Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Down the Rabbit Hole (The Poetry Glide)

—Poetry by Michael H. Brownstein,
Jefferson City, MO
—Illustrations Courtesy of Public Domain

The first day of winter
did not knock on the door
as if it were a polite straggler,
but came in with a stranglehold,
kicking a jagged hole through the wood,
leaving its frame flapping within its breath.
Watch how these lines grow longer and longer.
a great snowdrift, the temperature wind chill
and I have to walk the dogs, tend to the pipes,
my hands bitter cold,
the snow falling in chunks and boulders covering
everything until all I see
is a white-out, a visible haze of air almost frozen,
ice and a rage of freezing.


Creativity bends away from my head,
my veins fill me up with an elixir of dread,
simile and metaphor lock me out of the shed—
but, wait—morning—a blue dawn with a lint
of red.

Opening the window, a breeze tickles my side,
the only cloud in the sky has nowhere to hide—
hey! wait a sec—I thought poetry in me had
nope, not yet, I'm back—doing the poetry glide.

My son and his wife go to the synagogue

The Friday before Rosh Hashana.

After days of heat and humidity, sunstroke,

Sweat, mosquitoes and giant horse flies,

Rain and then more rain, a cold rain, the grass

Slippery, the street a small stream and a pool.

Their three-month-old baby lays in the car seat

And doesn’t wonder what is going on

During the service. She is quiet and peaceful,

Attentive and thinking. This is now her world

And this is now their world. The Ark is opened,

The congregation rises, the congregation

Bows at the right moment, sits when they
are told,

And when the service ends, everyone—my

His wife, their baby girl—head to the back-

For fresh bread and pastries, grapes and

Outside it is still raining. Inside everything

Full of honey and the smile of a newborn

Bright as an evening star rising in the north.


She sits near her bed wearing only white light,
an ember glowing outward from within. When she
sunshine crossing the floor shatters.
She is exactly who she is.


When Dorothy reached the door,
she tried to open it. It was locked.
She knocked once, again, a third time.
She stood at the doorway, paused,
wondered if she should go back,
thought about the long ride,
the long walk, the golden escalator,
the light at the end of the passageway,
and she looked at the door anew,
the light nowhere to be seen
and she politely asked for assistance.
A voice came from the other side:
Sorry, it said—a man's voice?
A woman's? It sounded like a child.
You have unfinished business.
Take thirty steps back, a door will open,
enter it and you will see what we need.
She thanked the voice, walked thirty paces,
found a door that opened to her touch,
walked inside and listened.
Silence. She turned. Silence.
Then she saw a face she knew.
She understood what had to be done—
She grabbed her hand and said,
I wasn't much of a friend, was I?
No response. How do I fix this?
No response. OK, I get it.
Dorothy took her other hand,
kneeled, and asked for forgiveness.
The woman faded, the door closed,
another person arrived, and another.
So many she could not keep count,
but she had faith, she had direction,
and one by one she corrected her mistakes
until the room began to glow,
its surface changing into a garden,
and everywhere she looked,
fresh fruit and freshly baked bread.
She sat down and began to sob
until every tear she shed fell to earth
as raindrops of gold and silver.


Today’s LittleNip:

—Michael H. Brownstein

I cannot explain how this works or that,
but I hear the wind sow psalms through the
know the shape of clouds tells what is yet
to come,
find awe in a muddy stream that quilts the
prairie grass,
and thank a wet-weather waterfall
for telling us that peepers will thrive another


—Medusa, with thanks to Michael Brownstein for today’s fine poetry!
 —Cartoon Courtesy of Public Domain

A reminder that there will be
a reading at Switchboard Gallery
in Placerville, 5:30pm today,
of poems generated at the recent
Ekphrastic Workshop
led by Lara Gularte.
For info about this and other
future poetry happenings in
Northern California and otherwheres,
click on
in the links at the top of this page—
and keep an eye on this link and on
the daily Kitchen for happenings
that might pop up
—or get changed!—
 during the week.

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