Dewdrops as stars


Innumerable as the stars of night,
Or stars of morning, dewdrops which the sun
Impearls on every leaf and every flower.
–   John Milton


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Laundry Dance

Blue Shirt

On laundry day, like Narcissus, I’m lured by the reflection.
The washer’s drum my River Styx, our clothes draw my affection.
Hot water fills the old machine as soap suds burst and bubble,
Obscuring all the grimy grit from daily toils and trouble.

I sniff your dark blue shirt once more, before I dunk it in.
A deep inhale, a smile, a sigh. It’s eau de you, My Sin.
The agitator rumbas to its Afro-Cuban beat,
While bunching up our undies in a mangled, tangled heap.

Your pant leg circles my red skirt. My bra shimmies your sock,
Like the rhythmic spinning cycles of a syncopated clock.
And sometimes these entanglements tear a tenuous thread,
Our delicate connection frays to raggedy instead.

Then everything goes silent just before the rinse arrives,
To sanitize the slurry of our busy, messy lives.
We fold together neatly, and we put our clothes away,
Closely snuggled in the closet to be worn another day.


 

Delicious, Sweet and Cold

The Fruit Pages say the plum is “a soft round smooth-skinned sweet fruit with sweet flesh and a flattish pointed stone.”  Perfectly adequate description, but a poet can do so much more.

In honor of National Poetry Month, an ode to one of my favorite fruits from one of my favorite poets …

“This Is Just To Say”

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

William Carlos Williams

°

Resources:  William Carlos Williams, Poets.org, Tony Hisgett photos, Plums, The Daily Post

April is the Cruelest, Most Poetic Month

It seems appropriate for the title of this post to introduce National Poetry Month by paraphrasing the opening line of The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot:

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

Maybe because it is the cruelest month, the Academy of American Poets (poets.org) picked April as National Poetry Month.  Whatever the reason, the party starts today and continues all month.

Share in the celebration by visiting poets.org to participate in:

  • 30 Poets, 30 Days: A poetic tweet-a-thon, where selected poets have 24 hours to tweet daily insights.
  • Poem-A-Day: Sign up to get a poem from a new poetry book emailed to you each day.
  • Poem In Your Pocket Day: On April 14, join thousands of people across the country by carrying a poem in your pocket.
  • Poem Flow for iPhones: This app features daily poems beautifully presented as fixed and animated text.  Even if you don’t have an iPhone, you can enjoy.

Whether you want to celebrate online or in person at book stores, poetry readings, libraries, or slams, there are hundreds of events planned across the country.  To find out what’s going on near you, visit the National Poetry Map.

Poets.org has more planned. Visit the National Poetry Month page for all the details.

Resources: poets.org, The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot, The Daily Post

 

Happy Sunshine in a Little Orange Package

This morning after breakfast I was still hungry.  It’s mid-January, I live in Arizona, and there are orange trees in the back yard so loaded with fruit the branches droop low enough for the rabbits to reach them.  The oranges have been tempting me for a while, but the last time I tried one, it was too early.  The flesh was dry and tough, and it was so bitter it took at least 15 minutes before my eye stopped twitching and I could pull my cheeks out of a hard core pucker.

Different story today.  When I got close to the tree, I could smell that they were ready.   I chose an orange near the bottom of the tree; those ripen first, and when I picked it, it nearly fell off the limb into my hand.

It’s orange season, all right.  I was a little hesitant with my first bite, but as soon as my teeth broke through the skin, “Hello, Larry!”  It was exquisitely, perfectly, sweetly ready.  The flavor was fresh and vibrant, and I wanted to stuff the whole orange in my mouth to fill it with the flavor of happy sunshine.  That’s what the orange tasted like … Happy Bright Perfect Sunshine.

There’s is a lot of ugliness going on around Arizona these days.  That orange, grown in Arizona soil, not only satisfied my hunger, it made me feel hopeful.

In honor of my morning orange, I’m happy to share one of my favorite poems:

Peeling an Orange
by Virginia Hamilton Adair

Between you and a bowl of oranges I lie nude
Reading The World’s Illusion through my tears.
You reach across me hungry for global fruit,
Your bare arm hard, furry and warm on my belly.
Your fingers pry the skin of a navel orange
Releasing tiny explosions of spicy oil.
You place peeled disks of gold in a bizarre pattern
On my white body. Rearranging, you bend and bite
The disks to release further their eager scent.
I say “Stop, you’re tickling,” my eyes still on the page.
Aromas of groves arise. Through green leaves
Glow the lofty snows. Through red lips
Your white teeth close on a translucent segment.
Your face over my face eclipses The World’s Illusion.
Pulp and juice pass into my mouth from your mouth.
We laugh against each other’s lips. I hold my book
Behind your head, still reading, still weeping a little.
You say “Read on, I’m just an illusion,” rolling
Over upon me soothingly, gently moving,
Smiling greenly through long lashes. And soon
I say “Don’t stop. Don’t disillusion me.”
Snows melt. The mountain silvers into many a stream.
The oranges are golden worlds in a dark dream.

Resource: The Daily Post, Virginia Hamilton Adair