Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Seeing Red

Flying Down (detail), 2006, by David Salle
lost his tempera
a tempest in a paintpot
everybody duck

Friday, September 21, 2012

Suburban Safari

Island Lake, by Mary Anderson

Time for a nature walk!
Pencils ready?  March in queue,
observe the local wonders of the world.

the barely rippling surface of the lake
early autumn grass patched green and tan
invertebrates intent upon their tasks
the tufted  sky, a mottled, puffy gray--
vivid-orange-clad light bulb changers,
safe in numbers, glaringly aloft.
How many does it take?

the dainty paddle of a duck
kingfisher's hunting whoop
a pine cone's fall in the midst of the wood
the murmur of a covert frog--
chainsaws in a shouting match
clamoring for dominance
defiantly refusing to give in.

decaying water lilies
refreshing, misty moisture in the air
the sharp scent of wild mint
tempting berries hanging on the vine--
is it the false fruitiness of sanitizing gel?
Nature tends to soil the hands, you know.
Do not touch!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dr. R

Breakfast, 1921, Fernand Leger

said the sign on the wall
but I felt no peace
wriggling on the slick beige too-big chair
breathing deep to calm my skipping pulse
blonde hair spilling over the side.

He bent over me
dark hair shorn in short waves
attempting to engage me
amiably asking questions
I couldn't answer
with my mouth full

of his hardy fingers
wiggling, yanking
and, before I could hiccup,
slipping a small tooth into my small hand
having set a slightly larger incisor
free to grow
in peace.

(I thought this scene would replay when my youngest son's first adult tooth arrived out of position.  But his dentist's assistants numbed his gum, gave him a video game to play and sunglasses to wear, and used some mechanical device to wiggle the old tooth out. I don't think Dr. R even wore gloves to pull my first tooth.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Aestivation's End

Summer Night, 1913, by Albert Bloch

Vetr and his daughters
step out of their summer chalets,
yawn, stretch,
exchange nods across the valleys
and begin to descend.

They tiptoe and stomp,
gracefully glide or slump down to rest,
leaving a touch of frost here,
early snow there,
across the autumnal landscape.

They may admire the warm-hued leaves
or pity the farmer's harvest,
and spare their chilling touch
for a while.  They may not. 

But they walk along,
change drifting in their wake
as they go south
for the winter.

Aestivation: dormancy during periods of heat and drought
Vetr: Old Norse for Winter