IN CAUTIOUS TIMES
—Carol Louise Moon, Sacramento, CA
In times like these dark times anxious
men and women of the land will pace.
Back and forth, and forth and back, and like
the endless cogs of machinery.
To what the purpose, now? We spoke,
believed the best of fellowman and friends.
But what of man’s Best Friend,
a momentarily forgotten pet.
Anxious Rex, seated near an open cottage
window, looks as if to see a horseman
plodding up the path. Perhaps he bears
news of food, with cautious dogs in tow.
But what becomes of us, we ask.
In silence Rex now meditates, replies—
his steady out-of-window gaze
signals us to hope for better days.
GHAZALS FOR A FOGGY DAY
—Carol Louise Moon
Black dog knows he is observed and adored;
his foggy breath, his gaze out the window to the bay.
A bright morning shoved into a closet invites no one
with cane-in-hand to walk a brick-lined pathway.
I think of her often: her word-grace, her casual
smile-of-earnest, her nodding of hair, flaxen hay.
Woodpecker works hard at his drilling, adding his
share of noise to the ungreased wheel of early day.
Penned-poems, dreamed, cause rapid-eye-movement.
But the poem in your eyes is what carries me away.
Who has read our names on postal parchment
that they would know the love these names convey?
—Carol Louise Moon
“Go, prince: peer owlish through
the windowpane…” from the poem
“Compound Eye” by Peter Davison
Peer owlish through the windowpane
and out into the world to gain
a view of what you need to know
to keep you always toe-to-toe
with folks you’ll be competing with.
Peer owlish through the window now
with glasses on, a closer look on how
to read each trend and book and face—
so you can keep the faster pace
of what you think you know so well.
Peer owlish through the looking glass
in shirt and tie and navy coat—
remembering that you’ll not gloat
when successes come your way.
Peer owlish now into your home
through windows dim, into each room,
to see and know your character—
who assures your honesty, and worth.
—Carol Louise Moon
One must practice patience waiting for a computer
to warm to compose a poem on Microsoft Windows.
Not wanting to be introspective this sunny afternoon
I choose, instead, to study what’s out the windows.
Poet Odam, who often writes from the perspective
of one looking outward, has us leaning out of windows.
As if mirrors, echoes, and love loss weren’t enough,
there are Poet Odam’s window poems, about windows.
My dog, who has the heart of a poet, is often seen on
evenings gazing glossy-eyed out our bedroom windows.
We cannot know exactly what a dog is thinking, except
that we consider his soul to be like our soul windows.
After writing about goose bumps caused by chilly wind,
it is prudent to don sweaters and close all the windows.
I’ve closed all windows, and also curtains, in my home,
turning on lamplight to re-read Joyce Odam’s windows.
ALMOST A GIRL
—Allison Grayhurst, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
We play with sounds,
making a flower out of tissue paper.
She bounces a ball,
miming the harmony of its rise and fall.
She paints with strokes
that calls the orange seed to bloom,
and all the while she dances
to the starlight's tune, loving
its brave expression.
We read tales told in rhymes
and sniff the picked herbs
in our garden.
Every morning we count spoons
and watch the boys play next door.
She knows her colours purple and blue,
plays Boo! behind the door.
Her body beats an ancient symphony of affection,
loving easily my inviting arms.
Still brimming with awe,
and cuddling sweet against your
father’s welcoming cheek.
Still bizarre in the light of
your unique humour and stubborn
as the apple tree is strong in the
Turning One tomorrow and all the things
you’ve learned in that span—
to say a word, to grow in kindness and
in temperament, to laugh out loud.
All the things you still are—a soul
of amazing riches, thoughtful and gentle
and so sure of yourself.
Still entranced with all things small and new.
Still each day we awake to your beauty
as we look into your strange sea-coloured eyes
and bend to smell the strands of your wispy hair.
My colours would be grey
if not for your heart so
tempered by preserved dreams
and accepted disappointments,
dancing in the unknown,
with a tongue
unafraid to astonish or offend
the public swallower . . .
if not for every morning, finding
your eyes closed, sleeping near my
smiling body, and your lips that unearth
each tear from my harbouring breast,
unearth the giant seed of deliverance . . .
if not for our partnership,
our home of unhooded tenderness,
the doorways within that lead
to evenings of geranium spring . . .
if not for holding you, or
your touch splitting the shell
of my skin, flooding my womb
with fires of indomitable
peace . . .
I felt the day fail you
then wrap you up like a spider would.
I felt your soul collapse
before it lifted.
The difficult swallow, the backing away
At the end,
you were at peace.
At the end, the images joined their shades,
and you held the innocence
you’ve always held so well, needing my love
accepting my love, and, releasing.
Releasing from the pain
and from the process
the all-caring arms
of our mutual God.
The lamp once out
Cool stars enter
The window frame
—Natsume Soseki (1867-1916)
Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back