Monthly Archives: March 2015

LISTENING FOR PEEPERS

IMG_8214

Late afternoon and the March wind
Has battered herself out.
I open the window, listening for tree frogs.
Not a trill; ice still deep on the pond.
Spring has hit the snooze button.

A flicker probes the shriveled grass,
For worms stirring in the soil.
Listen! Wing beats.
Straggling threads of Canada geese
Trail across the sky, heading north.

There’s a yellow sheen on the willow.
A shift in the earth’s chemistry.
The trickle of ice crystals melting,
And the bitter green scent
Of shepherd’s purse and hen’s bit.

Venus and the silver crescent rising.
A ’possum patters across the deck,
Poking its snout into damp corners,
Listening and hoping
To hear the mucusy slithering of a slug.

Coyotes rove through the fields,
Invade my dreams,
Yip and howl,
Snapping at each other’s heels.
Blood is up with the spring moon.

Startling me out of sleep,
The throaty love song
Of a barred owl
Wraps the woods in profundity
As continuous as Earth’s revolution.
DSCF2102

Advertisements

EARTH SLUMBER

DSCF1752

I climbed the steep gully,
A cathedral of blue
Winter sky above me,
The sound of the hidden
Stream rilling and gurgling in my ears.

My footsteps criss-crossed
The busy pathways
Of mink and weasel—
Soft divets scooped
Where they belly slid
Down the banks,
Tracks suddenly disappearing
Into a perfect O of snow.

I paused to catch my breath
And listen to the sparse oak leaves,
Rattling ineffectually
At the wonderful clear silence.
How gratifying to be
In such a pure and simple landscape.

I could feel the earth slumbering
Under her coverlet of snow,
And see her graceful, full curved hip
Thrown carelessly across the valley.
Her languid, dimpled arm
Draped over the ridge,
Head resting, forehead kissing
The bank of the stream
As though peering through
Marbled ice at the
Rivulet of bubbles
Slipping along below.
And there before me
Her wide smooth rump
Thrust skyward
For a flock of glossy black crows
To perch upon.

DSCF1784

ROCKING CHAIR, for Asher

DSCF1844
I rocked
for the first time
in an age.
I’d quite forgotten
the soothing
undulating
movement,
the province
of the young
and old;
that tender time
when comforts come
in repetition
accompanied by
a primal thrum
starting deep
in the throat—
a crooning bee
of sound.
The chair rocked me
back to that moment,
pillow mounded
on pregnancy softened belly
and you, pink-faced
and belligerent,
mouth caterwauling
up at me
with all the lust
of your young lungs.
The up, the down
the foot pushing off
the wooden floor,
The creak of floorboards,
the hum, the rock,
The calm.

DISPOSSESSED

DSCF1706
It is death defying
To stand on the lawn at dusk,
Metal pail swinging
From my gloved hand.
The air so cold
It feels as though
The inhospitable earth
Is trying to dispossess me.

I stamp my boot,
Toes already frozen:
Tell me I don’t belong—
I dare you!

Whiskers of snow brush
My numb cheeks,
Whisper, Pathetic
Warm blooded human.
With neither hide nor hair
To keep frost crystals
From trammeling up
Your soupy blood,
You don’t stand a chance.
Cocooned creature,
Strip you bare and you
Become
confused,
lumbering,
inarticulate.
You don’t possess
The survival skills of a squirrel.

I shrug ice feathers
Off my shoulders,
Blowing hot breath into
Wool paws.
Earth, you’ve got
Nothing to prove,
No judgments to pass.
Now leave me alone
To stomp my way
To the compost heap.