pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
An Empty Place

There is nothing for Death
in an empty house,
nor left for him in the white dish
broken over the road.

Come and sit down by me
on the sunny stoop,
and let your heart so gently
rock you, rock you.

There is nothing to harm us here.
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
Visiting Mountains

The plains ignore us,
but these mountains listen,
an audience of thousands
holding its breath
in each rock. Climbing,
we pick our way
over the skulls of small talk.
On the prairies below us,
the grass leans this way and that
in discussion;
words fly away like corn shucks
over the fields.
Here, lost in a mountain's
attention, there's nothing to say.
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
Screech Owl

All night each reedy whinny
from a bird no bigger than a heart
flies out of a tall black pine
and, in a breath, is taken away
by the stars. Yet, with small hope
from the center of darkness
it calls out again and again.
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
from A Spiral Notebook

It seems
a part of growing old is no longer
to have five subjects, each
demanding an equal share of attention,
set apart by brown cardboard dividers,
but instead to stand in a drugstore and hang on to one subject
a little too long, like this notebook
you weigh in your hands, passing
your fingers over its surfaces
as if it were some kind of wonder.
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
from A Washing of Hands

She turned on the tap and a silver braid
unraveled over her fingers.
She cupped them, weighing that tassel,
first in one hand and then the other,
then pinched through the threads
as if searching for something, perhaps
an entangled cocklebur of water,
or the seed of a lake.
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
from Garage Sale

All of your husband's shirts and slacks
and heavy sweaters—a bank of threatening clouds
that hang from a pipe between two ladders—
are much too big for me, and his extra boots
look cold and deep as abandoned wellws,
and his tools are no good to anyone but him:
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
Flow Blue China

No real flowers would give of themselves
as these do, the soft tips of their petals
easing out under the painted gold borders,
then bleeding into puffs of blue, and the aunt
who in her old age gave me these cups
and saucers, the plates, bread plates and platters,
the gravy boat, and the big covered bowl
that for seventy years she brought to her table
heaped high with buttercup potatoes,
she too, like one of these soft blue flowers,
has slipped beyond the thin line at the edge.
I lift this cup to her. Flow, blue.
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
Mourners

After the fungeral, the mourners gather
under the rustling churchyard maples
and talk softly, like clusters of leaves.
White shirt cuffs and collars flash in the shade:
highlights on deep green water.
They came this afternoon to say goodbye,
and now they keep saying hello and hello,
peering into each other's faces,
slow to let go of each other's hands.
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
(Sorry I keep falling behind! We have one more week, so I'll try to keep on track!)

Gyroscope

I place this within the first order
of wonders: a ten-year-old girl
alone on a sunny, glassed in porch
in February, the world beyond
the windows slowly tipping forward
into spring, her thin arms held out
in the sleepwalker pose, and pinched
and stretched between her fingers,
a length of common grocery twine
upon which smoothly spins and leans
one of the smaller worlds we each
at one time learn to master, the last
to balance so lightly in our hands.
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
A Winter Morning

A farmhouse window far back from the highway
speaks to the darkness in a small, sure voice.
Against this stillness, only a kettle's whisper,
and against the starry cold, one small blue ring of flame.
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
from Praying Hands

There is at least one pair
in every thrift shop in America,
molded in plastic or plaster of paris
and glued to a plaque,
or printed in church-pamphlet colors
and framed under glass.
Today I saw a pair made out of
lightweight wire stretched over a pattern
of finishing nails.
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
Home Medical Dictionary

This is not so much a dictionary
as it is an atlas for the old,
in which they pore over
the pink and gray maps of the body,
hoping to find that wayside junction
where a pain-rutted road
intersects with the highway
of answers, and where the slow river of fear
that achingly meanders
from organ to organ
is finally channeled and dammed.
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
Highway 30

At two in the morning, when the moon
has driven away,
leaving the faint taillight of one star
at the horizon, a light
like moonlight leaks
from broken crates that lie fallen
along the highway, becoming
motels, all-night cafes, and bus stations
with greenhouse windows,
where lone women sit like overturned flowerpots,
crushing the soft, gray petals of old coats.
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
from january 10

Cloudy and cold, the moon like a lamp
behind a curtained window,
and who could be sitting alone in that room
with its dusty, ancient furniture
if not a god?
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
Sitting All Evening Alone in the Kitchen

The cat has fallen asleep,
the dull book of a dead moth
loose in his paws.

The moon in the window, the tide
gurgling out through the broken shells
in the old refrigerator.

Late, I turn out the lights.
The little towns on top of the stove
glow faintly neon,
sad women alone at the bar.
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
The Necktie

His hands fluttered like birds,
each with a fancy silk ribbon
to weave into their nest,
as he stood at the mirror
dressing for work, waving hello
to himself with both hands.
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
Walking to Work

Today, it's the obsidian
ice on the sidewalk
with its milk white bubbles
popping under my shoes
that pleases me, and upon it
a lump of old snow
with a trail like a comet,
that somebody,
probably falling in love,
has kicked
all the way to the corner.
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
A Child's Grave Marker

A small block of granite
engraved with her name and the dates
just wasn't quite pretty enough
for this lost little girl
or her parents, who added a lamb
cast in plaster of paris,
using the same kind of cake mold
my grandmother had—iron,
heavy and black as a skillet.
The lamb came out coconut-white,
and seventy years have proven it
soft in the rain. On this hill,
overlooking a river in Iowa,
it melts in its own sweet time.
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
A Monday in May

It rained all weekend,
but today the peaked roofs
are as dusty and warm
as the backs of old donkeys
tied in the sun.
So much alike are our houses,
our lives. Under every eave—
leaf, cobweb, and feather;
and for each front yard
one sentimental maple,
who after a shower has passed,
weeps into her shadow
for hours.
pf_mod: modern pseudo-cubist painting of a red headed woman holding a book with a red cover (Default)
[personal profile] pf_mod
Casting Reels

You find them at flea markets
and yard sales, old South Bends
and Pfluegers, with fancy engraving,
knurled knobs and pearl handles,
spooled with the fraying line
of long stories snarled into
silence, not just exagggerated tales
of walleyes, bass, and catfish,
but of hardworking men
who on Saturdays sought out
the solace of lakes, who on weekdays
at desks, or standing on ladders,
or next to clattering machines
played out their youth and strength
waiting to set the hook, and then,
in their sixties, felt the line go slack
and reeled the years back empty.
They are the ones who got away.

July 2016

S M T W T F S
      1 2
3 4 5 6 7 89
10 11 1213 141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Aug. 19th, 2017 09:21 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios