old vines blooming

this periwinkle faith
brown-crushed-dormant
through sunless seasons

what of your pleading attempts
to will it into being?

now green so clear it hurts
stretching sunward on nothing more
than instinct and half-forgotten roots

not to be pressed in a book
or plucked to judge its shape

but let it spring lush where it will, overspill
your stone-built walls, all in a night
when no one is looking

 

IMG_2848

In Like a Hawk

sudden, you were there—or
sudden, I caught sight of you
there, in the crabapple, too large,
proud, still, as it swayed and bobbed

feeders wild-gyrate in the wind
that lifted your chest feathers
like an impertinent hand
(that blaze of white!)

but majesty is ever unruffled
and if there is a king of birds
in this yard, your calm red eye
sleek head turning, turning claims it

fixing my restless form
in these shadows behind glass,
behind curtains, hold-not-holding
my breath and how long I gaze
but turn away first, wondering

what sign, omen, message
did you bring: that I should keep watchful?
be patient, unmoved? make eye contact
and my presence known, then fly on
when no one’s looking

february pond, 2

the man—white hair, red jacket—
in golf cart gleefully sweeping
the hillside, full speed
(full gaggle, the birds lift
from grass and sun-sparked water
hang just overhead, then wheel
away into the distance, raucous
indignant)
now driving my direction
he asks if I want some geese

*

still, I consider the pond’s ruffled surface
while the wind-fluffed sparrow, shrub-top
eyes me with suspicion

Sun in February

it’s the light
flooding everything—
kind yet defiant, treestrong—
pouring into blue, lording over
cold, even now-death, tatters
of overwintering—
everything! from here
basking in glassview
our hothouse growing
what can withstand
(everything!)—fed liquid light
earthtaste of warmth
and wood, green always
within and again always
laughing

I had just drafted this poem when I learned of the death, much too young, of one of my husband’s colleagues. It re-framed this poem, and this sunny day, for me. Wishing you so much kind yet defiant sun, my dear readers and friends.

your heart is not home

you didn’t know you could be lovesick
for a place, two years on
and no cobble-walking, tender for streets

even crosswalk signals; so when your mind sits light
on the task in hand, stitching waves
on ocean waves or maybe curled winter winds

you’re startled to see just that turn
of the Holzweg, the shop with wine-glass
windows, outdoor stacks of rugs

was it the sudden sun-glint on your cheek?
all your pieces wrapped in a rush
still swathed in paper, waiting