HEART OF THE DERVISH
You witnessed wind die in the heart of the dervish,
Hearing its last sigh in the heart of the dervish.
& recall fables of mystics whose specters
Still occupy the heart of the dervish.
You have seen air roiling with seeds of unrest –
Swirling sands that fly through the heart of the dervish.
& have requested entry into the wind's house, hearing
A zephyr's reply from the heart of the dervish.
Child of the desert, why come searching for ghosts
Whose echoes multiply in the heart of the dervish?
Then prayers were chanted by the vanished tribes,
Their voices amplify in the heart of the dervish.
You became their audience of one, & entered
As through a storm's eye the heart of the dervish.
The whispers of sages reading ancient texts
Are heard in a whirlwind's cry, the heart of the dervish.
The phantom of a hurricane still rages in the sea,
Manifesting like a war the sky wages with the sea.
With a shell pressed to the ear one hears scripts
Of storms that chronicle the ages of the sea.
Racing dolphins leapt through mirrors of water,
Squares of light like sun-struck pages on the sea.
Clouds shawling mountains begin to churn,
Harvesting a cyclone that rages to the sea.
Near sunken chests weighted with jewels, the skeletons
Of whales are anchored like cages in the sea.
Doused in light, Shiva rose through waves
Of flaming water & foretold the ages of the sea.
Daniel W.K. Lee
Lucifer, the last witness, approaches to defend God,
says, “But I cannot pardon, no, Man must mend God.”
On countless counts of indifference, how does He plea?
We no longer accept, “None can comprehend God.”
Witness the Holy Word disrobe into the infidel
when each interpretation is fit to offend God.
So many Believers on the perimeter of murder!
Not only terrorists have heretics to send God.
Still I am burning though I followed His Law.
A jihad against injustice! Elect to amend God!
“Love all mankind.” Do I misquote gospel?
Then sissy-love is righteous, I contend, God!
During all these epochs, assuming your nature:
today, He; tomorrow, She. You gender-bent, God!
Oh Lord, you’re such a queen for garish entrances!
Apocalypse’s the ultimate production to portend God.
Everything in your wake now is razored by pain.
Grace, in disgrace, should not be the trend, God.
Rise for your sentence: TAKE NOTHING AND ALL BACK.
Though decreed by the Devoted, this won’t suspend God.
The dropped verses in Daniel detail how God was deserted.
He decayed when no one uttered, “Do you need a friend, God?”
Daniel W.K. Lee
Where were you finding me—everywhere not home?
As if a rearview mirror, is your blind spot home?
What is fair in love and war? Only fire? Ashes?
Men who perfected burning always, never got home.
God in shame, even angels refused the Holy Land;
None surrendered Jerusalem. Everyone fought home.
History will not restore him. No, dying was his ticket.
When else—save dying—is diaspora brought home?
A nomad in exile draws his blinds, vanishes to where?
Where nobody else thought. Nobody thought home.
P.S. Daniel, I left to become disaster’s first orphan.
On the page I found you, in the poem I sought home.
Daniel W.K. Lee
String the cellos needed to compose the night
with lines of the sapphire prose: the night.
Eastern stars hasten into a Braille libretto.
Here, caress the encore to close the night.
Oh flame-haired Dutchman, are you now deaf
to the swirl of impasto which flows the night?
Spring’s the best masala to season the eyes.
Only by hand—grind the rose, the night.
The Tao instructed yin, who sought a brother,
“Peel your most passive of foes—the night.”
Twilight corroborates a G.I.’s alibi;
For causalities past curfew, he owes the night.
But for heirs sequined with noon bullets,
wail beyond mourning! Impose the night!
If Chaos bore Creation, let us be razed—
cut down by the slayer who knows the night.
Will there be no one to rescue our legends?
Read—one last time—how Daniel froze the night.
morning showers, a dash of honey;
added zest, to that cup of tea
a riddle of sweet and strong;
on the seventh day answered, honey
strength and stay, and length of days,
the bridegroom's pledge to his honey
the sweet sacrament over, they wing
their way to the guerdon honeymoon
night sky; a gossamer veil covers
the treasured land of milk and honey
A generous river spangled with islands
gives everyone a fresh view of islands.
A shack that even the hermit abandoned
turns back into trees on one of the islands.
We heed the strait passage, enter dead slow,
threading the needle through close-lying islands.
Leaving one and scanning for the next;
wanting all past and future islands.
Ruth had seen everything a thousand times
until she was swept away to the islands.
