I AM A TREE

 

Did you think I was a woman?

Oh no, I am a tree

rooted and immovable 

impossible to conceive

the scenes

that I have seen

 

Now gnarled and warped

weathered and aged

wrinkled and withered

bent to the ends of recognition

too rigid to give in

to the whim of man

I stand true to the tune

of the wind echoing

my own inner rhythm

persistent, consistent, constant

 

Perhaps every tree

was once a woman –

only a woman could stand so strong

fall so proud

when the axe of age claims her

and earth sets a bed for her

THE MOON OF THE MOUNTAINS

 

The moon of the mountains

is larger, brighter, swallowing the heavens,

closer too are the jackals

and nights are cool, even in summer

 

The sun seems closer also

and some days the distant ranges

are so defined and crisp 

it is as though perspective 

has been obliterated

and peaks not seen before

are sudden in their beauty

 

So that there is a feeling 

of floating above it,

up up to the place where

the moon looks down 

and directs its beams 

to brighten the mountains

 

Then up further through the milky way

to disappear into it

to become one with it

a beacon for the traveler

who might prefer to observe the world

from this unusual perch

before returning to continue

the journey on planet earth

 

QUICKLY UNTO THE SPIRITS

 

I am disappearing

into the ether

of history

unto the spirits

calling me

a drop 

in the reservoir

of eternity

disintegrating 

as rapidly 

as a meteorite

implodes

into its essence

as fast 

as a star tumbles

inside a black sky

 

Disappearing

BLACK COFFEE

 

I am the lump of sugar

you put into your coffee

nonchalantly in the mornings

 

I melt to the touch of your heat

and sweeten your bitter brownness

with all the happiness 

a small cube of sugar

is able to muster

 

FROM THIS DESK

 

From the desk at which I sit

and bring beauty through these hands,

this brush, onto the paper, into the world,

the corner of my eye observes the wind

rustle a tablecloth

 

on the other side of my heart,

a friend whose son is dying,

a poet who had a breakdown

another who has just had

a difficult diagnosis

 

in my painting, human-free,

the North abloom,

mountains regal in the background,

pine trees and peace,

sky blue with optimism,

ground green with eternity

 

on the radio

a six-year-old Mozart

is wooing my heart

 

whom do I fool? a world in pain

paradise so close to a hostile border

that, if you listen, you will surely hear 

mortar shells falling

 

am I permitted the peace

which creativity gives

yet compassion prevents?

 

I sign the painting

a month in the making

and hurt for the world

 

DOUBLE BLESSING

 

a setting sun

in the west

feather clouds

flame pink-gold

over a waveless sea

glasslike 

in its stillness

so blue

it disappears

into its transparency

 

at the same instant

to the east

sitting on the tip

of the mountain peak

a gossamer full moon

a globe of pale orange juice

peeks over the mountain

as though trying to decide

if it’s time to rise

 

and you wish you were a creature

akin to the chameleon

whose eyes are independent

so that the left could see the sunset

the right could see the moon

and the brain would view both

simultaneously 

and your neck could stop

this impossible craning

 

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