Signal No. 3

This entry is part 21 of 23 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2013-14

 

After the first onslaught of wind, hail the size of golf balls, we heard the radio alert. Is there a safe room beneath the stairwell? Is it large enough to contain the plants seeded at all the children’s births? We would need to loose them under the light of a yellow moon, then anchor them with ivory amulets. Nothing in the dispatches tells you how you must learn to sit still, in the dark, until the mind grows quiet: until the eerie searchlights of danger diminish into soft two-note voices and the rain can be ordinary again.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Flower

This entry is part 22 of 23 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2013-14

 

Seed these words
in your everyday speech—

Acanthus or helichrysum;
indica, milagrosa, javanica;

perforate, constellation, for no reason
but that they introduce

a break in the aftermath of repetition.
Drone of some large, unseen motor

outside our windows every night
after midnight, bearing neither trace

of gold nor verdigris: you do not lead
to a trapdoor through which we might lower

our bodies into a waiting boat, damp seats
skimming prosaic language off our clothes

so they thin to the embroidery of chance,
texture of a different possibility.

The landscape opens like a tapestry:
under the moon, farmers roll

their cotton pantaloons and sink
toes deeper into the mud.

You would think young shoots
give off a uniform sound every time

there is a planting: o of surprise,
ah of falling and letting go,

allowing the dark to swallow
each body wanting to burst

toward the harvest,
arcing toward the stalk.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Sixth Luminous Mystery

This entry is part 23 of 23 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2013-14

 

Mother, how will you drink out of the cold stream now that you’ve made a gift of your front teeth to the dentist in town? You hold out the little finger of your left hand in a dream, and it is wired with fine, thin silver. I would not know except that you told me, whispering in the way you used to spin stories out of the air, each one linked by And then. I wish you could see how it is snowing again outside my window, and I am wearing socks that you did not make with your hands. The drifts are soft as carded wool, or nubby like new growth on the backs of calves. Where they fall on the neighbor’s unpruned bushes, I want to string my prayer flags: indigo for memory, ivory for the touch of your hand, red for the blaze in our hearts, turquoise for the years lost to count; and last: burn of saffron, gold of sacrifice.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.