Sunday, 20 January 2013

Fish Folds

The salmon run turns
on a limb of the Pacific

remote missions trailing
great harvesting nets

sluicing sea spittle,
sonar battens down

pound for pound
blip for blip

national hatcheries spawn
stakes for lawmakers

to rush cutters
until it's in the numbers

for towns marked by tarred pilings
barnacled green gray freighters

to lay up docks
sealed in tetanus

let shore fall to tides
air sift through to fish

graceful in a slow count
coursing in locked arcs

metallic buoyant bodies.

(Originally appeared in Columbia Poetry Review)

Friday, 4 January 2013

Found Roses

You wonder whether I even noticed
the five holes in the flower beds

about the time you brought over some house plants.
I didn’t want to see them

as more than more possum’s undertaking
stirring fusty leaves from the crusts around rhododendrons

and ferns mom found in the woods.
You love to say, she loved her roses, just like oma.

There are others. Deer from the ravine
bit off last year’s first blossoms just blooming,

even the attic squirrels skitter down the lilac tree
into freshly planted myoga, growing well in bricked-in bog.

The shade between houses lets fungi get a leg up—
one year pruned too close—more than it could pull through

in a rainy year; dry summers are too late,
the cherry covered in ants and we

set a trap for the gnawing in the rafters.
If I catch a squirrel how many seeds from the garden

will sprout up in its new woods somewhere south?
If you’d just asked for starters from roses or any

of the others, how proud, how we were sharing. 

(Originally appeared in Crab Creek Review)