The Poet in Late Winter

Persephone, I am tired of my cave.
I am tired of wrapping my head.
Five months you have slept
in the dark arms of your husband,
five months the dulled birds
are waiting to sing, the dogwoods
are waiting to be tousled.
Persephone, get up!
It’s time now to strip
off your ice girdle and walk
the city streets again with crocus-
scented shoulders.
Persephone, I am tired
of the dry, sweet scent of wood,
bored by books and wool.
It’s time to pry open the windows
of your smoky kitchen,
tear open the closet dresser doors.
It is time to give back to the iris
her Tyrian blue dress, recall
the tassel to the grain, the black-
spiced Barbera to the vine.

Little Song

I vow, I vow I shall
coin for you more
aurous lauds,
greater tender of praise
than fleshed woman
has ever known,
than calf or fool or
trouvère has strewn. I swear
to pronounce your eyes,
throat, your calves and ankles,
from rooftop shingles,
and pledge not to
abridge, not fizzle or dud
till words from my tongue
no other has sung
nor thrilled any ears,
no voice ever heard,
all held in my hoard have
been spilled, your
sapidity unveiled,
and Orpheus, re-sewn,
pieced back bone
by bone, risen to cry
your song finer fire,
shimmered more than all
other, giving pudding
of proof. This
my oath and my troth.

Sweet Song

Sweet song, sweet song,
it is she on the porch,
it is she at the door,
with an off-key ping-Bong,
with a creaky Ding-tonk
at the sad buzzer-bell,
the stale, dwindling bell
with its call of a shrill,
throttled quail, yet
still so damn sweet that
it makes my teeth ache,
that it swells out my soul
as a bronze temple
gong that starts the small deer
in the rushes and rocks
of the echoing hills.
A breath’s great hour of pause
and then once again
like electric frizz
its hard put bing-Bzzz
and concluding bzzz-Pffft,
the last, throat-stuck, dying note
part rusted, half choked
to spring this cushion-sunk sot
to horse and to foot.

Cobblestones

Evenly unadorned
and fungible as nuns
so that, rain,
wind, sleet and dust-
worn down to smooth,
innocuous loaves,
there can be found
defined
in the vigilant
anonymity confronting
each trussed foot –
infant, dowager,
revenant, elegant
drunkard and swain –
a beauty in turn
complement,
unshivering,
virtuous and brute.

Hush

We say that it falls,
(as sifts its warm,
muted cousin,
the dusk, into copses
and corners),
and often it does
in a breath
descend to a conflux
of faces anticipating
each some tensile
and spotlit
suspense,
but every once
in a cool,
cerulean moon
its dumbness will
switch from
downward to lift,
as when after the end
of a parched,
simple crying,
a hush then
rises and rises
and rises.

Lacrimarium

Lust and its buzz
…………………. could fill
a good jar, peaceful
contentment
………. a yellow or
red flowered pitcher, but no,
…………………………… oh, but,
…………………………………….. No.
it is lament that is
measured
………. and stoppered
and treasured,
…………………. safely
reserved, that is dankly
interred,
………. sufficiently
unto the day like blue
…………………………… plum and
mulberry jelly preserved.