Nothing But Happy

From Autumn Opens a Door, published in 2015.

Nothing But Happy

I have absorbed enough sad for a lifetime
and no more I’m going to do it. Squeeze myself out
like a sponge
and wipe up happy instead
That’s what I’m going to do. I’m all wrung out
people say
meaning
lost all their vigor and the next thing that happens is
stiffened up and dried out.
Not me. I’m all wrung out
limber and ready
to sop up any happy I see spilled anywhere.
And if I get too much to carry
I’ll squeeze out some for you. Hold out your hands
I’ll say
Nothing but happy.

 

Happy Flowers small 2007

“Happy Flowers”, acrylics, 30″ x 30″, 2007.

Who Me?

From Spring Cleaning, 2015.

Who Me?

What about that clump of daffodils out there
in the woods nowhere near a house or a building
and you know daffodils don’t just walk out
and plant themselves in the woods
They’re tame flowers.
They need somebody to bring them around and set them in the ground
though
I guess an animal might have dropped the bulbs
Some time ago it was if so
because
that clump of daffodils is thick with stems and leaves and
guileless yellow blossoms looking in all directions
Some of them at me.

 

Daffodil Montage small

“Daffodil Montage” – digital collage from a photograph, 2006.

 

Tableau

From the collection Picture Making, published 2017. The three photos served as the inspiration for the poem. For more information, look here.

 

Tableau

The branch
the thickness of a thumb
the length of a leg
lies on the ground
its bark a smooth light gray.
It tapers from its torn-off end
splits into four
and again into two or three or four
just twigs by now
each.

Pink and blue flowers
group along the edged gravel path
crushed where the branch lies on them.

The stone wall
runs along the back of the garden
part of this place
longer than any of these newcomers
blank-faced
indifferent to the scene playing out
waits for rain
under an overcast sky.

5/6/16 for 5/5/16

Popular by Default

From Spring Cleaning, 2015.

Popular by Default

Everyone is talking about the beautiful weather and
rightfully so because it is just beautiful.
Weather being such a popular subject among people
who find themselves in a situation where
conversation is a good thing but
guess what we don’t know each other or anything at all
about each other so the weather
Fantastic! a safe place to talk
and so here we are in this beautiful weather
talking about it.
The month of May just must be preening itself
to be so praised and
in so many conversations.
I know I would be.

May Iris Garden small

“May Iris Garden”, collage, 2002.

Roots Reaching Way Down into the Ground

From the collection Picture Making, published 2017. The three photos served as the inspiration for the poem. For more information, look here.

Roots Reaching Way Down into the Ground

You, yellow-headed,
crouched down in the dirt, rooted
and going nowhere
You think

Right here is the best.
You grow up tall and lanky
your hair will turn white
Long time from now

blown off by the wind
and gone. Children do grow up
and leave home. That’s you.

Water the deep roots
Let your sawtooth leaves stretch up
to the sun. That’s me
Little yellow head
That’s you and me.

4/26/16 for 4/25/16

 

Iris

From the collection Picture Making, published 2017. The three photos served as the inspiration for the poem. For more information, look here.

 

Iris

Spiked up into the air and full of vitality
There is
A certain dash to their posture, to their looks,
not the kind of thing you’ll find later on
when you greet them again
vigor sapped by raising a family and
going to work and the everyday wearing down
kind of life. But today, they are just starting out
and spinning off spirals of energy
just walking down the street.
My wrinkles are well-earned
and I’ve got that survivor pride but
I spare a smile for the days
when my feet tapped along the sidewalk in high heels
and didn’t hurt. Yes, and I do more than smile
I grin a great big
teeth-baring blast of remembrance
at no one in particular and
everyone
who’s alive and out today
the aged oak and the sapling
the old house next door to the new one just built
the little creek running into the river
and spiky iris leaves just coming up again
from bulbs planted a long time ago.

4/7/16 for 4/6/16

 

 

Surprise Casserole Recipe

From the collection Picture Making, published 2017. The three photos served as the inspiration for the poem. For more information, look here.

Surprise Casserole Recipe

I am sure I set my fingers to search
Letter C
in my recipe file
looking for
Casserole
but I may have had my mind on other things
because
I drew from the box
a card yet unwritten
This
I take it to mean
I can cook dinner any way I want to and
then I take it to mean
Forget dinner
Take a walk and look
for some daffodils.
Thank you
recipe card
for sending me this set of instructions.

3/29/16 for 3/27/16

 

Just Starting Out

From Spring Cleaning, published in 2015.

Just Starting Out

The man in the yellow sweater
stands
head lowered eyes intent
on shelves of tiny green plants
settled in pots too big for them.
Brushing his palm gently across their leaves
they sway just a little
being so small and young
needing encouragement
and receiving it

“House Plants”, collage, 2003.

Caged Flowers

From the collection Picture Making, published 2017. The three photos served as the inspiration for the poem. For more information, look here.

 

 

Caged Flowers

I see it happen.
They have
containers filled with water
They pour
just a little drink
for the plants growing
in the pots on the porch.
Oh dear, they say
A leaf has fallen
from one of these plants
on to the ground
We don’t know which pot or which plant
but obviously
we got to that set of green leaves just in time.
Sweep it up.

I see it happen.
In time to keep more green leaves
from following the first
leaping off the stem
in despair
It’s all solved now
The captives attended to
returned to their silent longing
to escape their confines
and take up a life free of being cared for
by people who care so little
and so often forget. It is somehow easier
to see your fate tied to
the whims of the impersonal rains
than the watering cans
of suburbanites to whom
you are just
seasonal decoration.

3/25/16