I Must Go to the Creek Again by Michael G. Smith

I must go to the Creek again.
Again, I will ask only for silence
to hear the riffs
drifting by. Vagrant
and wanderer, the Creek is
captive and conveyor of storm,
its story and futurestory
the tree that falls
into it from its
eroding banks. How many
years to tumbledrum a grain
of sand a mile along its bed?
Alone responsible,
and not, the Creek brings
song to all it can,
Chickaree’s scold
of my innocence
(this a trespass),
eddies in the round rejoining
beginning, voice born into it.
And must I pray? I ask
how to give words to a time
stopped, the Creek creeking.

how many times have I walked across a field in America by Miriam Sagan

how many times have I walked across a field in America

leaving a green place behind

rows of cabbages and tiger lilies
purslane you might eat, but only very new
blue chicory

good-bye to you I loved and you I didn’t

back to the city

and a million pairs of shoes

and a million pairs of strangers’ eyes

in this moment I might be twelve or sixty

I promise myself I’ll return

I’ll make it right

next time, I’ll love all of you

blue chicory

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?