Which Sang Of Butterflies Deeply by Judy Katz-Levine

Which Sang Of Butterflies Deeply

There was thunder, a downpour.
My friends are sleeping,
maybe a dream like a candle
with the face and eyelids of
someone ill from cancer.

We wonder if we will be next,
the room here is graced with
masks and prints of
Kandinsky and an abstract of a
marsh with green rushes long water lilies

friends – a tract of sea
on expanse of white sand

There is a native American dream
catcher on the wall, though
my dreams have been stolen,
feather mask watching mute
as rain before it rains
There’s a doll, a puppet from
Thailand.

We talked about a woman who
died too young, after her words
were buried forever, and the angels
and the angles of the face of my friend
with dark grays in planes from the late
night hair just white with strands of gray
and black, it was beautiful
when she was tired after
a meeting to free prisoners.

Her husband was falling asleep
after the concert and the cello
which sang of butterflies deeply
flying and infinitely small and huge
butterflies

I am one who can fly
in a waking dream. I can fly
to a lover, kiss her in invisible
places, nipples
of dogwood flower, no one knows.
They would think something,
they would think something else,

I am told my best friend is
a symphony, with thighs
of lilac that I brush
in the divine light
across her lips.

I am one who can laugh
in the bathroom, when she comes to tell me
I am beautiful
in the shower of flute cadenzas
a blues for sure
with the words “honey”
in the invisible light of flight
that has no name

The lamp is singing in the great room
when I want to slip into azure spaces
in sleepless fields.

Judy Katz-Levine

Revision Process Based on Physical Limitations

I originally wrote this poem for the geocache Iz and I are doing inside the painted eggs:

shell of the cosmos
cracks with light
yolk of suns

chickens in the yard
cluck over their bit of earth
beneath the rooster’s comb

follow the trail
with your dog, taking a stroll
with your heart on a leash

things also allow us—
the report of rain,
raven feather, the past

a deathless ogre in the fairytale
store a soul in a needle
in a nest in a tree

in an egg
in a Canadian goose
in a jackrabbit

locked in an iron chest
buried beneath a green juniper
in the Chihuahuan desert

it’s dangers
to hide all of your spirit
outside of yourself

and yet this land
compels all of those
who walk it.

But then we realized it was too long, we weren’t looking for that many sections So I reduced it:

shell of the cosmos
cracks with light
yolk of suns

follow the trail
with your dog, taking a stroll
with your heart on a leash

a deathless ogre in the fairytale
stores a soul in a needle
in a nest in a tree

locked in an iron chest
buried beneath a green juniper
in the Chihuahuan desert

it’s dangerous
to hide all of your spirit
outside of yourself

and yet this land
compels all of those
who walk it.

It’s obviously better for the project, and it is tighter. A little something has been lost–maybe in terms of music–but such is revision. Your thoughts? Have you ever experienced this?

In The Crystal Earth: Poem by Miriam Sagan

in the crystal earth
perfection
not found above

beneath the chert
pale flowering trees
rainy spring

cold, edged
hung above
each chakra

on a body
constellated
like the stars

what did you wish
upon
and what did you wish

for someone to love
something to read
or—to be gone

to heal
you will descend
and still, grow old

this cavern
reflects itself
is its own treasure

remains always here
illuminated
beneath this earth.

In Memory of Tom Lux

The People of the Other Village

hate the people of this village
and would nail our hats
to our heads for refusing in their presence to remove them
or staple our hands to our foreheads
for refusing to salute them
if we did not hurt them first: mail them packages of rats,
mix their flour at night with broken glass.
We do this, they do that.
They peel the larynx from one of our brothers’ throats.
We devein one of their sisters.
The quicksand pits they built were good.
Our amputation teams were better.
We trained some birds to steal their wheat.
They sent to us exploding ambassadors of peace.
They do this, we do that.
We canceled our sheep imports.
They no longer bought our blankets.
We mocked their greatest poet
and when that had no effect
we parodied the way they dance
which did cause pain, so they, in turn, said our God
was leprous, hairless.
We do this, they do that.
Ten thousand (10,000) years, ten thousand
(10,000) brutal, beautiful years.

Poem by Tom Lux, rest in peace.

Poem by Hannah S. Wiseheart

June 1907
                                                  For Phebe Durham Patterson 1871-1909
 
 
She sits rocking by her open gauze-framed window,
looking into summer night,
her head tilted, listening,
for her theatre of dreams, longing for lighter lungs.
In her white lap of soft worn muslin, a hairbrush.
She picks it up and begins,
strokes from scalp to ends trailing the floor.
Outside, tiny blinking fireflies and constant sister moon
float in darkness,
illuminating garden and fields beyond.
Her sightline is distant, even at dusk,
following a starlit stream, water sounds feeding her ears.
She sighs a faint smile, remembering herself as a light young thing.
 
Her small son pads in, pauses, whispers “Mama?” bringing her back.
.
She sighs a faint smile, remembering herself as a light young thing,
following a starlit stream, water sounds feeding her ears,
her sightline distant, even in at dusk,
illuminating garden and fields beyond.
Floating in darkness,
outside tiny blinking fireflies and constant sister moon.
Her strokes from scalp to ends trailing the floor,
she begins, picking up a hairbrush from a soft lap of white worn muslin,
longing for her theatre of dreams, for lighter lungs,
her head tilted, listening.
Looking into summer night,
she sits rocking by her open gauze-framed window….…
 
© Hannah S Wiseheart,  January 2017
 
This poem introduces the forthcoming book by the same author:
Looking for Phebe: Uncovering a Nineteenth Century Woman’s Hidden life