Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thinking About Rain

Thinking About Rain

At night we
Chose the lake.
Waves churned
Scuttlebutt breezes,
Made us restless,
As if they knew
About the rain.
Then the sky dried up
And curls of mist
Rose, creating quiet cold
And my need
To touch your hand
Without speaking.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thinking About Raining

Thinking About Raining

Not color to color
or line to line
but stone to
not quite drops
the slowness
of breath
like water



Thinking About Raining

Almost tired.
Trees go still.
Sound stops.
Easy to imagine
that grey
will slink
into sighs

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mr. Cardinal Hides

Mr. Cardinal Hides



The cardinal hid today.
A year ago
He came to the patio door
When I was standing just inside
And proceeded to dance
And display
As if I were a female cardinal.
But today I heard his chirrup
In one of the neighbor’s trees.
I could not see him.
When I fixed on the tree
He was in
With my ears,
I saw, amid shades of paler
And orange red,
A deep uncompromising red
Which in a month’s time
Would be a leaf
But which now, shocking
The reds around it,
Didn’t move with the wind.
Then I knew him,
But didn’t move or smile
Or call.
He was after all in hiding
And probably thought
By the stillness in which
He sat,
That nothing could see him.
I was not about to shatter
His illusions
Of camouflage.
I just hope that
Some other fauna,
Less charmed than this human,
Didn’t try to take a bite or nip
At the one leaf
That didn’t move

With the wind.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes

I don’t know if there are seasons
When the flesh of a tall heavy
Dark haired woman of 60
Is more delectable.
Usually the mosquitoes menace
In summer,
Stick tiny stingers.
Soft thigh flesh bitten
Sings of a meal
Well taken.
This time, however,
Not until October
Did my friends
Choose to feast.
Perhaps they are going
For the vampire look –
Teeth raised, incisors poised,
Victim alluringly terrified.
The only problem is
That they are mosquitoes,
Not bats,
And thus their ability to stun
Is limited.
They can only generate pink
Buds
Not blood lines of fear,
And their most evil looks
Are lost on bigger life forms.

But remember, would-be beasties,
The thrill of your mosquito lifetimes
Begins and ends well south
Of the throat
And itches its target
So much more successfully.

Try again next summer,
When you don’t have to live up
To movie clich├ęs of fear
And need not imitate their drama.
Don’t laze until autumn.

Burnish those points.
Bare your weapons.
I, your meal, will be waiting.






Wednesday, October 1, 2014

To Charlotte Bronte

To Charlotte Bronte

You wrote my favorite book.
But would you have liked me -
tall, heavy, dark-haired
Like the painting of Cleopatra
That you scorned,
With eyes dark as coals
And something of a temper?
I would have loved to write
In tiny letters, as you did:
Spare, carefully inked in.
But my handwriting, when legible,
Tends to flourish-ridden and grand.

I visited both Haworth and Brussels,
Your home and your nemesis.
The wind screamed wonderfully
In Haworth, and shivered
Through less-than-heated rooms.
But I had a wonderful cream tea
In  town.

In Brussels
The plaque with your name
Had been removed,
But the map still showed
The school.
Now a film center,
It still bore the marks
Of the garden,
The forbidden alley
And the spy casement.
As I stood there,
The school swam
Like a bottled genie
Into the terrace
And vanquished the film center.
I could hear whispers and laughter
In French and Flemish
And see you as you wrote
In loneliness, pride and longing
To the brilliant, cynical professeur
Who broke your heart.

Rain flew down in gusts.
One hundred fifty years
hence, and the park
was still wide-pathed
and quiet.
The church you prayed in
Still echoed your words:
“Mon pere, je suis Protestante.”

I, a Jew, repeated them
As if to summon you.
What would you have thought?
Would the exchange
Have ended in friendship?
Or would you have looked,
Sneered and walked on?

A tall man with a sign
Sat on the steps.
He needed money.
I palmed a five-franc bill
Into his hat,
And wondered
If you would have done
The same.