Wednesday, August 21, 2013


NaPo Poems -- April 2013


Small Song: Ambivalence

Only a few white blooms
dot the blackberry canes
along the river bank --
either a slow spring
or a summer's dearth.

* * *


Small Song: Cartography

My finger traces 
the stretchmarks
about your center; 
they map 
the terrain 
of our journey 
to this day,
to this bed,
to this joy.

* * *


Small Song: Gift

Four-petalled heavens, 
suncross centered --
I give you bluets 
that you may always
walk in morning.

* * *


Small Song: Precautionary 

I've always loved your navel;
I'm sure I always will.
But I think it needs a label:
"Tongues here may make you ill."

* * *


Small Song: Mimesis

Suspended, frozen raindrops line
the undersides of peach twigs,
empty buds of unremitting winter.

* * *


Small Song: Forage

I hang clusters of wisteria blossoms
over your breasts, then play the bee
to nestle and nuzzle nature's bounty,
and yours.

* * *


Small Song: Completion

You ripen me. You -- presence, breath, touch --
restart the stalled cycle. The comfortable curve
of my husk grows closer, crowding. 
Eager, fearful, I seek harvest. Open me.

* * *


Small Song: Commotion

Rain-bloated, the stream shouts loudly
down the stony ledges of its bed;
on the banks, intimidated bullfrogs
hunker in mute recognition of the futility
of competing in bluster.

* * *


Small Song: Performer

Spendthrift cherries toss
their coins of petals
to the busking wind.

* * *


Small Song: Sarabande

Seeping through luminous moss
at the bluff's edge, thin trickles of water
caught by the sun flare chrome-bright,
strings struck and quivering with light's slow dance.

* * *


Small Song: Transfiguration

Autumn's last bleached leaf
dangling from its shrub
launches itself into still air --
April's first pale moth.

* * *


Small Song: Recognition

Reticent light, mist-thinned, fails to articulate 
the precise details of morning; clumsy lumps
waver and stumble across dim fields of view,
unreliable as the very first promises of love.

* * *


Small Song: Springfest

April is the lovesome month,
lifting your skirt with its frisky wind
and awakening your inner thighs
with its moist heat. I can but follow
behind and ask, "May I?"

* * *


Small Song: Legacy

How odd that it's bone,
that least resilient,
most inflexible of my selves,
which best adapts 
to enduring death.
Small mystery, then, the world 
is hard to change.

* * *


Small Song: Absences

If not for the empty dark between,
Deneb's glory would be
indistinguishable from Rigel's,
nor would the firefly's brief spark
cry out through the night.

* * *


Small Song: Open

You rustle and stir
like a bee-roused blossom,
urgent with quiver 
in the heat of the sun,
and moist with nectar
to sweeten my tongue.

* * *


Small Song: Aria

Across the shingle beach,
the sun sings, its white heat
shrill; stones ring with light,
a music tense with fire
until high tide mutes the tones,
softening the song to peace,
to cool, to rhythms of sleep.

* * *


Small Song: Snoop

The door of afternoon has opened
on the sun sliding down the sky, 
tilted light peering deeper and deeper
along the length of the hall as if hoping
to reach into the centermost intimacies
of our life. We close the door and wait
until the muffled footsteps of dusk have
faded completely away before we 
set sparks to the lantern of our love.

* * *


Small Song: Decor

Along the muddy track to the pond,
black-stroked orange and tan flicker
in morning light, drawing the eye
to piled cow dung festooned 
with feasting tawny emperors.

* * *


Small Song: Aftermath

Once I'm cremated, I'll flow like water:
no predetermined up and down, no limits 
imposed by some parsimonious rectitude;
I'll tumble and spin and look everywhere
all at once, uninhibited
by a privileged point of view.

* * *


Small Song: Revaluation

Palm trees rattle like the ribs of the dead; 
they've no solace from the sun.
White sands stultify with their blaze.
Jellyfish stalk waders in tepid shallows.
Next year: Back to the mountains.

* * *


Small Song: Suspension

This is it. This is the season,
the month, the day, the hour
that I will approach you,
hanging like Harold Lloyd high up
from the hands of the tower clock,
just one camera, just one take,
and no safety net.

* * *


Small Song: Permanence

What we hold is not
. . . . .what we think we hold.
The plum is not the still point 
. . . . .at the center
around which anything dances;
the plum itself is all dance, 
. . . . .only dance, 
. . . . . . . . . .everywhere.
What I hold is the flow of water
in the nerves of my palm.

