I’m delighted that my poems “Scarecrow Remembers” and “Scarecrow Sees” are up at The High Window. Many thanks to editors David Cooke and Anthony Costello for their interest in publishing American poets.
My poem, “The Resonance of No,” is up at Gravel.
Forced to Eat Soft Food, I Consider Options
What good is pizza to one who can’t eat it? I’m thinking of a rolled crust
stuffed with prosciutto and parmesan, with onion strands and whole
basil leaves nestled among them, accompanied by a frothy pale ale,
bitter yet smooth and tuned so finely as to flit comfortably between the
notes of a liquid arpeggio. Or if not pizza, perhaps a red chili of braised
and shredded beef seasoned with ancho and chipotle and a smidgeon
of chocolate and beer, simmered slowly and served on the year’s
coldest day in front of the fireplace. I have so much and am grateful
for so little. My clothes are warm and dry, and the eggs I’ve poached
offer me sustenance and flavor and textures wrought of memories
of childhood and comfort, family and treasured books at hand. Then
I think of water and protectors, of standing rocks and centuries of
abuse and neglect and lies bred to fill coffers, and I wonder if we
could pile stones ten horses high around the cowards who spray,
bludgeon and strip search, who fire water cannons in sub-freezing
temperatures, and throw concussion grenades directly at pacifists, all
for the cause of holy oil. What good is pizza to those who can’t swallow?
I fork a bite of egg to my mouth, and choke, but only for a moment.
In This I Find You Again
If there is truth to be found
let someone find it. The yellow
rose rests in its jar. Day and
night it looks out through the glass
at the world of altered
lines, sensing, perhaps, beauty
through its failure to prevent
fading. Each morning I wake
and think of you. The hibiscus
on our patio readies itself to blossom,
but pauses as if to prolong
the moment, waiting for a reason
to end its denial. Then it unfolds.
You are all I care to find.
* * *
This first appeared in June 2015.
Soon there will be no more good lines left for the rest of us, because Jeff Schwaner is taking them all! Be sure to read Conversations (II) and (III), and if you haven’t read his Mei Yao-Ch’en sequence, what are you waiting for?
Nocturne (Blue Grosbeak)
arrives to be seen?
of the day
comes and goes
in the same
more felt than heard.
The grosbeak sings
of a motion
blending with night.
The air is cool.
A leaf utters
its own message
Nothing awaits it.
This first appeared in February 2015.
The editors of the Origami Poems Project have nominated “Parting from Wang Wei,” a poem from my recently published micro-chapbook, No Eye But the Moon’s: Adaptations from the Chinese, for a Pushcart Prize. Many thanks to Jan and Kevin Keough for this honor. The chapbook is available via free download from Origami Poems Project. And please peruse their site for other titles and folding instructions.