Monday, March 12, 2012


"Small Songs" -- March 2012 (Temporary Storage)


"Small Song: Midnight"

Although the storm's gone by,
the tree frogs remain silent.
Nothing sounds but a thin drip
from the eaves. The moon's
still just an inconsequential blur.
The world would seem a void
were it not for the burst of scent,
rich and sweet, from the tea olive,
passionate in its rare March blooming.

* * *


"Small Song: Lost"

A few thin firefly luminescences
thread disparately through the Johnsongrass,
final desperate messages blurred to incoherence
by the rising chill of autumn mists.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Wintering"

Brown and split, trumpet vine pods
sway slightly with the wind,
a flotilla of gondolas suspended
by their bows awaiting the spring floods.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Ember"
(For Jackie Shough Garbarino, who asked for a snow poem)

At sunrise, the branches
of the water oak
stretch out the shadows
of their fingers, blue with cold,
across the snow towards
the fading spark of Mars.

* * *


"Small Song: Metaphysical"

A haze of rain obscures the pond.
Shifting verticals of silver, beige, and gray
blur surface, shore, certainty.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Ornaments"

Suspended from the purple tubes
of the chinaberry blooms,
hummingbirds flicker and flame
in the sun that breaks through
the afternoon rain.

* * *


"Small Song: Chorines"

Catkins cluster on the branches of the pecan.
They lift on this brisk wind,
Rockettes kicking high into spring.

* * *


"Small Song: Joinery"

Mounds of discarded gourds
mottled black and gray with mold
rise behind the empty workshop,
held together by the thin stems
and white bells of bindweed

* * *


"Small Song: Library"

Riven and curled in layers,
scrolls of riverbirch bark
record the momentary,
hold, perishing, only
notes on the inconsequential

* * *


‎"Small Song: Vibration"

O buzz! O thrum!
That bumble of thrust,
that jiggle of hum,
that bee that throbs
the secret center
of the jonquil
alive with quiver
and spasm.

(Suggested by Lorna Dee Cervantes'

"100 Words to Vibrate You" from "Ciento")

* * *


"Small Song: Compensatory"

Late frost and drought
have forestalled the clover's blooms;
no mouse-ear sized white balls of blossom
constellate the grass beneath the sweetgums.
Under the hanging feeders, though,
white daubs of songbird poop
look much the same if I
take off my glasses.

* * *


"Small Song: Landfall"

Your dark hair streams down your back
luxuriant and heavy as kelp,
damp with the sweat
that bonds us face to face.

* * *


"Small Song: Practice"

The bronze wings of boxelder seeds
rustle softly as they sway from the branches,
rehearsing dispersal with the breeze.

* * *


"Small Song: Cyclists"

Strung out in a long, thin line
at the edge of the country road,
all alike in black with shiny heads,
their bodies bent and legs churning --
ants on wheels, scurrying in file
back to the nest before the last light dies.

* * *


"Small Song: Palimpsest"

Slight rain slicks the pavement, stirs
pollen dropped from roadside pines.
Random rivulets scribe hieroglyphs,
dark threads through yellow, unread
before scoured away.

* * *


"Small Song: Premature"

Warm March rain nurtures early blooms;
tiny and delicate, the transparent petals
of mosquito wings open, to great annoyance.

* * *


"Small Song: Held"

The storm of the rose swirls
about its center, motionless,
passion sustained in suspension
awaiting the release of your touch.

* * *


Small Song: Divination"

As all's uncertain risk,
I cast above you a tuft
of seeded milkweed silk
to resolve that sweet dilemma:
which breast should I taste first?

* * *


"Small Song: Departure"

To slip away as simply
as a freed cherry petal,
to drift through light
like cottonwood silk,
to lie quietly along the earth
as the willow's shadow on water.

* * *


"Small Song: Search"

Three winter-blackened weeds anchor
a close-woven cup of spider silk,
metallic with morning moisture --
a tiny Arecibo seeking life nearby.

* * *


"Small Song: Solo"

Dispersing clouds slip across the moon,
its light a shifting tremolo
on the rain-hushed field beneath.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Rib"

I want to be a sparerib;
I'll bathe myself in the richest
of fragrant marinades, braise myself
to succulent toothfulness in red wine,
then leap into your hands
in anticipation of your pulling
my flesh from this bone
to join with yours.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Value"

This sky, dull in indistinguishable tones
of gray, appears to be a factory reject;
not even the ragged edging of spent wisteria
adds anything of obvious worth.
Cherish it for its bland astringency
on the tongue.

* * *


"Small Song: Vigil"

A weathered rocking chair rests
on the embankment over the railroad track.
A spill of Cherokee roses fills its lap.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Sign"

The descending moon rests its chin
on the hill just long enough
for its thin-lipped Cheshire grin
to stir uncertainties.

* * *


"Small Song: Meditation"

In the sanctuary of the squash blossom,
the bee chants her mantra of hum,
seeking beyond the self the truth
of nectar, of pollen,
of continuity's perpetual renewal

* * *


"Small Song: Checklist"
(For Melissa and April, who
want to become gypsies)

The bells of your ankles
sing your lithe steps.
Copper firelights shimmer
in your hair's dark sway.
Your navels are deep, warm mysteries.
You are ready. Go.

