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.

* * *
* * *

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