Monday, May 22, 2006

POEM - Scrubbing The Crows

If I could reach one of those black-as-sleep crows
That gathers in like night outside my window
I would scrub it clean with my beautiful mind
And my sickly heart –
I would face the vertigo like the great
Cliffs divers of Acapulco, tanned and bronze
Climbing over lips, and ears, nose and chin -
Just to plunge into rocky waters below.

I would scrub the shoe black off the bird,
Make her clear and clean like feathered moonlight,
Break the foggy earthen grip - the sooty flecks
That is the darkness of abandonment,
As it covers up and contaminates everything,
This coal tar pitch that engulfs everything
With thickest arms of invisibility
That turns me into something no one can see -
But still the lightness - still the lightness
Tries its level best to shine right through me.

All things abandon and are abandoned.

When no one comes to call on me,
When even my poetry dries up like
Pulled weeds and tumbles off out of reach;
When the same love that has ruined me,
Denies me three times, I will write it down
Just so I can remember this cheesecloth thing
That I carry with me, slung so low, so full –
Just so I will not be lulled by soaring heights -

I would scrub this bird to a dazzling white
And not be so fearful of the resolving bite.

M C Biegner

Friday, May 05, 2006

POEM - In This Cathedral

In this cathedral where God is most evident
In sunlight that plays music with orchestral glee –
I come into animal presence.
Here, where I am broken and made whole again –
Here, where the Robins and the Cardinals,
Where the Thrush, the Chickadees and Woodpeckers
Sing out a litany of the saints

“Saint Michael,
Pray for us.
Holy angels of God,
Pray for us.
Saint Joseph,
Pray for us…”

In this cathedral where God is most evident,
In the green canopy of leaves that is stained glass
I come into vegetal presence.
Here, where the tall pines are cantors singing revelation.
Here, where the pointy tops are spires searching for Heaven,
Where the fuzzy heads of blooming clover
Fill up the pews and sing a full voiced “Ubi Caritas”,
Swaying in graceful rhythm coaxed by a breeze
That is itself the psalm of God’s breath.

In this cathedral a great eucharist is brought
Forth from within, exposed and holy
Universal and Perfect .

M C Biegner

POEM - The Robins

The robins huddle in a dull gray mass
Onto the flat green palm of a football field,
Shrugging their shoulders like little old men
Wearing newsie caps and chomping on the tails of cigars,
Tight and immersed in a robin’s breath
That drops like a stone as it leaves feathered bodies.
Eye to eye and beak to beak they stand,
Wondering in the hard frost that stings hands
Like the biting needles of a Christmas Scotch pine
On Epiphany –
“I came north for this?”

M C Biegner

POEM - Easy Planting

There are early mornings when
Winter has not released its white knuckled
Grip on patches of ground just yet.

Still, I make a hole and clear out space in you the way
A trowel removes the dark chocolate clay of earth.
As I dig down further it is striped with strands of coarse

Blonde sand that makes a type of coffee blend
That is a luminous tint, it shines almost like ceramic.

The secrets of living are always aromatic:

The scents of new grasses teased out by breezes,
Manicured, manured plots bulging with richness,

While nearby rowdy and fragrant hyacinths urge me on
The whole time. The gritty feel of you under my fingernails,
The damp stains on my knees,

The way my finger feels as it slides
Down the carved wooden trowel:
This is foreplay I tell you.
The days of easy planting sustain us far beyond
The ways that the hard packed snow of our failures betray us.

M C Biegner

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

If Sunlight Were A Dog

If sunlight were a dog I would have one. I never had a dog but sunlight will do just fine. I imagine the look she would give as she sits there, staring up at me with those soulful eyes, her large oven-mitt golden paws stretched from one wall to the other. Every morning she would be at my door begging to be let in. “Did you put the sun out last night?” my wife asks. “Of course I did. Silly bitch,” I say, quickly clarifying that I was referring to the sunlight and not to her!

When I let her in she is at my face, licking my lips and cheeks – she will not let me sleep. Finally, I raise the shades and let her in careful to make certain that she has peed because if I am not attentive she ends up peeing orange juice all over the floor. “If we can only get her to shit bacon and eggs we’d have breakfast,” I tell my wife. She is not amused.

My wife is not a “sun” person. Never has been. Growing up in Portland she is very nervous around all forms of light. She hates the way the sun drools all over her couches and fades the upholstery and carpets. She hates it when she comes in from outside and shakes spreading dust everywhere. Still I think deep down she loves how sunlight keeps her feet warm in the winter, streaming through our double paned thermal windows and coiling around her feet. Even in bed, sunlight snuggles up close to us and warms us up.
During the dog days of summer, she will be the laziest thing, looking like spilled paint on the floor, so motionless and flat. During these days, there is no shade at all for her to chase and I know she will just get bored.

In time, I imagine my wife will come around. At the end of every day, sunlight will enter the family room and put her head on the ottoman and just close her eyes. At times like these my wife will look over to me and I at her, we smile at each other. The sunlight cheers us both up – my wife tries to deny this but deep down she knows it’s true. I promise my wife that I will take her to sunlight obedience school so we could do more with her. But as the moon slowly rises and sunlight closes her eyes we will both feel grateful for such a wondrous thing in our lives. As sunlight closes her eyes, she is breathing like a sparrow, we will both feel at once blessed and at home.

M C Biegner