TO POETS IN THE NEW SEASON
—Tim Bellows, Sacramento
Springtime, come wrap us in maple green,
sun-bake us – just to bring on our easy breathing.
We have been frantic too long
in sifting-down snow, or hurrying through the days,
looking down at frozen mud, ruts
dusted with cold white.
If we don’t go up in smoke
over the thrilling fragrance of your daffodil patches,
we’ll pen words that blossom-burst
into singing notes, giddy as children.
We’ll take in light green weather;
and be words that feather, shake,
untuck wings and fly off as melody.
It will dissolve all commentary, grief and opinion.
Heart-helping April poets’ words can scatter wide,
cover the globe, evoke all - from quartets in white tie
to trekkers in the bitterness of exile
to princes in their emerald empires
to the glints of a hard-won serenity
lasting a gemstone minute.
So come on, springtime, convince us
you’ll caress us a thousand years.
WILD THOUGHTS AT 6:15
A poem should go the way
of an ocean, an orchestra,
tuned up, steaming up
from chaos and ready
to pour Mahlerian largos
cargoed heavy, ordered, yet
aching like the dirt, granite and
gold of this hard-wired world.
Poems intone till the stereo in my study
fairly disappears and I’m left
taking a deeper breath,
throwing my arms back, then
talking on these rattling buttons,
going on like any fool,
turning everything over
to the slow-rushing tunefulness
where I’m born as a word, where I
die and I’m all the water, all the air.
It doesn’t make any sense.
I’m desperate to simulate the white
rose of the Ave Verum, to be
the very fact of its clear-eyed lake,
calling out leafy words all
during my tea and typing,
my buoyancy, my flooding-out
major chord like phosphorescence.
Or should I be addressing you,
my typewrit Sanctus of lines
made in this mild hilarity
of clickclacks in the a.m. Made
on the dirt, granite and gold
of this drop-forged world
where blind poems can only long
to be heaving water-swells loaded
with vital salt.
WITHIN QUIET STORMS OF CONTEMPLATION
Count yourself among the faithful and find out
the fifth, last, highest substance that waits
above fire, air, water, earth. You’re this
swimming-up desire finning its way
through wildland winds and upland grasses.
Over the spirit-crowns of all visible bodies
lie finer water droplets or ice particles held
in skies untold leagues above the sea.
Empty desire swims the memories in your eyes,
pours through all celestial bodies you’ve met. With
faith and the god-honesty of salt meadow cord grass
as it catches the intensions of ocean breezes,
take on the living perceptions of glasswort and common reed;
You’ll see all sorts of immaterial fires rise up.
Moving air agrees with the whistlings of osprey and willet.
These you must never deny – as you give yourself up, give in
to the blue heron’s hazy sound, her comprehensive mind
that surrounds the sky-peaks suggested
in slate-blue eyes and wings. How they open like slight-of-hand
and seem to spread across your seeing, vibrant
as flames down in iron-sided ovens.
Now a nudge forward to your own surprised flight that,
it turns out, waits for you in distances above all
you have questioned, denied, charted out – and loved well.
Still, the heron’s quiet whistles beyond flutes, lifts the air,
penetrating all the affection your mind could say. Ever.
Clear down to your departed lives, down to bits of rock,
clay and dark sediment. Now for the wings of essence, like
beginners’ lessons, mapped with your own spindly pencils,
squinted eyes and stubby hands, creased and
crisscrossed this way and that.
But now your teachers come – great, wing-creaking
flocks of songbirds settling down, flapping the air
blue and white. And so they’ve landed, devoted,
out of all degrees of weather; they
tread the sea grass meadows. Count yourself
among the faithful; find out how you’re
secretly held in skies miles above sea and sun.
Which we once called God—but now these gracile birds,
in the countless leagues, have taught us a finer largo.
POEM FOR JANUARY SECOND
The sun crept upward.
I made resolutions,
being a better man for her.
we’re painted red for war –
battles over how
to clean a paint brush off –
our close-held fine points
cleanup of water-base paint.
Late day, we droop in chairs,
we notice the old sun’s
We sigh, thinking of day three,
where I hope,
by many strands of miracles,
that we’ll arrive – together –
at a dinner-time dessert
of halved strawberries and honey.
I’ll eat and sigh,
my slow gaze
taking up residence
in her sweet eyes.
—Olga Blu Browne, Sacramento
I listen to the wind,
it whispers in my ears.
I will tell you no lies, I
will always return.
I hold secrets from
Ready to embrace
secrets yet to be
Listen to what I say
I will tell you no lies.