* * *


"Small Song: Worn"

The late afternoon light tugs
the hems of its bedraggled skirts
across yesterday's mudpuddles,
plodding heavily toward evening.

* * *


"Small Song: Still"
(In Memoriam: Earl Scruggs
January 6, 1924 - March 28, 2012)

The plucked strings
cease to move.
The hills refuse
to end the echoes.

* * *


"Small Song: Fertility"

"I am a field lying fallow."
-- "Field," Laura Lush

There is no full cessation;
even now I nurture the needless,
the inconsequential, the ignored:
quackgrass, spurges, dock, redtop,
pepperweed, brome -- these children
of the random wind who come to me
to find a place to be beneath the sun.

* * *


"Small Song: Enriched"

The whisper of rain --
after absent months --
silvers the night
as would the moon.


"Small Songs" -- February 2012 (Temporary Storage)


"Small Song: Diminishment"

The failing moon sinks beyond white pines.
Needles cross its face, tracing paths of erasure,
a web of fracturing that lessens its light
to an archipelago of sparks.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Riverlight"

Wind-scurf roughens the river,
its murky olive brightened
with lacework light,
the shadow of a swerving hawk
a momentary mute.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Caress"

Refracted through slow ripples,
slim fingers of light
brush the rounded stone.
Not even the whisper of water
disrupts the intimacy of the act.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Fanfare"

In glissandi of falling light,
forsythia trumpets "Yellow!"

* * *


"Small Song: Winterbloom"

Flat four-petalled flowers dried to fragility
cluster like a cloud of faint beige butterflies
about the end of a hydrangea stem.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Exit Ramp"

A loose queue of English plantains,
oval heads surrounded by wispy white halos,
brush against the galvanized gray sky
of the guard rail, a procession of minor saints
nodding in the wake of passing cars.

* * *


"Small Song: Remnants"

A few dried stalks of switchgrass
lean together like old gossips
sharing confidences to the end.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Perspective"

From here, one cannot tell
if three holly berries
have fallen into the snow
or three drops of blood.

* * *


"Small Song: Allure"

Three flush-cheeked Forelles,
freckled and taut to the touch,
vie for my attention
with the pale, ripe Mosel
and the firm wedge of Stilton
blue-veined as your breast.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Eschaton"

Heavy in April air,
two turkey vultures circle slowly
over the deserted church.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Foreplay"

Garlic sizzles ecstatically
in chili oil, its aroma
fully aroused by that hot embrace.

* * *


"Small Song: Resurgence"

Like scraps of ripped silk,
Japanese magnolia petals hang
limp and beige from the tips of branches;
ice crusts the bird bath, mottled
with suspended pollen.

* * *


"Small Song: Rainscape"

In damp and muted light, the bare brush stems,
an indecipherable tangle of grays and tans,
almost obscure the weathered shed
except where the mat of moss
marks the threshhold in brilliant green.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Release"

Freed by severing wind from the weight
of disregarded fruit, the arms of the pear
lift into light.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Ambiguity"

At night, this cataract
throws rainbow-hued haloes
around oncoming lights:
beauty obscures risk.

* * *


"Small Song: Tangibility"

Shadows of bare trees stripe the morning street,
their dark so dense I expect to bounce
as I drive across them, surprised as always
that the intensity of their presence
is pure absence.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Fog"

Dense mist swathes the trees,
blurring their shapes like webs
of tent caterpillars. Sound diminishes;
the call of a nearby thrush
becomes thin, distant, and solitary.

* * *


"Small Song: Thunderheads"

Bruise-hued, hydrangea heads droop
under the weight of rain. A wren,
descending to an arc of stem, dislodges
a tiny tempest, asperging the spiderwort below.

* * *


"Small Song: Flux "

Beneath the mercury streetlamp,
the pavement quivers with rain:
swift silver curves leap and flicker,
black-flecked with quick shadow.
Chiaroscuro swirls; there is only transition.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Camellia"

A hundred rusted swirls of petals
circle the bush's base, funnels
of red frost-stricken to ruin.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Silhouettes"

Unfallen sweetgum balls, seeds spent,
have darkened with rain; against the overcast,
they loom like empty worlds, dead suns,
failed Pleiades.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Duet"

The moon shatters on the pond;
its riven sparks rise and fall
with the long, slow unwinding
of a distant saxophone.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Need"

At spring's touch, the buds
of the cherry tree swell
taut and reaching, urgent
with their ache for release.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Essence"

Caraway thyme yields its scent
as freely as you
when brushed by my fingers.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Exultant"

From a crystal vase,
three stems of orange gladiolas
curve like bursting fireworks
over our bed.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Laundry"

The orb weaver's web
strung with dew
quivers to the weight
of a thousand tiny suns,
last night's stars scrubbed clean
and hung up to dry.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Duel"

Last October's maple leaves
tumble in gas-scented gusts of air
back across the property line
to where they belong because
my leafblower is bigger than yours.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Attrition"

A lone Roman hyacinth
rises from the small bulb bed,
the sole remnant
of the squirrels' winter feast.

* * *


‎"Small Song: Premonition"

A few small popcorn puffs of white
have burst from the Bradford Pear;
against the gray blur of branches
and clouds at sunrise, they almost
fluoresce, these forerunners of the bright.

* * *

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?