XVIII:3, October,  2003

A Journal for Linking Poets   


WINDIGO by Ed Baranosky & Jen Finlayson; NINA
by Suhni Bell  & Marlene Mountain  & Cindy Tebo; BURIED AT SEA by Suhni Bell & Marlene Mountain; NINETY-NINE BOTTLES by Carlos Colón & Sue Stanford & Alex Benedict & Alexis K. Rotella & John Sheirer & Fay Aoyagi & Jeanne Cassler & Marlene Mountain & Zane Parks & Rosa Clement &  Alice Benedict; ECHOES OF RAIN by Connie Donleycott &       Michael L. Evans; REENGINEER by Jim Leftwich & John M. Bennett; OTHER RENS Book IX by Kris Kondo &
Marlene Mountain &
Francine Porad; DEMOCRACY by
Marlene Mountain &
Suhni Bell; probably 2 'real' renga sorta  #5
Marlene Mountain &
Francine Porad; BREASTS OF SNOW:
the tanka of Fumiko Nakajoo, Translated by Hatsue Kawamura
& Jane Reichhold; FROM THREE TO NINETY-THREE by Patricia Prime & Catherine Mair; CATHERINE OLIVIA by
Catherine Mair &
Patricia Prime; CLIPPED HEDGES by
Dick Pettit & Carlos Colón & Marlene Mountain; AFTER SUNSET  by Patricia Prime & Catherine Mair;
Tan Renga by Carol Purington & Larry Kimmel; SONG FOR THE VOICELESS by Carol Purington & Merrill Ann Gonzales; A LIFE FULL OF SKIES by Jane Reichhold &
June Moreau;
Anita Krumins



Ed Baranosky
     Jen Finlayson

the winter wind
echoes through empty rooms
a sleepless bear paces
     window frost touched to my lips
     only makes me hungrier

     the old stone chess piece
     a Viking, fur clad, wild-eyed
     biting his own shield
knocked over by the swipe
of an old chess-master

Icelandic spar
positioned near a soapstone
Inuit hunter
    hardness needed in this cold
     if broken, I grow sharper

     a fox by moonlight
     streaking over buried leaves
     all four feet burnt black
footprints disappear into
an empty meadow

the only sound, a vixen
calls in the cold night wind
barking to her mate
     though she yearns for his embrace
     she knows kisses catch no mice

     winding through the trees
     aching for some hair to grasp
     bone-white fingers flex
around an airplane's
swept wing shadow

red-eye special
night flying through a blue moon
contrails of thunder demons
     rain drumming like glinting claws
     inflight dinners cool, untouched

     this wasn't sewn in
     the gleam in a toy bear's eyes
     the night-light blown out
cold air-conditioning
ruffles thin airline blankets

from another continent
dropped to the floor
     their fragrance mixed with book-smell
     the passage they marked is lost

     in the still cold earth
     newborn cubs shriek; mother tongue
     licks them into shape
wandering off the damp pages
of a cartoon picnic

siblings wrestle
on a polar bear rug
in a square den
     the one pressed to the white fur
     growling gains the upper hand

     under frozen roots
     voles whisper over seed husks
     half their store eaten
baby voles and cubs scurry
for the shelter of a dreaming mother

early thaw
amorphous shape of a male bear
crosses the window
     what lusty visitor, this?
     you're early, dear -- come back June 

     he with haunches deep
     remembers her beneath him
     scent of brambles, bees
dream-walker snuffles for food
stomach growls, more awake
still unconscious
furry appetites' unlimited
midnight hunger
     salmon moon and full belly
     distant as the night is long

    ghosts shiver too near
     the old dances all they want
     bonfires, apples, corn
a forgotten mousetrap snaps
closed, triggered by phantom mice

a violent gust
blows open the door
to a deserted cabin
     a nod to the great playwright
     exit, pursued by a bear

     bits of fallen hair
     accent ash-filled boot prints
     drag marks gilt with mud
from bed, to bed, to bed
a hungry baritone paces the boards


Begun Tuesday, June 17, 2003 8:45 PM
Completed Thursday, June 26, 2003 1:15 AM.




