If it be storm outside
and I inside am storm.
and the sultry sky
hangs grimly over the old summer
what must I do with windows?
Now gray burns against
the hour of my thunder;
even the birds are frightened
and have fallen silent.
The pear tree glowers darkly
with its many eyes.
Green is thick and dusty
and the churning skies
There is rain in the air
and in the bated wind.
there is rain in the silence,
there is rain in the promise of itself.
But it does not rain
and we were ready.
(first pub. in Galley Sail Review, 1989)
It was summer’s golden weave.
Love owns its memory.
There was nothing yet to grieve.
We were so beautiful, I leave
locked in a window-look, so blonde
we shone together—laughed
and praised ourselves and formed our bond,
so perfect that it never dawned
on us to fear
what could not change us—this rare
we signed with such a flourish where
we made commitment. Something there,
over time. Like tarnish. Like rain
that streams against the glass
of dusty windows with a stain
of long neglect—as with the wane
before it altogether dies.
When I go back in time,
we are still trying to surprise
the future—our adoring eyes
(first pub. in Poets’ Forum Magazine)
melting rabbits run past the window
the window-eye accepts the delusion
the sun presses deeper into
the dry grass, shadows everywhere
lovers confess in the shimmer
and their arms slip from one another
the rabbits are lying under the death
we have caused
the sorrow hums like a breeze
all over the intensity of loss
are we the only ones
who notice things like this?
lovers arise from their mirages
we are jealous of them
(first pub. in Pudding Magazine)
THE LAST DAY OF THE FAIR
Walking through the barns
among the huge horses,
the immense cows,
in the farm exhibit
the last day of the fair . . .
Watching the Chinese acrobat
on top of six chairs
placed on four green bottles . . .
Watching the sketch-artist
do her last
quick portrait of the day,
to take a number.
Eating a two-dollar hot dog
while watching the
shivering twilight divers
dive into their
little vat of water . . .
(first pub. in Tule Review, Premier Issue, 1993)
LATE SUMMER WALTZ
This is a waltz. How faintly
the music plays for the dancers
whirling on the veranda,
how the late summer curtains
blow in and out the open windows.
How timeless the night is.
How far away the morning.
From where does the music come,
so flawless and perfectly timed?
The night has been silent too long.
Tears have been shed for the memories.
Words have failed.
What dancers are these
who seem so involved
with the intricacies of the dance?
They have no faces and do not belong here.
There is no one but us,
and even you are conjured.
upon narrowing lawns
years pulled them back
old lives corrected themselves
the falling music threatened to die
the old musicians stayed in tune
old lovers loved again
strangers who came remained strangers
nothing is ever the same
some wept at this
old reasons within them
was the name of the next song
the dancers danced again
their shoes lost under chairs and tables
the drifting dancers hung onto the
sloping shoulders of each other
time came back too soon
they went home
(first pub. in Blue Unicorn, 1991)
THE SAD END OF SUMMER
The sad end of summer looms
while we learn early breezes
from open windows.
A few hot days and we anticipate
long nights with no relief—
yet dread the winter.
—Medusa, with thanks to Joyce Odam for today's poems and pix as we finish up summer with last week's Seed of the Week, Summer's End. Time for the new: Empty Boxes. Write about empty boxes, either literally (day after Christmas? Moving Day? Gifts gone wrong? Boxes you need to check on a form of some sort?) or figuratively, and send your musings to email@example.com. No deadline on SOWs; check the Calliope's Closet link at the top of this column for all the many SOWs we've done over the years.