spring

with spring’s sprang nearly sprung
green cheer spread here and there
winter’s rust vanquished vanished
birds appeared and cats chirped

bees abuzz and poets well coffeed
at sidewalk bistro tables smiling
flowered girls no more sobbing,
words like dandelion seeds fill

vacant lots of napkins and notebooks
from self sown gardens of the mind –
happens every year most this clime
a great force in and out the ages goes.



Spring Sweep

Cherry blossom suds fizzle
across the street in the past
tense as the maple samaras
loosen their grab and let go
tiny purple red flowers –
Susan sweeps & I hold the shovel.

The scents immense
a pentatonic hair gel sneeze
like a rim shot on a snare
then the squiggly rinse
of liquorice bush fills
the air as at the summer fair.

But what is still future tense
figgily (like a fig fallen ripe)
on a fawn lawn afternoon
for now needs no articles
not a the or a a stammer
waves of breezy sizzle.


Of an Old Style

When you need to get close to each season,
to know which direction our vast Earth spins,
come sit under the apple tree and reason,
pink blossoms now against winter winning.
Life is not much of a competition;
most creatures make the best of and endure.
And then there’s this endless repetition
of flowers come-hither with alarming
allure. Such is the plan it would appear,
since the same thing happens every year.


Spring, perchance

“Spring is like a
perhaps,”
e. e. cummings said,
“hand…”

For all I know,
as luck would have it,
mayhap e. had been
a weatherman,

instead of a poet.
Poets often talk
about things nothing
know they about,

like Spring,
but as things may turn out,
e. e. wasn’t talking about Spring,
but about a hand.

But Spring’s not here an either
or proposal; Spring’s neither
but here nor and there but per
adventure thru a broken window.

Of Cliche and Sadness

What can be said of cliche that has not been said? Sadness, too, floods the sensorium. Snorkeling along face underwater, sadness cannot talk, and hears only its own sorrowful breath. Cliche will sleep deep and wait out winter and will rise up again come spring, already gone to seed before the yellow narcissus awakes.

This bud was for you

Across the street from the Estate Sale,
there’s talk if it’s a teardown,
while a couple of bushtits build
a hanging nest in a paperbark maple,
coming and going through the perfect
hole at the top of the sack woven
with string, spider web, tiny twigs
and grassy strands yarned around.

“Go easy,” she yearned. “Go around.”
Then came the night she won’t spring back.
Some do not come back,
even as the buds rise in the rows
heatly lubricated by the bees;
not all the plants pull through
that inscrutable winter stare.

But to turn under? Finished now.
Not to worry, the sun is the poshest one.
His light goes shallow, into the soil,
as easily as through fish water,
a clean singing glow.
The days are gone
this bud was for you.

20190402_183653

A Cool Cat’s Spring

City park a bench come Spring
passersby doing their thing
King slips into Queen being
antique clown bums a smoke
everybody doing something
and those have nothing at all
nothing their thing this Spring.

Cool cat gesticulated crouch
down by the empty reservoir
live on social media channel
pothole posts and midnight tweets
comic flickers flower round the pole
breaking beaks on noisy bedspring
like every Spring that’s ever been.

Now Jack and Jill dressed to kill
over the hill they spring and sing
shall Jack hath Jill and nought go ill?
or doth not Jill make a good Jack?
spring seeds put to bed then will time
Summer rest before work begins earnest
August and lugubrious September.

The ambiguities of Spring befuddle
tulip mania in all this muddle the old
let the thistledown grow those
with little to increase shall not spray
the unwanted children free to roam and play
the glow of a new Pentecost settles
over a movable East and festive West.

The Age of Privacy is over
all must now show their hands
still the war the weather the constant worry
but another night passes in local peace
and the coffee house on the corner
open as usual still a few things
we might rely on not to our detriment.

Dawdle Doodle Diary: Spring Fashions and Other Caution Signs

Spring sNew striped work shirtlowly sprung the environs plush with dawdle walks and doodle weeds, tweets and posts poking up in the usual spaces, out of concrete poetry cracks, but in the midst of this year’s annual rush for life we were learning to breathe. Spring is just such the perfect answer to winter, one wonders shouldn’t one’s writing change, from Irony back to Romance? Never mind; summer will remind us there is no keener irony, no sharper disappointment, than romance. “Beware of all enterprises,” Thoreau said, “that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” Advice which is everywhere ignored with regard to romance, not to mention writing. Poetry persists in prolonging winter while at the same time putting out the basil too early in spring. The doodle upper-right depicts a new striped shirt.

Shorts and MuumuuSpring is the enterprise the clothing ads have been predicting since the Christmas ornaments were boxed for the basement. In the liturgical calendar, Lent accentuates the anticipation, slowing the heartbeat to the rhythm of nature. Pope Francis this year clarified that giving things up for Lent misses the point, unless what we give up we give to another. I was thinking of giving up clothes for Lent, but alas, the approaching Spring was simply too wet and cool. To the right we see the doodle remnant of an unseasonably hot spring day, when I broke out the shorts and Susan the muumuu.