Suhni Bell  
Marlene Mountain  
Cindy Tebo

first recital her parents removed from the first row of seats

a discarded color of america france finds a voice

somewhere between rock and soul pain has its own sound

a storyteller with more than one darkside & jagged edge

when a woman will sing in a world unlikely to want all her words

la niña through all kinds of weather remembering her music*

*nina simone 1933-2003

april 22 2003


Suhni Bell
Marlene Mountain

buried at sea life lines unravel in the palms of a killer's hands

  the rage 'sars' masks with designer prints

a prism sneaks into a storm sneaks into a memory of a storm

dirty relief for the feet of a butterfly weed

prom night another runaway & another date that really sucks

just to set the record straight i always was


stolen from the rr tracks yellow irises now cold and staked

revisionist dictionary the rapist redefines rape

under the guise of haiku a war of pretty words turned petty

car bombs in israel palestinian mothers cry too

a few of the first purples kissed a few of the dying-out kissed

thru the grapevine always more sour grapes

what's not next french or freedom fries at mcdonald's in iraq

road map for peace lost in a maze of ruins

no godliness little cleanliness a spring high in my own nature

that time of month blood is thicker than water

empty nest syndrome the phoebe catches heck for nothing

mud-caked the fragrance of last year's green


third cup of coffee the to-do list added to the waste-of-time list

oops missed dubya's speechwriter's dubya speech

more terrorist alerts somehow less alarmed with each false alarm

when gone will the daylilies have anyone to take care of

wrapped in so many restless nights even the wind talks in circles

how to ruin a mountain if it has a top *

drums not drugs we follow bumper stickers onto sacred ground

around the little pond what likes to be around

tainted evidence the first stagnant slaps of a west nile summer

lined up dick-deep to trash martha and hillary

thru the stutters i mean shutters a streak of the morning after

a perfect age for the new worries


awake before the humidity before the pain before the primroses

a change of pace something else to step in

never moonless tho trampled littered flagged and shadowed

near the window her aloneness

'both sides' doesn't include me and perhaps a gang of 'the others'**

chosen vs unchosen who on earth keeps score


*50 years of ego up everest
**   simone de beauvoir: he is the absolute--she is the other

april 26-june 23 2003


Written 11/11/97 - 11/28/02
cc: Carlos Colon
ss: Sue Stanford
ahb: Alex Benedict
akr: Alexis K. Rotella
js: John Sheirer
fa: Fay Aoyagi
jc: Jeanne Cassler
mm: Marlene Mountain
zp: Zane Parks
rc: Rosa Clement
abb: Alice Benedict

