Passing Through

featured in the poetry forum June 18, 2021  :: 0 comments

Her library books are all renewed
way into June, when she won’t be here
anymore. The last rent is paid. Her bags
are mostly packed, a few changes of clothes
still in the closet. Her flute stays in its case.
No time to play. One cup, one plate, one
glass, one pot still in the kitchen. A loaf
of bread, a hunk of cheese, three eggs.
She doesn’t want to go. She doesn’t want to
stay. At the river bend where years ago
icicles froze sideways in a winter wind,
wild roses bloom on elegant, curved branches.
The magenta cactus flowers, where she found
a fox one year, are not yet out. Her favorite
footbridge over churning water has been closed
as unsafe. Once, after an unseasonable snow,
trees broke all over town. Soon she will forget
all this. Perhaps a few stray images remain.
Thank you, she whispers.

editors note:

When you leave it all; also, leave your thanks. – mh clay

Tourist

featured in the poetry forum February 6, 2021  :: 0 comments

A tourist in the world of form, she stands
in awe. Where to look first?
The hunger and the dancing both feel
like great improvements over silence
of assorted molecules awaiting purpose.
A field of blue flowers, a gate filled with trash,
and the fragrance of just opened lilac buds.
How can she tell what is really important?
There, monkeys and wild roses. A couple
dances tango, smoldering enough to turn
the air to smoke. She wants to taste. She tries
to limit anger and envy to Thursdays.
She is enchanted, inflamed, forlorn, the heat
of longing growing in her cheek. Every face
reflects each thought a person ever had.
No wonder she is not as striking as she wants
to be. She wants to wrap herself in sequins,
to move like confetti, to kneel to yellow
mountain flowers and boisterous women
who light up city nights with laughter.
She loves the mystery of Paris and the desert.
This is not hunger yet, this is just appetite.
When she is truly hungry, she will move.
Her hair will not obey your expectations.

editors note:

Keep your appetite alive (and your Thursdays open). – mh clay

Edge of a Child

featured in the poetry forum August 8, 2020  :: 0 comments

I want the edge of a child
in motion, unafraid
of stumbling, just in
the fair moment of absolute
presence, in the misty claw
of sweet anticipation,
with the world on its knees,
begging to unfold.

I want to walk
the wooden pier
of my favorite dream
meandering far
into an ocean without end,
just future after future.

I want to offer myself
barefoot to the sand, or
celebrate the first blossom
of a snowflake, and never fear
the sweet silence of winter.

editors note:

Oh, this! Yes, this! – mh clay

Hush

featured in the poetry forum December 31, 2019  :: 0 comments

the world is just
unfolding
it is time
to listen
and to fall in love again

with a poem perhaps
an unlikely rock star
a tango dancer’s liquid eyes
my husband’s long hair

with snow on ladybugs
all huddled on agave
leaves against
the frost high up
on Eighty Mountain

with crisp scent of pine

while memories skip
over cobblestones
and black paper lanterns
carried in procession
a candle shining through
colored transparency
magic from city center
around the castle
along the moat

and back home

rain slows down
to snow
in silent celebration

editors note:

On this last Eve of the year, the world awaits what we’ll make of what we see… – mh clay

Circus

featured in the poetry forum September 21, 2019  :: 0 comments

On the tightrope
of your condescension
I find myself
astonishingly nimble.

editors note:

Lofty makes loose. – mh clay

Immortality

featured in the poetry forum December 8, 2018  :: 0 comments

Just in case
bury me in a dancing dress.

editors note: Love this – agnostic optimism. (Read another optimistic missive on Beate’s page – check it out.) – mh clay

Snapshot: City Night

December 8, 2018  :: 0 comments

pink satin high heels
with a bow at the ankle
the owner smokes
a cigarette
with her peach mouth

so much depends
on hours she spent
getting ready for this
puffing with her
girlfriends in the rain

BEWILDERED

featured in the poetry forum March 14, 2018  :: 0 comments

You didn’t wait for me
at the unfamiliar
fork in the road.

I was only lost a little
while, then found my way
home anyway.

That’s all I have to say.

editors note:

In her search for love, her way is found instead. – mh clay

Morning

featured in the poetry forum December 25, 2017  :: 0 comments

Early
times of wild
anticipation, each
waking an event,

eyes open to surprises,
sunrise, sudden
excellence
of toes or hair
or even green skies
bold in paintings,
the quivering
wait after lunch
of bread soup,
for finally night
so old-fashioned
candles on the tree
could be lit. Christmas
Eve magic, days
she was not jealous
yet of things
she didn’t even want
she was still
good enough for life.

Long before she knew
how to dance
she knew it was coming.

She longs to wake again
to wander in snow,
reunited with her breathless
elfin adoration.

editors note:

(re)Awaken! It’s a new morning – Noel. – mh clay

RESPECT, LOVE, PURPLE FLOWERS

featured in the poetry forum July 20, 2017  :: 0 comments

I kneel in gravel, no tears, just
fascinated with six tiny purple petals
poking through light snow. I don’t know
their name. I have arrived
here limping through decades of searing
masculine entitlement and much
benevolent contempt. Six tiny petals
like sunbeams, like foxes, like stars,
reminding me—I need no respect, no
love to exist. My splendid body,
like a purple flower, does its miraculous
thing, even as my soul limps on
in disbelief, knowing how
lovely it would have been to dance.

editors note:

Can’t steal the shine from the stars we are; we CAN dance. – mh clay