Monday, September 7, 2009

bearded boys in flannel shirts
Leaves of Grass and On The Road
tucked in the back pockets
of their low-slung bells
of their cutoffs
the smell of woodsmoke
and hand-rolled cigs
sweat and sawdust
mixed with alcohol
The Band throbbing
on the stereo
Dylan and Young
Van The Man waiting in the wings
ideals and dreams
sarcasm and wit
music and desire
those bearded boys of summer

Monday, August 17, 2009

Farmers Market 10 to 2

Hot sun on low canvas and plastic roofs
faint breeze
snaking around tent poles
Tomatoes firm and ripe
fragrant red and green heirloom scents
blending with fresh-baked bread and pastries
onions and garlic
soil still clinging
perfume stalls of corn, zucchini and wildflowers
snapdragons and dill
A fiddler stomps in time to his tune
and little children roll and giggle in the grass
a long-haired dachshund and a big rangy mutt
eye one another
across the Maori man's stone jewelry booth
My heart is as light as the clouds
in the bright blue sky
above

Morning Walk

The path to the theatre runs along a little country road. My artist’s loft – with its gabled roof, deep window seats, claw-foot tub, and eclectic stack of records – sits around a bend on the way up the mountain. This morning, as I walk down, the mist is just starting to burn off. The delicate violet morning-glories are awake and fanned wide, drinking in the sun that peeks through the spaces in the clouds clinging to the mountain. The fields on either side of the road – full of sweet round red clover, spikes of violent red-orange Devil’s Paintbrush, and frothy white saucers of Queen Anne’s Lace swaying on their long stalks – are alive with gentle bird sounds, the rustling of little animals and the hum of insects. A small gray vole lies curled on its side by the gravel edge, dead, perhaps by the paw and jaw of a cat.

There is a pond on the way down the road. It’s fed by a little stream which runs through a culvert under the street. On one side of the road – shaded to hidden darkness by maple, ash and dogwood – the stream gurgles and rushes over a low rocky bed of native marble. On the other, the pond spreads out, encircled by tall handsome spruces and a few slender white birches. Lilies float on its dark still surface and a Great Blue Heron stands like an old man – stoop-shouldered in his dark-gray overcoat – among the reeds and cattails on its marshy edge.

This is the time of year and the wet soil in which to find jewelweed (sometimes called the Touch-Me-Not), a favorite of mine. Its delicate coronet flowers of vibrant yellow and orange call to me from the tangle of weeds running along the side of the road. Crouching down, I find the seed pods eagerly, anticipating the nostalgic and visceral joy of releasing the seeds within. The little insect-green pods are distended, ripe with potential energy. My fingertips tingle as I pinch the seed pods gently and they spring apart – banana-peel sections instantly curling up like little ringlets, the tiny seeds flying out to sink into the soil and wait to grow. Such pleasure I get from a small trick of genetic dispersal!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Alamance

the night
drops its curtain softly
and folds quiet dark
around the house
the fresh moonlit breeze
drained of the day's humidity
wafts a breath of honeysuckle
through open windows
and fireflies
wink around us
clustering
in the dusky corners of the garden
Watch him watch
his father's
familiar stooping gait
Under the wet magnolias
the white oaks
dripping evening rain
Along the brick paths
of memories old
and fading out of sight
around the next corner
He wonders at this ceaseless longing
The thrill of possibilities in those silent hotel rooms
New eyes behind every door
He can almost feel the road beneath his feet
The staccato white lines of the highway flashing by
As he bends to brush her hair gently from her face
“Sleep” he whispers softly
Unwritten songs humming in his head as he tells her
He’ll be there when she wakes
But his heart tenses at the lie
He will be miles gone when she opens her eyes to the dawn
The wanderlust tied to his every nerve compels him
Chances and regrets rise before him like the moon
And he is gone again in the night

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

hard on the skipping heels
of her minor successes
the rain
drives worms from the ground
cheeks flushed
she dodges firm wet flesh
so many, she thinks,
undulating in the dark

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Armory

the bricks of this place
hold stories of me
the smell of the walls
the banister under my palm
remind my heart of pain
remind my skin of yours

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Stuck

The camera is full of pictures
The sink is full of dishes
This Friday night is silence
Self-absorbed and locked indoors
Drown the doubts with another beer
Cry out with quips they’ll all ignore
Check for him and wait for him
And stay stuck for no reason
But comfort and fear
Time will move on as always
And empty rooms will become
Other empty rooms
In other haunted cities
And either way
Things will change
Or they won’t

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Follow

The rain falls
Clear and cold
On an unknown road
Grown in green with neglect
Returning to her primal state

He calls to her down that path
But she no longer hears
That siren song
Those words that are her
And yet say nothing

Waiting, gathering her breath
She turns towards the wind
It carries the promise of change
The salt tang of the ocean
The deep wet green scent of life

Away to the west
She will be lost
Her soul called out to sea
The noise and the hum
Of cars on asphalt
No longer hold her

And when this road is gone
When the trees have sealed it
Into their fold
With seedlings and ferns
And small watchers with bright eyes
Who will remember her
Walking this path

Monday, January 19, 2009

She Returns

She spreads her body down across the sun-dappled grass here
So far away from the cold white marble and the warm summer rain
And from the columns of corn stalks into which she could have disappeared
Her eyes turn now towards the dying sky
Her thoughts turn inwards
The smoke had become a part of her in those long, lonely nights
The drink and the longing bringing tears to her eyes
His hands had held her up and held her back and held her down
Crushing the rosemary to fragrance beneath her willing regret
His laughter was like the hum of the insects
Stirring all around her in that meadow of balsams
But all of it is gone now
Watching a delicate spider climb the worn porch railing
The smell of dusty wooden beams above her in the dark
The feel of the loose stones of that loving path bruising her bare feet
The distant sound of a glass ringing like a bell as it hit the bedside table
The cultivated wilds of this overcrowded patch of green the only respite now
In a world where her body hardly reacts
As a bus passes almost close enough to brush her shoulder
Like the dark water closing over her
After she jumped from the highest rocks
She realizes that proximity is no longer an issue
Without the possibility of his skin