1cc eleven-member renga ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall

2ss the kids in the bus sing another round

3ahb from the hog's back a better view

4akr turkey sandwich locked in the armored truck

5js holiday dinner sparkling cider for the alcoholic uncle

6fa slipped out to the darkness a parlor maid

7jc last night's costume party secrets swept under the rug

8mm here don my name on the internet boo

9zp whooooooooooooo quoth the hoot owl evermore

10rc snake on dying vines unseen, not even by attentive eyes

11abb stockholders' meeting question period canceled

12cc taking a page from 'robert's rules of order' rrrip

13ss a silent name mottled with lichen

14ahb on a stump in sunlight witch's butter quivers

15akr a tree toad's perfect eye make up

16js silk gloves cover the prom king's hand warts

17fa no murder tonight oriental express

18jc fast food a daily diet death sentence

19mm cnn breaking news cnn breaking leaks cnn breaking rumors

20zp zen exercise putting together a pieceless puzzle

21rc concentration while mending grandma's broken chinese vase

22abb mid-life she acts innocent anyway

23cc hormone imbalance the Flying Wallendas without a net

24ss dolphin safe what to say to ET

25ahb a new initiative the rear guard advances

26akr grape vine she didn't expect it to move so fast

27js another day's depression broken by the weeping willow

28fa each corner of a mah-jong table former POWs

29jc in the bedroom mirror a scar he never knew she had

30mm i can take renga out of japan and japan out of renga

31zp cookies broken we swap fortunes

32rc street man brings the bread, the old dog wags its tail

33 abb new bee dance not much different

34cc from my penny loafers two nickels for the pay phone

35ss dime store pearls bounce with each step

36ahb tattoo on her pinkie he wonders where else

37akr where the sun don't shine a cigar

38fa intelligent dish washer diagnoses its problem

39jc Saturday morning chores divided between siblings

40mm clans regions religions a woman gang-raped

41zp in the corner the class bully wearing a dunce cap

42rc on the farm, the children like to pat the black sheep

43abb Snake River wind empties a paper packet of mandala sand

44cc birdwatcher taking a tern for the worse

45ss brief summer night a jet follows the last eclipse of the millennium

46ahb placated he leaves a tip

47fa in Las Vegas Buddha lost then Jesus lost

48jc the one-armed bandit meets the one-eyed jack

49mm disappointment we beer drinkers unable to walk the lines

50zp by the cash machine a man in black

51rc the coffee on the beach has more foam

52abb pinching the places he wants liposuction

53cc through the vacuum cleaner rattle of a diamonds

54ss infra-red self-portrait

55ahb a hacker, his keyboard painted with camouflage patterns

56fa on Vietnam Monument her twin's names

57jc in the foxhole the atheist digs a little deeper

58mm after the fall i get up in the garden ok

59rc a tulip by the window sprinkling water on the grumpy guy

60abb "yes, let's get together sometime..."

61cc crowbar prying redwood from a rotten fence

62ss dust motes sift down softly

63ahb just a blink the blue flame from an ember

64fa Princess Masako finally pregnant

65jc baby oh baby on the radio a different song but the same words

66mm 'instant weather by twc' please wait the heat

67zp when it's finally filled it's lost its chill frosty mug

68rc milk on his grey mustache his childish look

69abb subway map YOU ARE HERE almost rubbed off

70cc pursenapper he tumbles over the turnstile

71ss season ticket - the irony of a beautiful autumn day

72ahb each scene of the play memorized

73fa downloading from INS web-site an application for citizenship

74jc a long list of languages spoken here

75mm american fears wash hands after peeing and checking mail

76zp flawless lawn now the poop is scooped

77rc on visit day they love to sweep the sand that shoes had spread

78abb his disappearance not really a mystery

79cc from under the steamy mirror not the man I thought I was

80ss your favourite Beatle says it all

81ahb the Turing machine to reproduce this is infinitely long

82fa zero plus zero equals zero

83jc casual Friday in the math department a dozen Einstein t-shirts

84mm makes even more sense mother nature

85zp mom concerned raging fires 400 miles south of us

86rc my neighbor's ashes stain the air

87abb moonset - flossing the ones I don't want to lose

88cc my Brady entries absent Alice's fingerprints

89ss out of the loop - tumbledown a wonderland restaurant

90ahb half buried in snow, an old sock

91fa Christmas holiday starts with the silent treatment

92jc not what she said but how she said it

93mm watch out for big ears if you've a subversive gleam in your art

94zp dissent unaloud

95rc a parrot curses our fanatic neighbor's football team

96abb wheelchair waved through security

97cc debilitating sometimes my catholic conscience

98ss war stares from the wardrobe

99ahb three steps at a time up the escalator

Connie Donleycott
        Michael L. Evans

winter rain...
inside the front door
umbrella puddles

    black angel fish
    round and round the mermaid

warm-slipper day...
the steady trickle
of brewing coffee

    breakfast for two
    pouring pancakes
    into heart-shaped rings

a white blossom floats
in a crystal bowl

    a pair of cranes
    at the waterfall -
    table top fountain

Jim Leftwich & John M. Bennett

reengineer hat
hat fishingear
cellophane slow
toe jellopane
persimmon dish
fish permission
porcupine cut
but Prosperpine
slathering bone
stone blithering
blinksmanshop cat
sat blanksmanship



