Poems

Verandah

Monday, July 2nd, 2018

Yesterday’s elegy dispatched me
on a search for “waggle dance.”
By URL I found it out on YouTube:
the manic moves of worker bees
that vector angle and distance
of nectar to their sisters.
On the drive home last night from sangha,
a podcast announced that science now
can eavesdrop on those numbers.
Coincidences abound
in reunion’s aftermath.
The hive is a web.
The end of the road
Leads back to corners.

Daybreak at Paradise Beach, Thanksgiving Week

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

The night surf’s whoosh and rumble
Gives way to dawn.
Pelicans glide in line,
Skirt the crests,
Thread through spray, and wheel.
Way out there, the gray surface
Explodes in a flash of foam
Seizing light.

Grandson and pal
Lie inert in the sand
Fourteen hours now,
Growing cells, storing fuel
For the day’s unceasing patter–
Adolescent giants
Nearing boyhood’s end.

He turned fifteen two days ago
Weeping in the station house,
Caught stealing once again
From those who raised him
To whom he’s offered much occasion
For exercise of generosity.

But on this camping trip
To a place I’ve longed for
To return ten years,
He gave some sweeter recompense:
“Grandpa, we’ll run back down the beach
And carry your pack with ours.”
“We’ll pitch your tent.”
“This food tastes great.”

I stand at the edge of the sea
And watch each wave take form and break,
There a million microseconds
Grinding mountains into dust.
I feel my shrunken spine, my eyelids’ droop.

Behind me on the beach, I hear a laugh
And turn toward arms and fingers
Stretching in the sun.

see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/smarx/albums/72157675418113981/show

I’ll Remember April

Friday, October 21st, 2016

(April Wells 1943-2016)

I loved you for your name–
the bloom of youth, the standing daffodil.

I loved you for your voice, in full Canadian lilt
Its high and low note chord.

I loved you for your strength,
To clear the brush and split the wood,
and raise those kids alone
in the dark house across the road.

I loved you for the gifts you brought—grace and song and dance

kenneth to left, april wells, debbie keane, steven marx, backrow joann sorenson, jan christie

And for the gifts you gave–confidence and joy

I loved you for your laugh.

1982aprilwells

Labor Day

Friday, September 9th, 2016

A holiday to celebrate
The end of holiday.
I sit cross legged in the closet
Trying to subdue thoughts
that tumble like laundry.
A work in progress
Thirty minutes, every morning,
Forty years.
Or is it only labor
Watching the clock?
I face the closed door
Of an antique washstand
That holds the ashes
Of two who made me.
Creation or endurance
Their lives and mine,
Headed for now
Or never?