Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Smudge on the Sill

Go with it man, if you must,
but leave us markers on your way.
from "A Poem for Painters" by John Wieners

Early April, six inches of snow, the blades
of tulips push up in the overgrown flower bed.
Markers of Spring, yes, it is coming, just not
today, or maybe even, not tomorrow.

I clear the path to the garage, heavy wet
white everywhere, and around the peace
pole with its red and yellow ribbons.  I
wrote the names and dates on those markers
to show me the way to walk with those gone.

The yard squirrel has dug through to
 where the yellow kernels of dry corn are
buried, corn I have fed him all winter to keep
him alive. I see him as a marker for the good

I can do.  But some are more subtle.

 I watch for signs.  The full moon
shining like a light bulb through my bedroom window.
A penny dropped in the parking lot.  An open book
on the side table, an old photo curling, the message
light flashing on the phone.

and yes, sometimes, a post of Facebook,
or am email. God looks for every
opportunity to speak to us.  Keep a journal,
walk in the woods, throw a rune, pick a card,
look up a number, look at your palm, look
at your face. Remember a dream.

Marker, marker, come out wherever you are.
Whoever came be fore me, must have left
footprints.  A smudge on the sill, a broken
glass.  A tiny drop of blood.  

Carolyn Hull

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Sun Like a Flashing Red Vessel (after Lora)

And that which is already burnt when it is set on fire again will it enlarge the sun like a flashing blood vessel.
from "The Green Record" by Carlos Richard Lara

Each summer for the past two
we have had fires that ate subdivisions
between 300 and 500 houses burned
the the ground each year

Lines of cars evacuating in the smoke
taking all they can pack in ten minutes
and all the pets they could find, but not all they had

We lost everything, they say to the evening news reporter
looking into the lens like an eye that sees flames
Everything but our lives, and a few pictures and my favorite
blue shirt.  You never know what you're going to want

but you know what you don't want
not another fire this summer
It's like a god we have to give sacrifices
to keep it from devouring the whole city

A dragon's breath out of control
the sun like a flashing red vessel

Carolyn Hull



I hang for poems
problem - I don't have a yggdrasil tree
in my backyard, it is a wych elm
with scaly bark and a lot of dead branches

Still, I hang for poems
a rope looped around one ankle
on a low bough so that I can touch
the ground with my fingertips

Odin hung upside down in the tree
to receive the Norse alphabet from the Gods
Eihwaz is our S
Ansuz F
Nauthiz T
Ehwaz M
Berkana B
Isa I
Thurisaz P
Raido R
Hagalaz H

I am only here a few minutes
my head begins to fill with pressure
lips feel puffy
eyes wanting to bulge
but I'm stuck
can't reach the rope
can only scratch the ground
and scream and yell for help

My neighbor comes quickly
A tall skinny teen still carrying his electronic tablet
easily reaches the loop and releases me
in a heap on the dry dirt
and I whimper my thanks over
and over

What were you thinking, he asks
Poetry,  I croak
Ain't there an easier way, he asks
Probably, I say
Need me to help you in, he asks
No, I'm on all fours now

Trying to stand, No I say
but he's already gone
Back to the couch
I limp to the computer and begin this poem

Carolyn Hull