A few things will never go wrong –
nothing you do can make them wrong.
Request a meal anywhere in Quebec,
its delicate flavors won’t go down wrong.
A camera pointed blind at the Canyon,
successful, even if the light is wrong.
Something unlikely is destined to happen
just when you think nothing else can go wrong.
This in a lifetime Ruth has learned:
heads or tails, half the time you’ll be wrong.
Sheila E. Murphy
THE FIRST ENGLISH LANGUAGE TANKA
World Poetry News: April 1, 2131.
Michael L. Evans
In a stunning turn of events today, at the 31st annual WETS Conference (Whole Earth Tanka Society), the poetry world was rocked by the announcement of the 31st speaker (an obscure poet known only as Mikey ) that he had discovered what he felt to be the world's first English language tanka. The poem was unearthed at an archaeological dig in the British Isles, which appears to be the ruins of a secondary
palace of one Uther Pendragon. It is suspected that the poem was penned by the court singer to the royal family. Said poem was labeled as Tanka X, and entered into the conference minutes as follows.
e,f,g - h,i,j,k
q,r,s,t – u & v
w,x,y & z
The presenter was immediately chastised by the head of the SOME delegation (Shite On Modern English), who claimed that this poem had actually originated several centuries before, and was written in Olde English/Germanic. He then also questioned the marital status of the presenter’s parents. However, in an even more remarkable turn of events, 31 minutes later, the Russian delegation presented two recently declassified State Documents in support of the presenters’ claim. The first shows the court singer to the House of Uther was, in fact, one Ivan Tankanovitch: Poet of the Russian Royal Family.
Master Tankanovitch had been sent on a top secret mission to Olde Brittainy, to introduce Russian poetics to Western Europa.
The second document, presented in support of the first, showed that one of Master Tankanovtch's maternal ancestors – one Eugeny Wakanovitch – had also been sent on a similar mission to Cathay, and the Nippon Isles.
Upon receipt of said documents, and in the middle of the ensuing fist fight, the discussion was tabled, and the conference declared to be in recess until 0800 tomorrow.
RETREAT TO THE BEGINNING
norla m. antinoro
All I intended to do was get to the zendo, attend the group meditation, and return home. It was to have been an addition to my day. Retreats and day trips were far beyond both my purse and my intent. So I called and arranged for the trip across town to Dharma Rain. A three-hour group has become a day long adventure, a retreat – a pilgrimage. The trip on the bus will take two hours each way and so a three-hour group has become an eight-hour day trip to the center. Riding the bus is the perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness and you have few choices beyond simplicity. So I pack my yarn and set out. Two hours of mindfulness on the bus. Three hours of intentional group practice, and two more hours of mindfulness on the bus. A gift from the fates. Such a retreat would cost two hundred dollars if I were to seek it at a formal center. I get it for three and a half – the current bus fare in this city. To honor the karma and the serendipity I buy carbon offsets as I do for a train ride and make a small mindful and compassionate donation at the zendo itself. All I need is a begging bowl, a robe, and a haircut and my pilgrimage to the beginning would be complete. I am not a nun or monk [monk being a gender neutral term in today’s zendo] but the image persists as I settle for my maryjanes, whatever dress comes to hand, my knitting bag and for now, in a different kind of meditation, hair that will remain uncut.
this quiet desperation
cupped in loneliness
the dawn of my compassion
softly singing the silence
ONCE AGAIN WE FLY
norla m. antinoro
The preparation for a record breaking 29th angioplasty, with stent this time for the tenth stent, begins two weeks before the grand event with the discussion of its necessity. In my classic approach I ask “what will this procedure tell us that we do not already know?” and my cardiologist patiently explains. I can tell she is as much a teacher as a healer for she clearly enjoys this part of her work. Instead of rushing off to her next patient, she settles in for a long chat. I almost expected her to offer me tea. Then we agree and I accept and the process moves forward. The stream of paperwork begins to flow. First there is the signing of the document that acknowledges you could die from this and as each time before you hesitate on the brink of calling her back. “I don’t really want to die you know,” you want to say. “Can we re-think this?” But this is about quality of life, not longevity as she reminds you. Such an interesting term, to describe the difference between having a working brain and being a vegetable. They call that “quality of life.” If those are my choices, then as before, twenty eight times before, I choose to maintain the quality of life that keeps my brain alert and functioning, for what would write the poetry if the brain were deprived of air? More paperwork, calls to remind me not to use lotion or perfume and of course no food after midnight and the day approaches. Now it is tomorrow. You could die, you know, that reminder echoes in the back of my mind again. Exactly what they told you the first time twelve years ago and so once again you choose the poetry and appreciation for another sunrise.
