Tag Archives: april

To a Japanese maple in mid-April

JMtree

To a Japanese maple in mid-April

The heavy spring rain pulled the night
All the way to the ground. Like shattered glass

It lay through dawn in the hollow. When I rose
The sky was the blue of starting over

But not forgetting. The stars had crawled
Up your trunk and were asleep in their green study.

The broken darkness, unsteady in daylight, lurched
Gracefully, two black swallowtails

Like dizzy memories of other nights that fell
To earth and survived the day.

 

*

Author’s note: This Japanese maple, located in Afton, Virginia, provided the leaves for the leaf-print illustrations in my new book Wind Intervals.

April Evening

April Evening

In the sweet air we want to take off our socks
And the song of the grass is softening

In the dark something moves slowly across space
Even the wind is taking its time

The silver maple’s a month early getting leaves
I feel that way too — for each heartbeat that flies from me

Tonight there’s a silent starling waiting in the walnut grove

Visible Space

inkedspace

Visible Space

On the sky press even the spaces must be set in metal
And sit above the text of dreams to print night’s pure black.

Sometimes that space like the space between us
Slips into the day and rises above the waking words

and becomes visible space. It ascends from the pull
of the moon and pushes forward like a panther,

Like a runner in a darkening wood who suddenly sees
The trees don’t block the path, they make the path.

Humpback Rocks, Early Spring

Humpback Rocks, Early Spring

IMG_2029

So I took you up with me
to this chiseled place

where the clouds are closer
than their shadows

The whisper among the trees
a shout of bark and lichened rock

Mountainside trees stand differently
shaped by cascading arrangement

higher up where the wind is so loud
you no longer register it as sound

all I hear is the noise of trees bending
against each other, ajar to the invisible

like doors opening all around me

IMG_2034

 

from Spring Songs (8)

from Spring Songs (8)

8.

Nothing more can happen in April so I am waiting
The rain is waiting too clouds simmering in the south

The grass wants to touch you but looks away waiting
The buildings with their hands in their pockets

Gather quietly but keep a respectful distance
the afternoons light as if held up by balloons

The month has filled out the world so much its last
day will be empty it will need a day to decompress

The last hours gather around you like referees
watching an instant replay because nothing more

can happen: you have to compress the month
in your mind while the days decompress

so quickly that your memory leaps in slow motion
and the hours nod and blow their whistles

A string stretching across the stars and sky draws closer
a jump-rope in slow motion at the top of its arc

Just before you hear the sound of its rasp
on the sidewalk you must skip casually

into May your soul barely leaving the ground
because it is all so light now and you want to come back

National Poetry Month Reading, April 6th @1pm

Just a short note that I’ll be participating in a National Poetry month event again this year, this time at the Massanutten Regional Library, Main branch in Harrisonburg. The reading is at 1pm and will feature four poets, including Angela Carter, Sara Robinson and Rebecca Lilly.

If you happen to be in the Shenandoah Valley in a few weeks, come by! Len, I’ll buy you some coffee (or wine) if you can make it from Turkey. Esther, come on now! The other side of the world is not that far away from Harrisonburg, as the moon flies. C, the weather in Seattle is horrible–you’d come on over to the East coast for day, even to hang out with a Patriots fan, right?

I know there are a bunch of you in my clan much closer. If you’ve got nothing better to do on the first Monday afternoon in April, maybe I will see you there? More info on the Massanutten Regional Library can be found and its other events can be found here.

As with my last reading at Bridgewater College, I will entertain any suggestions for what to read. I will have about ten minutes to read, so will probably read five poems or so. Thoughts?

This lamb has very strong opinions on what I should read but for some reason is remaining mum.

This lamb has very strong opinions on what I should read but for some reason is remaining mum.