Tuesday, January 29, 2013


You wish your second grade teacher
whose name and face you have forgotten
and everything about her except a vague impression
of taupe colored nursing shoes
would appear just long enough
to clap her hands twice with the thunderclap sound
only God and elderly schoolteachers can summon
and call out "Enough! That's quite enough!
I want you to put your heads down on your desks
and not another peep out of you!"


Saturday, January 5, 2013

At Dale Road

Between two rows of trees
Tall with maple and birch
Thick with sumac and the fallen
I can only see out
If I look straight up
I walk

One thousand birds talk
A dozen different dialects
Can't see them
Can only hear them
Can't hear the cars on Woodbury Road
Can't hear the dog's tags jingle
Can't hear the crunch of my boots on the snow
I hear nothing but the conversations
of a thousand birds

My mother's daughter
Never could resist a coffee klatsch
I whistle the only bird song I know
Quarter note high, quarter note low

Deafened now by silence
Oh my god
One thousand birds
A colony of birds
And I have stopped them breathing

One second
Two seconds
Three seconds, four
On the beat of five
The conversations start up anew

I can't resist
Absolute power corrupts absolutely
I whistle my two notes again
One thousand birds
go on talking in a dozen dialects

I have been absorbed