at the top of the run
to fly downhill
holding the weight of yesterday
the promise of tomorrow
norla m. antinoro
The hike across the wasteland has been long and difficult. Each time I think I see a waterfall, it turns out to be a mirage. One more painful than others repeats – a recurring dream. On a good day the recurring image slides off my consciousness like background music and I walk on, living, thriving. But oh, when the need is greatest the image takes on so much real seeming that I convince myself that it is, it has been, and perhaps will be. It seems so solid, so real and I approach smiling with hope, reading promise in the falling water. Yet as I get closer it wavers and the reality beneath the shimmering image intrudes, the glamourie is lost. What I loved was a seeming, an image. It never existed. In reaching for the unreal, I found ways to pass the years but never to quench the thirst.
In the middle of the sleep time when the world is quiet, I awaken and waterfalls come to mind. Real waterfalls. Not the kind that leave me parched and thirsty as their image wavers on approach. The kind where real footsteps bring real fatigue and when you have touched the water under the falls you emerge drenched and tired and enriched in ways beyond words. It took so much work to get here. My legs were shaking by the time we reached the top again with younger hikers shaking with fatigue beside me, even the children stopping to rest and breathe. These, then, are waterfalls. They take a lot of work, leave some bruises, and when you leave you are both tired and lifted. These are the waterfalls to remember.
Yet once again flute music drifts on the wind over the sound of the falls teasing me with the scent of roses. Once again images of nevermore draw me along seeking that which never was nor will be. Reality slides across my consciousness like sunlight and I glance away from the bright, shading my eyes from that special blindness of seeing so much you see nothing. Too much light brings eternal darkness so we look away, knowing that in seeing this we will see no more. In looking away, we miss the shimmer that tells us that once more this is glamourie. Real waterfalls do not come with the sound of flutes and only children follow pipers to their doom. The music of real waterfalls must be enough. Life does not come with background music.
The path through the trees
strewn with fallen branches
echoing love song
breathless with deepest yearning
this rainforest cathedral
I'm dozing, dreaming that I'm running . . . . and her instructions fade in and out . . .
“In case of an emergency, your seat cushion bottom may be used as a flotation device. . . .”
. . .running room by room through my parent's house of fifty years – bedroom to living room, living room to kitchen, around the stove, by the table, through the porch, out the back door, and across the yard to where the old barn should be. Last time I was home it was leaning and the metal roof was streaked with rust, but now it's gone!
“In case of sudden cabin pressure loss
an oxygen mask will drop . . .”
Jolted to awareness I'm thrust back into my seat as the jet hurtles along the runway gaining momentum.
“Place the mask over your mouth,
tighten the straps, then breathe. . .”
It's been too long since I've traveled home; so much has happened. The farm's been sold – what will it look like all in houses? And what about their failing health – staph infection, cancer, enucleated eye!
storm surge – breaks
on this shore
gasping for air
in the turbulent wake
I fully expected Kucinich's impeachment play would receive almost no coverage. The day's Starbucks run reveals less gray than on the two previous occasions.
blue sky morning
picking out pennies
traffic in my ears
my mother spent so much
on what will be their last car
When i run water down one drain doing the dishes, the other drain is the one that gurgles.
THE CITY NIGHT
The tall homeless man slumps on a bench outside the store. I push my empty cart past him, through the sliding door. Moments later, when I push it out again, filled with plastic bags full of groceries, the man is standing, two or three policemen nearby. “No,” he says forcefully, “I don’t need you to call an ambulance.” He is bearded, disheveled, dirty, but articulate, clearly intelligent. He appears to be in tears.
blue drug store lights
in a sidewalk puddle
Late night, middle of the winter: stillness, cold, and snow. An ice-coated weeping willow outside my window, bent over nigh unto breaking. The breathy flutter of a gas heater in my room. All my life, my one real desire has been for a quiet place like this, a space of time to read or write.
the floorboard creaks
under a passing cat
In the Victorian edifice renowned for its displays from the vast worlds of nature, Sir David Attenborough announces plans to help protect our native species from flitting to oblivion.
in the base of a cheap dish
A mecca for emerging lepidopterists, The Natural History Museum has constructed a temporary summer maze outside, within which kids of all ages can follow paths to interactive games and playground apparatus to help explore what it's like to slip through grasses as a caterpillar, pupate..
