Saturday, October 13, 2018

Under the thumb


For a year I only wrote about my father.
Words steamed from my boiling pots.
I was a jug filled to the brim
with father thoughts until
one day they lessened
and lessened more;
until the very last words trickled
onto the page
and it was over.
I have not thought about him since.
All was said.
I am devoid of father thoughts
as if I never had a father.

Then the jug filled up again,
with mother thoughts.
Every day I wrote, 365 days.
Shocking how many mother thoughts
could fit inside this jug.
How liquid and fresh they were.
Every day I tipped the jug and fast rivers
of mother thoughts drowned the page.
Sometimes it seemed I would never run
out but I did. The day came when the jug felt dry
as baked clay.
I became a motherless person.

When my man died, he usurped my mind.
Everything connects me to his absence.
I have been under that thumb for so long
and I am afraid to stop writing for
won't that be the end of him, too?
Out of mind, out of sight?


Not like this

I don’t want to go like this.

When I see my loved ones' fluids leak

like the garden's rotting fruit.

What misery in that slow retreat.

I pray for speed, for quick.

My mass, my final moment

freed freed freed

in a single sudden trick


To the bay


Blue, cobalt bay with your secret bottom,

I stand before you in the golden hay,

upright and awed,

looking without thought, without choice,

with only one feeling--wonder --

at your sublime blue dome,

at the clean gurgles of your perfect blueness splashing

every part of me, flowing in the motion

of wind, and I gulping light of gold and feeling

my sorrows sinking into your parting waters,

all of me bowing to that healing unknown
.


Friday, October 12, 2018

The body shines

The body shines on the table.
Pure as a figure carved atop a tomb.

Not a tremor, not a twitch, no stirring,
his eyes stay gummed shut.

Bloodless, still as stone, my husband now.

The table raised and bathed in Christian scents
adorned for sacrifice

and before that table stands a lone chair for me.

All for one purpose: to look.
The looking--and the being looked at--
this is the ceremony.

I look as would a lit candle,
the earth's wick burning down inside me,

still inside him, too, but only hot in me.

finally

finally! there's a beach
in sight

finally! against my back
a panting wind

finally! from my palms
the sand now bleeds

finally! a world of swells rush
toward me

finally! a bridge of bluffs rust
in sundown glow

finally! foam whirls
like candy floss

finally! in the glorious wake
fear floats belly up

Friday, September 28, 2018

Stray cat




Ok enough about the impermanence
we hate.

I will tell you about my cat.

The stray lost himself
one summer.

What a pushover.
Morning kibble, some stroking
and he's here for good

With gratitude that’s ferocious--
razor teeth and claws, meaning
to be playful but draws my blood.

Yet it's a comfort to be followed
by his tender eyes and eager paws.

A bounty to have my death-bound skin
licked and purred on, even if it bleeds a bit.

To know another pair of ears perk up
when there's that banging of the wind at night.

And sweet, sweet comfort to rise
from my chair in twos.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Dissolving

Here they come     again.
The long days    suddenly impaled
on    some    thorn

melting
into
one       long      shade

on my evening walk
at Lake Chabot
passing newts
passing ferns,

I stoop       for a look
for       a whiff
for     a bit of joy
and    then

a well-known cry--
I lift my eye to

a tree branch
falling to the ground--

the voice of winter,
following me around.