Friday, April 29, 2011

NAPOWRIMO -- April 27, 28, 29

April 27

daffodil rap song
(with a nod to May Swenson*, Wordsworth)

Spring and the usual yellow trumpets
spread like angels eating crumpets
refusing to be silenced; they have no frets
about tornado, downpour, hail, keep no bets.

This is a daffodil refusing to unwrap
for you, a taffy-filled chew or strap
of a tune for daffodil megaphones
announcing spring in clumps of overtones.

It’s not phones in a row ringing shrill with light
old-fashioned spring parading the “same-old” day and night
not eggyolk ruffled mouthpieces, muted for ears’ scant might
not tuned into echoes, running, but failing to put time in sight

This is a daffolodil saying bigger’s not better
saying stop messing with the writing god’s letter
that says it loves the world. Big cars, oil spreaders,
bigger chicken, one apple feeds four, polished and redder.

Shucks, another development, hushed dealings in the books,
megaboxed houses slapped together for looks.
See the stylized landscaping of owners who took
a contract for Chemical Lawn for velvet green in every nook

Hear me call you daft, and forget the spritely dance
We say, be in tune to spring, without a headphone trance.
It’s the daffodil rap saying, wake up to spring,
put a sign on each person, each living thing
to say, you matter, you’re important, to you I bring
my dafolodeliberate persistence, no matter what.
See me crop up, add beauty in my stationery strut.
And I'm off my megaphone complaining about wrong.
Here, you take the mic, make up something for a sing-along.

I’m holding my mic, and the wind is playing my tune
I’m yellow, white, orange, doubled or delicate, a boon
for the spirit. Won’t you sing with me, if not now, soon?

It's a rap for a daflidap, not a leak or a crap,
a fastfood sneeze or an "oh Jesus" on your knees.
It's spring and I tell you, be-bopping on my trumpet
you don't have to see any angels, or any crumpet,
and I'm off my megaphone complaining about wrong.
Here, you take the mic, make up something for a sing-along.

**Swenson’s words in her poem.
Yellow telephones
in a row in the garden
are ringing,
shrill with light.

Old-fashioned spring
brings earliest models out
each April the same,
naïve and classical.

Look into the yolk-
colored mouthpieces 
alert with echoes.
Say hello to time.

Tornado Watch when “Fine” Turns Italian

Nothing to fear but fear
itself is easy to say to a husband,
or to a tornado, the split-bellied gutter gushing
pounds and pounds of water
where it shouldn’t.

This too shall pass fixes
nothing, as lighting takes giant steps
down the trembling plum
and the wife mis-hears the husband’s
comment about their grown daughter,
too busy for an exclusive father-daughter hike.

Don’t worry
worries itself into the conversation
like embroidery thread whose gnarled knots
hide on the underside; burrows into worrubs
of ground so storm-soaked a step in the grass
sinks mid-calf.

Upper lip mumbling Dharma reminders,
about suffering, impermance, laces
with the lower lip’s serenity prayer.
The right ear feels full of the sea pounding
to deliver an un-oracular message: Do not ask the
tornado’s fat mama funnel to turn into a slim-waisted girl,
and the left ear flutes the idea of
dancing in some sunlight singing,
in some other part of the world.

Storm everywhere, and the two of us
with our own headshaken versions—
but I’m fine. I stitch a small tear
in a pillow case hem, we’ve had for 40 years,
think about the seasons we lived. Really, in the
big picture of things, all is fine, fine. Deal-able.

That’s when magic beats fine into tune,
music ever ready to repeat,
after it plays al fine
and the storm moves on.

APRIL 29, 2011

Images while Spring Cleaning

I’m polishing the glass over old photographs
my parents, my husband’s parents, our children,
forty years of my husband and me.
So many of the pictures make me think
of love-making.
His parents might have duplicated
the love scene of the Indian prince
and the beautiful courtesan, who
knows how to please him.
Their faces seem to say "all seems well
in the pleasure dome".

Perhaps my mother is like bride prepared
by the Prince’s mother, given
a cloth for the blood, a herb
for the pain.

The detail in the movie fits
with one her drunken stories.
How the new princess does not know any tricks;
she is frightened.
The selfish Prince is impatient,
has no time for her,
out of angry duty
plunges in.

Of course, later, the courtesan
falls in love with a rival of the Prince
and the story becomes complex.
What is service? Pleasure? Love?

A picture of my husband and me when we first met
and I waitressed at a steakhouse, reminded
me of the stories I would imagine
about couples I served.
It was clear the young drinking couples flirting
were expecting a good roll in the hay.
Each Saturday, an old couple came,
not helped by drink. They had lost
their fire. They moved from
two martinis to a bottle of wine,
and then to argument. It hurt to imagine
them going home, each to a separate
corner of the house, with a nightcap
angry, lonely, upset.
What did they know about service?
Had they ever known pleasure? Love?

Then, there is the couple, where the woman
flirts, but the man is tired; or the man tries
to interest the woman, but she is preoccupied.
And one time I saw an older man slip open a bag
to reveal a small package of Viagra
and grin at the woman. She was practiced in
hiding reactions.

That was before I knew about the need
of tricking the mind and body into excitement.
This complex braid of pleasure, service,
which can become so loose, love slips out,
or so tight, love has no way to enter.

Rare were old couples, so intimate,
they could stroke alive
the other’s pleasure
in an art of pleasing.

A little play acting is not all bad,
like that picture of us in Hawaii.
Yes, we’re sixty, but look – he’s sitting
on the bicycle, and I’ve stepped on
the front wheel, facing him with
our hands on the handle bars,
and one leg is straight, the other
raised in a perfect L behind my back,
as I lean towards him and he receives
my kiss, and tongues it back,
perfectly balanced. The pleasing
love of it all.

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