Thursday, June 21, 2007

Georgia O'Keefe Looks Over Her Shoulder

Just when she thinks she’s painted all her fear,
When bleached skulls turn to poppies red as lust,
The sound of something wild attracts her ear.

Black jacket, white soft collar curving near
the place where desert sunset turns to rust
awakens in that neck a prickling fear.

The haunches of dead lovers gleam as clear
in skulls as in the orchid’s velvet crust.
Dry rattling of bone curls back her ear.

Her upswept silken hair declares the year
in shades of gray and tortoise brown as dust
just when she thought she’d painted all her fear.

Her thin pink pearl of seashell curves to hear
the desert’s voice, more fierce, more dry than just
as three fine wrinkles flow down from her ear.

Such gaunt grace turns her, luscious and severe,
containing bones and orchids, fruit and crust!
Just when she thinks she’s painted all her fear,
the sound of something wild attracts her ear.

Postcard of Georgia O'Keeffe

On Clearing Sr.Jean Marie's Garden

Thirty years ago, I watched her lumber out to the grove.
She was old then, with a hump on her back.
In full habit and veil, she hauled gallons of water
to keep the lilies alive.

Thirty years later, I’m back.
Her name is on a grave in the cemetery nearby.
I took my rake and started the search.

First I found stones large as bread loaves
which she placed around each house-sized space.
Under decades of leaves,
daffodils pushed, blankets of hyacinths,
duvets of lilies of the valley.

By July I had found the twelve concrete stars,
five-pointed, large as my hand,
arranged in the ground in a room-sized oval.
Within, egg sized stones embedded, described a cross
entwined with the letter M.
She had made the design of the back of her Medal,
enclosed it with a fine brick border.
In which heat soaked summer had she made this prayer?

Now Spring, her gardens bloom profusely,
filling the woods with fragrance.
Virginia bluebells flourish
inside the Miraculous Medal.

the garden in the woods

Radar Image of Migrating Birds

Radar Image of Migrating Birds...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

what are they?

Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky

What else looks different from far ?
What you expect it to be
it is not.
Four in the morning,
Flurry on the radar screen.
How many miles away
In the upper atmosphere?
We need another name for that direction.
North is different on a map.

It looks like
Scattered showers in a clear sky,
and so the meteorologist calls them.
How did they finally discover
that dust on the radar was
a wide band of warblers,
storm of black-throated blues,
tornado of tanagers,
powder of parulas,
blizzard of buntings?

Prothonotaries enter a preliminary statement
across the night sky.
Redstarts rush down to the new trees.

We need another name for that direction.
North is different on a map.