The Way Green Growing Things Do Thrive Generous

From Redirection, 2017.

 

(This poem is written because of, about, and for my friend John G, who loves plants and art and sharing them.)

The Way Green Growing Things Do Thrive Generous

You live alone in the
tall thin house built almost on the sidewalk.

You set out one pot of pansies.
It was early spring. You liked the look of it
perched up at the side of the concrete steps
from the street. You added another. When it got warmer
you found a stack of empty pots
bigger ones
in the basement. You filled them with soil
and yellow flowers
you got for a dollar because they were
almost dead but now
they thrive.

You brought the houseplants
outside
to join in
fresh air children
bewildered by the luxuriant light
and water showering from the sky but
they soon took hold
surpassed cramped ambitions
bushed out and overflowed their pots.
Someone passing on the road
– the green growing things
by now lining both sides of the steps
set up comfortable and greeting each day
with the interest neighbors take
in street happenings –
this person left you a couple pots of anonymous
that to this day have not revealed a thing about themselves
except that they like your front steps
a lot.

After a rain it is hard to squeeze through the crowd:
branches bowed down by the collected drops
wet your legs to the knees.

I see you
evenings, especially
sitting on the upper set of steps
surrounded by flowers and fireflies
You say you live alone
I don’t think you do.

7/20/17

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Confiding

From Redirection, 2017.

Confiding

Birch tree extends a branch
drapes it over your shoulder
leaves trailing a cool touch
along your sweaty neck
Just walking down the sidewalk
in and out of the summer sun
you were not expecting to meet a friend
were you?

7/20/17

Thank You

From Redirection, 2017.

Thank You

Butter and cheese on toast.
Thank goodness
for white restaurant-china
plates
to hold the slices piled high
For bottom-heavy mugs of hot chocolate
For a kitchen table
with enough chairs for everyone.
Now, let’s eat.

7/5/17

Tomato

From Spring Cleaning, 2015.

Tomato

The little car
red the color of tomato bisque soup
and round like a tomato, too, if you stretch
your idea of tomato out a little and then draw it up and
put some wheels on it
The little car scooting across the intersection and gone
before I could draw your attention to it
but you did say you saw a flash of red
disappearing behind the building
where the income-tax people have their office
between January and April.
But we’re talking about
the little car
Tomato red and just a flash
out of the corner of your eye this morning and
maybe sent there
just to make you smile

Tomato and Carrot 12-15 8 x 11 ink and acrylics small

“Tomato and Carrot” – acrylics and India ink, 2015.

Sorcerer on Site

From Look Winter in the Face, 2015.

Sorcerer on Site

In the construction of this building
those thirteen overhead lights
all in a row
dangling from the galvanized metal roof
Sturdy thick electrical conduit connecting them
their lifeline
and I’ve noticed two
two lights in a row
two have died.
The juice is bypassing them or their little glowing hearts
have given out or
something else to do with physics has put them in the category of
useless
until someone can get the ladder
and get the whole thing back like it ought to be
Thirteen glowing lights
and have you thought about how it might be
thirteen
that’s the problem?
Because electricity is magic as far as I am concerned.

Montgomery County Community College, Brendlinger Library, 2017.

The One The Entire

From the collection published in 2015, Look Winter in the Face.

The One The Entire

And thin snow on the ground,
and parking lots cleared but patchy-icy
and noses running in the cold
and the snow marked up with footprints like
a school assignment graded and evaluated
the original work
unrecognizable with all the annotations
and the package winter sends
falls open spilling out the bits and pieces
and
all of them are winter

ice patterns, 2015