Tuesday, April 02, 2013

This Realm is Mine


I cannot name the egg again.
It remains as mysterious as ever.
I, making ordinary breakfast
of the egg,
never consider what I am doing.
Sometimes I try to be talented with it,
cracking it open with one hand
and dropping it into the pan
without breaking it.
Nests of it turn under chickens
into a tedium of miracles
which I can hear forming.
If it floats, it is bad.
It can be saved for throwing.
Original Chicken pecks her eggs
with her curving and yellow beak
that is hard as a bone.
The eggs of the goose are stacked into
a mountain.
She will not hatch them.
I am surrounded by eggs.
I use them for symbols.
Three ducks so far have given us
three sets of ducklings.
One or two of each set always drowned,
though I always knew
that ducks always take to water.
At dusk, we gather the eggs,
stealing them from all the intention.
We go where it is dark and full of straw
and take them.

(first pub. in Permafrost, 1980)



my old neighbor buys
eggs from me – we always share
one slow glass of wine
dancing – out there – those
midnight scarecrows – who by day
sleep among the crows
with a buzz of gold
bees turn sunlight to  honey –
life is generous

(First Place, Haiku, 5th Annual Poets' Dinner, 1976);
first pub. in The Poet's Guild, 1995)



These white stones
on this sudden path,
where do they lead? 

By what design
do they lie
in this small pattern?

Why do they delay me,
from what direction—
now to tarry, now to follow,

these eggs of light
that sunlight loves?
How softly they shine,

how deliberately mark
with significance
whatever they guard and honor.

Weighed inward
with the burden of my thought,
I came upon

the innocence of their power.
What strange words I give
to this small pile of stones.



My mother putters in her tiny kitchen, wrapping sunlight in loaves and putting them in the fridge with the cans of milk and the cottage cheese and

the eggs. “Saving some for winter,” she laughs, and I look out her window again at the trees full of sunlight and squirrels—and the leaves that

flicker and tease. And I know we will never be hungry for what we need. My mother is clever, knows what to save and what not to cry over—

like spilt milk and things that get shoved back and forgotten. Her kitchen stays small, but she grows eternal. I hear her fussing with busyness

at those edges she uses for herself—slipping one over on everyone, with a wink, and the sneak of her morning  “eye-opener”. 

Ah—such love can’t lose.


Walking Death came by
with her blue remark,
gripped tight to the arm
of her ancient guy
who limped ahead of her
to crank the way,
while she glanced here and there
with her thrifty eye.

The sunshine was full of Easter.
It was a
crowded day.
The candy children
were loud and louder,
taking up all the space they could measure.

But Walking Death was thin among them,
gripping the sleeve of her thinner man
who picked out their gray
with a meager penny,
who measured the sunshine
that shivered through them,
and threaded the way,
while Walking Death
looked here and there
at the much and many
with a needful eye.



Oh, cry for the dead rooster in the rain
the one who sang so lovingly to the
sleeping window
the one who spoke to the moon
and the passing train.

His handsome feathers
are ruined against the ground
his pride is gone with the song
his ego is bled
with his eye that watched it go.

What killed the rooster
did he die of fame
was he too slow for beauty when it
came like a crouched hen
unto his
ringing silence?

(first pub. in Bitterroot, 1995)



you said
aim for their heads

I killed them clean
and that was fine

I watched one die
up close

flip-flopping against my shoes

went home
fried bacon and eggs


(first pub. in Vagabond, 1975)



The goslings are afraid of the hen,
though they are half again as big.
But she is sly, and twice again as old.
And she has learned to frighten them –
fluff up her size, and chase them
to the narrow place along the fence.

She traps them there, against the
thin green bush from where
they scream – head-jabbing
at the ground. She clucks and scolds,
as if she were not dangerous,
then struts away toward their food.


the hen is silent
I never know Where she is

the pRoud rOOster tells me Everything
his love life
his hunger
his smallest wish

she knows hiding places
and goes there for such long times
in soft white breathing
there gleaming in safe clucking darkness

I worry about Her
she is soft with eggs
full of simple mystery

(first pub. in Cimarron Review, 1979)


Today's LittleNip:


The daytime rooster,
weary now from crowing,
crows from habit of ownership
in habitual challenge to all the reaches of his voice:
This   Realm   Is   Mine…
I Own These Hens…     This Yard…     This Hour.


—Medusa, with thanks to Joyce Odam for today's poems and pix celebrating Eggs, our Seed of the Week. Easter and Passover bring us new beginnings, so our new SOW is A New Day. Salute the new day and send us the poetic/artistic/photographic results at kathykieth@hotmail.com