he treats me
to a metamorphosis-
We go inside, try different routes. Deep in the eggshell-blue passages, a repair man applies glue to the innards of the 'insect-wars' machine. A woman and toddler play on one nearby with rolling parts in tact, trying to match thoraxes with wings. 'Voila' she cries at last, as if to launch filmy flight. Alongside is the entrance to a plastic hothouse, aflutter with individuals emerged here from the chrysalis, sparked in warmer climes.
a small girl hands in litter-
Poised on vegetation or fermenting fruit, here a symmetry of wings spread, there a pair held closed. The atmosphere too humid to linger over long, we exit back into the large turfed precinct.
a woman folds down on the grass –
AFTER VAN GOGH
A child dares explore a neglected patch within the bounds of the old asylum. Wilderness of brushstrokes, each small defined blade of grass more precious than an emerald. Grasses are just grasses are not grasses.
just daubs of paint –
On this day in 1890 Vincent Van Gogh shot himself in a wheat field outside Auvers-sur-Oise, in France; he died two days later, at the age of thirty-seven. The debate over Van Gogh's physical and mental health continues, with epilepsy, schizophrenia, inner-ear disorder, absinthe and other factors cited as cause of his troubles. Van Gogh's letters, available in a three-volume set or in edited form, provide a detailed look at his painting and his worries over the last few months, although there are only hints of a suicidal mood. He had been released from his latest hospitalization for mental illness to the care of Dr. Gachet, but Van Gogh was not optimistic: "I think we must not count on Dr. Gachet at all. First of all, he is sicker than I am. . . ." Instead, Van Gogh sought therapy in the countryside, and his painting of it:
I have painted three more big canvases.... They are vast fields of wheat under troubled skies, and I did not need to go out of my way to try to express sadness and extreme loneliness.... I almost think that these canvases will tell you what I cannot say in words, the health and restorative forces that I see in the country.
In his last letter to his mother, Van Gogh says that the "restlessness in my head has greatly quieted down," and work is going well:
I myself am quite absorbed in the immense plain with wheatfields against hills, boundless as a sea, delicate yellow, delicate soft green, the delicate violet of a dug-up and weeded piece of soil, checkered at regular intervals with the green of flowering potato plants, everything under a sky of delicate blue, white, pink, violet tones.
I am in a mood of almost too much calmness, in the mood to paint this. "
Vincent Van Gogh's "Wheatfield with Crows," 1890, oil on canvas, 50x100cm.
In the last letter sent to his brother, Theo, just a few days before the suicide, Van Gogh offers thanks for the usual money, puts in a paint order and says goodbye with his customary, "handshakes in thought." In an unmailed letter to his brother found on his body, however, there are darker tones: "Since the thing that matters most is going well, why should I say more about things of less importance?" and "Well, my own work, I am risking my life for it and my reason has half foundered because of it...."
Because a suicide, Van Gogh was denied funeral in the Auvers village church, though a nearby village finally agreed to accept the body. The service, described here by long time friend Emile Benard, took place in Van Gogh's room.
On the walls of the room where his body was laid out all his last canvases were hung making a sort of halo for him and the brilliance of the genius that radiated from them made this death even more painful for us artists who were there. The coffin was covered with a simple white cloth and surrounded with masses of flowers, the sunflowers that he loved so much, yellow dahlias, yellow flowers everywhere. It was, you will remember, his favourite colour, the symbol of the light that he dreamed of being in people's hearts as well as in works of art. Near him also on the floor in front of his coffin were his easel, his folding stool and his brushes.
sun on wheat fields
over your coffin a halo
your dream your life
masses of yellow
floating on white sky
your heart rising
wind blows ashen
summer dies on the altar
too soon too soon
eyes watch heaven
your body but a sunflower
over wheat fields
fleeing crows the sun startles
a burdened sky
Sheila E. Murphy
. . . whenever people read them aloud, they are almost always the last to understand them
EGGS SPECKED DAY SHUN SCAN
TAN TELL EYES SAND HIP KNOW TIES
DUST WRONG GUEST DOVE RENDS.
WOOD EWE BE LEAF VET
TIFF EYES HEAD EWERS PEEKING
EGG STREAM LEAK LEER LEE?
THIS TILL LAIRS LEAPING
WADE DING FOUR AN UDDER DON
JEWEL EYE SON RYES.
