Spring Pruning

April 20th, 2019

Dizzy, bent over
I pull April’s yellow tongues
Red ants bite my feet

2019

The San Luis Valley ABCs

April 20th, 2019

Altitude defies melt, clings to snow
beneath a sun perched on a blue beam
cantilevered invisibly into starry
dark. You’ll never,
ever see the stars
fight emptiness like this.
Goddamn! You’ll say.
How have I never seen the galaxy’s milk?
I only now am full denizen of earth.
Just blame city mazes, convenient concrete,
know that a lifetime of humid,
low skies can blind, obscure the mind.
Mountains named for blood make a bowl for a
never to be seen sea.
Over subterranean ocean caverns, earth is desert.
Poor, salty white crust (Google Earth it)
quit acting fertile decades ago, but for green circles.
Recently I heard a story of alpine fed creeks
sucked underground quickly each
time monofarmers turn on pivot spigots.
Unbelievable, you’ll say, but listen.
Visit creeks at just the right time.
Watch the water rise and fall and wish.
Xeriscape reacts with little food.
You’ll see. Ask Chris Canally about
zero tolerance for water greed.

2019

Anniversary

April 19th, 2019

After six years, I
predict my seven year itch
will still be for him.

2019

Redress

April 19th, 2019

She called and said
she might make
an elopement dress
of my 90s wedding gown:
lots of mauve lace
over a loose mauve slip.
Could I send it? Sure.
Worried it was lost,
I found it in a box
that survived
eighteen moves
and four major
relationships.
Yes, I say.
Make it yours.
You are why
I saved it.
In old wedding
photos, she is the bump
beneath my wide smile.
The marriage didn’t last—
only my love and hope for her.
Wise enough to know
her own gathered measure
of those two wings
will carry her further
into lifelong union
than luck or any old dress,
she laughed at superstition
and made her plans
for happiness.

2019

Another Spring Intervention

April 19th, 2019

We threw the fat cat out.
She wouldn’t come when we called,
meowed out of sight.

36 degrees
my phone said by 4 am.
Warm house spoiled, she’d freeze.

I grabbed thrown off clothes,
padded nude into the house,
prepared to go out

to fish her from cold.
There she stood, a silhouette
at the sliding door.

Grateful for her smarts,
still clutching thin pajamas,
I watched her slip in:

Shadow meowing
until I filled the small moon
shining in her bowl.

2019

Impersonating Snow

April 16th, 2019

Impersonating snow
Moonlight painted the back deck
A bedtime lark

2019

Sempervivum

April 14th, 2019

I break off last year’s surprising stalks, sprouted
like prehistoric towers from mother-centered clusters
of hens and chicks, and drop them in the bare spots
of the rock garden. The rosette from which each stalk grew
is absolutely dead. I do not know if her brown blooms
have already thrown chick seeds or if chicks simply move
like my succulent babes, sending runners underground.

2019

Perennial

April 14th, 2019

Very few perennials I planted last year
Are showing their hands yet. Late summer’s
Nursery catnip, cousin of invasive mint,
Of course is back. But then there are these:
One echinacea. One knitbone. One yarrow.
All three thriving in the weak new sun, each
Sixteen generations old that I’ve dug up when
I move, hoping they take in new soil. Some do.

2019

Rhubarb Leaves

April 14th, 2019

Rhubarb begins as red knot
A ruby marble nestled
In tightly wrinkled leaves
Leaves like ancient faces smiling
Going slack with youth over weeks
Or accordion lace collars
Sprouting heads of old British queens
Or cold green scrota slowly released
Into the heat of summer.

2019

April 1971

April 11th, 2019

I found my ears’ place
upright beneath her heart,
listening, a human
question mark resisting
some man’s hands
pressing me through
muscle wall to write me
head down. Overnight
I righted myself against
my mother’s music. He
pushed me down again
toward my birth,
but for my head.
Too large to pass,
he said, unlearned,
to Mother on her back.
He cut me out, red child,
her blood in my mouth,
lifted me into a world
where he was the hero
of my origin myth.

2019

Ten Poems for Ten Days:
Five Shitty Catch-Up Haiku
for NaPoWriMo

April 10th, 2019

I get behind. I do. I catch up with haiku. Some are better than others. See below.

No!

April 10th, 2019

Days watching TV
Instead of writing poems
NaPoWriNoMo?

Yes, Sally Jane

April 10th, 2019

I am one of those
Poets who try to catch up
When I fall behind.

Mosquito Snow

April 10th, 2019

Mountains disappear
In April snow. Buddhists pray:
Freeze, mosquito eggs.

Yucca

April 10th, 2019

Winter yellow spears
gently gather snow, rain,
distracted horse’s life.