In another time

I am waiting
forest, riverside
where the sky’s color has drained
to fill the trees golden
canopy, hushed, leaf carpet
where the maples lean together
where I last saw the wild rose.
Younger, when I had no heed
for thorns raking flesh
nor savored any delight
but your command
for quest, complete, rewarded.
Never young enough again
for any of your power
to transform these scars
into patience, like tree-roots
sink and drown

On Change

We tasted this water
when it was ocean, cloud—
knew our river in days of ease
and sunshine, wearying
down its banks, claiming
this pocket of complacency
as its best aspect.
                              Of course
we couldn’t hold it. Rains
overflooded the banks
and we were swept along
cries of revolution still
bewildered deep
below the surface

French City Mystery (a fragment)

Colored by rain one morning
depending on sadness
sighing high houses in the mist
bridges piled on the river
(everything yellow
and falling


We’re here! NaPoWriMo Day 30, prompt is poems in translation. Many years since I studied (not learned) French, but I had fun with the two or three words I recognized in the early stanzas of Charles Baudelaire’s “Les Sept Vieillards.”

The Quest Is

In your dream you slept
by the riverbank
and not out of spite
I changed your love
into a flower, simple
bluebell in the forest
swaying daisy in the meadow—
one of a million light-sung flowers
in the hundred greendeep forests
in the thousand sunflood meadows
and how will you find love now
and what if love remained
deep-rooted, rain-thirsting

Power Source

Begin with water. Make this stream
millennia of dreams wearing down stone,
the riverbed bones of unwanted silence.

Drown in dread thought, your silence
cast whole in cold-gliding stream,
promise-gleam dulled and dropped like stone.

Sink unbreathing, blind; claw out muddy stone
unknown to hand or mouth. Break its silence.
Spark diamond flood in dark forest, a stream

unseen, a stream strong to carry stone and silence.

A tritina for the Yeah Write December poetry slam.