Splash of the Month Collection -- 1999

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July of the Month

Witch's Sundial

By: Diane Engle


In summer's light I stood, centuries and continents
from home, where she had stood, watching this weight
of ivy work its spell on stone.  Wild ivy crawling
from its roots, bird songs, monuments bearing our name
are all that offered blessing to this shrine.
Rays from the same sun that splashed their clocks
brought ruins into sharpened focus
on patchwork landscape numb with age.

Aunt Margaret, countless generations great,
was thought to be a witch.  They buried her upright 
with earls and lords in Scotland
long before Cromwell came, flatening castle
and cathedral in God's name.  It was the custom then.
Birds, undistressed by fallen kings
or upright witches, sang carols handed down
millenia of genes.  Do not tell me
a love of sundials cannot be carried thus.
It was the women, donors of my blood,
diluted and diluted still by shaft, by shadow,
placed them--carved that surety in stone
that braced the gnomon, held the dial,
caught the sun, and turned the shade.

I feel the witches' blood, and sense
the curling lip of outrage.  My name
is carved in stone and yet
-I cannot stay the shaft that lengthens shadow
across this bright abyss, this splay of light.


Copyright  1995 Diane Engle
First appeared in Vincent Brothers Review Comments to author: 76557.3463@CompuServe.COM

 

 

June of the Month

Receptacle

By: Joy Reid


Green little bottle 
     chosen for beauty
no practical function
just eye teasing pleasure.
Plump little paradox
     wriggle your hips
waggle your buttocks
oh sumptuous abandon.
Madeleine urn or
     pert water carrier
	I see you rather
in an odalisque hand.
Vessel of Myrrh or
     musk from the orient
	priceless purchase
with stoppered scent.
Sly genii bower 
     smooth as a jewel
	emerald prison
denying release.	
Shrewd dragon eye
     brooding on plunder
	ancient miser
guarding the hoard.
Coy little bottle
     bereft of purpose
your value to me
is inestimable.


Copyright  Joy Reid

Comments to author:  jreid@staggs.schnet.edu.au



 

 

May of the Month

Restoration

By: Sean Webb


It's been years since the vintage church bells seized.
The elaborate works, the means by which they rang,
shackled in rust and persistence of pigeon squalor.
I clearly remember the scanty bell tower struck
silent and joyless by the incarceration of its bells.
As well, I clearly remember the announcement:
The only man capable of restoration had been found.

I had no formal concern with the bells.
It was not my church, not even my denomination,
however, I was raised within a brick toss of this
stunning bell tower.  It reigned heavy on my conscience
as it measured my minor accomplishments against
its hourly toll.  It spawned a peculiar circadian soul
within my already peculiarly syncopated heart.

Today, in my one room flat, I listen to the groan
of plumbing pipes.  The naked woman I always imagine
showers in a room above me, hot tapwater strains 
through clogged pipes below.  Offbeat unscheduled sounds
emit from the common pipes, the common walls,

the church of mice between us.  I hear myself listening
to the metronomic clock inside myself awakening
to the tamperings of the restorative man.  I watch him, 
fully recumbent, toiling for less than portal-to-portal pay.
He works for the one clear note that will reinstate
the hourly cadence of an intimate march.


Copyright  Sean Webb

Comments to Author:   sean@doug.med.utah.edu



 

April of the Month


Beloved

By: Aarti Rampadarath

Your name was the word that
kept me hanging in trees. An

ancient habit: my tears frozen
on wintergreen woods.

The wind kept laughing
at my ridiculous gown; 

I dripped to the ground
in defeat.

      ---

Your name was the word that
kept me in place,

an urgency to wait. My
limbs were in chains.

They did things to me I 
dare not say. Worse: 

I did them too. But at sunset 
I cried and sang of you, 
always.

Copyright 1996 Aarti Rampadarath

Comments to the author: A.Rampadarath@stud.let.ruu.nl

Aarti's Home Page


 

March of the Month

Balanced

By: Priscilla Bromfield

On a beam
suspended in air
blindly placing the foot
upon the wood,
then walking
slowly;
tiptoeing,
actually.
That's the language
of love.

Copyright Priscilla Bromfield


 

February of the Month

Dignity

By: Larry Olson

Stars hung, like jewels, heaven high
    As a necklace upon the sky,
While the desert moon filled the night
    With it's soft glowing light.
In awe I stood under this west Texas sky,
    Like a prophet, seeking why;
Looking off into eternity for answers fast,
    What I saw was a noble past.

Riders crossing the grassland below,
    A Comanche hunting party moving slow,
Stopping to look at the heavens, with reverent eye;
    Noble silhouettes under the western sky.
Off they rode across the plains in determined course,
    As one in the moonlight, upon their painted horse.
To the land, their presence was a loving caress,
    Their dignity, now, a mournful wish.

Cowboys emerged from the dust of their passing, 
    Chasing strays as I stood there watching;
Galloping through the prairie grass, knee high,
    A ballet of horse and rider on the fly.
The sound and sights of the struggle sent a chill,
    Of sweat and pain, of courage and skill.
These quiet, yet loquacious men, gentle, and strong;
    Bespeak a simple grace and dignity, all but gone.

I see the lights of Ft. Davis off to the northwest,
    Like an oasis, beckoning me back from the past.
From those who asked for so little and gave so much:
    [The land and people became richer from their touch]
A horse, a saddle, a land they can never really own,
    A starry sky to remind them; they are not alone.
In their noble past lies a compelling history:                                
    To live and die with honor and dignity.

Copyright 1998 Larry Olson

Comments to author: lolson44aol.com


 

January of the Month

No Apologies

By: Kathleen Bohaty

gnarled they wave   
gossiping with   
empty clouds   
while standing guard by   
the pond   

their strength no   
longer hidden   
by flimsy leaves   
some of which remain on   
the ground   

no apologies
   from winter trees

Copyright 1998 Kathleen Bohaty

Kathy's Waltz