Kris Kondo
Marlene Mountain
Francine Porad

Pressed Blossoms:4
(rhymes with or)
m  f  k

"dogwood winter" a reminder not to put away all the blankets

no conversation from Grumps oops! Gramps

so tired but unable to sleep i write yet another verse

beneath the music in the movie politics

a date with the guy on my right refused I poke the guy on my left

not a word of greeting from either side


k  m  f

new friend from Spokane she’s a poet and she drives a train

the beat goes on from a grouse in the woods

they wish to believe vibrations of tuning forks unblock chakras

buried in WHC waterfall of messages 2 from mm

can’t believe my eyes in april her lavender iris in full color

undetermined date for a world-wide prayer day


k  f  m

from all over the globe poets in Denver for a conference on healing

a stranger asks: do you need a hug?

across the wet ground during the night a creature with big paws

i observe two haiku teams battle on the net

discovery! new electronic renga partner a mere ferry ride away

just to hear the nuthatch alone

April 23-29, 2002


Pressed Blossoms:5    (rhymes with or)
f  k  m

reason for divorce she says he doesn’t do chores willingly

struggling & giving up trying to remember

it’s the easier inside work i run from like a madwoman

kinda fun ironing that first little hankie

to country or peasant music chores are not a chore

in yesterday’s dirt-caked clothes today


m  f  k

true earthlings my hominid family who too soon lost ground

couples side by side in death as in life

they plowed the earth and planted crops after deep snows

from tennessee to oklahoma i’m back

Grandpa said his grandpa lived to one hundred and fourteen

i still burn incense for all of his and mine


m  k  f

drawn beyond my thoughts by the shape of everyone’s moon

is that mustached profile my estranged?

eyes follow the action guiding the pencil’s continuous path

winter profile begins to flesh out of itself

out of the haze of a dream seedlings in the bay window at dawn

silhouette in the glass self-image suffers


k  f  m

some people would rather i didn’t play at all let alone an encore

hit ‘em again hit ‘em again harder harder

state terrorism on the rise a house for a house in my book

dawn dusk dawn dusk dawn dusk dawn...

sunning on a chaise lounge in Mercer Island in Mazatlan

thoughts return to a poem unwritten

April 27-May 3, 2002


Marlene Mountain
Suhni Bell

democracy tossed about in the wind as a real word/real world

a tighter grip the roller coaster veers right

heartened by the small bit of orange a butterfly already gone

color-coded alerts waiting for the pink...

no doubt march 8th marchers imprinted in the big boy files

mounting evidence against pedophile priests


another goddess worshipper makes me wish i had known marija *

barely on purpose uncovered the deep past

the danger in planting mine fields and then retracing your own steps

the yak-yak revised is saddam dead or alive

a new dance of the seven veils even the impostors have doubles

far longer than i watch them three deer watch me

such a narrow sliver of light at the end of tunnel vision

with god on every side so little room for the devil

shuffling half the deck i accuse myself of cheating at solitaire

spring snow in most of the tv lies to someone else

the economic crisis effects prostitution that really sucks

into the crevices of mother nature her leafy mold

kill and degrade overused so handy the masculine 'soften up'

hiv the only positive news this week

the heat of early spring a piliated low across the bulldozed path

growling over a wishbone two strays

nothing i can do about much one of the four tulips in bloom

something loud in their silence waiting for the cicadas

seen and not heard a female grouse heard but not seen a male

rocky mountain oysters just send me the bill

'baghdad falls' go dubya go with your constitution and calculator

crimson dust soldiers settle into desert sun

dogwood winter restless nature clothes hang inside to dry

you're closer to a barefoot walk you little piggies


weeds or wildflowers between a rock & a hard place what's the dif

swept away with their homes crayfish

first scent of rain on the balcony i fold & unfold her letter

the moon so full it belongs outside a haiku

shaking the kaleidoscope like dice there you go a new pattern

the blues nina simone of the night **

* archeologist marija gimbutas [1921-1994]
**   [1933-2003] 'mississippi goddam!' dr simone's first protest song

