2 Poems

I am reconstructing my website from scratch.  I am posting a few old pieces and then putting up the new.  I am going to start with two poems I recently read at “Writing Practice” readout in January.

 

Edgar Allen Poe teaches Yoga in Ballard

 

lighting a candle

he walked ploddingly

across the naked hardwood floor.

with great coldness

he turned and murmured

“Namaste,

we will begin in the corpse pose

and work our way out.”

guiding our breathing

as if we were buried alive

each breath

precious

like the taste of fine wine.

I gasped,

could I endure

the tell-tale downward dog

Amontillado’s bridge pose

the pit and trikonasana

quote the sun salutation

“do five more”

darkyoga

 

Lawrence Avenue

 

Granny’s hands crumbled the dried bread

it was feeding time

for the crows, robins, wrens and sparrows.

Around five o clock the bread would be thrown,

she would take her place on the front porch

in a white wicker chair

watching the birds feed

and the neighborhood return from work.

Being reclusive she offered only a wave

unless you spoke Ukrainian, Russian or Polish,

then in the voice of her childhood

Granny’s hands would animate the conversation

while the birds fed

then flew back home

to the trees

across from Lawrence Avenue.

 

One day at the end of summer

birds amassed on the trees

hundreds and hundreds

singing so powerfully

the people came out of their houses.

Praise for Granny’s hands

for years of service

faithfully crumbling bread

waiting for her precious friends

to swoop and dine.

Granny’s hands were clasped in an impish yet humble way

she accepted the accolades

listening to the trees

across from Lawrence Avenue.

 

Granny’s hands pull her across the linoleum kitchen floor

her cheek would rest in the coldness of the floor

to distract from the pain in her hip

in and out of consciousness

she watched as her precious kitchen faded

then disappeared

a blur of lights

ambulance

doctors

her daughter’s soothing voice.

she awoke frightened and confused

in a stranger’s bed.

while the birds were sleeping

in the trees

across from Lawrence Avenue

 

 

In the time before night and morning

on the Northside of town

Granny’s hands open her purse

while a large Jamaican nurse in a white starched uniform

is dreaming in her romance novel.

Quietly the window is opened

a missing slice of dining room bread is crumbled up

and gently scattered outside

then staring into darkness

she waits

for someone

to tell the birds

who live in the trees

across from Lawrence Avenue.

granny