Night-leaf Tarot

This entry is part 68 of 92 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Spring 2011


A change of linens, pillows plumped and
mattresses flipped over, spritz of mist

smelling of warm cloves and milk— then finally
I might fall asleep. Sometimes, deep in the night

it rains; and in the morning I find it hasn’t been
a dream. Tarot waiting to be read on a wet

driveway— random lilac, red maple; sharp
green spades that cradled gardenias: what

do they know of warnings and misfortune?
Leaf of the cherry, red heart, organ of fire:

I name you as if I could thread your bones;
I name you not knowing your mystery.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← Letter to Myself, Reading a LetterTrauermantel →


5 Replies to “Night-leaf Tarot”

  1. …what /do they know of warnings and misfortune?/ Leaf of the cherry, red heart, organ of fire: /…I name you as if I could thread your bones;/ I name you not knowing your mystery.


    That dream of some rain in the dead of night,
    what do you make of it, Stick? I ask my errant
    escort leaning on the porch wall at tea time.

    “Huh? What rain? Who is in pain?” It blustered.
    More riddles than secrets fly with the wind:
    the mystique lurks in strewn cherry blossoms.

    Like tea leaves in divining cups at the temple,
    the petals now pell-mell on the pavement beg
    for a name to pin her will-o’-the-wisp down.

    Where, in what undiscovered country, would
    she find the luring shadow of her vision?
    Or is it a yearning these leaves could not see?

    “A tea-leaf? Did you see the absconding thief?”
    A roused Stick, rocked from wooden stupor,
    growled. I swirled the tea leaves down the pot,

    and poured a steaming spot into my empty cup,
    straining to see through its roiled and rippled
    surface if the redheart leaf bodes fortune or grief.

    —Albert B. Casuga

  2. I first wrote in to say how much I loved Luisa’s poem (a bit late in discovering it, I know)–but I like Albert’s too. I may play tomorrow! Or I may work on something different.

    Your blog inspires me in so many ways. Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Kristin. When Mornng Porch was off (Dave was in Wales), I responded to Luisa’s posts on Via Negativa as prompts.
      Now, I find myself responding to MP and Luisa’s VN posts. I don’t know how long I could sustain this regimen, but it helps me a lot in honing my craft. Thanks to Dave for the opportunity.

      (:– )]

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