Friday, 7 July 2017

But what?

it's a language I can't taste -
not soppy sloppy sentiment
but what?

these endlessly grey days
the sun a crushed pale disc
a pallid pat of yellow butter left to sour
in the countered heat
no sweet peaches and cream corn cobbing here
too much rain
too much pain
seed packs of leafy greens tossed aside
as the weeds and moss happily push
plumping themselves full to burst
new heads in scatterlings
and the endless growling in mowing
and mowing
every wild thing growing in full fleshiness
overflowing cups with no flowers for the bees
hummingbirds are ghost dancers
flitting along the breezes of this
perpetual twilight
even as I crush wild thimble-small strawberries
beneath my heels
releasing a citrusy tang
but what?

it's the easy fling of flip flops smacking soles
slipping off as we run
bare-legged and sun soaked
like red-shoulder capped black birds
wheeling between the higher than heaven's
rows of feed corn
their rustling leaves and frothy-topped crowns
a maze of protection
our skin yellow green smoked
and the slow sweet smell of hay
raking beneath the forks
the combine chug-chug-chug thunking bales
onto silver grey weather-beaten wagon boards
as we ride high wobbling on these imaginary horses

but what?
it's the taste of honeyed clover
scenting the night purple
drifting us to sleep under country air damp sheets
our whispers and giggles hanging
like washed socks pegged on the line
our breathing easy and sweet
as we begin dreaming of the fireflies all aglow
in the hours we stole as dusk sipped closer
to the too far-away stars
freckling the sky
the noisy crickets playing a concerto
on their wings
singing us a longing lullaby


dipping with the Toads: get listed - July
inspired by the sounds of summer
I used the words: heat, bird, easy, fling, corn, cricket, dusk

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Rainbow Recipes

Dear M -

I find your email as dawn breaks the sky; I'm sitting in the silence of a breeze that is a gentle brushing of wet air, the sky a never-ending grey sea, only white-capped pale yellow when the sun suddenly bursts and swells, before being swallowed up again.

Even the birds are quiet this morning - perhaps their feathers are too ruffled and soaked to consider more than a fleeting effort in energy expanding - a contraction as easy as a beak snapping closed over a mosquito, or perhaps a worm tugged from the earth that is so yielding, it's an over-beaten, liquid, runny cake mix - not enough flower - no, not enough flour.

You've baked a cake? And semi-screwed it up - mistakenly choosing a cupcake recipe and doubling it, thinking it would feed a party of 16. So costly you moan, and re-double your efforts. I wonder if you get paid for your time - and when he gets back from his trip, will he berate you for your foolishness because it eats into his profits. The extraction of manipulation is bittersweet - pure vanilla hints at it - always - and surely, the advantage is his, this dream he chases,  - you, the tag-along puppet.

I would ask after your garden - how does it grow? Seedlings and transplants you've bought hoping for the richness of fruit freshly plucked from the stem; do you remember the heady smell of green - leafy vine green, and tomatoes swelling to bursting red, or the prickly bumps of cucumbers under our fingers, the fine-hair spines slipping into the skin - hot sun beating down on our heads and faces, as our toes dug into the earth? But this year, there is little sun or heat, so everything is late - slow, water-logged, nothing is flowering, everything is drowning and rotting of its own accord - nature's way.

Your comment about being worried about and for me is laughable. Truly.

You can't seem to grasp anything other than the feeling of pressure building, the slowing of your heart beat as you struggle and push against a crushing weight, the depths of the darkness so cold and cruel, as the light dances on the surface, a rainbow of colours teasing you, as you reach and stretch, with fingers splayed - but grappling with water is like wrestling with an egg yolk.

Re-double your efforts if you think it matters.

He took your life-jacket long before this holiday weekend fishing trip.

And I don't feel like picking the shell fragments from your mixing bowls.

 -  T

Visual Poetics - Weighing In



image source: unknown
(click on image to enlarge)

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Lily of the Valley

I want to see something other -
than this continuous obsidian veil
coating the underside of my throat
in its upward thrust,
to breathe with my tongue
the wind in its pure sweetness -

the soft silky scent of red-magenta petals
cupping each other in their tight
but loose bowls
- peonies mercilessly uprooted by my spade,
my Baba's spade passed down directly to me -
cast into the crater that I swear is volcanic
the once upon a time pond that never was
10 years of debris composting itself down,
a grave site for the procession of creatures
caught in paws and jaws
or by misguided instincts
smashed into glass
and I circle in
within and without
yearning to know skin-to-skin
the cool scent of the wind
washing me clear of these stories

the peonies remind me of the three sisters
- 3 roots, 3 stalks, 3 blooms -
how cancer came calling
sparing but one
it slipped into high flight
mercifully it forgave them of the worst,
the butterfly effect:
loss of sight
loss of taste and scent
loss of hearing
the perfect silence of the cocoon womb
- do you still feel your heart beating
waiting for death
my mind slips to the fledgling that didn't fly
stretched out, half hidden in the lily of the valley
outside the back door
how I watched the ants scent it
while the parents perhaps mourned
until I swaddled it in a cloth
trying to forget the sight of the eyes -
empty red-pink sockets
smaller than pomegranate seeds,
- the eyes are always the first to be taken -
placing its body among the wild ferns and
raspberry canes
in the pond that never was

I didn't expect to find the peonies
dumped so unceremoniously years ago
but they remind me
of her, of them, of my mother -
- today is her birthday
and I would rather be set free
but my broken wings are tied in the lies
and secrets of family
obscene obsidian taste in its upward thrust
coating my throat
as I recklessly spade the earth


dipping with the Toads: flight of write
and the following image: © Karin Gustafson

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Straight and Marrow

we ask of forever
not remembering the price
of transcendence


the pulsing need to slog off a skin
to break the bone
like the black crow in the field
bursting its beak on last year's deer's head
but I feel the drag of its claws
digging into my shoulders
its black wings extending and retracting
against my shoulders like blades
Leonardo's winged machine

where is this
these empty wine bottles
lying sideways
on a smoker's yellow teeth Formica table
a spill of a slosh red stained
runs to the edge -
the blood eloped with the moon just gone midnight last night
they headed south to Santa Fe
to live in sandals and an adobe walled nest
burning sage incense all day
in spite of the sun's spitting spired face
- but I don't remember these cheap faced bottles
the sour stench breaking my nose
or grit wine slipping past my lips -
maybe it was Dante's Peak on their map?
I can't be sure
but somehow
I know I've been here before

a pulsing need and
I see her -
Old Grandmother Crow smoking a cheroot
her ancient laugh crawing her throat
spilling marrow on the wind
claws clutching a sour faced skull
hers is a language long forgotten
coded in mirage and human folly
winged in skin

dipping with the Toads: the tuesday platform
inspired by the quote offered:

and Leonardo Da Vinci's: designs for a flying machine


Sunday, 18 June 2017

Uncut Stone

 - into the mystic
I am carbon dated -




inspired by: "My bones turn to dark emeralds."
last line from James Wright's "The Jewel"
dipping with the Toads: micro poetry: dark emeralds