Thursday, April 24, 2008

POEM: The Return of the Skunks

At last! At last the skunks have returned
The skunks have returned at last!
With ghastly scent that hangs stiff
As laundry hung out in frigid air
They walk ghostly down streets
Smeared as a portrait of black and white,
The skunk meat releases a cloud that tastes
Like rotted peat - it shouts out loud:
“At last! At last! The skunks have returned.”

“What is that smell?” the children ask.
It is effluvial spring arriving hungry
And nocturnal, on the prowl for
Freshly awakened root gnawing grubs.

With a face a stern as Winter,
The odor, this tangible thing,
This lust for life, sulfur’s cousin -
Is the lust for everything alive.

It is Winter, starting to decompose.
It is the miracle of shade as it returns,
It is piled snow being replaced by an army of skunks
It is the sweaty breath of earth
Rediscovering herself yet again.

POEM: Spring Flight

On the shores of May,
Forsythia arches apostrophes of yellow upward,
While Dogwood stands expectant like a first holy communicant.

Strawberries wend tendrils unseen
Through spongy loam, that aches for June.

Soon, you will leave to occupy a foreign land.
Your heart will occupy a country that does not wish to be free.
You will become squatters to a homeland that you never sought
In the first place.

As for me - I shall be here
To remind you of all the kindness you have
Pulled out of me, nearly against my will.

The words “NOTHING IS PERMANENT” are tattooed
Into the deepest flesh of me.
Still, May is nothing if not a promise.

It is a prayer of safe journey,
Of return flights with no delays,
Of health and maybe just a little sleep,
Of sharing food, and exploring friendship
And the immortal memory of these things
Which become the raw material of our souls.

POEM: Viral Love Poem

In the hard glint of day
Words just get in the way:
The gently measure of morning light
Wrinkles night
For the first blush of day.
The desiccate winter crumples up, blows away.
With all that is so hopeless in the world,
There is you –
I have you in the only way –
There is always you
To hold the worst at bay.