Timpani

I suppose my heart
May be just like that

Timpani

So coarse but limber
Enough

To stretch its membrane
Out of reach then past —

Before jerking back to just
Wobble out a pure note

Its soft swell harbored in
Hard frameworks

It’s difficult to know how
The hollow bowl

Resounds

Inside me my heart it
Rings

A strange sound
For a drum

I sit beside it which is stranger
Still

 

A Woven or Knitted Material

Made and unmade just
As the fabric of her mind that knows and does
Not know her mind and can’t
Make or unmake at all; it is
Only fabric: Toile clusters of late
18th-century pastoral flirting

It forgets and remembers
As an iron rose become suddenly
Thick and pink
Performing the blush is exactly
The thing that turns the shadows away
From their gathering, she thanks
Them one by one for leaving, laughs
At the parting
As she so often does
At the drubbing of love.

When I Think of Trees

When I think of us I think of trees
Grounded and rooted and reaching
Up into the Unknown to know

We live in the present but still dream
Green and vibrant and feathered
Of a home crafted of our woods intermingled

Cork and Beech and Birch, perhaps
The striation and silk, strain and surrender

Of our concord, a fertile parasol above
Beneath which we can bear the splendor of love, unshaded
In late equinox precipitate

Our mingled bulk invents the weir
To crib the imminent snow and the successive
Freshets of sapling season.

The Immortals of Autumn

I am carrying the light of the Autumn to travel between this and the next
World and the worlds before as if I am with my husband of epochs
Swaying within a forest-cracked verandah to timbres evergreen, immortal

Heads of red snapper flanked by still-green callowed boughs that haven’t turned
Down the comforter yet to climb in for winter to marvel in lime brown whimsy
We touch, with wonder, each other amidst

Scarlet noses buoyed up as two cold vestibules that feel the breeze more
And the bud of transformation more – we could have instead been stars and missed vermillion
Instead of side by side, braving together, bracing what the other trees haven’t the intuition to feel
What is us

We descend limb by limb to forage porcupine Chaga in the full-throated sunbeams cast through
Leggy new-growth forest, not at all like ourselves
B
ut relish the sip of the soulful side of crimson umber

If there were no trees at all our hearts could take their place, and have
In time gone by.

Arboretum

Beneath the canopy of a weeping Beech
Wearing its molten roots like a dress
Its thin skin carved into with names of elapsed loves
Lump torso bowed and overthrown but held by metal crutches
Ordained by some idealistic Harvard undergraduate 

Even the most coached head
Cannot help but to fall to the stomach as if rolling
Down through the throat of the heart
Just being in the presence of that kind of onus

I emerge winded, merge
To fuse our souls that blossom like a flower of life
Free of crutch

Miraculously so
Celestial

We rove Oaks and striated Corks
Ropey emotion of the artist itself
These dresses swallow water to suckle the furthest sprig
Propelled by some electricity,
The very same
It must be
That stirs you and me

A passerby overhearing this eclogue
Would think that weeping was only an emotion in need
Of supports
And not a telluric invitation
To unlock the index of remembering
Love

Benches: Three Poems

The Butterfly Conservatory and Her

The flapping of her wings, minor disquietings
Of heart, heart
When touched succumbs, wing-first

 

Deerfield Academy and You

Maybe any tranquil object will eventually attract
Desire to itself, at least the desire for impetus, your heart beating brazenly
Gives it all away, you’ll not be unmoved
On the bench sitting still there

Adjacent to the limbed tree with the middling cavern spread

In some yonic ecstasy of touch
—  And untouching, slender arms and legs folding in
—  And outward, growing toward

—  And away depending entirely on how much faith

—  And comfort can be felt in such
Enfoldment

You will speak of disrobing because of a something inside: ardor
Arboriferous, even, rippling through your heart and bleeding out hale
Tree smells with burls and knuckles, soft verdures
You hold them up to his mouth as fingers coursing braille, as minnows testing sea, tongue

The end of summer sun sets you
Resist its beckon with fingers of dream
A look into September eyes two days before
September and affirm
To dream at all and remember its forms:

Some,
With promise of more.

 

Lord Jeffrey Inn and Him

Feeling
Snug against
Pallid brick

Pressed
To curves
As if

Finding
Comfort there
Right there
In the jolt

Perfect
Looking
Into him
How
Beautiful
He is

There
On the bench.

Unity Park

Eyes the colors of heartsease and the soft
Light of the spirit world
An osculating smile lifts up
Into his unusual life pools

Colors pass through these
September eyes
A lamp of patchouli and bronze
Veined in marigold tamarind
Those eyes are like cinnamon and warm coals
And honey of syrup from some fruit and its tree

Night-cobalt rainwaters saturating hemlock
Twilight and fresh jade stone
Silver evening ice with shards of auburn reverie
Some ephemeral mosaic with a song in the pupils

Eyes such as that could trespass where they’d like
But their gentle inspection does otherwise

The eyes close but are still open

His eyes
More tranquil than anyone’s
Looking at me.

When I Hold the Child in Me, I am Holding You

 

 

In a bathtub
To a sad piano song
Crying
That I never held you closer
And more lovingly
So I could bring you back to life
The way I read about in articles.

I didn’t know how to love back then
The way your death
Taught me to love,
After.

I think now
I could have saved you
Repaired your little heart
But now I have a hole in my own
Left ventricle,
Holding space
Where you should be.

I guess it makes sense
That all this mourning
Of love
And sensation of departure
Is a cry out for you
To return to my arms.

After fourteen years
I have never forgotten your face,
How you trusted me
With your short life,

How I loved you.

I run toward love
Like I am running to you
You are love
To me
You held it in your un-moving body
And I have been
Searching for you
In the strangest places since,
Aislinn.

Every loss
Is the loss of you.

Your Shirt, Purloined

I am afraid after spending some nights in the hunting ground.

Your shirt purloined
Within my gaping bag.

Finding such ration
Invented waver.

A finger-quiver
On the trigger.

It carried penchant
To a hesitant chamber,
Begot disorder,
Tethered hair at the back of my head.

I am afraid after pledging red grouse on a salver.

I track retrograde,
Wait, then, for a steady hand,
Hunt the cavern
For your bulk
To occupy the vagabond garment.

It stands upright
As engaged by some wraith,
Haunting rib-pitched chambers.

I am afraid to glance sidelong the heart
And entirely miss my aim.

 

Croton Plant

Waking with nonentity
Beside

A leaf-adorned plant
Draped in all that green
Luxury.

So jealous
Of its photosynthesis.

All the veined fronds cuddle
Swigging light together
Toasting their companionship.

Organ over organ, stretching
Out for provision
From the sun.

But think of the pot
The soil
A relentless want
Of water
To heal
Its incessant wilt.

It too, is exposed
It too, alive
With the fear
That its sustenance
Will vanish.

Or that everything will:
Leaves, plant, and sun together
Leaving only a woman
Displaced
In uninhabited space.

Everyone knows
Loneliness
Must always be the tonic
For a longing of verdure.