Things Immaterial

I found a moth on my kitchen window,
climbing up the screen.
It was a large moth, close to an inch,
I think—I didn’t measure.
And it seemed confused
by endless mesh
beneath its legs, its feet—
fragile, if moths have them,
I didn’t check—
and morning’s heat,
the lack of exits,
how it became so impossibly trapped.

At any other time, in another room,
I might have grabbed
a weighty book—Gray’s Anatomy,
perhaps—
and disregarding frantic flaps,
each frenzied dodge,
would have taken aim,
in memory of garments lost—
cashmere sweaters, silk shirts—
to their nestling appetites,
hatching broods.
Acrylic doesn’t suit their tastes.

But on this morning, without thought
for material salvation—
the artifice of dress, donned image—
I grabbed a glass instead,
possessed by instincts to
free, protect.
Its wings fluttered hard against this new
transparent jail—
momentary, but how could it know?—
then spread wide upon release, flight.
On any other day, I would have
crushed it, for reasons that seemed right.

But somehow, not today, not today.

© 2014 All Rights Reserved

Blossom Whine

What grand intelligence is this
that sends its tiny armies to undo, unfold
until every head bursts open?

What shameful mockery
leaves us thus, to hold our faces high
on so slim a stalk?

We, who would preen on every breeze?
But left unblessed, we droop
and sigh instead.

There must have been some lesson in it.
To craft beauty which
must be staked or caged.

Or was it just a drunken afterthought?
Or wager, perhaps—to see who would
overlook so obvious a flaw?

©2014 All Rights Reserved

Petal Shock

You loathe me.

I can tell by the way
you drive dulled prongs
into the soil
and twist.

Or plunge your rusted wedge
into my heart of secrets,
to loose my grip
on life.

I see the way you look at me
when I resist,
the bile rising in
your eyes.

What is it that offends?

Your vapors leave me
breathless, stinging,
withering
on Why?

Don’t you know your war is folly?

For even as I wilt,
my sister sheds her crown of
fresh seed tears
in grief

to spite your pride.

©2014 All Rights Reserved

When Words Fail

They are slippery, evasive, coy….
They dangle on our tongues,
sometimes, yes, at the tip,
and sometimes on an edge,
not steady enough to bite, not near enough to taste,
resting their little feet on molars or eye teeth.
Then they vanish,
and reappear in a teasing flicker,
as if chuckling, snickering.

Once in a while they are gremlins,
sneaking unwanted into letters and poems,
their only goal to gum up the works,
wreak havoc.

But it always seems the ones we deeply crave—
the crisp, the clear, the beautiful,
those that will plait our thoughts
into a seamless chain—
that dodge into secret crevices in our heads
when we call them.

And then it takes four of five or six words
to say, all too poorly, what one would have said—
the one which won’t be found in a thesaurus
because even its synonyms have hidden in solidarity.

Those are the words that keep us up at night
imagining they’ve been sucked
from their shallow hole
into some bottomless eddy.

Those are the words that really bedevil.

Until, by some miracle—
spring, mostly,
their noses reemerge,
unguarded, quivering, curious,
and ready to multiply.…

©2014 All Rights Reserved

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