no. 101

june at 60.9929° n, 24.4590° e

today i had to look for my cold-weather sweater

but settled for a spring cardigan, a light leather jacket

it seems that summer has deemed this region beneath her

and, deciding to abandon us for more appropriate latitudes

has given over to the swift siberian winds blowing from the east

green things protest, even the plants on the sill

have shriveled up overnight by the open window

which only yesterday provided relief from the heavy heat

the trees are no match for the tortuous gale

they relinquish twigs reluctantly, screaming and moaning

and i must don the winter coat i had only just shed

in the shallows of a sun-warmed lake

we thought it would last, that heat that toasted our bones

that coaxed thin pearls of perspiration from our upper lips

it made us want to discard the lightest clothing

and prance around in the nude by the water’s edge

it made us human again after such a long season as

bundled-up bears, hibernating, grumbling in our somnambulist

strides from place to place, awaiting the rare golden months

when we could bask, if only for a little while

(written 4 june 2018)

no. 90

i’m feeling the need for breath-work–here the advent of warmer weather stirs up the dust and pollen, making it difficult to breathe. this space for breath is necessary at a time like this–physical breath and otherwise…

the trees make space for themselves

after the folding in

there must be an unfurling

an inhalation that fills

the constriction and collapse of exhalation

with each breath

they take up more of the sky

patches of blue and white peek through the leaves

shadows and light dappling the earth

(written 11 may 2018)

no. 80

rebirth

it snowed again today,

schizophrenically

as if the precipitation couldn’t decide

whether to be feathery soft or needle sharp

or somewhere in between

 

but it allowed the wind to direct it,

brushing over my exposed face

and sneaking its way past my

scarf to the back of my neck

as exposed as a green sapling

 

of course it was cold,

but it was also isolating

it held sway over my thoughts

i couldn’t decide whether i was alone

or just lonely

 

it layered itself over existing

iced piles from days ago

becoming white sand dunes

unwelcoming, no respite

except the equally unpleasant

miniature mountains of

frozen slush and dirt framing the road

 

cars threatening to baptize me

with wet detritus of winter

so unholy, yet a fixed characteristic

of the end of the beginning that is spring

the devil in the details of

rebirth

(written 22 march 2018)

no. 76

before the goodnight,

the sunset paints me:

i am copper and burnished sienna.

it is as if i am loved

and helios is my beloved

dipping me in a glaze.

i am fired like the earth

but not hardened

in fact, in this moment,

i am molten.

i can feel my insides

surrendering, trembling,

yearning for more than just

that warm golden kiss

which will, in minutes,

fade to cooler oranges and purply blues,

leaving me in shadow.

does the tree outside my window

feel the same sadness at the thought

of goodnight?

(written 25 may 2017)

no. 74

the return of the swans

three purposeful arrows they are

black iron-tipped and fletched white

from whose bow were they loosed

they do not wonder

their destination, their destiny

their synchronous flight marked

with such felicity by the hand

of some omnipotent deity

or perhaps by internal longing

for halcyon existence on a

distant but familiar lake

(written 27 april 2018)