Tag Archives: spring

Friday, near midnight

peony

Friday, near midnight

Put a penny on the day’s good eye.
Cars parked in the road after dinner

Tick like patient bombs. Each interval
Lengthens toward silence

Like the stems of peonies
Slow their sprint to the May sky.

While we were not looking
One terminal bud becomes

a thousand pennants waving
In tight but unpracticed formation.

Or it is a signal, a coded message
Saying this kingdom will never come

Again. Overhead an unbroken line
of streetlights blinks, then holds

Like an eye chart that wants to help
You but loses sense as you gain focus.

Dandelion Patch by the Elementary School, Early May, 7:50 a.m.

dmoon1

Dandelion Patch by the Elementary School, Early May, 7:50 a.m.

They pluck them from the ground and smash
Them soundlessly on another’s head or back

What floats off their violence like a helicopter’s
Skeleton? Lighter than an elementary school

Morning. Directionless as a flying fifth grader.
Wish wands are what they call them. Why would you break

A wish on a boy’s stubborn neck as he tries to twist
Away? On the shoulder of the girl who’s too fast

For you to catch? They don’t wait for the fractured
Moon to pop free of its stem. When the field grows

Quiet I look up at the great yellow flower. If I wait
Long enough it will turn white and fragile against

The dark. I’ll meet you at the base of its hollow
Column, or wait till the wind dismisses me.

dmoon2

Monday the 9th [from “The Week,” a series of 7 poems leading up to Friday the 13th]

peoniesinsnow

Monday the 9th

You traveled
For the entire duration of your time in this shape

With the ease of falling
To be stopped a fraction of a second before

Fall’s finality — caught in a gesture going
The other way, like

Some make a trip to a place to forget it all
And take pictures to remember the trip

Sunday the 8th [from “The Week,” a series of 7 poems leading up to Friday the 13th]

snow8th

Sunday the 8th

The way the weather ends
And begins a discussion

About everything surviving
The weather. The way

Unexpected snow falls
Like a silhouette of spring

Sitting patiently as we trace
Its shadow. The way the sun

Arcs like a baseball hit so far
It will land in the last parking lot

Ever, bounce off the hood
Of the car of the only person

Who stayed for the whole
Game. The way the car’s

alarm, like any true alarm
Will be silent. The way we

Keep score as if it all
Won’t be gone soon enough.

Five Devastating Kicking Techniques

Five Devastating Kicking Techniques

kick

Pancake kick
Sit down into the kick
And spread out until you are irresistible.

Trophy kick
Hold a single moment mid-kick
Perfectly balanced and do
Not move the rest of your life

Winter Weather Warning kick
Promise vengeance. Promise no mercy.
Then walk softly and meekly past.
Then kick a week later.

Spring kick
Turn your kick into soft raindrops
That hurt nobody. Immediately
A million small green kicks emerge.
People come outside and beg to be kicked.

Love kick
Kicking the habit is
Just another kick.

Six late winter mornings

Six late winter mornings

1.
It’s the underlined day
On the calendar of forgiveness.
But I cannot make the call.

2.
I get up early
To let the dogs out but

It’s too cold–they stay on the porch
As if waiting for a ride to pull up

Or a drink. I walk to the back yard
And relieve myself

Against the frosted grass.

3.
The black rabbit
Lounges in his hut

By the family vegetable garden.
He often rode on the back of our dog.

One day he lay on his side,
Not waiting for the morning

Or for us to find him.
He was finished and he went.

Leaving only a stiff black shroud
And the sound of birds.

Winter leaves like that.

4.
In our blizzard-crafted snow cave
We almost died

But the snow plow missed us as we hid.
Years later, my childhood friend Marty

in his capacity as a civil servant
of the public works

Tore up a curb with his plow right
Across the street from

Where we’d once schemed
How to pay for the garage window

We broke with a barrage of snowballs.

5.
After an early March storm
I snuck out before my son woke

To make lumps in the snow
Like snake coils surfacing.

Over breakfast I swore
I saw the Loch Ness Snow Monster

Out the bay window in the plow drift:
When we went to investigate

He discovered a large egg
Of ice, snow, and dirt

By the edge of the plowed pile.
He demanded we take it inside.

We put it in the freezer
To see what would hatch.

6.
Spring grows over the winter
Like a scar

The hurt season’s swelling
Diminishes

We almost over-reach for it
As if we prefer being sore

Over forgetting, a cloud
Ceiling over empty blue sky.

March 4th

treeshadow

March 4th

Suddenly it’s spring. The trees say so.
They don’t confer with the cold

Morning or mountain gusts. They don’t
Ask if we’re ready. The maple says, mind this–

And flecks with red punctuations like starting
A sentence backward, all the year’s statements

With their periods, leaving language to unfurl at its
Own, slower, pace. The trunk’s shadow runs down the slope

Like a creek then rivulets of branches reach across
The road towards your porch like it has

Something to tell you, only you. But come closer:
You must get up and step into the road

To see what it means, trickling black
At your feet. And definition depends

On surfaces for the depths to survive:
Too late you see how at its outermost edge

the message in twig shapes
Crumbles across the texture of street

Pebbles, first like a word breaking into syllables,
Then slight sounds of insistence or regret,

Then a breath then the thought somebody
Was about to speak but you turned to see no one,

Then your own breath, held, while you are
Listening for its shadow