Change is crouching
on my back deck,
behind the pillars
and rotted wood.
Change is tossing in my womb
and giving me a bell to ring.
Like someone new to sing to,
it nicks my forehead with its
broken rhythm. Like starlight
weaving under my skin, growing,
wanting my speed,
change is alive, but small as a rice grain
forming its heavenly head.
Welcome little hamlet of wonder,
welcome from the blue breath of God.
Come see us all and turn this home
of three kindred souls into four.
As wounding as
the stars reflected in
the river, yours is a beauty
too big to embrace.
You are the everlasting miracle
that walks these floors each morning
and day, marveling at every turn.
Your easel is full of yesterday's colours.
There are songbirds under your bed, and in the closet
are assorted hats that call to you to try on
and wear down the hall.
You are the syrup on my toast,
the first tulip of spring.
Before you, I was too afraid to dance with freedom,
crippled by a servant mood.
You are the open door where teddy bears
dream and live—a soft, unhindered love
that cures the hardness
overpowering any room.
HIT THE MARK
This sunrise, rushing
from your pores, smooth and
bright as perfection
has trailed out from a loving home,
out from the endurance of a decade tattooed
to your skin.
You, under the spotlight
bearing no fractures
are as close as the bone is to the shell.
And everyone was transported, gliding
through your soliloquy like birds in
a cool spring air.
A coming together, a rejoicing of all
your struggles, the last completing thread,
magic and kindled by your spiritual voice.
Animated like silver dust on still water, you arrived.
You made the world, at last
understand and listen.
IN PRAISE OF WALT WHITMAN
He wandered as an individual,
care-full and tender with all he touched.
He embraced beauty in his arms
by embracing a young man's dying limbs or
the trunk of a tree, hundreds of years old.
Faithful, clean, pursuing
vitality and depth with compassionate strength,
he was what each hopes to be,
entirely oneself, unafraid of battle
or of withering or joy, unafraid to stake
for the necessity of honest expression.
He, with his brave, child-like being, waded
in the brutality of war, in the ponds of dazzling
and delicious Nature, equal in his love
and in his giving.
THE LAST WALK OF
THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE
the pride in my mouth that will not drown.
After all love given and failed, to hold only this body
of a starved finch, gold but lifeless like all else
that has inspired me on. I shifted extremes, bandaged
my disappointments in bitter hate and landscapes
where only serpents were resurrected.
Of my self, I have no virtue to defend, what I have
is impulsive and merciless, and a fortune
that has placed my fate at the feet of a cunning enemy.
That I was saved from the seal of drunken suicide.
That I saw my own image float in the river, giving
seed to a non-judgemental faith, and she, my daughter
(who knew nothing of resentment), cradled my cure
in the compassion of her eyes. I walk with a simple fool
trailing behind who says I was rough
but somehow kind, who seems to show concern
when I stumble and for my face so down,
it will never see daylight again.
He carries me to an abandoned shack
where soon I will die—he, unaware of the killer that I am.
If my daughter finds me, never let her know
the loneliness that drove my desperate deeds or the fear
I felt of losing her natural devotion. If she finds me,
tell her not to put flowers where I rest. Tell her not to grieve
the aftermath dust of the likes of me—a crushed,
A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.
—Medusa, thanking Allison Grayhurst for today’s fine set of poems, all the way from Toronto on this, our simmering summer solstice!
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