Archive for May, 2011

The Mind Mantis

May 31, 2011

It’s like she’s a partition of the earth
itself, the earth as it oxidizes
and grows too old to think.

Life is mocked by this wash
of water and magnesium—
it’s more a part of the story
of oxygen than the
story of the mind.

She could be praying that
the brain of the world
will become the mind of the world,
the only one she ever knew.

She could be an illusion in
a vast assault on illusions,
for her camouflage
creates the impression that
she is not present, not constitutive,
as if her beauty takes her
away from the earth.

The mind mantis, her minerals
crystallize and form into
forms of life that seem to grow into
the cracks and fissures, as the rocks erode.
Seem to, but don’t.

Bring them to the surface,
Mantis, that we may judge
all the ancient dendrites,
all the blush of another world.

The Swimming Child

May 20, 2011

Our wise men want to call him Icarus. But he can’t be
that Icarus. There are no melted wax wings, no vaunting
ambition, just the salt crust on his face and limbs.

Perhaps he did fall from the sky and no
one heard his splash. Perhaps as the waves moved
around him, like a bright red buoy tied to the sea,

his swimming bequeathed to the water
the necessary movement for the waves. Perhaps left to swim
ashore, it’s our words that have drowned, not his soul.

Or could it be the waves have calmed?
Could it be that the sea is silent? That there
is nothing left to come ashore?

What if he’s like a cloud of paramecium
or something, and the swimming child emerges
alive from the river estuary and not dead from the sea?

My child, my child! The swimming words,
so much in abundance, about to reach
the river’s mud, amid the river’s eels…


May 15, 2011

Grandmother, wow, what big teeth you have!

May 13, 2011

He stands where she stood, looking like everyday life,
a wolf in glass slippers, late for the ball,
a Little Red Herring with cats in her shawl—
you know, the poster child of harmony and strife…
It seems what all you boys and girls forgot to bring
today he has in abundance. Heraclitus
incarnate, his words should entitle us
to a playground go-round, a floral thing
more tender and magnanimous—more bees,
more clover, more flowers, honey—than we
deserve to have, you know. But fairy tales can be
a skein of ice, woven water about to freeze.
To freeze, he says. This child is but a skin.
Hold out her hands. Show me her chin-y chin chin.

Poetry, fait accompli

May 2, 2011

It starts so peaceful-like, like clouds that might
bring rain out on the horizon, this poem, just like a cloud’s
existence, to be sure, but such a calm one, full
of shallow tears against a heedless earth—

no tornadoes, no cats flung into space, not today,
just a gentile rain…and puddles.  Earth’s face is left
unscarred, like in that poem, I Wandered Lonely as
a Cloud,
where daffodils provoke a store

of memories, something for us to savior late
in life, lying on the couch, oh, a touch
pensive perhaps, perhaps the gout is acting up…
Or it’s like in that Elizabeth Bishop poem,

The Fish, where she says everything is rainbow,
rainbow, rainbow!
It seems the storm has passed
us by again, and—happy thought—neither
the fish nor poem must die. Or end.