Month: March 2012

rain, rain (rain, rain)

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spring rain backwards until the beginning

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summer rain
some of you in
some of me

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autumn rain preparing the palimpsest

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forgot water could be so heavy winter rain

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credits: spring rain, Modern Haiku 42.3; summer rain, Frogpond 35.1; autumn rain, Modern Haiku 43.1; winter rain, bottle rockets 26

..

climate change

what this weather
tells me
about you —

that you
kept things
warmer
than necessary —

all the
seedlings
succumbed
to your charms —

green
too early

the dirt
around them
still flaked
with ice —

perhaps
I’m oversensitive —

these gloves
in my pocket

hopelessly
empty

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In the Hallows

a junicho renku by Melissa Allen and Aubrie Cox

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.
flickering porch light
I offer candy
to the ghost

a bottle of pumpkin ale
from the cellar

home sick from school
he reads a book
about buried treasure

popsicle stick pirate ship beached
in the laundry basket

the glint of the moon
off her sharpened
skate blades

solo dance down
the dark sidewalk

carvings in the pine
fill with sap
that will harden

my dog and his
romping through the sprouting lettuce

weeds creep
between cracks
in the concrete

we try speaking French
to the tourists at Versailles

an arguing couple
breaks bread
at a riverside cafe

at day’s end
a frog leaps from lily to lily

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Frogpond 35.1

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Misdirection

It’s winter dusk — a faded, in-between sort of time — and my mother and I are standing in a wallpapered hallway — a faded, in-between sort of place — accompanied by a large man who is wearing a dark suit and fluttering with apparent anxiety. We can’t take long, he tells us, and shows us a trolley on which is lying something human-shaped, covered with a sheet. His implication seems to be that this is my father, but I’m not fooled by this story; it’s the usual magician’s patter, a way to distract us from the sleight of hand being performed. I’m curious, though, about what will be there, exactly. A raft of rabbits, a drift of doves? A float of pink carnations? A thousand bright silk handkerchiefs?

in and out of winter ready or not

Abracadabra! — pulling back the sheet from my supposed father, we find him transformed into a doll, a puppet, a cold and eerily motionless replica of himself. The likeness is astounding. The things they can do with mirrors! I put a hand to his cheek. It feels as if it were made of some very soft, pliable sort of clay. Magician’s clay, perhaps they call it. I picture the page of the compendium of magic tricks in which this one is described. The Victorian illustrations, the magician wearing a handlebar moustache and a cravat. The diagram of the secret panel behind which the living man is concealed. The rotation of the chamber to present the mock man to the audience. A flourish of the wand.

lily stamens
reading a thin pamphlet 
about the future

Through the hall window the sky has deepened to navy and the moon has begun to shine dully. The features of the father-doll recede and blur. The magician flutters at our backs. It’s time to go, he says, the show is over. This, too, doesn’t deceive me. The grand finale has yet to come — the restoration of the living man to the stage. We allow the large man to draw up the sheet, to push the trolley into another room. Soon he’ll bring it back and let us pull away the sheet again. My father will climb smilingly down; we’ll all applaud while the dark-suited man bows, no longer anxious but proud of his skill at concealment and misdirection.

last bus out of town ice moon

We’ll all walk together out of the hall and out of this stiff, formal building, discussing magic and its mysteries. Perhaps my father will tell us how the trick is performed, or perhaps he has been sworn to secrecy. He’ll smile at us mysteriously, tell us we should volunteer ourselves someday, agree to be replaced and then restored. There’s nothing frightening about it, after all, he’ll say. A little boring, maybe. You just lie there for a while, listening to voices and sensing the growing darkness. I might have dozed off for a while there, he’ll say. But I enjoyed the rest, I admit. In fact I don’t see why you had to wake me at all, he’ll joke, looking up, as we leave the house, at the first bright star in the blue-black sky.

morning star
a blaze consumes
what’s left of him

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Haibun Today 6.1, March 2012

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(Appalachians)

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Appalachians whose knees am I kneeling on

artwork by Aubrie Cox

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A Hundred Gourds 1.2, March 2012

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May I direct you to Aubrie Cox’s collaborative Doodleku project? This month she’s posting one of her doodles (see above for example) every day on her blog, Yay Words!, and inviting poetic responses from her readers. And here I thought I would be free of obligatory daily poetry after the official NaHaiWriMo month ended. Ha. You are never free of obligatory daily poetry. Just so you know.

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