand,” by Dylan Thomas.

Old People

Of course I am much younger than the old

man, my neighbor, his white head and legs

uncovered as he dozes with newspaper

in the sun. His yard is perfectly trimmed;

the garden surrounding the elegant green

is the wife’s doing, a riot of blossom in May:

roses, clematis, some German shrub I can’t

name. Oh, and a lemon tree. (In winter, it lives

in the glassed-in sun-room.) The wife is old,

too, pottering with her plants all day,

bending over in her rolled-up elastic-waist

khakis and on windy days, the fleece jacket

and her light curls all jumbled. (It is not

because I am getting old that I also wear

rolled-up elastic-waist khakis and potter

around the garden, talking to the plants,

or that I find myself sitting on the sunny

patio, dozing over this notebook.)

Houses (A Love Poem)

The one where you built, brick by brick

the half-walled flower bed, where we never

got around to the deck, where scorpions came

in the showers, where we set up the first crib.

 

The one-bedroom up a flight of dark stairs

where I wrote stories and school papers,

where we ate Hamburger Helper and the kitchen

rack slipped our wine-glasses to the floor.

 

The one with 1940s flooring and south view

of winter sun, where the laundry chute

opened on the basement where I worked

while my father died. The crib again, there.

 

The one with the teeny yard we cut with shears,

marigolds on concrete and opossums on the fence.

The one on the cul-de-sac with kids, a military circle

of playground, hospital, sleepless nights and 9/11.

 

The one I loved and you hated, money pit with

garden surround. Another crib, endless contractors.

Where you built, board by board, the deck,

where for 10 years we slept to rain on skylights.

 

This one, concrete-modern, echoing white and screenless,

where I have my very own workroom overlooking

neighbors’ lush gardens, where rain and stars are muffled

by a host of concrete houses, strangers shut within.

 

It is easy to forget, day by day, the places outside

of photos, the 22 years of furniture, curtains, carpet.

Where we fell into bed, fell into and away from each other,

began a new day again and again and again.

 

Last night, I glimpsed the full moon shining

through the balcony’s metal blinds.

You were sleeping but I wanted to tell you,

I would go with you anywhere, and still be home.