Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Winter Leaves

This appeared in Poetry Proper 3.


Look, have I mentioned how the winter leaves
Resemble bronze? That statue of a tree,
It is a tree. The art of standing still,
Of keeping still till everyone forgets
The name you had when swords were haute couture,
When bronze was for an age, and dryads slept
With bark for blankets, that you still possess.
Have I not watered you when it was dry
And promised that the birds would love you, too?
Some day a god will build his nest from hair
He took as a trophy. Some day he will kiss
Confusion into legs and roots, some day;
And men will cut themselves on winter leaves
And swear eternal love, day after day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Safe

The first snowdrops are showing.
Carol loved them dearly,
Under all that snowing.
Carol marked them yearly,
Said when they'd appear,
"Through another season, safe another year."

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Daisies Mown

from These Denver Odes



The daisies mown will blow again.
The moon pines not, nor is dismayed,
rejuvenating without pain;
once man into his grave is laid,

he is no more a man. His dust
may someday form some form instead.
It won't be he. The new moon must
return; but man, when dead, is dead.

So you, figured like Helen, bright
of eye, Celinda, will not see
how good you look, made up for night,
to be illumed like Semele.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

An Advent Calendar

The austere plain is only my front yard

At 2 a.m., and me without my glasses.
These are not angels, drifting in the wind,
Browning and brittle skeletons, the shape
Of feathers, strings of light, and Christmas stars;
But they will do. The lawn is edified
And passes on its wisdom. In the genes
Of adjectives the flexible is made
Customary, a quiff of clothes for skin
Which cannot bear the touch of falling leaves,
Of fallen princesses, of yellow bones
Made into grass, made into trees, remade,
Remade with no trick ending while it sleeps.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

On the Road to Little Pacification

By stage, the journey, shorter than you think,
Consumes with interest the time. Those heads
You pass, for instance, stuck on rusted pikes,
The burning martyrs praising their foul judge,
Half-naked women selling anathemas--
Where is the like in leisure, safely sound,
Petting the family dog or boiling grits?
It takes a trip like this to fill the mind.

We stop at The Remorseless Inn for brunch,
One price fits all, relieve ourselves, then wash,
And head for the Humble Counties, home of black
Kine and those hunting dogs bred out of wolves.
Consulting our horoscopes, we do not pause;
Our journey has the urgency of faith
Beset by trimmers, little men, and gray
Ecclesiastics. Soon it starts to rain,
Thus mud prevails. We are above such things.

Thatch is espied, then woodcocks, and the tang
Of peasants burning wintergreen: they keep
Their spirits up, sure, broadcasting the fate
Of unbelievers in a weal of woe.
We have arrived, credentialed, to be kissed
And flattered, and we order each a grog,
A sandwich, and a leg of wench. Ah, home.
Someday it will be home. The savages.