Sunday, April 20, 2014

Day 20

morning glories fall 
open by the dozen. lilac 
eyes all saying yes.

Day 19

There are some moments 
I can’t wait to shed - sitting 
on a car-clogged highway, 
for one, or in the dentist’s chair
as she starts up the drill,
but today I bore none of them. 
Children’s laughter peeled 
through our yard like bright 
church bells all afternoon,
pool-water dazzled, and
sweet sunlight warmed us
just enough as I wrapped 
still-small bodies in towels.
Some moments, no matter how
often lived, I never want to end. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Day 18

The sun 
peeked over
the ocean
with the tired
head of an old
man or a newborn.

It pitched 
rays - red, yellow
orange and pink
to crown the sky.

I believe 
we will give 
each other 
everything too.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 17

In the neighborhood
where I used to live
a tall building sits 
on a soft hip of land 
at the ocean’s edge. 
Its women lounge 
in designer swimwear, 
by and large their faces
are done - not like the over-
made-up and rouged 
widows from the city 
where I was born, 
but reshaped modeled 
maybe after Picasso’s
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
more than any woman I know -
gouged and poofed, 
with moveable parts. Its men 
work, have affairs and play 
tennis in that order. 
In this lifetime, I will never
live there - even the smallest 
homes are beyond any 
paycheck I’ve ever seen.
Oligarchs frown on 
the renters, and the social 
hierarchy is rigid. 
From the pool, if you look
up and out, you can see
cruise ships leave port.  
Even here one day 
not long ago, a ship 
released a quick plume 
of black smoke which rained 
specks of petroleum 
onto the pool deck. White
towels smeared dark,
and children 
evacuated the pool.
On our beach oil 
slicks grease rocks 
coating fish scales,
suffocating smaller creatures 
locked in seaweed. 
Everyone is touched.
I’m not sure how to fix
this, and I know a poem
is no hammer, no edict, 
but for now I want you
to believe your home 
is the sand and the sea.  
And for now, let's believe 
we’re all renters. Now go  
about your business, go 
live your life.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Day 16

To trim; to pare; to clear; to clean; to take away; to break; to fell; to help die back; to end; to stop as in cut scene; to cease all action; to excise; to edit; to chop; to, with scissors, shear a mountain in a piece of folded paper which opens into a heart; to reduce; to wound; to hurt; to mar; to maim; to stab; to draw blood; to rub raw; to insult; to cause suffering; to deflate; to deform; to dilute as water to lemonade, as ice to alcohol; to penetrate; to intersect; to get deeper; to find meaning; to understand; to yield; to reap as harvest; to experience new growth as teeth through skin; to carve; to shape; to engrave; to express; to create; to change old habits; to leave what's not working; to move on; to make something new;

Day 15

I want to look at my life
the way my mother
looked at plants, 
to ask which leaves 
and branches need 
cutting, to look at long
green, fruitless stems,
and to excise what’s no
longer bearing, what
doesn’t serve growth.
With sharpened shears,
my mother took to her
hydrangeas.  A plant
needs to die back
she’d say, in order 
to bloom.  As if death
were a temporary
construct, a thing
we could practice 
annually, fall into 
and emerge from,
something transitional,
a phase more like life-
depravation than
the big sleep, the final
note, the end. I always
thought it merciless,
the way she’d cut
to the base of each
plant, down to the taut
stem, but she knew
that a stark inventory
and release would yield
dozens of pastel globes
in spring. Now I too
desire exacting blades, 
I too want to make 
the most generous cuts.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Day 14

Today I walked outside
to find three blooms
puckered like lips 
in a kiss and lounging
on the pomegranate
tree. What have I done
to usher this growth?
I, who am so busy
my thoughts are oil-
slicks that never stay 
in one place but leave 
vague stains in my mind,
one of which is what 
this poem was to become -
something about beauty
and disfigurement,
but it’s shadowed now,
shrouded by the day.
A full moon rises,
and now the flowers 
have come to visit 
the tree, and I am hopeful. 
I live the fortunate days
of a busy, first-world 
life: the watering can sits 
rain-soaked and unspent. 
I wonder what have 
done to care for the tree, 
what have I done 
but notice?