TO WILL ONE THING
too dark to see
the rhododendron –
whether the robin
is still on her nest
after a night of rain
in all the world
no safe place
repairing her nest
with cellophane –
where she hides
I won't tell a soul
RUBA’IS, AKA QUATRAINS
David B. McCoy
The Chinese are a practical people
They embrace the Tao, the Buddha, and Confucius
I too am practical when need be
and cast aside the relentless wheel of rebirth
I am hiking down a deserted path
In one hand I carry a rod and reel
In my youth I always had such hopes
These days, I don’t even care if I get a bite
Every day I read the obits and the classifieds
What causes so many in their 50s to die
Why are there so many burial plots for sale
The mathematic possibilities simply don’t add up
A bird flies through the open window
I whack it with a killing blow
After flailing a bit, it again takes to flight
Everyone in the house is shocked silent
The Chinese poet Lin Pu never married—
never sought an official career
With his wife—the plum—he taught
their children—the cranes—how to dance
Could this be the result of the full moon
A man asleep along the side of the road
Another walking with a backpack & jug of water
I can only image how my students will behave
The quatrain is a pattern in poetry peculiarly adapted to the American temperament. Confined to four lines, its brevity appears strongly to the atmosphere of the times.
There is considerable variety in the quatrain. It can be written in any rhythm and may be rhymed…or it may be unrhymed or used in free verse (Albert Ralph Korn, 1946.) In tenth & eleventh century Persia, poets composed ruba’is, or quatrains, to voice criticism of fanatically imposed prohibitions, doctrine, and religious fanaticism. At other times, poets used quatrains to express personal feeling, beliefs, and doubts. (Peter Avery, 1981.)
The oil is geriatric medicine,
A tenderness down in the boilers.
My nativity was crabwalk cranes, pummelled metal,
Rivet pimples at my sides,
Snug against the oceans.
At Hartlepool the foundry’s dozy,
The engine’s idling.
My dripping hull jerks wishy-washy tide.
The cabbala’s in silt
Even if I’m in malaise,
Too sousing-world weary to shimmer,
To start humming.
His boy’s tight-lipped,
Sullen in the mateyness of he-men,
It’s a solitaire voyage,
The lighthouse unmanageable dimensions off
– Great turbines driving
Four-strike screw propellers.
He draws back
From an all-round draft of my space –frame,
Rope and tar pinpoint his nostrils
And the great crescents of anchor chain
Take the shape of a twist.
But he has no fastening to his dad
Buoyant only when left
To shove chow mein with a fork,
Porthole-gazing a hard-luck dock.
batter my midnight door—
“My lord summons you, rustic!
I’ve neither biwa
nor harmonica – just autumn's
Something guides me
to this familiar city—cool
Hunger's quiet wings—
the trees of insects
My sword obeys—
the branch surrenders its blossom
with a woman's scream
Thin morning mists —
“Riki-Baka” engraved on
at dusk—red wine fends off
The darkness belongs
to winter—yukionna laughs
under my bed
My snowgirl skating
tight circles around me
Her lightest touch
kills my sorrow—an expanse
of snow-white sheets
Bearing the chill
of her kiss on my throat—
My severed head
strikes cold flagstones—a spray
of heartfelt verses –
Kwaidan: Lafcadio Hearn's collection of macabre Japanese folk tales.
Rokuro-Kubi: goblins whose carnivorous appetite ranges from insects to unwary humans.
Jikininki: a devourer of corpses--a ghoul.
Riki-Baka: Riki-the-fool, a village simpleton, reincarnated frequently.
Yukionna: a snow woman, a beautiful and deadly spirit of winter.
on street –
a shower of petals
for no one
a hissing rag rug
but dog-stunned cat
i catch a comet spray
among the daffodils
and pass by
side lying pigeon eyeing
on my window—
had shed off their sun-strips
the moon shines
on maple trees—
on a city asleep
on a bench—
to a waltz
on the ground
but not for me
a robin trills, i race
flailing in night sky—
the first low star
and cranberry juice
with no one
in the haze,
crow circling bare trees
tints bay, i dive skimming
duck pairs braid
shadows on my back—
i slurp refuse
gulls overhead fight
over what's left,
the same scraps
i tossed in my daze
a moment earlier
before i plunged
HAIKU FROM IRAN
Seyed-Ali Salehi , 52 years old is a famous Iranian modern poet. In Tehran, Iran, he recently published a book, The Condoling Ringdove in Autumn Dusk, in the Persian language with 1001 haiku:
I myself counted
from dusk to twilight it sings
seventy two times - the owl
up to their necks in water
a covey of newly saddled colts
become Blue Mountains
myrtle bushes valley
tranquilly herd spring deer
Kaveh Goharin, born 1955, is a poet. He wrote this haiku in Amsterdam, Netherlands, while walking through Vondelpark in 2001, looking at the deer.
