Musing Marvels - 2002

Anne Fraser

Through 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  


Doug Tanoury
Spring Trio


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.


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.


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  


Gordon Purkis

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  


Ron Haun

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.


© 1997 Ron Haun  


Prasenjit Maiti

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  


Diane Engle
This Hour

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  



Durlabh Singh
The Life

When 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  


Janet Buck
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   e-mail the author

The Poetry of Janet Buck


William Dubie
Time Lapse

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   e-mail the author

William Dubie, Poetry & Stuff


Michael Ladanyi
Her Desire

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   e-mail the author

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   e-mail the author



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