Musing Marvels - 2002
RenewalThrough columns of misted pine, long guardians of this first expanse - the harbinger of soil, stone and fledgling color. Each form becomes the first seeing, each scent, the first breath. Dark brown earth, heavy with seed, lies silent against the open palm. To drift, to fall unbound upon the forest floor, seeping slowly into wet and musky soil - tight-skinned eyes and limbs, cooled, enveloped, in pine and mossy scents of earthened dew. Rolling deep into yielding marrow, I take this scent to be my own, the markings of kindred and of clan. I had passed unknown, invisible in strangeness. Now perceived, I am enjoined, trellised into wonderful arrangement of first life. As the pods and spores held within the earth, I escape the limitation of my scale, slowing to become the white outline of a narrow tree, bending down, rooting, reaching forward in shadow.
© 2002 Anne Fraser
Spring TrioI. Ode To April And I recalled the opening line Of Eliot’s Wasteland: “April is the cruelest month…” And I think that somehow the same Could be said of any month, May, June, July, August, September And not to forget November and December. Indeed things green and things yellow Are growing quite irrepressibly And soon a hint of color will crawl up The bare willows and upon the ash and maple New foliage will sprout, modest at first, But growing toward green crescendos. I remember my grandfather Was a modernist in his old age. He would slip into spells of incoherence, Utter words in odd tongues, not of European origin But more exotic. On summer afternoons, He would sit in the shade beneath a tree And rest his back upon its bark and trunk And sometimes in fragments, More often in the gibberish of delirium, Speak to me like Sybil. I believe that Spring is strong And April is not fragile but merely subtle. Sprouts peek most shyly from the earth, Green shafts against the black soil, Tendril roots twisting down. There is no cruelty in Of modest beginnings Or in the small starting of things. He has closed his eyes and Oh that I could awaken him, Just grab his arm and say: “Grandpa, wake up. You walked in the sun too long.” He would open his eyes and look at me, And mumble something in Arabic That sounded slightly slurred And wave his arm for me to go way, To let him sleep. The days grow longer and the light Now streams in the big window Just after sunrise, and April is the month Of things sleeping and slow awakenings, Of fragments that grow Toward the fullness of meaning. II. At Lake St. Clair Fishing at Lake St. Clair today, Alone on a long pier, Just north of the power plant Where the line of steel smokestacks, The “Seven Sisters” dominate the sky, And I always think them The perfect classical form, Tall and slender as they are, Ionic columns left standing upright Amid the rubble of some ruins The water-tinted orange In the first light after sunrise, Its surface choppy and textured As if painted on a canvas, pasted on thick With the short pointed strokes of a palette knife, And I recalled a fragment from long ago: “White-caped waves sweep the lake-- My father’s dreams” And me picking out with such care Painted spoons of speckled green, And a feathered jig with a chartreuse head. For you know my grandfather was a modernist, My father was a neo-romantic, but I… I am a fisherman. For the measure of a man I know Is in pike and pickerel and perch. III. Piano Sonata Things are most pure in their beginnings, As if time somehow tarnishes Innocence and stains The sweetest intentions. It is the April of things, rather than their August, That is most lovely, Tendrils of hope With roots that grip tenacious and deep, The watercolor that seeps across A sketch of charcoal landscape. In the rain today I found a faint trace of music, A fragment of melody That is the sound of a piano sonata, Notes that resonated softly And make me remember Black and white summers When I crossed the river on Macarthur Bridge, The sunlight On the surface of the water shining brightly, The waves gleaming Like schools of chrome minnows. It is raining and I hear my grandfather’s footsteps On each wooden step as he walks up the front porch, I hear him stop to cough and then continue. Memory is a fragmentary thing. And I cannot simply decide And struggle a great deal And muse endlessly upon the troubling question: Is it the April within us that God loves? Or is the April within us God’s love itself?
© 2002 Doug Tanoury
I will wait for you at the end of the world, I will see you there, I will be leaning up against the wall, you will be hurried and worried, standing in line for that something that never came, expecting it to come like a light-switch dawn, and your cronies will be only ponies in their stirrups, baying to be lead away by those sad straps to chew and sulk, and I will stop believing in the impossible tragedies of pure fiction created by my mind, the cars will stop snaking up the hill like some bright shiny mindless train with its light and windows and nothing and everything will exist just the same but the in-between-here-and-there will cease to be and wherever it is you think you are, wherever it is you think you’re headed, that will all end and you will be here.
© 2002 Gordon Purkis
Rooms may be young or old. And they exert power. A young room is mostly empty. The furniture sparse, and all but unnecessary. Things have not been so well or permanently put. Potentiality and Freedom live there. Life changing events have yet to occur. But this one was an old room, well ordered and finished. Its furnishings and their placement proscribed paths and directions already taken. The couch was dogma, The lamp inquisitive. Its light unfriendly. The tables were ancient and bore no heel marks. The floor was not made for sitting. It was a room furnished entirely with expectations, have to’s, should’s, and don’ts. Possibility died here some time ago. (RUN AWAY!)
