The Royal Poinciana is in full bloom,
its brilliant flame has led the sun
to take jealous refuge in the clouds
but we know not to be complacent.
Mother nature it is said, and we
are loathe to argue, can be at times
the most fickle of bitches and we
suspect that it will not be long
before she brings forth still another
tropical storm, a tantrum in which
the jacaranda’s beauty must cede
to her repressed envy, scattered
at our feet, a warning, perhaps,
but nonetheless a moment of beauty
that even nature cannot deny us.
We crossed the Hudson this afternoon
on a Dutch named bridge
in a driving rain so strong
you could hear little over the beat
of the wipers throwing sheets of water.
You wondered why the superstructure
was only on the Eastern end.
I wondered why they had to have
a Dutch name no one can translate.
The river’s surprisingly wide here
and you can’t even see the dead fish
or the waste from the plants up river,
its just a silver sheet of water
and the slashing of the wipers
and that name no one can translate.
First appeared in Calliope 21:1, 1997
We are obligated to carry
memories, and as we
get older the burden grows
ever heavier, we bend
under its weight, knowing
we dare not lose even one
for once castoff, the weight
is carried off like the smallest
feather on a storming wind.
Soon enough it is we
who will become the burden
that others must carry
and we hope they will
willingly shoulder the load
lest we become the excised
dust of forgotten stone
grown over with weeds.
I arrive home
to the wreckage
of the tornado
that is a three-year-old.
the pieces scattered about
we both think
of how soon
the next storm
and how we
will welcome its coming.
The night was ripped
by the lightning,
the thunder piercing
our dreams, awakening us
to the shadow’s play
on the skylight shades.
As I slip back into sleep
the gods turn their backs
and continue to argue
well into morning.
From twenty stories up
the fully fogged sky,
a translucent gray curtain
hung from an angry black ceiling.
and the streets below fade
into misty oblivion.
Even the approaching dusk
sits back in wonder.
She wondered what it would be like
to be an island, set off somewhere
in a vast ocean, tropical preferably
where the only sounds were
the ebb and flow of the waves,
the thunder of the occasional storm
and the whisper of leaves tossed
by the omnipresent sea breezes.
she liked isolation, the silence
of repetitive sounds, free of the shackles
the city imposed on all within.
She imagined she might never tire
of the freedom and island enjoyed,
patiently waiting for the visitor
who might not ever wash up
on her beaches, she indifferent
but willing to accept what the gods
might choose to offer or deny her.