Listening to “Rites Of Spring” – a visitation
I was sleeping but listening to the radio:
“Rites Of Spring”. Just as the music was ending
I had this dream:
My mother came in a white house trailer. Someone else
was driving. She hopped out, came to our door.
I knew it was her, only she appeared luminous.
Then she sat down in the living room, my mother gone two years
was alive in this dream. My father also
was there, miraculously alive again. I was careful
with the introductions, and remembered my grandfather’s
name – Joseph – I didn’t want to make a mistake.
Then my mother walked around the room, felt
a wooden table with her fingers, which my father
had refinished – and felt a wooden floor by the fireplace
(it is actually made of blue stone) – she felt with sensitive
fingers the grain of wood, felt with her hands, very slowly.
Then went to the Mezuzahs* on the door posts, and put her fingers
to them, held them there, slowly touching. Feeling the engraved
design of the Mezuzahs.
She then asked me
if I still liked to collect shells – my son
was also in the room, but not
Then my mother said – “Well, maybe
we can work something out – a visit or vacation
at the cape or a beach.”
*Mezuzah – a sacred Jewish object attached to the door post of a home or room, with biblical and sacred phrases within.
There are 10 poetry posts on Santa Fe Community College’s campus.
Since I’ve retired, no one is maintaining them, so I think I’ll just continue to as a community project for the time being. But I need help!
I’m looking for:
a poet with ten poems
an editor who wants to create a suite of ten poems
an artist, collagist, collaborative group to create 10 pages of images plus poetry
Each post houses a simple standard piece of paper
I’m going to put out a call in my on-line class and to the staff of Santa Fe Literary Review.
A selection from an e-zine would work. Each poem shoud be no more than one page.
Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org to participate
You can mail me hard copy or a pdf would work too. It’s fun, and there’s audience. I’ll install the work. Interested?
Wonder walks naked
as baby’s breath
on mother’s breast
of sparkling fireflies
lighting the night
Her siren song beckons,
“Come back with me
to that untouched space
where innocence resides”
Everything nourishes her—
fields of carrots
and turnips turn
on earthworms and oceans,
atoms and elephants,
dark matter and
Forced to make a living
she would do so poorly—
she knocks quietly (not shyly)
waits to be asked in
Wonder dreams of slipping
into cobwebbed corners,
jumping out daily, shouting
“Look at THIS!”
Just up at https://formerpeople.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/a-poem-2/
of the day’s
skate egg sac, glassie
plastic bottle, red seagull
it was no
that hung everything
from the ceiling
of the house
lawn chair, garlic braid,
the crumpled volumes
heft of pollen, butterfly wing
this was the inversion
over an insignificant
like thinking you see a message
written in the rainy street
by the traffic light
hoping—right or not—
that god’s hand will spare us.
EARLY BIRDS – FEBRUARY 3
So early in the year
snow lying patchy on the lawn
sun barely up
pinking the apple tree
I watch a female sparrow
alight at our birdhouse
and poke her head
through the round front door
I’m embarrassed we didn’t
clean out last year’s old nest
of sticks and feathers
and gathered odd bits.
She pushes part way inside
tail sticking out straight
seems to ponder
if it’s worth the work.
Her black-bibbed mate
feathers fluffed full
perches on the roof
cocks his head
Then tries to mount her
while she’s half inside,
strong shake of her body
She emerges twig in beak
drops it down to the ground
seems like it might
be worth the trouble.
He is next inside
and removes his own bit
a tattered old feather.
Is this a commitment?
peck seeds below
black crows arc overhead
on their own search.
I’ll check again.
Ha quedado un olor entre los cañaverales;
una mezcla de sangre y cuerpo, un penetrante
Entre los cocoteros las tumbas están llenas
de huesos demolidos, de estertores callados.
El delicado sátrapa conversa
con copas, cuellos y cordones de oro.
El pequeño palacio brilla como un reloj
y las rápidas risas enguantadas
atraviesan a veces los pasillos
y se reúnen a las voces muertas
y a las bocas azules frescamente enterradas.
El llanto está escondido como una planta
cuya semilla cae sin cesar sobre el suelo
y hace crecer sin luz sus grandes hojas ciegas.
El odio se ha formado escama a escama,
golpe a golpe, en el agua terrible del pantano,
con un hocico lleno de légamo y silencio.
A smell lingered over the canefields;
a penetrating blend of blood and bodies,
of sickening flower petals.
The tombs between the coco palms are stuffed
with ruined bones, with stifled death-rattles.
The fastidious satrap holds converse
with golden goblets, collars, and braid.
The little palace gleams like a pocketwatch
and the rapid, gloved laughter
traverses the corridors from time to time
encountering the dead voices
and the blue mouths, freshly buried.
The lament is concealed like a plant
whose seed falls ceaselessly over the soil
and whose great blind leaves grow without light.
The hatred has grown from height to height,
Blow by blow, in the horrible water of the swamp,
With a snout full of silence and of silt.
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