—Poems by Ann Wehrman, Sacramento
—Photos by Local-Photographer-Who-Chooses-
PERHAPS ONE REASON THAT I HAVEN’T MARRIED
I’ll hide the pills, then put them in a plant;
orange Popsicles will help me stay awake.
Eat them all night, and I won’t have to sleep,
I thought; yet, when the T.V. died
(back then, no stations broadcast through the night)
my knees grew weak and I was overcome.
The days that followed often were a blur;
I had to take the pills, you see, and more.
I still recall a few bizarre details—
a grandma, who in fancy lingerie
would wander aimlessly the corridor.
They strapped me down, thrust in a tongue guard, too;
then gave electric volts that sawed my bones.
They tried and tried to break my spirit,
and when they failed, used an electric prod.
A dear friend’s intervention saved my life,
although, years later, I still live alone.
balance softness, steel
brains, spunk, drive, tenacity
soprano aria at midnight
contralto sings me to sleep
blue bells from a maiden’s eyes
crone’s gaze, grey ocean
hands-on in her head
woman opens her arms
heart, whole body
as waves move
as night meets day
from inside, out
in leather pail over hot rocks
tempered by flames
in stainless steel
bubbling sweet, dense, savory
over coil, gas, hearth
simmering, body’s yearning
flicker at spine’s base
are things I miss
through years living alone
breaking bread with close kin
shared pleasure, nurture, joy
from good food, drink
past meals when
arguments blighted our table
snuffed shared light
lest sentiment or wish cloud fact
yet, other memories,
good times multiplied
stored in genes
shared jug, roast
more than assure
today I am reminded of my mortality
on fire all my days
I suddenly find myself
insufficient to balance
humanity’s pounding thrusts
Sun’s blaze, Earth’s stubborn turbulence—
both also dying
my time here stretches thin
perhaps longer than nature intended
out of place, out of energy, out of strength
out of love, purpose, breath
green celadon buds
fuzzy, dainty leaf rolls
peek, flirt, reassure
spring brings another cycle
green sap renewed
in roots, trunks, limbs
green fuzzy tips
shy, delicate, exuberant
dwarf tree, ornamental
outside gated apartments
at street’s edge
far from wooded glen
deep forest grove
grace, green spring
she gives freely
I rejoice as green
returns, tucked along
and at their ends
but today, looked
to greet spring’s unfolding
she rises straight, narrow
gray-brown bark ridges—
at her crown, just two or three
green-tipped branches remain
flat, open circle
on her trunk
limb was sawed, bleeds pain
at her feet, newly dug open holes
to be filled by steel flag poles
advertising apartments at her back
MYSELF, GROWING OLDER (I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL)
Clear morning light finds me alone and stiff.
Arising with a sigh, I quell despair,
for I believe I still have much to give.
Stride out, still wary; yet I feel as if
absorbing pain’s a cross that I can bear—
clear morning light brings warmth to bones, so stiff.
Yet as the day progresses, my legs give
out—feet and bowels swell—I no longer care
and run home, though I still have much to give.
Past lovers are long gone, as through a sieve;
still, tender, passionate memories flare—
in clear morning light, our past, I re-live.
I’m shamed by tragedies that others live.
I have enough—my talents, a safe lair;
I am not dead—I still have much to give.
Desire runs through my fingers, riff by riff;
I gather fortitude—my heart, I’ll bare.
Clear morning finds my body tired and stiff,
and yet I breathe your name, my heart to give.
ROCK CYCLE: TRINIDAD BEACH
to jade-toned greenstone
countless tiny grains
waves polish, then enfold
rocks slip within ocean's crust
melt into liquid mantle
return in Vulcan's passionate rebirth
—Medusa, with our thanks to Ann Wehrman and our Local-Photographer-Who-Chooses-to-Remain-Anonymous, and a reminder that photos in this, the cream-colored "diary" side of the Kitchen, can be enlarged with a single click.
Oh, and Happy Poetry Month (and April Fool's Day)!