“Soon the old year must join…”

This entry is part 16 of 95 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2010-11


Soon the old year must join
its dwindling thread to a new
coil of days.

The daylight hours cast
their sheen on sheets of crackling ice,
while oblivious to the dueting wrens,

the chickadee darts through
the lilac. The sun, too, is blurred
by a kind of viscous film so that I think,

Give me fire, or give me water.
Tell me you love me, or tell me more.
And on those days when neither will suffice,

give me coffee and soup— two
of the things my grandmother used to say
should always be served scalding hot.

Luisa A. Igloria

In response to today’s Morning Porch entry.

“The streets are lined with garbage bins…”

This entry is part 15 of 95 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2010-11


The streets are lined with garbage bins,
their mouths overflowing with the spoils

of winter feasting and discarded
hulls of wants and needs— orange rinds

and discolored tea bags among crumpled
strips of tinfoil, pale gold-tinted bottles

that housed juices gathered from the vine.
The trucks are late, they have not come

for a day and a half and we are anxious
because we know the hungers always

start up again almost as soon
as they are filled. Oh teach me

to temper my restlessness awhile, to sit
and drink my coffee without moving

from this little pool of sunlight growing
in the window, even when the clouds

have shifted. Feathery contrails outline
a wedge of blue. On a high branch,

three mourning doves sit facing the sunrise.
See how the middle one preens its wings.

Luisa A. Igloria

In response to today’s Morning Porch entry.


In the comments over at The Morning Porch (where Luisa first posted her response, as usual), I commented:

Wow, that was quick! (Or did you already have it half-written when my post appeared?) A really fine meditation. This time of year always prompts me to reflect on consumption and waste.

And Luisa responded:

No, Dave— I always try to respond to each post new and without premeditation, trying to keep my mind limber and not dwell too much or too long or agonize over things. I’m trying to develop a better receptivity to the things that present themselves as occasions for poetry. Thanks therefore, once again. Visits to The Morning Porch are helping me immensely.

“Up and down the street, the neighbors…”

This entry is part 13 of 95 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2010-11


Up and down the street, the neighbors
are clearing away the snow and ice.

Late risers, from upstairs windows we
admired the powdered roofs and sidewalks,

the rows of gentle hills atop
parked cars. Now we pick up

the shovel and go outside. The trees
still wear their pelts of white,

but today the world begins
to smudge and color at the corners.

Two ravens veer low over the trees,
pursued by a pair of crows.

Between gusts of wind,
the burble of a Carolina wren.

Luisa A. Igloria

In response to today’s Morning Porch entry. It’s interesting what this collaboration is doing to our shared geographies! The blizzard missed us here in Central Pennsylvania, and I’m not sure how many ravens are found in Luisa’s neck of the woods. But there’s no reason why poems that take the natural world for their subject should be held to a stricter standard of nonfictional reportage than other poetry. In the world of these poems, Luisa and I live on the same street.

Incidentally, Luisa is blogging most actively these days at The Lizard Meanders on blipfoto.


Four Morning Porch poems

This entry is part 12 of 95 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2010-11


Luisa is writing responses to my Morning Porch tweets faster than I can post them, so to clear the backlog and bring us up to the present, I thought I’d better publish four together. With each of these, her date of compostion is the same as mine, so to simplify things I’ve kept only the former and hotlinked it to the Morning Porchism that prompted it. Click through to see how she has built upon my original words and images. The latter two are 80 or 90 percent Igloria (we haven’t gotten any appreciable snowfall so far today, for example). —Dave


White with rime,
the cattails’ broken blades—

Under the springhouse eaves,
an empty phoebe nest—

Two juncos come, wings
fluttering like prayer flags—

As if to let us know the world
has not forsaken us completely—



There’s one cold note in the air
and its blues have found me again—

Too late to pull up the remaining stalks
of summer’s last tomato plants, tamped

hard into the ground. Now thistles
shrivel in a brittle wreath,

and the rose is ravished by the wind;
it spreads a shroud over the porch

and litters it with cryptic asterisks,
with carets, with upended tarots.

What shall I do with you,
yellowed gingko leaf;

with these tickets of faded red,
torn from the geranium?



Season of red and gold,
season of evergreen and silver.

Season of honey and clove,
season of lit tapers.

Throw more wood on the fire
that it might burn more fiercely.

The wheel is still turning, my love;
but know that it returns.

A few flakes float through the air.
A gray squirrel wanders through the lilac branches.



How easy to lose oneself to silence in this
sifting of white upon white that’s fallen
all night long. The wind soughs,

and all the branches nod their white-
capped heads. The neighbor swings open
his gate to take the dog for a walk—

Away now, at the end the street, the yellow
of his parka and the flash of golden fur
make an orb of jaunty noise against the snow.

High overhead, the half moon bends its big right ear.


Luisa A. Igloria

“Before sight, sound—“

This entry is part 11 of 95 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2010-11


Before sight, sound—
Before dawn, nothing but wind and trains.

Though I am no diadem, take me into the day
like an offering to the third eye—

In the crown of a birch, the evening star
still burns: so fiercely,

even the fast-moving clouds
can’t extinguish it.

Luisa A. Igloria

In response to today’s Morning Porch entry.

“The sudden spasm of wings”

This entry is part 10 of 95 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2010-11


Here, too, the air fills more often now with the sudden
spasm of wings— pausing at the junction for the light

to change, you wonder about metaphors,
about how starlings wheel in unison: at first,

a ribbon wound round and round the milky
breasts of hills, and then no more

than a tiny constellation stippling the sky;
how everything’s feathered by the rhythm

of its own wind, rising and falling
even after the gears have turned.

Luisa A. Igloria

In response to today’s Morning Porch entry.


This entry is part 8 of 95 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2010-11


How do we know the brown creeper fishing
in the dark valleys of the walnut tree’s bark
could not tell this landscape

from the moon’s? Past midnight, we craned
our necks toward the heavens’ gathered dark
and saw the shadow-play of bodies

entering each other’s path: the brief
interruption and embrace of light
by dark and dark by light, the face

of one passing over the other when
they’re perfectly aligned. Then
without rancor, without remorse

the plumb line lifts— and it seems
the world is as it was before, though all
that has transpired has changed

even the color of the morning sky.

Luisa A. Igloria

In response to today’s Morning Porch entry.


This entry is part 7 of 95 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2010-11


On otherwise lifeless
tansy stalks, a green sprig
and a single yolk-

colored bloom. Snowflakes
drift past: far-flung voyagers,
their exile brief, their nostalgia

cut and crystalled with salt.
Harbor me in cold earth,
my winter lover. I long

for home most of all
when small birds come
to forage for seed

and light sieves
through cracks
in stones.

Luisa A. Igloria

Borrowing lines from the Morning Porch entry for December 4.