march 2-april 22 2003


probably 2 'real' renga sorta  #5
Marlene Mountain
Francine Porad

even more rain sooner rather than later and yet later too

Evergreen State's straw-colored lawns

black-eyed susans and daisies what they know of each other

old beau and I verbally up-to-date

a moment of silence for mississippi strom a bit long *

traffic rushes past under the window


battling a blaze private crews not all that experienced

shaken from the real daylily the real dew

sundeck flowerpots need watering my one task for today

everything dubya touches turns into dubya

Shiite Muslims vent against U.S. some citizens head north

the pain not quite here still i tear up a tear

feeling weepy no matter how trite the scene in the movie

the she said demeaned the he said defended

no more recriminations their divorce turns 'friendly'

larger than the 'prenuptial' 4 billion a month

$250,000 bid on E-Bay charity lunch with Warren Buffett

new on 'tostitos' label 0 grams trans fat


are those little pricks of that big prick loaded with lead **

pencils can reach farther than bullets

vine at the end of its stake searches the air for a cloud

shelves with empty spaces ready to fill

we listen for a bird any bird when he first arrives

resting on a concrete wall why not the pine?

mid-summer shade one cover-up after another dashed

Liberian cease-fire announced then the body count

upper level disturbance odor of dill rises from the glads

fresh flowers replaced with paper-cutter & paints

tho overcast a path toward the hangout of diana butterflies

shrimp slit open and spread apart on a grill

another Seafair another year to watch Blue Angel maneuvers

just grins when a frog jumps into the pond

green trees and people 'along with pigeons in the grass alas'  ***

a cool night the kid's hot chocolate and ice cream

the slight breeze brings apartment temp down from 86 degrees

which comes first a messy house or messy nature

* 5m    Senator Thurmond [1902-2003]
** 19m    Hussein family
*** 33fp    Gertrude Stein

july 21-24 2003


the tanka of Fumiko Nakajoo.
Translated by Hatsue Kawamura
and Jane Reichhold

moyuru kagiri wa
hito ni ataeshi
chibusa nare
gan no sosei wa
itsuyori to shirazu

as long as they burned
what I have given to men
are my breasts
I do not know when they
began to have a cancer


kare hana no
hanawa wo amite
mune ni kaken
chibusa kaerazaru
ware no tame ni

withered and bare
a braided wreath of flowers
hangs down my chest
to honor myself and
the loss of my breasts


shiroki kurage ni
majirite ware no
chibusa uku
kishi wo sagasan
mata mo nemurite

mingling with
white jellyfish
my breasts float
near the seashore again
I'll look for them in my sleep


chibusa nado motazu
nemuri ori
yuki wa hakka no
nioi wo tatete

forgetting these foolish
breasts that I do not have
while I sleep
snow with the fragrance
of peppermint drifts by


sukui naki
raboku to yuki no
kei hateshi
chiten yori ware wa
ayumi yuku beshi

without comfort
where a snowy landscape
and bare trees
come to an end
I shall start to walk


Patricia Prime
Catherine Mair

Leaving Napier Selwyn and his grandson, William, stop beside the road so that the little fellow can touch the snow.  "It looks good while you're looking at it, but it feels really cold," grandfather says.

On reaching his grandparent's house the child tips out the toy box and spreads his cars over the couch.  Carefully he lines them up one by one.  A yellow one, whose wheels fall off and can be put back on again, takes most of his attention.

snow swept road
travellers hunched against the cold -
dripping pines

After dinner William wants a bedtime story.  Ah, Peter Rabbit! but it's not the rabbit who features in William's mind.  It's Mr. McGregor, the gardener who chases rabbits with a rake, calling out "Stop Thief!"

in nightmares
William hides with Peter Rabbit
in a water-can

He barricades his pillow with mouse, penguin and Missy Bear.  Finally images of Mr. McGregor are driven away and his eyes close.

We awake to a fine sunny morning.  Decide to take a walk along the river bank to the resthome so that William can see his great grandparents.

in the gum tree tui serenade

Reaching their unit, William asks for toys.  Molly rushes around to see what she can find to amuse him.  She returns with a photo album. Among all the baby photographs there isn't one of him.

