(After Franz Marc: Woman
in the Wind by the Sea, 1907)
The woman in the green coat
wrestles with her hat
forcing her way
through the storm.
conspire to torment.
The blue sea gathers
against the shore.
She struggles so—
her arms in a flail
—tearing at the air,
howling into the howling—
as if some fight she fights
would have it out with her.
OLDER THAN PAIN
So early they go
shoulders hunched low
under their umbrellas,
silhouettes of November,
stalking the morning
like martyrs in the rain,
(slower than I would go)
holding their ancient,
spined and wide-curved
against the wind.
know how to walk in storm;
they hold to a daily habit
like a kept word,
walking like old religion
into such element as
the stubborn errands of the mind.
(I go by whim and season,
choosing my whether.)
So early they go,
holding their dark umbrellas low
over their shoulders,
grim mothers of remember, older
than pain, moving like revenants
through the penetrant rain
of this gray weather.
(first pub. in EPOS, 1967)
THE WINTER LOVE
That day there was a storm—a quarrel
of sky and sea—a division of force.
The clouds broke, the rain blew down—
churned under, and belonged to the sea.
The sea gathered and rose into the sky,
but there was no taming of either.
We walked along that shore to feel the
fury—answer our moods, our silence—
building now to the clash of power:
one fed the other, the whole winter of us,
daring—and uncaring of outcome.
This was a love to the finish.
THE BLUE GULL
(After a photograph by Robin Perry)
The sun becomes a black hole.
A small blue gull flies over the sun.
The sea and sky
reach toward each other.
A gold band of light between
prevents the sun from falling into the sea.
A buoyant force
prevents the gull from being drawn into the sun.
The day rebels.
A storm is building.
The sea agitates.
The band of light broadens.
Bits of gold light fleck the subsiding motion
of the sea.
Only the unaffected blue gull remains
to reinvent the dying universe.
(first pub. in The Bellowing Ark, 2007)
Too much music for the mood—
sonorous, as though through rain.
And why connect music to rain?
And why storm for emphasis?
There is no sense of premonition.
What mood controls this?
You are trembling like a leaf in
rain-light—too beautiful to watch
from melancholy—that cold window.
WISHING ON STARS
I shall not measure
this night again.
It loved its own storm.
It was wild and loud.
It broke at my house
with my power.
All my fear of it is gone,
gone like the bad dream
I shall not save one piece of it.
Something new is here.
It is quiet and calm.
I have one hour of darkness left
which is all mine.
* * * * * *
Six stars are missing from the sky.
The train has cracked them
where they fell
on moonlit tracks.
(first pub. in Halftones to Jubilee, 1989)
THE DESIRE TO BECOME A STORM
(After The Desire to Become a Storm
by Armando Roche Rabell)
I push through barrier after barrier with my life
which is crowded with intention and failure.
I am huge; I fit everywhere, for I am forceful;
I am my own jungle of resistance.
Trees crowd into me—
challenge my right to be among them.
I push them aside.
As long as I am strong I can do this.
At night I sleep among
the sleeping trees.
we begin again.
—Medusa, with thanks to Master Chef Joyce Odam for today's mushrooms (toadstools?) and other fine fare about The Perfect Storm.
Our new Seed of the Week is Traces: whether it's footprints in the sand, a door slamming behind you, the horse thief in your family tree... we all leave traces, yes? Tell us about them in poems or photos or art and send the results to firstname.lastname@example.org