amid the violet flowers
it licks its wounds:
He has written this haiku while lying in bed on the roof on a summer night while watching shooting stars in the deep sky.
why does brightness
leave the shooting star?
dark is beautiful
He has written the following haiku while looking at a cage where some pigeons and only one partridge were being kept.
pigeons and partridge
stand still in a cage:
a clear vacant sky
The following three haiku were written by Cirus Nozari , Shiraz ,Iran. This is the city where Hafiz the Famous Poet lived about 700 years ago.
blockading the road
falling redbud blossoms
of the spring rain
falling redbud blossoms
torn in hundred pieces
The following haiku have been written byMassih Talebian , 57 years old, Tehran, Iran.
as if staring
before the full moon
putting on, taking off
putting on, taking off
his new year shoes!
one is pink
the full moon
coming through the mist
neighing every now and then
fresh bread scent
the entrance to the mall blocked
by a Brink’s truck
hair salon – tries not to look
like her mother
no lack of children
an absence of men
fashion shoppe, the highest price
on the tattered jeans
a boy drags his hands behind
the window cleaner
music shop packed with teens
downloading to iPods
a baby stroller
with its own DVD screen
Grandma and Grandpa tap their toes
to hip-hop rap
prom shop, a teenager learns
to walk in spikes
food court, a slow curling lick
of each finger
he melts into her
time stands still
the sound of orgasm:
she tastes the salt upon
Candling in vein
leaves marks of teeth on her neck
the white night:
lips meeting lips
Writes with strands of
watery hair on her bare back
a love haiku
After the tumble
buried between the sheets
leaving behind her clothes
*A great sound is inaudible, and a great image is formless,” said Lao Tzu.
Watching the moon
in the western horizon
two haiku poets
scratch each other's back and mock
the rest as neophytes
Silence of birds
and moon so miserly
I feel homesick:
mists, fogs and leaflessness
add to monotony
Couldn't sleep all night
darkness of thought spread over
the mind with closed eyes
I negotiate fear
of missing the moon and loss
Her letter smells
the lotus she wore each time
meeting in the moon:
I touch her fingers again
with all the hopes and tensions
The fragrance of rose
seeps through the windows
coupled with full moon
adds to my delight though I'm
alone in my bed tonight
Ghosts rise to mate
in moonlight tear the tombs
frighten with fingers
rhino horns rock the center
Sheila E. Murphy
das Lied der Amsel
und der ferne Zug
the song of the robin
and the distant train
pilgrims tramp on
an der Felswand das Echo
at the rock wall
the echo of pines
day or night
in the circle of lights
the great flag billows
against a blue sky
a couple exits
the health food store
in the icy wind
to the quilt shop, she says
if I were a needle
tucked in her reticule
I could plunge into color
undulate through texture
the pool fountain
gurgling for months
silent, shrouded in white
girl in sunbonnet
turned snow princess
a fawn dashes
between car and semi
where’s your mama? I shout
moment of shock:
in the glass of red wine
gyrating a wasp
the loved doll
more and more butterflies
with faded wings
golden jubilee –
my oldest grandson
tries my ring on
just someone's footsteps
instead of the bridge
when I dream
these summer nights
call me to the valley
to my sunflower garden
tinting stippled fields
with summer's gold
I give all
my attention to the garden
cat perched on my lap
mad, mad scene
on the living room wall
and the shadow moth
that got away!
after the rain
it knows how
its face too –
the cat’s shadow
signs selling something
signs telling me to do this
or not to do that
in the woods there are the trees
and last year’s leaves on the ground
I remove the hands
from the clock, leaving only
the big black numbers
but try as I might I can’t
stop the sunrise or sunset
time is a broom
floor and corners clean
I notice again that cobweb
up by the ceiling
and flowing out of my skull
is this sweet wind
if I’m brave enough I watch
myself blow away to nothing
on my grandfather clock
the shard of time
he took to say
on the grass
her eyes on my hand
on her husband's
on river marsh rocking
the sound of water –
a mountain of wash
after he left home
A woman asleep
unfold in her hands
thick snow clouds,
snow all you can!
on the mountains
ayaz daryl nielsen
her low cut blouse
I shouldn't gawk, but –
her low cut blouse
ayaz daryl nielsen
regal and tranquil
lilies slumber on the pond
under the old bridge