on her birthday Feb. 6)
—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA
In our envisioning
of words in our worlds
which rattle us
to awaken love
from all troubled despairs,
as we ease up
from own solitary voice
our circled laughter
even tears beside memory
of each unique bed rock
by fresh cut ferns
covering our gardens
to rock with our own space
expect black swans
for a transient sunny day
a good Word has a friend
and guide on watch
by poetry tables
of our best angels.
GERTRUDE STEIN'S DAWN
SIMONE WEIL'S SEARCH
through your search
an incarnate answer
eyes blinding brim
with a monastic ear
to hear from silence.
When lengthy winter nights begin to wane
And thoughts of Spring seep in our sleepy brain
We look to Punxsutawny Phil to show
And tell us how much longer we’ll have snow.
If the day is bright with sun he sees his
Shadow, and six more weeks of winter is
Predicted then, or so the legend goes,
With more bad weather and continued cold.
Without the sun a shadow he can’t see
And means that Spring is surely soon to be.
I don’t know why we need a weather man,
Each February Phil will make his scan.
So if the forecast seems a bit severe
Like forty years of endless winter near
Get a well known professional snow job.
—Taylor Graham, Placerville
Where has he gone, wanton as a silver
prince on this dull day? The shopkeeper's
cat, the one called Pasha, one of an older
generation of cats, with courtesy but
courtly scorn. Not at all like the kitten
dubbed Spare Change, who bats an action-
hero about like a filmmaker changing
scripts. She waits at the counter as if
forgetting what book she wanted. Pasha
will come, attended by nothing but
a few more sultry hours of afternoon.
WOMAN WITH CAT
Here she sits. No easy chair; this new place
is empty space. Not home. Where
is Percy? House-mice beware
the tom of muted-golden fur. Asleep,
he'd keep watch with silken purr,
dreaming all the mice that were.
Percy's jaws a velvet trap, shut now. Dead.
Alive in her head—catnap,
yellow tabby in her lap.
HEADLIGHTS IN FOG
Not really fog, this ground mist that lies dense
in hollows, fence-wire thin, twist
of road—I'm a soloist
steering into an unknown symphony.
One woodwind tree flutes alone
morning music's muffled tone.
I tried to hear Gaelic
waiting for an Irish bread
at a picnic,
I wish a language
once so alive
would rise from the dead.
—Medusa, with a link in case you missed Phil's forecast: www.nydailynews.com/news/national/groundhog-day-punxsutawney-phil-predicts-early-spring-article-1.1253756