By the third week I was comfortable with the rhythm of cards in/cards out. Twice, I was away for a few days and had to do catch-up mini-marathons when I got home. Which image to which person? And even, what stamp?
A poem from Texas poet, Janet McCann, about a lost dog from childhood makes me cry. "...is not his leap the image/you keep in your heart's pocket?"
Found some of those stickers you put on the back of a 4"x6" photo and it turns into a postcard. This is a picture of a bowl Ted turned out of a birch at my sister's place. The birch here all seem to be dying.
One by one they sicken,
drop widow-maker branches
the way they used to shake off leaves,
old birch that grew for decades
now wracked with a thirst
they cannot quench
while we, custodians of the land,
whine about pine beetle kill
and who’s going to get our water,
as if it’s really ours to give.
Perhaps the bowl remembers.
As a child, I tried to follow my cousins
through the cave only to find the taste
of primal fear. The looming walls,
the hot almost-slime underfoot repulsed me,
and I’d heard someone once died in there.
Years later, my own child waded
into the cave, a tiny Cortez off to see
the world, my fear trumped
by mother love, I followed him through.
This went back to John Davis, who sent me the nine line short story poem. One good tale deserves another! Besides, the thing with the paper was too weird. And I loved the image (by Andreas Pittinger, 2006) called "Casa de Coco Bongo".
What are the odds
the waiters who carry the pineapple and turkey
are brothers, and the pink pigs in duck floats
poised by the fuchsia brick lined pool
with its rainbow inner tubes are cousins?
Alligator munches corn-on-the-cob
birds nest on the umbrella
coconuts survey the horizon
look for clouds to trampoline on
drinks slither up straws
never to be seen again.
From the depths of the pool
a frieze of orange flowers
surrounded by curlicue suns
floats to the surface and you understand
at last what drew you to this crazy bongo world
as you rummage the very table you write on,
make books on, find the slip of paper you cut
for surface decoration only to have it disappear,
then turn up again in the pool where Yosemite Sam
and Nefertiti’s dad contemplate the meaning of life.
MRS. CALABASH’S DAUGHTER BECOMES A CHEERLEADER
radiant girl, with your red saddle shoes,
skirt swirling round your knees
and T for Texaco tits,
no postcard poem anti-freeze
to get you ready for winter
cheer, radiant girl, for the chrome-fin car
cheer for all 48 states
cheer for the big red star
cheer for Jimmy Durante
wherever you are
August’s flowers unfurl
with a flourish
there’s a nip to the air
night arrives early, stays late
peaches ripen on the tree
small this year, but oh so sweet
last week someone drove
onto the Kinnaird Bridge
stopped, got out, and jumped
tonight the moon,
a sliver away from full,
Writing from Bovina, New York, Holly Anderson wrote how "clumps of golden rod/dip and bow/their frowsy, furzy heads...". Frowsy. Furzy. Yum! And I HAD just noticed ours as I passed them on the way to get the mail.
a trip to the mailbox
yields a poem of golden rod
I noticed ours as I left the yard
how happy it is to know
its New York cousins
are on the job
tossing their frowsy heads
in the wind
wondering what’s for lunch
God of Knowledge
Lord of Success
Remover of Obstacles
Destroyer of Pride
I call on you to push this pen
when it slows to a scrawl
chase these words
when they stray from the page
open this heart
when it falters with fatigue
that I may glimpse the way
the world can be
and put it in writing