Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Beaters--NaPo Poem, April 6th

The Beaters

It only took a moment—most
things of this nature do.
I had moved aside to switch the laundry—
basket already-dried linens, fluff
the newly-laundered towels.

Only eight feet between us, four steps,
I left her leaning against the counter,
safe on the kitchen stool. Every precaution
had been taken, the mixer unplugged,
even put away, she had only
the beaters, a spatula, the bowl.

My intent was for her to taste the frosting,
lick a pink tongue over
the chromed whisks, retrieve
some sweet remnants. It’s a kind of unofficial ritual,
a rite of passage I had engaged in myself.

But the situation proved too tempting—
the bowl’s heaping measured proved far too great.
I turned to find her head inside it,
her shirt, face and hair a chocolaty mess. Neglected
beaters lay discarded, their meager offerings
still intact.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Rapture, NaPo Poem, April 5th

The Rapture

It takes you by surprise,
the pale, nearly perfect circle
of feathers on the path.
It’s as if a mourning dove
unzipped his drab jacket,
let it drop about his knees
and then stepped aside
leaving it to lay among leaves
and teeny twigs, beside the hoove
impressions punched
into soft ground by deer
in trek to the river.

No blood, no bone—just powder-down
pinwheel-patterned and fluttering
ever so slightly in the small wind
that winds around the basswood.

You know he was the victim of a hawk.
Still, you can’t help but pause
and puzzle over this miniature tragedy—
the perfect act of a mighty, winged god
swooping down in the end of days
to retrieve one recalcitrate soul.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Poetry-schmoetry--NaPo draft, April 4


Perhaps I should slice a vein, let it
pour red and sticky sweet onto the carpet,
allow it to puddle and darken.
We can sit in our blue upholstered chairs
by the window, watch sluggish rivulets
cascading down. But an artery, you suggest,
would spark an instant Jackson Pollack—
sprayed toward the walls, Pointillism enjoys
an immediate revival preview. “So, what
is art to you, dear?” you inquire. “An opportunity
to discover it within ourselves,” I reply,
spreading a crimson Matise along the baseboard

Mistress Brigid's Tea Party--NaPo Poem, April 3

Mistress Brigid’s Tea Party
She sits as a pink cloud upon the carpet,
princess tulle and organza spilling
cirrocumulus across the floor.

Her hands are pale petals,
aloft for a moment then settling onto
diminutive teacups, over every saucer—
mini marshmallows as sugar,
animal crackers as cake.

A faux satin gown, her sequined tiara,
each guest—Buster Bear, Wonky Rabbit,
Bitsy Baby Anne-- is royally greeted,
offered liberal libations of the imaginary kind.

The teapot (florid pink and plum,
of course) nestles as a centerpiece
in this most fanciful affair, the discourse,
though lop-sided, runs genial—“Do you need
a ‘poon, Mister Rabbit? Uh-oh!
More crwackers, Baby Anne?”

Such a mystical concordance must be viewed
from the margins, to move into its center
would dispel all the charm. She touches
enchantment where corduroy rabbits
transform into kings, where overstuffed bears
are a realm’s valiant lords.

We adults would be the worst interlopers,
this world she now visits long-removed
from our own.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Smells Like Rain, NaPo April 2 Draft

Smells Like Rain

I’ve been around long enough to recognize
signs of an impending squall.

When wind rattles through the upper branches
of the birch trees,

when it plucks at their leafy aprons
like a bashful toddler child, 

and sycamores kick their emerald crinolines,
lift usually subdued voices in raucous animation,

it’s a sure bet a storm approaches.
I can read momentous omens

from tell-tale-green tornado skies, forecast
gully-washers from the immaculate glow

of burgeoning thunderhead clouds.
My basement is a refuge of candles,

of matchbooks, flashlights and jars. Stocked
with bottled water, a transistor radio,

I’ve learned to be prepared, how to ride
the tide, how, when on fire, to stop, drop and roll.

So, when you hover near my office door, boy,
know that I’ve raised two sons already,

that I have younger brothers, a zillion nephews, and I know
by the way your cheeks burn, the hesitant tone

of your stammer, your eyes darting every direction
but mine, that there’s a storm in the making.

Let’s make it easy now, shall we?
Just stop fidgeting, Son, and spill.

Morning Walk, NaPo April 1 Draft

Morning Walk

Today is newly born, and even so,
the dewy breath of dawn dissipates.
Gravel groans beneath my feet,
the sharp stones coughing white dust
with every step.

Hot— the sun hauls its orange glare
through the lower branches
of the cottonwoods.  Already, I hunker
in the intermittent shade of their sanctuaries,
already my sleeveless blouse tacks
fabric to my back.

You would entreat a day like today, allow
sweet tea and a table fan to carve
the comforts of oasis from the porch swing,
jest about us being June bugs
dancing on a griddle.

But you died and the wind has died—
only the lax memory of a breeze
nods through the timothy
as dragonflies whir on their way
to the melodious chirp of the creek,
their wings iridescent stained glass
and as fragile.