farewell to a jay

blue wing tips

a dapper nod

the flush of tree

and brush applaud

his stellar crown

the late of day to

gray cement

he’s gone. long gone,

so long.


Poppied

We step out to see the poppies
peeled their pods, felted raincoats
flopping flays of raw orange-red;
they will never stay dry again.

If they knew it was the last time
landing limp-faced on the wet grass,
would they undress this fast?


How the Sun

How did I make it
through a five night
hospital stay, through
burst and fever,
a night-watch brigade
circle of steaming
doubt. How did I sail
one full moon to the next,
one full sink of dirty
dishes to the next. How
did I plant the seeds
on time and water the annuals
so leaves wouldn’t fail
their spring. How did the same
sun that ripens sweet peas,
tulips, and zucchinis,
melts M&Ms onto the car seat
and bakes my front porch,
place one bright kiss
on my cheek, as if in sentience
knew need. How is it
just then, I could not stop
crying one morning in April
when all felt more
than good enough.

Granted, this is more like a journal entry than a poem, but I’ve included it in April’s collection of attempts at poetry because there is some core here I may want to revise later. Thank you for reading.


sacred aside

Daffodils seem careless
clustered alongside
gravel strewn tracks
where the only other green
is a pile of broken glass
half buried in coals.


Overwintered

In the mocking blue ice cave under her skin
she forages for dry white sticks. Fingers
of a flame gone blind, she counts

thirty-nine tics on the greyleaf willow.
Her belly is dropping. This is her child’s
asclepieia. Sutures dissolve.

She does not blame greed
for a fuming and finite earth. Buried
alive, dusty bulbs find their way.
Deepest roots drink from a dying sun.

 


In the Open

A silver tip tetra sky
spits out clouds like smoke.

Night phantoms dissolve. Suspended
droplets glaze the red-leafed maple branch
catching back their light. Raptors perch here,
meadow frogs croak. I can not hear

you anymore. The landscape is awake,
and its vapor has loosened your hold.


Shooting Star

A lithe golden crescent is cradling its shadow.
Cantaloupe haze drips carmine, exorcising
the horizon in front of your eyes. Is it horror
or exhilaration you feel; can you trust the cosmos
at this hour? You have spent evenings of sorrow
watching condors hover in fleshy apricot light.
You’ve tried burning openings in the frothy gray
that sits on Puget Sound like a brooding mother hen.

When did you let sentiment impale your senses?
During youth, every shooting star was your first.
Nostalgia was something grandmother wrung
in her hands recalling the flood of ’58. The man
clinging to rafters on swells of misplaced water
was the only one who could fill your grandfather’s boots.

These days, you dodge waves with egrets and rails.
Advised to release, you hold tighter knowing
king vulture is looking for someone to let go.


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