Each season puts a special pressure on the breath. In winter, the air Spring weatherinside is stuffy with recirculated dust. You go outside for a breath of fresh air, and there is Cassini taking pics of the ice rings around your heart. The winter cold constricts. The spring cold giggles. Summer laughs. Fall chokes and coughs. One might hold a romantic view of winter, the emptiness, the sleeping squirrels in the sleeping tree hollows, the squirrels quiet for the night in the roof eves. Snow falls from the fir limbs like the down from the mattress when your body is easily the hottest object in the house. Come spring you’ll be dancing in the rain, you sing. But all you do is slip and fall on the mossy deck, the bruise on your leg like a storm on Jupiter.

Jokes mock truth, but as the season moves, truth mocks the joke. On Facebook, we posted a couple of Public Service Announcements (PSA). In one, we reminded friends to be cautious with their ear, eye, and nose drops. We were at the pharmacy, picking up some new off the shelf eye-drops, for the eye floaters, and stopped just short of purchasing instead a box of ear drops. It’s not just that we forgot our reading glasses, nor that our attention span is now the flight of a mosquito. We are simply not paying attention, spaced out, always spaced out, anticipating the next batch of Cassini pics to brighten our day. In the second PSA, we mix the good news that baby wipes can be used by adults to soothe hemorrhoids with the caution not to pull out the bleach wipe by mistake.

Which season is the setup, which the punchline, we remain uncertain. We feel we are beginning to move backwards. In any case, when is it not a winter of discontent? Surely that is the message returning from Cassini. No sooner the heaters shut down the air conditioners fill the air, but you know it’s not still winter; winter was never so noisy.

Spring’s fill flickers, now on, now off. Now shorts, now long pants. One day, we pull a few yard games out of the basement, badminton and whiffle ball and croquet and we get out the patio umbrella, and we even have a picnic on the lawn. We hug a leafy tree.

We grow as silly as bees as the snow melts and as giddy as Cassini descending through the icy rings of Saturn. We clone around, all shook up. We sit out under a major league baseball pop fly. The ball goes up and up and up; it never does fall back to Earth.

Exhausted with the turning from winter to spring, we cave in to sleep, and dream of books, mothers, lovers, and selfies. And we dream of breath and of breathing. We awake and feel our breath. It’s very relaxing, learning to breathe. Such a perfect breath. I’d like to share it with you.

The Lavish Land

“April is the cruelest month,” Eliot told
Pound all about it, Easter tide out,
but why brood on our days
unless we are made
of dry wood and worry,
each ring a memory of rain?
Does any month feel pity?

You called her a primrose,
your spiral spring shell.
The land tired of playing possum
opened in lavish blossom.
Meantime, you go from a funeral
to a game of chess?
No wonder you’re so depressed.

Hurry up! Indeed, it is time,
and there is no more time
for revisions of decisions and such.
Spit it out, that tooth that broke
on the hardtack bread.

Yes, the river, its currency
seems to bother you,
crossing the rough bar
in your tipsy canoe,
sipping sweet wine from a shoe.

Why do you drift so? Maybe
it’s time to seize the falling
yellow forsythia, catch and bundle
the candied pink camellia calling
a day a day alack-a-day day.

No, I won’t say we’re wasting time,
working up a dry thirst over an old city,
lamenting the past. We might have called
Big Dada and asked for a blessing,
a holy water sprinkling, and asked,
“Dada, how’s Nana?”
“Dada! Dada! Dada!”

Maybe we’ll see you in May.
Hopefully you’ll be feeling better,
and we can all spend a day
going a Maying,
if Corinna comes to town, everyone
looking forward to ordinary time,
the grassy bed spread with garlic greens.

after pruning grapes in winter

kee jaa gigrrijaa filled dawn
     downtempo
sound
seep
            ing
                        ing
                                    ing
sleep ing in
     water sprinkle
plash bark dust bath.

the little ones pleach
            apple yellow
irotollak frisson
            bird dew squish.
            A tugboat crow lands
pushes off in creosote
            dress
   high in drifting fir.

a hummer comes as close
            as a baseball pitch
to drink from the brim
            of my blue Los Angeles
               Dodgers cap
(you don’t often see them
   this far north
you see SF Giants
and S Mariners
and we used to see
P Beavers
infrequently, but still).

the keens and leeks
            trill and cheep
   haphazard lines
zig
            zag
   ging
spring
            forth
                        com
ing
loquacious
red clippers and blue rakes
dark mud-brown enfilades
with light soot patches.

get springy not yet,
            yet,
on the horizon,
            we hear lines
            of
ee ee ee ee ee ee ee ee ee ee ee ee ee’s
coming.

Walking thru the park one day

One
Hundred
Concrete years
In a body of water
Two women walking
One in turquoise taupe
The other in peach mauve
Briskly yelling into cell phones
Their voices trailing off like crows
Squirrelly trees stiffen tall tail stillness

Writing is hard work, the experts tell us
If a day is lost to writing the reason
Is probably you did not want
To write, after all
You probably
Wanted
A park
Bench
To sit
Still.