© 1997 Ron Haun
How would I really grow old? Grow a beard, wrinkles under my bright blue eyes and a week-long stubble across my sad chin of yonder years How would I really grow old as the skies here in Calcutta ridicule my envy my rage impotent like the clouds here in Calcutta my beloved, that don’t burst and smear a lot of sorrows along the city highways How would I really grow old among my rains and my sunshine and my bleak winter cold?
© 2002 Prasenjit Maiti
There was death, right on time, advancing several earth-turns before this hour. It brought sleep in this season, This late flowering, these torrents of weariness that multiplied and multiplied again stretching Into palaces, gold on gold, And I could see into each palace claiming its own lord and ocean, its personal king and thunder, and on its paths fragments of stone and that was the afternoon into whose sun I was falling away from all who would find breath here later whenever they might listen, whatever they might imagine from crowded hallways or might cherish from the rock path to the hills. The blurred moon blinks onto stone pitchers catching rain under the sound of closing windows.
© 2002 Diane Engle
The LifeWhen life comes to stricken ends Throwing out a handful of dust Powered by cerebrum of a spark Into a cauldron of burnt out star. It was a plunge into Sojourn briefed in a catacomb Into seric sarabanded curse Shifting to the end of universe. Maker of the azure skies Over the sunburnt ochred earth An adjustment for exclusions of pain Too subtle for wistful weaker brain. When the life desires itself to expand Stormed by bridled expanded expression Finding a solace in some spirited grace Or in cicada’s song of perpetual digression.
© 2002 Durlabh Singh
The Fruit Stand
Season of grit, where stones are bald and bulbs hide in the ground's thick sleeve like nipples under a suit. The dream of it all starched in wait. I am the hurried-to-bursting pulse. Snowfalls bite their lips when I need that rinse, that white chiffon to salve the crust, to show me a god leaves footprints of flour. I stitched the moon, but it tore. Patched the knee-less sun, but its yellow got lost in a pocket with gaps. What's missing in this chemistry? Bare trees, skinny as virgins, who've never weighed in with a lost love. Walls of home, stale air of too much smoke and thinking time clotting the laudable quill. I'll go buy fruit -- within the rain and the gray it has moist promises. Kiwi green, an angel pear kissing me back. Seductive and bruisable same as my hands. The apple riper than blood. Bright flesh when mine is dull and cracked old saddlebags from riding the ghost to the edge.
© 2002 Janet Buck
The Poetry of Janet Buck
Today I woke in my age. The lightning of crow's feet surprised the terrain of cheekbone; the crescents on thumbnails yellowed into other moonphases. My grandfather would sprinkle salt from the shaker to his hand, then to his halupcia, the constellations clinging to creased palms. I thought it a Russian habit, my half heritage. Today I brushed breakfast crumbs from our coffee counter, knocking the shaker loose. My hand, his hand, our hand, wiped crystals into the sink, falling stars into trade winds. Today I woke to my age.
© 2002 William Dubie
William Dubie, Poetry & Stuff
She rarely left her large, square, dust free bedroom, only when her chest was clear enough that the thick green in her lungs would stay down, not punish her breath, steal the electric oxygen from her bruised and tired legs. Though, at times, she would stand on the white-marble balcony, longing for a lover, warm breath circling her breast, nimble, creative fingers, in her hair that always seemed to smell like ginger, beneath the copper suns chilled tone, late afternoon's delicious, wild gardens of nomadic burgundy-creams. At night, if it were dry, the dampness wrung from the air by star-captive sky's and hung to dry, she would sit in white wicker, above cool, whispering, patchwork shadows, still pines resembling a thousand tall, potential green-gray suitors, though she secretly knew they had not come in desire of her, rather, seductive nights layered and wrapping velvet-black arms. From this knowing, she forged dramatic images of places she had never been, emerald, froth-licked seas, brilliantly lit desert cities that glowed upon opalescent sand, meetings with flagrant strangers whose breath laid on her face like hands above a bonfire in early Spring's nighttime chill. For this, I owe her more than small words, though, these are all I possess to convey.
© 2002 Michael Ladanyi
Michael Ladanyi's Poetry Page
Abdillaiva s. Kadiri
Oh Never Again
Oh never again will I ever find That flower abloom in each day's decline, With petals in crystal mists atwine And hues enfold in Art's divine. Oh never again will I ever see That blossom blest as fays can be, With a scent in forlorn hauntings plea A yonder's quest in a murmuring lea. Oh never again will I ever find That lovely flower blest in Art's divine; Oh never again will I ever see That fairy blossom is but nestled in thee.
© 2002 Abdillaiva S. Kadiri