500 blackbirds drop dead from the sky days after 100,000 fish and ...

Bird

As when we awaken startled from a damp sleep

and realize that what we thought was love

was not love was not even the hollow kindness we show

a neighbor we hardly know when we say “sorry for your loss”

was not even a “there, there” we offer a friend

of a friend whose husband took up with a younger woman

was not even the feigned pity we show a coworker

whose stepfather fell down a flight of stairs, broke his

neck, and left behind an ample wife

was never even like the small gasp

that leaves our lips when through a car window

we see the blur of black bird with an injured wing

lying still in the road.

Image credit

8.10.17 (revised 7.11.20)

winter upon us

winter upon us

Shook elms lining the sloped

edges of a pitted road drop

their dying leaves while

Simon, with Sam, heave-ho

the grounded ones then

threaten each other with

pellets and rope.

Somewhere above the

yellow-brown heaps,

one songbird calls to

a white-winged friend:

“sweet-sweet-sweet”

and feeds her slick babies

black beetles and yarn.

What was once

dark was gray

after became hope

wanting to wind

its way down

to the ankles of

Carlisle Mountain

and lap at the feet

of the widow who

longed for that fat

girl Sanne to return

home and lie about.

11.27.15

Photo

rose-petals

“Well anyway

the dead

are dead”

hushed but

busted wide

with want

that Jim

still begging

for one

last go

and Francie

so starved

she’s throwing

down fries

just minutes

before closing

those eyes

of hers

and the

dog’s ball

was buried

last fall

but what

a shedder

she was

that pup

this one

time gobbling

up chocolates

with franks

poor girl

nearly died

then but

didn’t so

look

the sun

it’s white

the wind

it’s up

the bits

of straw

skitter across

granite and

grass these

rose petals

dying, yes,

but still

so fragrant

nonetheless

9.7.15

Photo

robin egg

October

I will tell you about the naked oak in our yard and about

my dead robin, June, who couldn’t fly south for winter

and about the Cooper’s hawk that swooped down to eat

the poor thing, pecking first at a dull eye, while close by

two cracked eggs, each the size of a large jelly bean,

lay oozing yolk and about the cold sky pulled thin and

plumed across my low horizon and about Hyena, with

his pail full of silver buckshot, who shouted from across

the avenue, “Wanna lick my lollipop, pancake tits?”

while behind him two fat boys cackled, with Br’er

Rabbit, the older by some years, in Daddy’s pink shirt

and about mother leaving for the City, her thin

lips painted plump, and about my gray lunch

congealing in a tin pan that sat on the top rack of a

cold oven and about the canned peaches she dumped

into a tea cup and placed on a shelf in her

refrigerator. But not yet and not here

7.26.15

Photo

Mother's Day Theme Oil Pastel drawing for beginners - Step by Step ...

Father’s Day

To those who no longer have fathers

or who have them but keep losing them

or who never had them at all

and who have mourned their death

or other leaving

every minute

of every single day

for years upon years:

Say they left.

Say they went.

Say they turned away.

Say they’re dead.

Say goodbye.

6.22.15

Photo

stars on a cold night

Colder stars

Where do we go from here,

when it is nightfall,

when soon the cold stars will spin,

the moon will die again,

and the marsh peeper

will call out to his coy lover,

who may or may not appear?

Must I beg for that last drink of you,

that spilling grace,

or for the touch of

a cool hand?

Longing can become a dark dog

awakening briefly to an emptied bowl.

If I leave here tonight unwhole,

will a smaller god follow me,

whining,

back home?

5.3.15

                                                   Photo

Waxing crescent moon

 When love leaves her beloved

 Even love will catch her death

under a cold moon will become

a patch of brown grass buried

beneath an early frost will shiver

into a single dark vine winding

around a splintered trellis will crawl

panting across a desert floor will dry

up to a trickle of water down the

face of a stone mountain will run

frightened through a long hallway will slip

unseen out a side entrance will know

when it is time to turn and pull

the door closed behind her.

12.17.14

                                                                           Photo

 carta-tarot-lovers

llamas gemelas

love is a lunatic aunt

come down from the Bronx to

rant about her maybe baby

and prophesy calamity

she’ll say

he some dark eyed

dreamer Diego

and need him

chubby chicas

on the side

with they aye papi way

she’ll say

he gonna kill me

dead that one

and snuff these holy flame

gonna do miss mujerzuela

so as give him nena pain

she’ll say

lo siento sobrina but

you don’t got no chance

I just thrown the lovers’ tarot

and seen trouble with romance

first I pull the tower then

the devil after that so I think

you better go mami

before you too much fat

* llamas gemelas = “twin flames”

11.23.14

                                                                                       Image

bare-tree-at-sunset-

genealogy

day dark

family lost

daddy he’s gone &

mommy she’s sauced

brother is monstering

all over the house

chasing down sister &

tearing her blouse

pinning small shoulders

prying small knees

opens her mouth

and do what they please

10.4.14

Photo

A_Ray_Of_Light_in_the_Darkroom

Tossing thighs 

That night

years ago now

when first I felt his

hot hard

absence

and

opening to it

smoldered alone

on an old couch, waiting,

the wanting wound

her way through me

as if she were a

fin de siècle Salomé

looking to fetch

a cry of sexual longing from the king of Judea.

                                                                            9.9.14

Photo

the-sea-dragon

 Passion, oh

Like that old photograph I found

at the bottom of her sea-green lunch pail,

where his tanned arm, white shirt sleeve rolled to

just below the elbow,

rests on the dark steering wheel of their old Impala,

with her leaning in,

left knee on the passenger seat.

Or like that old movie I saw,

where the mermaid bride longs for her sailor lover,

he in his blue and white striped t-shirt, both sleeves rolled to the shoulders,

and resting one hand at the small of her slender back.

Bésame,” she begs.

Or like that old TV show I watched,

where barefoot and only half smiling

he walks slowly to the water’s edge, wet trousers rolled to the shins,

and says to a woman we can’t quite see,

“¡Ven aquí!

And she almost does,

                                                                                                               oh

8.21.14

Photo

Jaguar

Wow

but the best encounter

Diane

I’ve ever had

the best one

was when

I was tracking a jaguar

in the jungle

by myself

which I usually don’t do

I saw these big male tracks of a jaguar

I’d never seen before and

I just took off thinking okay

I’ll track it a little while but

I shouldn’t be alone but

I ended up tracking it for hours and

 it was getting dark and

I didn’t have a flashlight and

I can’t be alone in the jungle without a flashlight so

I turn around and

there’s the jaguar

in back of me

wow

8.19.14

Photo

(Excerpt from an 8.18.14 interview between NPR’s Diane Rehm and zoologist/wildlife ecologist Alan Rabinowitz )

140723-mh17_kids-7a_9ccd2da63a049d06de43af53892c5c1c.nbcnews-ux-640-400

It Was Like the End of the World

in those fields

the grasses were very high

wheat fields sunflower fields and

you would come upon the bodies

in their strange shapes and

it felt so deeply sad that

no one was coming to help them that

they were alone

basically

there was a little girl

who had a little

pink T-shirt on and

she was in this distant area near a pond

totally thrown clear

not near anything at all

they stay with you

the faces of the people and

how they lay in the grass and

they come into your mind and

it’s hard to get them out

                                                                            8.7.14

Photo

(Excerpt from an 8.6.14 interview between NY Times reporter Sabrina Tavernise and NPR’s Fresh Air host Terry Gross)

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