Sasha, the dog, tied up beneath a grapefruit tree, looks at us with long eyes.  The rooster who crows and visits early in the morning has left his calling card in disgust after no crusts where thrown his way.

wet socks
the boy's ankle bends,
muddy boots
 pulled on -
we wave farewell


Catherine Mair
Patricia Prime

early hours
suddenly splitting the silence
the shrill phone
"Well is it Nathaniel
or Catherine?"  she laughs

in the high street
searching for the baby shop
I find a craft centre
among the hand-knitted clothes
a pair of booties

& we're all wilting
William drags his cuddly
down the hall - falls asleep
after parking his racing cars

two grandmothers
settle at the computer
all the emails
congratulations on the new baby,
greetings to her mother


Dick Pettit
Carlos Colon
Marlene Mountain

(in order of appearance)


wind in the trees the road bends out of town between clipped hedges

eyeing me last lizard of the summer

slowdown in the garden patches as sleeves grow longer

speeding up the motorway, flashing tattoos

when did 'peace' become a four-letter word again?

spree in the same little breath as killer


soft sibilants, but the instruction to leave the party is pressing

full moon red wine down the front of her tux

something about no moths around the porch light that drew the wrens*

war-time yankee over here overpaid and very nice

the hissing scratching biting cat calling a spayed a spayed

with mist the taken-for-granted hills come into focus

stage smoke - the master of the universe is ten feet tall

day after thanksgiving going cold turkey

if you gotta study old haiku settle there otherwise hang with yourself

neither ancient nor modern but just right

all pigtails and proboscis picasso portrait of goldilocks

the big bad men versus the big bad men


those charming ladies in the embroidery circle all agree

chemistry test another multiple-choice 'f'

warm snap snapped pines and rolling soil in the bulldozer's mind

a panel bore smothers protesting quirks of wit

my legal pad covered with doodles and oodles of 'ku-ddles

one 'unjustice' system overridden in one little place**

judges' delays keep the ex-dictator happy till he drops***

my heart thirty-two feet per second per second

unsnowed in at last but i couldn't pull away from tomorrow's snow in

jogging becomes a race to be back for the health programme

the ghost of the ghost of john lennon: 'you say you want a resolution?'

what's with a patriarchal country called a she


britannia metal looking to all the world like a silver dollar ****

the view of earth without it columbia

stars & stripes duct tape the many nonlaughable things it can't fix

a good dose of salts for friend and foe alike

whiter behind the white coats my straitjacketed smile

see you on mars if there's a mars left standing


*w.r.e.n.s (women's royal emergency naval service)
**death row pardons by outgoing governor ryan of illinois
*** leopoldo f. galtieri, among others
**** an alloy of tin

August 24, 2002 - February 21, 2003


Patricia Prime
Catherine Mair

biceps gleaming
he gardens till dusk
darkness stained red
on his bare hands
the earth is moist and warm

she drapes the bath towel
over her head
shadows deepen at breast
and inner thigh, her eyes closed

bread, cheese and fruit
she drinks half the wine
she kept for him
why is he so late?

nude, she reclines,
her hip curved against
an olive background:
the red coverlet
is sprinkled with flowers


