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.

With winter’s gift of unimpeded sight,

This entry is part 5 of 95 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2010-11


I watch crows circle a dark carcass
a hundred yards off through the woods.
Only this white backdrop could make
bearable, the way the elements
have chosen whatever’s returned
as offering to the wheel. In spring
or summer we’ll come across its bones
under new growth of grass, bleached
white as stars that filter light
all this way through nets of trees.

Luisa Igloria

Borrowing lines from the Morning Porch entry for December 13.

What Leaf

This entry is part 4 of 95 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2010-11


What leaf is small and black and falls
more slowly than a feather?

What ink washes deeper blue
then sable as it nears the shore?

What crystal spangles every
lidded eye on trees and bushes?

What letter writes itself over
and over in the wind?

A fire dances up in the trash burner,
the brightest thing.

Luisa Igloria


This one borrows lines from my Morning Porch entry of October 21, 2008. (The title is my own.) Thanks, Luisa!

Two more Morning Porch poems from Luisa Igloria and a comment on free culture

This entry is part 3 of 95 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2010-11


Windy, with mottled gray
and white clouds, and a muddy
yellow smudge for sun: as in
a fingerpainting—and a siskin’s
sharp-edged note to peel the first
layer of morning away from darker
dark. Here, too, I tense and quicken
toward what might haul and bear
me over from the depths. Up
from the underground cistern,
the bucket pitches and sways;
above, that patch of sky
and the wind’s wide hands,
writing and rewriting
what the day might be.


High winds stir the trees like surf.
The racket they make is counterpoint
to the quiet I want to make in my heart.
There, a dead branch crashes
every few minutes. But yes—
even there, birds forage: their small
hungers, twittering like blue
flames in the birches.

Luisa Igloria

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