11.24.2005

 

Talking Animals

Above Celilo

Barges move
above buried rapids.

Your camera follows
the sound of my voice.

A simple poem
whose meaning depends on
the reader's focus. Published in
The Beacon Street Review.


Brothers

Two sons,
one the more resonant,
the other a clay jar
made for tapping.

Who knows
what beautiful candies
lie inside that jar?

I asked one of my real sons
what he thought of this poem.
"Mom, it's a love poem,"
he told me.


Boyhood Friends

David was younger
than you think
when he hit the headlines,
tall for his age
and quiet.

He looked at patterns
in the stones
before he pulled the sling.

He told me so
the day he saw Bathsheba
sunning.

I knew Uriah long ago, he said.
We traded marbles.

My friends Pat Perrin,
Wim Coleman, and Libbie Cline
all liked this poem. So does Henny
Wenkart, editor of the forthcoming Jewish
Women's Literary Annual.


Coupling

I was a bank by the river
You were the blue of the sky
I was a dragonfly cruising
You were the stream passing by

I was a berry a-hanging
You were the stem and the hull
I was the leap of the salmon
You were the dive of the gull

I was a bird in the wheatfield
You were the tar on the road
I was a snag in the woodland
You were the rain and the cold

I was a crack in the handle
You were the rust in the pipe
I was a rip in the hearthrug
You were the edge of the knife

I was a feather a-falling
You were my arrow gone wrong
You went or I went or we went
So goes the end of our song.

An early poem, my try at combining Appalachian
folksong motifs with the couplet form
used in old Hebrew (and other
Middle Eastern) poetry.

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