Today I Bake
To-day I bake, to-morrow brew,
the next I’ll have the young queen’s child.
Ha, glad am I that no one knew
that Rumpelstiltskin I am styled.
The Brother’s Grimm
you are upstairs,
Time once, we loved
each other, thought we
new way to make sense of the parts,
this riddle, that was us.
Us, who once loved
each other more than ourselves
only to rattle ourselves
out of the world around us
out of the world that was us.
I guess we are about to be split in two.
Who am I now?
An ex-significant something or other
shouting at the night,
own chains drove us
into separate towers filled with straw
where love dies
trying to make more,
spinning twine into rope
as we grasp for names
and tear ourselves in two.
The Significance of Grass
Most winters, the yard
keeps its blueprint throughout the season,
the skeleton of the patio bricks buried and resurrected,
the splayed bones of sleeping azaleas balloon to giant cones and back.
Snow, too heavy for the wind, drifts in piles
behind the fence, where miniature glaciers recede and expand daily.
But last year was different. Snow fell in December
and stayed through February.
Winter didn’t notice my mother
or maybe it did, since the only
break I recall was the day of her service
and the black hole dug in the white snow,
the mats of artificial grass rolled out
in walkways from the road
to the canopy. A spray of roses,
foreign to the melting winterscape,
faded into the black and white and grey of the day.
By nightfall, snow took over again,
smothering archipelagos of dead grass,
we knew it was there,
waiting to be reborn.
We swear we saw it
on that one warm burial day
between the frosts and freezes
that no one else can remember.
Steve captured audio from the open mic. It can be found here
I had two poems accepted for publication in the next edition of the Bear River Review. I will post them here once the legal stuff is clear. It’s sort of a closed market in that, as far as I can tell, they only invite submissions from people who attended the previous year’s Bear River Writer’ Conference. Anyway, very honored to have “Little Sister” and “The Universe Before the Breakup” accepted.
This poem was published in the Winter/Spring 2013 issue of Pegasus, the poetry journal of the Kentucky State Poetry Society
The squirrels had a nest up in the big maple
in his neighbor’s back yard.
Since he was retired now,
he had plenty of time to watch them.
Climbing down the trunk,
defying gravity with their claws firmly
planted in the bark, tails twitching,
they danced along the power line.
His neighbor’s wife would leave peanuts on the deck,
the shells of which would inevitably be found
on his side of the fence.
Nothing but bushy-tailed rodents,
he complained to his daughter when
she stopped by one Sunday for coffee.
Oh, Dad, she said, but they are so cute.
So he kept to himself the rush of joy
he had felt the day before
when a red-tailed hawk,
desperate after another fruitless flight over
fields still full of corn and soybeans,
swept in and picked the fattest squirrel
right off the porch.
A muted squeal, then silence,
broken only by the sound
of the dropped nut bouncing off the deck.