The Small Plums

The small plums

on arching limbs

clutch the branch

from which they grow

plump and purple.

Far too many, I admonish the tree,

you astonish with your superfluity.

But then, what do I know?

I only hover nearby,

circling the throne of your high summer glory.

Too crowded with the weight of survival,

some plums let go their hold

still green.

Some grow fatter every day,

more purple, sweet and round.

The greedy gardener,

thinking they are hers,

worries they will rot

for want of human hands

to pluck them from their bough

until, standing at the early morning window

she finally sees:

three birds pecking at plums

as a squirrel whisks along laden limbs.

Fruit falls and

dewy skin breaks open

for any fly or sparrow,

worm or beetle,

mouse or perhaps

for no one

but the fat-bellied glory of August.

Day of Light and Laundry

On this day of light and laundry

a lift of the heart

and then an unmatched sock

brings you close to tears.

A sunpatch among fallen brown leaves

and you draw in your breath

with the surprise

of remembering.

The rake scrapes singles into piles

over and over and then

its claws uncover

an unwary blossom.

What were you thinking,

arm or rake or flower?

All the unknowing

pushes you into an unlit corner

where you linger in lazy musings

as the bedsheets flap on the line

in the neighbor’s back yard.

In the Beginning

In the beginning was the dream

and the dream was made woman

and the woman took her brushes

and washed the sky clean

picked up her broom

and swept the desert of all its bones

with her shovel

she cracked open

the mute clay.

 

She called hunger by its true name

and strode through the forests of fear,

gathering up the broken limbs

and fallen flowers.

 

In the landscape of an unspoken morning

she piled the bones and stars

the sand and clay and twigs

the stillborn hearts

and unspent angers.

 

High was the pile

hot the center of creation.

 

Deep in her elation

she plunged her hands

into the burning sky,

she stirred the dying sea,

she lifted the rim and scrabble

pressed fast the fish and feather

crumbled the clumps of stubborn clay.

 

She turned and turned the pile

of what was,

then spread it like a blanket

on the infant land naked of hope and

unadorned with memory.

 

On the blanket of what was

she rested from her work

and dreamed she was a seed

and the seed dreamed it was a garden

and the garden dreamed this beginning into being.