Tuesday, April 27, 2010

posting poems for 4/22, 4/23, 4/24, 4/25, 4/26,

Poem for April 22

Iron Motion vs. Robin, Train, Song

Say train this way: loco,
loco, locomo, locomo –
with a French tee-vah
lo-co-mo-TEE-vah, locomoTIve

Can you hear it now, this
crazy train propelling itself
on the tracks

and the little boy in the film
saying it in Japanese,
Do-des’-kaden driving his faux tram
through the slum?
Do-des KADEN, do DES ka DEN

and it is spring and a robin sits still,
high on a fence,
thrusting out his orange waistcoat
tight around his fat spring belly
bright ringed eyes watching,

and the train is charging ahead,
locomo, locomo, locomo
and suddenly the whistle escapes
like an ungodly iron horse screaming.

It covers the robin call
chee-ear-eo, chee-ear-up
And what if the robin
were made of iron
and pistons made him fly?

Just what if we really listened to what is created?
What do you pick?
the little boy in his world
do-des’ ka DEN
where in the dump where he lives,
he has made a tram line
which carries him
where he wants to go.

Poem for April 23

Unspoken In the 17th Century Gallery

In the small scene, a man peers
in from a high window
looking down at a man standing
by a poster of an owl, with candlestick, eyeglasses.
The upright man tamps his pipe,
looks at the man extolling his beer
who looks towards the man in a red hat
who looks at his pipe as if a look
were a light passed from man
to man, to man, to bowl of tobacco.
But each eye rolls overboard,
missing the person he should see.

Across the room, hangs a painting
of a man in an armchair,
as if surveying the tavern scene.
Light pulses from his hands,
and the moon of his face
where dutch-windowed lips
look at if they will speak

perhaps to point out
the still life beside him,
with curl of orange, pearlescent oyster
and a smoldering rope hanging
off the table.

If you look long enough
the human surfaces
beyond the paint:
a Willem contemplating
his subjects, Jan, Pieter, Loek.
Perhaps their carousing amuses him,
perhaps he is as unable to see.

poem for 4/24

Penned Sheep

E Each line shall start
W With a capital because
E Everyone knows that rule.

Y Yellow you
O Ochre you
U Umber: the color of you in Fall.

in a nation of

S So little
H Heart
E Errant
E Erring until lost
P People



Before the

changing rooms
dance them into new clothes

Camera obscura
chest for treasures

dancing. And so when the

children came home, we
brought the camera on our walk, swinging, skipping, we
caught a few images
downloaded them but now the

Camera is dead.
But it gave us memories of our


This spring morning, white drifting,
as if apple blossom straying

but it is snow

the wind twirls white into skirts
without the chatter of bird music

crack of cold shuts down even the tulips
the lilac tightens its purple nubs

snow paints the earth in broad bands.

This spring afternoon,
cumulus puffed into castles

every dandelion has opened shop
basking as if to make daydreamed sun.

what snow? It has spun

into the wild and all is breath

to warm frozen fingers of spring
cool the steaming soup until able to eat.


60 Seconds
(with thanks to Giuseppe Ungaretti and Gian Lombardo)
Could write

four words in Italian which would take
four volumes in English to explain.
Can you hear how the M's magnify the darkness
how the L's push the light inside one self
spread it to the immensity of O
push into it
then out.

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