This is a day for sleep and hot tea.
I received two poetry collections yesterday, Kingdom of Ordinary Time by Marie Howe and Origami Bridges by Diane Ackerman. I can’t wait to start reading them.
I’m also putting together a few more poetry submissions before summer hits. Let the rejections roll.
History of Hurricanes
Because we cannot know—
we plant crops, make love in the light of our not-knowing
A Minuteman prods cows from the Green with his musket,
his waxed paper windows snapping in the wind,
stiletto stalks in the herb garden upright—Now
blown sideways—Now weighted down in genuflection,
And a frail man holding an Imari teacup paces at daybreak
in his courtyard in Kyoto
a cherry tree petaling the stones pink and slippery
in the weeks he lay feverish
waiting for word from the doctor, checking for signs—Now
in the season of earthenware sturdiness and dependency
it must begin, the season of his recovery
No whirling dervish on the radar, no radar, no brackets
no voices warning—no Voice—fugue of trees, lightning
Because we cannot know, we imagine
What will happen to me without you?
I know some things I remember—
the Delaware River two stories high inside the brick houses
cars floating past Trenton like a regiment on display
brown water climbing our basement stairs two at a time
Like months of remission—
the eye shifts
the waxed paper windows
burst behind the flapping shutters—
and how could he save his child after that calm,
a man who’d never seen a roof sheared off?
Across town the ninth graders in their cutoffs:
Science sucks, they grouse. Stupid history of hurricanes.
No one can remember one;
velocity, storm surge—
the earth churns as Isabel rips through Buzzard’s Bay
A hurricane, as one meaning has it:
a large crowded assembly of fashionable people at a private house
The river cannot remember its flooding—
I worry you will forget to check
the watermarks in time
An echo of feet on stone is all the neighbors
knew of their neighbor,
a lover of cherry trees
and of his wife who prayed for him at the shrine,
her hair swept up in his favorite onyx comb