The Remotest Island in the World

To say nothing of myself
or the self-contained teen
in the other room, of our place
in vast, fragile space
dwarfed by our sun, dwarfed
by other suns—

but let me tell you of our life
with penguins and potatoes
our southern seasons lonely
off the grid, yet in the global trend
(internet at the café, supply boats
twice a year). We’ve embraced

a taste for our own vodka
for homespun wool. No avoiding
your neighbor at the seaside
or singing below the volcano
though indeed no one knows
how I detest eating lobster

 

I read this article about Tristan da Cunha, and my imagination ran away just a bit.

Crone’s Patience

Winter land gray, hawk-still, slow
river under ice-shroud; with the moon
fair I far-see: Autumn spells won’t hold
her, not for all the heartsease in the world.
I dream of her hair-shorn, light and dancing
at forest verge, spinning rope of spring-buds,
rain-troth. I string out these shriveled words,
sup on desire, waiting. My girl will come back.

Autumn Spells

My heart falls and falls. She smiles
like a flower under glass, fading
far from native earth and sun and sky

I give her home, children, garden, love
but longing follows her like a shadow
wakes me in the night to see her walking

at the forest’s edge, staring hard across
moon-bright water, listening—for what?
—fingers open, reaching, empty.

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.

Mornings at Home

It would be the morning the boat left

(not the one she dreamed, coffee-mug in hand

gazing out the window at the season’s first rose—

the morning he returned and the floor still sticky

from yesterday’s juice spill)

or any morning after

 

Every afternoon an excruciating exercise in desk-sitting

watching the sun cross, sink, disappear

Every evening a ticking away on the wedding-present mantel-clock

and old news the worst news: death, war, nature’s havoc

Every night a dark-staring contest and the house creaking its joints

some small balcony-creature scritching at the door

 

It would be the morning the boat left—

the third of May—the docks a hundred miles away

and she would be home with the juice spill

every morning now looking just like the last

 

Inspired by We Drink Because We’re Poets Prompt #8: “Write an ode to Mornings…anything goes.” I skipped the “ode” part and embraced the “anything goes.”