Tuesday, May 1, 2012

small poems, april 2012

These small poems were written in April, 2012 (except for a couple about crows, and one that's a real oldie but I wanted to share it again anyway):

before the garden blooms
folding 100
origami roses
(Inspired by "High Summer, 1928," by Tamara de Lempicka)

a stringless guitar —
the Joan Baez Songbook
on the unmade bed
(Inspired by "Lady in Blue with Guitar, 1929," by Tamara de Lempicka) 

blue rain
we share an umbrella
until your bus arrives
(Inspired by "The Girls, 1928," by Tamara de Lempicka)

that summer
sailing paper boats
on the pond — —
now you live 
an ocean away
(Inspired by "Portrait of Arlette Boucard, 1928," by Tamara de Lempicka)

I recognize your handwriting
even in my 
sepia dreams
(Inspired by a letter written by Tamara de Lempicka to Gabriele d'Annunzio, 1926)

purple leather gloves —
I bought them for you
but kept them for myself
(Inspired by "Lady with Green Glove," by Tamara de Lempicka. Years ago I bought a beautiful pair of purple gloves to give my sister. I'm still wearing them.)

skating around the corner
entering another
(A childhood memory: my first pair of roller skates, with those silver metal clamps that kept them from falling off my shoes, and a heavy key dangling from a lanyard.)

a single candle —
not even her birthday cake
knows her age
(I wrote this as a little joke to myself for my 61st birthday.)
after the seder
all the cousins
play Gefilte Fish
(In other families I think that card game is called Go Fish)
sipping tea
no thoughts
no ceremony
(This is an old poem but it felt right for this month, with Passover. I wrote  it many years ago at a retreat. We were having a tea ceremony and suddenly I felt the presence of my Grandma Yetta. She used to take "a little refreshment" in the late afternoon: sometimes a small dish of vanilla ice cream, or a glass of hot water with lemon; maybe an hour spent with a novel, or just a few minutes twiddling her thumbs, or humming. Whatever she did, she did it gently, calmly, intentionally, with grace and dignity. No fuss. No ceremony.)

with a worm in its mouth
the fat robin
sings to itself

spring crows just as loud as
winter crows

even among crows
some are bossy
some are nice

an open basement window
raccoon accepts 
the invitation

in another country
you wake     laughing     from a dream . . . 
and so do I

remind me
how we both went to the river
but only one of us returned

I knew you'd arrive today —
in my dream
the call of a bamboo flute

overnight train
home from the mountains 
in my hair — pine needles

holding my breath
across the bridge
last train home

wind chimes on your back porch
after all these years 
the same breeze

rubbing my finger
down the book's spine —
dust from before I was born