* * *


Small Song: Transplantation

As I fill the clay urn,
I sink my fingers 
into sun-warmed potting soil --
moist, dark, vital.
Were I the thyme to be replanted,
I would stretch my roots
deep into this receptivity
and shake my leaves
to free their fragrant joy.

* * *


Small Song: Select

If you were a fruit, you'd be a black plum,
compact and plumply curved all around,
dark flesh undershot by the deepest of fiery hues.
If I were a fruiterer, I couldn't keep my mouth off you.

* * *


Small Song: Effect

The topmost sliver of the sun
peers cautiously through the green tangle
of the grass, making sure 
no one's around to glimpse 
how laboriously its orb lifts itself
free of the grasping dark; were the strain
of its efforts visible, the wonder
of its rising might be lessened.

* * *


Small Song: Interrogatory

The old boat, faded with years,
nudges against the lake's edge
where I walk by. Perched on the stern,
the crow glistens in the late sun,
its eyes fixed on me, and caws
once roughly to get my attention.
No believer in omens and augury,
I still can't help but wonder
in some primitive clutch of braincells,
"Have you come for me?"

* * *


Small Song: Contender

Heavy  rain pummels the wisteria clusters,
obviously training for a title bout.

* * *


Small Song: Constellated

I drape you with Cherokee roses;
your dark skin ignites them, 
fiery as the stars of Orion's Belt. 
You are my night sky. Cover me.

* * *


Small Song: Celebration
for Lisa

Winter storms have lost their chill;
now showers warm, wake, rouse.
Here at the year's hinge, spring opens;
we stand on the edge of May, 
the threshhold of possibilities. 
Here is my hand; come with me, 
and, bodies golden with new pollen, 
we will dance naked in the rain.

* * *
* * *

Saturday, April 06, 2013


Poems March 2013

(This group is comprised of lunes lx through xl.)

3/1:  "Lune lx"

My fingers pluck brisk
shivers from your skin.

* * *

3/2:  "Lune lxi"

Your golden circlet
gleams warmly
from your brown ankle.

* * *

3/3:  "Lune lxii"

Your temples are brushed
lightly gray;
there, I kiss our years.

* * *

3/4:  "Lune lxiii"

Disheartened by frost,
cherry blossoms rust.

* * *

3/5:  "Lune lxiv"

The curve of your arm
on my waist
eases the world's weight.

* * *

3/6:  Lune lxv"

Light reverberates
within ice
March hangs from the eaves.

* * *

3/7:  "Lune lxi"

Brushed, you, mimosa-
curl about my touch.

* * *

3/8:  "Lune lxvii"

The brown of your eyes
draws me down
to your center's heat.

* * *

3/9:  "Lune lxviii"

February leaves
one last gift:
a frozen sparrow.

* * *

3/10:  "Lune lxix"

The scent of lentils
with cumin
and mint fills our home.

* *  *

3/11:  "Lune lxx"

Ripe peach juice trickles
from your chin;
I lick your breasts clean.

* * *

3/12:  "Lune lxxi"

This tussle of bee
and blossom,
this season of seed.

* * *

3/13:  "Lune lxxii"

Filled with flowering
quince, your arms
bring light to this room.

* * *

3/14:  "Lune lxxiii"

The shadows of crows
cannot dim
the hue of the rose.

* * *

3/15:  "Lune lxxiv"

Gold frost on the car:

* * *

3/16:  "Lune lxxv"

Pita, with zaatar,
black coffee,
blood oranges:  Brunch.

* * *

3/17:  Lune lxxvi"

The slow gray of rain
lengthens our
morning's lassitude.

* * *

3/18:  "Lune lxxvii"

Fourteen thousand feet --
out the door --
soaring in free fall --

* * *

3/19:  "Lune lxxviii"

I hollow my heart
to make room
for your ripe spices.

* * *

3/20:  "Lune lxxix"

How eloquently
shrill the crow's
contention with time.

* * *

3/21:  "Lune lxxx"

March-returned swallows
homes beneath the bridge.

* * *

3/22:  "Lune lxxxi"

Wisteria's first
racemes fling
bee-nets of fragrance.

* * *

3/23:  "Lune lxxxii"

The slow sway of your
heavy braid
measures out my days.

* * *

3/24:  "Lune lxxxiii"

Just-baked gingerbread
warms the house
and moistens the tongue.

