Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Model Magpie Tales #59

The Model

Who is she they will
whisper in years hence
but he doesn't know that
as draped in wig and
full-length gown he sits
before the blank wall like some
Viola in the Globe and watches
his lover prepare the palette
dim the light.

He readies for days of stillness
the rasp of brush on canvas
the smell of solvents
giving once more his angelic face
and roseate form to genius.

Photo prompt courtesy of Willow. For more stories and poems based on this prompt click here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Sword and the Shield


At three I made my own breakfast
from milk and orange juice
a bowl and box of cereal
an unseen hand placed on the lowest shelves.
I was straight and sturdy
proud of my little self.
I never knew.

At twenty, I shunned marriage
turned away from my fine job
headed West--
the summer of love
North Beach poetry
music in the parks.
I was a rebel. I would be different.
I never knew.

"My art comes first," my new husband cautioned
as we left the justice of the peace.
He was crazy
chased women
drank.
Onward I marched
Athena, sword drawn.
I never knew.

Ah well. You've heard the story.
Single parenthood
my own crazy
choices that seemed bold and new
creative and affirming.

Until they died, Mom and Dad,
I never knew I marched behind
an invisible shield they held before me.
At last I see, at last I know.

photo courtesty of Willow. Read more writing from this prompt on Magpie Tales.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Directions for a flawless life

Directions for a flawless life

Take a left
pass the zoo
do not marry the gorilla.

Five blocks from the second stop light
or is it the third?
veer right.
Avoid the lake, do not drown
learn to swim.

Follow the signs.
They are small and written in Greek
or is it Russian?
Squint. Wear glasses. Shade your eyes.
Do not buy candy at the country store.
It's out of date.

Take the hill slow, there may be mud.
Park at the barn, walk in.
Do not lose your boots
Remember to hum.
Cross the bridge
follow the cow path
do not pet the bull--
that's the one with horns.

You will know you have arrived if the daffodils nod
if the woodpecker taps
if the wind touches your cheek.

The last line is from a poem by Thomas Lux called "Give it to the wind." In our Monday poetry group we had a challenge to choose a line from one of several poems and use it for our last line. To hear me read my poem, click below.

video

Alone

Alone

The fog, a damp cocoon,
surrounds the house,
distorts my vision.
Trees--a watery calligraphy,
in the field,
the deserted cabin is a ghost
ship on a pale sea.

I am up the mud road
no human in sight
just the drip of ice
the tick of the clock
the spurt of the gas fire
the flicker of memories
as dark wraps her cloak around me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An Irish Ditty


Ah to be a violet again
dark and vibrant
snappy and sassy
with all the shamrocks in the neighborhood
chasing after me for a taste of
ale
and a bite of my
buttermilk and raisins.

I still have a bit o' the snap
in me
it's just my hair is white
and my stem leans a tad toward the ground.
But I'm easier to catch.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Exchange

Playing the Exchange

Yes, it's beautiful
this landscape of white
broken by the dark tree lines.

The wind howls
the snow accumulates
like bull market profits
only to later melt down to a trickle.

Logging trucks tear up the dirt road
jeeps slide down,
otherwise silence,
cold slippery ground

and isolation--
anthropomorphized into a punishment for sins--
each roof-chained icicle is a bead
on winter's rosary--
fingered in penitence
melted into the spring of forgiveness.