Monday, March 17, 2014

small poems: early 2014

lining up all my pens
new year
I am ready for you

January irises
filling the space
between us

moving the photograph 
an inch to the left —
the still life becomes
an altar

the teapot you gave me 
for my birthday
back when we were still 
best friends

gray day —
I could always pin 
a pink plastic peony
to the collar 
of my black winter coat

something as simple
as moving the garbage cans —
this crow can't take his eyes off me

winter daydream —
in six month we'll go on a picnic — 
who will we be then?

a twist of tissue
grandmother's bookmark
nestled between War and Peace

the warmth of your hands —
last winter's mittens

come closer
speak to me of Paris
while the streets of this city fill with snow

dusty and untuned —
your piano —
such a melancholy day

second-hand quilt
no memories
no comfort

my fake smile 
smoothing itself out —
at last the train leaves the station

in her kitchen window
a vase of silk daffodils —
my good neighbor

all day
on the other side of the window
crow — 
yes, you

wherever I go
it follows me —
this wretched cough

the difference between yesterday and today
is the difference between February and March —
later I'll go in search of flower buds

neighbor crow
your impatience teaches me

Saturday night
party time —
slow dancing to Mozart adagios

delicate Japanese cup
you lived with me for 28 years
shattered in a careless moment
   I tuck the shards
   among the Clementine peels
   and tie up the trash bag

hello butterfly!
this busy intersection
crow keeps careful watch

once there was a frog
who fell in love with the moon —
I am that frog

gone — a small blue stone
from my new earring —
no point in crying —
wabi sabi

wabi sabi: acceptance of transience and imperfection

library book
lost and found —
someone else's long gray hair

calm and content —
all the houseplants —
waiting for the storm

one after another
3 candles burn out —
heavy snowfall

shaking off snow
neighbor crow 
re-claims his dignity

how far did I walk this morning
back and forth
with my yellow shovel
heart racing
getting nowhere

early morning walk —
a different route each day
just to confuse the crows

"not far
as the crow flies" —
but we are not crows
the horizon
still out of reach

in the stream bed —
their winter was also long

the distance between us
I'll draw the map
you color it in

crossing the bridge —
where are the koi?
long gone…
where are you, my friend?
long gone

5 women in a boat
circling the shore —
only one is a ghost

neighbor crow
with his drum and kazoo
flying off to welcome spring

this morning
not a single person
returned my Hello —
but oh
the crows the crows the crows

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Burlington, Vermont — June, 2013

out of the rain and into a tea shop
we lunge for the last available table 
drop our wet things onto an empty chair 
shake ourselves off

the menu is brought by a young man with an old face
he brings a small brass bell, too

we are instructed to ring the bell 
after we've considered all the tea choices
which are mind-numbingly numerous

we are still dripping rain all over ourselves
not in the best of moods
the day got off to a rocky start
we don't sleep well in hotels

I'm not wearing the right shoes
your eyes are burning from allergies

but here is the menu
a dense tome devoted to all things Tea
and also, the little bell
it is all so dear and pretentious and exactly what it should be

you order something chilled and milky and sweet
I order lavender tea

we ask the waiter to leave the bell right there 
in the middle of the table
in case we just want to ring it again for no reason at all

we stay a long time

you order a second cup of chilled tea
I ask for something different 
something that doesn't taste like drinking a bubble bath

we watch as the candle 
(not really a candle —
more like a blob of wax in a small glass dish 
with a wick that seems like an afterthought)
burns out

after a while
you look out the window and say
it has stopped raining

looking back on everything
I think this was the best hour of our trip to Vermont