* * *

3/25:  "Lune lxxxiv"

The weight of your breast
in my palm
eases the world's ache.

(NOTE:  Thanks to Lisa 
Toops Smith for this idea.)

* * *

3/26:  "Lune lxxxv"

Frost sparks as the pines
toss shifting
light through their needles.

* * *

3/27:  "Lune lxxxvi"

Catfish gather in
the shallows
to worship the sun.

3/28:  "Lune lxxxvii"

The carpenter bee's
hollow hum
drifts from the eave's edge.

* * *

3/29:  "Lune lxxxviii:  Wangari Maathai, 1940 - 2011"

Forty million trees
shout their green
over Africa.

* * *

3/30:  "Lune lxxxix"

Figs and fontina,
crusty bread
and chianti:  Noon.

* * *

3/31:  "Lune xc"

Fingers intertwined,
we hold each
other, and the world.

* * *
* * *

Thursday, February 28, 2013


Poems February 2013

Poems for February 2013
("Lunes xxxii - lix" +
one "Small Song")

2/1:  "Lune xxxii: Columbia at 10"

A streak of fire ends
in Texas;
seven, remembered.

* * *

2/2:  "Lune xxxiii"

Flung stones skim the lake
where none sink;
ice sings at their touch.

* * *

2/3: " Lune xxxiv"

The moons of your breasts
disperse my
profoundest nightfalls.

* * *

2/4:  "Lune xxxv"

Chill sunlight hardens
the pond's edge
to rough translucence.

* * *

2/5:  "Lune xxxvi"

Your cinnamon skin
simmers hot
ad sweet on my lips.

* * *

2/6:  "Lune xxxvii"

Vanguard snowdrops lift
bells against
winter's salient.

* * *

2/7:  "Lune xxxviii"

Above thick cloud fields,
the sun hoards
its heat for August.

* * *

2/8:  "Lune xxxix"
O fiery cornhusked 
eager to be shucked!

* * *

2/9:  "Lune xl"

Lurking sweetgum balls
spring's first barefoot walk.

* * *

2/10:  "Lune xli"

The faint clicks of beads
you've braided
in your hair bring peace.

* * *

2/11:  "Lune xlii"

The st eady static
of the rain
breaks for bridges.

* * *

2/12:  "Lune xliii"

That worn pink bathrobe
still sets off
the curves of your calves.

* * *

2/13:  "Lune xliv"

Your fingertips taste
of ginger
and sesame oil.

* * *

2/14:  "Lune xlv:  For Krysten"

You are the hawk who
strides the sky
and never falters.

* * *

2/15:  "Lune xlvi"

I enfold the warmth
of your breast
as seeds embrace May.

* * *

2/16:  "Lune xlvii"

A jay dislodges
fragrant rain
from a cedar bough.

* * *

2/17:  "Lune xlviii"

Cold as cats' noses,
your toes press
against my bare feet.

* * *

2/18:  "Lune xlix"

Flashing yellows wink
through brown stems
of forsythia.

* * *

2/19:  "Lune l"

Always I'm caught by
how your hands
move about the world.

* * *

2/20:  "Lune li"

Side by side we breathe,
still after 
the sharing of selves.

* * *

2/21:  "Lune lii"

Noon's weight presses down
on my eyes;
I'll rest them just one -- -- --

* * * 

2/22:  "Lune liii"

My rain-frizzed love, how
your insouciance.

* * *

2/23:  "Lune liv"

The python tattooed
on your thigh
entwines me smoothly.

* * *

2/24: "Lune lv"

As ever with you,
I'd rather
take the scenic route.

(NOTE: Suggested by the title of
Nikki Giovanni's poem "The Scenic Route")

* * *

2/25:  "Lune lvi"

Morning's numbed light seeps
through these clouds,
outweighed by cold rain.

* * *

2/26:  "Lune lvii"

Your lips are deft moths
flitting over me.

* * *

2/27:  "Lune lviii"

Currants and cream fill
your navel,
a feast for my tongue.

* * *

2/28(a):  "Small Song:  Vespers"

I thrill to the creases and folds of your form,
to the undulant abundance of your abdomen.
Your breasts sink comfortably down your chest,
and the curves at the corners of your mouth 
are cups that hold more kisses than I can count.
Your body has been joyously lived in and wears it
like a beacon that draws me out of the dark
to the warmth and repose of home.

* * *

2/28(b): "Lune lix"

The warmth of your hand
as the sun descends.

* * *
* * *

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