Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekly Worded

The Poetry of Light

“ -- until everything
was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!
And I let the fish go.”

--Elizabeth Bishop, “The Fish”

From my backyard, Elizabeth,
everything was rainbow.
The storm had pushed off
to the east, its black clouds caught
against the San Juan Mountains,
and the sun which still hadn’t set
ignited those raindrops like gasoline.
Iridescence doesn’t begin
to describe it. The sky had to be
on fire, clouds roiling like smoke
from behind a clean burned line.
A window of blue had opened
beyond the rainbow’s arc
and one snowy mountain peak
stuck through it like a tooth,
as if grinning.
I stood in my yard, bare feet
against the wet grass,
able to feel the turning earth
grind the sun into dirt
and I too had to let
such a perfect moment go.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Weekly Worded

Recipe for the Wild

The middle of August
heading up toward Kennebec Pass
a forest service sign warns me:
Bears are in the area.
I plant my tent -- stake it
to the earth, then hike a circle
around my camping spot.

Bending to penetrate
the thick undergrowth,
I smile at the two red eyes
staring back at me.
Berries are in the area too,
red raspberries ripe as summer.

When I blink dozens appear
where the two had been,
then hundreds, maybe thousands
and the two clumsy cups
of my bare hands can’t hold them all.

Birds in the trees complain --
they take one at a time
but I fill one hand
only to spill those berries into my mouth,
lick the juice from that hand
and fill the other.
I am ravenous for the serum
of this wildness to heal my blood.

Before frost comes to this place,
before snow turns its narrow road
impassable, I want to grow fat
on raspberries, to stumble
back to my tent and sleep, maybe not stir
until the tiny white flowers
of morning unfold.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Weekly Worded

Barn Dance

The farmer on the hill
keeps a yellow crop duster
cabled to his piece of earth.

When the weather signals clear
he starts its engine and lifts
so much imagination into the sky.

It’s his air tractor,
cloud seeder,
well-trained canary,

his liquid-filled silent spring.
It’s a low-flying
loopy handwriting sample,

a Stradivarius tuned to the horizon.
It’s a day at the circus
under the Bigtop,

every spectator straining to see
how the acrobat on the wire
thinks he can dance with

the hippopotamus of gravity.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Weekly Worded


When it rained last night
I slept through it,
unconscious of the rain
hitting the tin roof,
rolling off the eaves.

I was dreaming
about places not in the rain,
about cloakrooms and landings
where goulashes wait beside a door.
I must have been tuned to the effort
of trees expanding from inside
one ring at a time.

I wish I’d come awake
just to say to you
who lay sleepless in the dark beside me,
Listen, it’s raining!
and all you’d ever have to say back to me is,
I know.