Tuesday, June 29, 2010

clean-up poems 6/2010

New version of "Pop-a-lock"


What to do as life grows wild around you
and you are locked out of your house
your mind a mill of excuses?

Hop next door,
call pop-a-lock and wait and then,
attend to spring:
toothy waves of dandelion in the grass
staccato notes of nettle to sting the nose.

Wait for pop-a-lock with a trowel
to root out those dandies
before spring pops their lock,
their wound-up clock out of control
while last week's daffodils no longer
jazz with the sunshine. Rain or no rain
they've finished their lick
while a new platoon of jonquils croons.

The locksmith arrives, pulls out his kit,
concentrates, inserts a needle,
fingers the metal and twists.
Tells how he used to work for the police,
how he had to be real quiet
because you just never knew
what was waiting
behind the door,

and then pops
the lock

like spring.



A boneless intelligence gathered under a sharp beak,
a peak in the middle of four sets of arms,
eyes that secrete programmed death weeks after
reproducing, but charmed with three hearts.
Perhaps the advantage is the ability to squeeze
past tight places, call on use of tools and ink.

A poem with book title prompts

In the French browns of mown fields
polished by the sound of rain's dance steps
(five quick notes, two hesitant plock-plocks)
a hedgehog appears, his quills awry
under the heavy quilt of a frowning sky.

He rolls by a girl with a dragon tattoo,
whose bones carry her etched skin, the blue
weight of silence, her stock of rounded
thoughts and letters sheltered in her hood.

And there they are, in the fierce fling
of wind-slung drops, quills at the ready.
What would you want to know about them?
Ask them please to write it down.

Maybe they’ll toss some feathers of advice
From Leda’s mother, or list what they see
In the Junk Yard, interesting things
To put into some marvellous

font (with all the reasons they chose it)
Along with a poem written by a river,
which has swallowed
all sorts of poems others might have written

along with all the junk no one really wants to see
such as facts one overhears on a cellphone when
The plane has landed: how one is standing up,
Taking luggage out of the rack, how the baby

didn’t stop crying the whole trip. You might hear
“I’ll fin this shit” instead of I’ll finish it,
as a girl passes a book
to a man with a brushcut, who looks

as if he could barb her with a porcupine quill,
but changes his mind, passing
perhaps as a lonely hedgehog
curling his seven thousand smooth spines

out of reach of her beautiful blue tattoo.

(Tiny poem)
Brook Painting
chuckles measureless
beyond frame
to sundances

a short clip about wooly bears in the Farmer's Almanac...
the admitted confusion about whether the length of black or rust bands
corresponds to harsh or mild winter, and yet no two of these caterpillars
are alike in a year. So find one the color that suits you
and opt to think what you will.

Behind the Thorn, Soft Down

a reminder of unpredictable.
And yet, we tried to cut down a shaggy tree
Which this year shelters the cardinal's nest;
For two months pulling thistles growing thorny-thick
Which now provide soft purple flower
that will seed to feed the finches.

For what all this effort to control and tame?

Here, have some butter ‘n eggs
and all that delights the eye,
bee, butterfly

enjoy the colors, the seed for tea,
the unpredictable weed
Known as wildflower.

From a Slip of a Shell

a small whorled welch
scuttles sideways,
shuns his shell

if he had words,
he might skin them too,
the sound of them
until entering another slip of a shell.

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