Tan Renga
Carol Purington
Larry Kimmel

the motion-detector light
comes on again                        

     somewhere a ghost
     walks over my grave 



January thaw
the vacant lot
nervous with squirrels

     crumpling up
     the New Year's resolutions  



an espresso-sized paper cup
and real espresso 

     on the CD
     of gondolier songs
     surely the splash of water       



not speaking
but under the anger

     running out of white
     before the painting is done      



red oak flooring
a sliver of glass
in early sunlight 

     finally enough bare earth
     to make mud                         


Carol Purington
Merrill Ann Gonzales

prepared in silence
because of a robin's song
breakfast for two           

waiting for the mail -
one word changes the day 

goldfinches fly
a brighter shade of yellow
all mornings Reconciled   

sunbeams dance on my eyelids
the awakening           

wedding ceremony -
the kiss that joins
flesh to soul       

the joy of the bluebird's
same new lyric       

wild strawberries -
the purple finch leaves behind
a stain of notes   

standing over
the brook he loved to paint 

earlier twilight -
around the shrinking pond
no dash of birds   

simple dinner of soup -
the candle glows still     

day's decline
the heron carries its legs

sad child
dragging the empty leash      

three gifts -
dragon's well tea    
myrrh and frankincense

two small cold hands
welcome the warmth             

road closed by drifts
a squirrel
at the bird feeder     

snowman's deaf
to the sound of wings          

ancient hickory
in this reluctant spring -    
showing its green

this northern sky trusted       
with the tiniest of eggs

ripple of a thrush
mingles with raindrops -
the tree I pray under   

cloudless night -
big dipper dipping 


Jane Reichhold
June Moreau

a line of trees
following the hillside slope
in a straggly scrawl
the green crayon melts at noon
alive against the wooden grain

joyfully I see them
leaping and splashing
in the lush, green
grasses of the meadow
the blue dolphins!

cresting a wave
in the nearly black night
rim of a moon
rolling against the door
the bucket seems to knock

I'm keeping
my writing window open
something unexpected
and good will enter
through so small a space

pages of  the hearts
we live through
sunrise – sunset's falling stones
walling in a life of skies

trees are moving away
from the mist,
moving into it again
sound of ocean waves
breaking on a sandy shore

the sand dollar's
moon-roundness crumbles
freeing bird bones
cloud boiling into cloud
summer heat climbs aloft

songs within songs
grasses and flowers
flowers and grasses
how to walk softly
in this world . . .

so are you tuned
braced against the moment
hands touching sky
the movement of water
blue becomes a heartbeat

my back is bent
from shoveling snow
in the spring
I'll fly my tiger kite
in a strong wind!

you can't say
how it happened
a passing shower
the rainbow stuck
between sun and shadow

it writes
a kind of music
on the sky
with its twiggy branches –
the winter tupelo

scraps of cloth
nothing big enough
to sew
a rag dolly slips
me back to childhood

the willows gather
in early morning mist
in their swaying branches
the oriole's song
has a tint of gold

a night sea noise
full and turned to milk
moonlight spilled
from sky to shore
gift, symbol and goddess

I leaned my ladder
against a winter oak –
it reached so high
I found
the summer place of rainbows

when I was five
and flew with animal spirits
the need passed
in paths of a rosewood desk
hollyhocks and snapdragons

I give my myself
this piece of white paper
birds fly, fish swim
maybe tomorrow
I will write a poem

January 19, 1999 - March 21, 1999


George Swede
Anita Krumins

Empty pueblo street:
13 roof spouts arch their contents
into the rain

Puddles form
between the cobblestones

The clouds break:
Dogs scavenge among
splintered moons

A crowing rooster
starts a chorus of others

A passing pickup
its sound system blaring
rearranges everything

Standing under the eaves
two drunks begin to sing

The bells for mass ring
old women pass by
holding tight their shawls

A backyard rat darts
into its hole in the wall

The eastern mountains
keep the valley in shadow:
Treetop mangoes glow

The rising sun of the high desert
turns the mud back into dust

Delivery van
at the abarrotes:
Fresh bread the only smell

Whisking sounds
as the women sweep the pavement

For years a stack
of bricks at the corner:
Still not one missing

Columns of rebar in a foundation
left by long-absent workmen

Heat rising:
Like road-kill, the dog asleep
with flies on its eyelids

Clothes laid out to dry
on a barbed wire fence

Under the ceiling fan
a moth with a broken wing
goes round and round

On the mirador, the cactus
cups the last of the rain

Inching up the wall
the dead cockroach -
a swarm of tiny ants its feet

Sun at its brightest
umbrellas out again

A receding blue shimmer
Lake Chapala
shrinks still more in the heat

On a floating island of hyacinths
one white heron

Parade in the plaza
all white—
balloons, wreaths, the tiny coffin

Four wasps starting a nest
in the roof garden laurel

Under the poster
"Save the Lake"
cans of insecticide

Where boats once sailed
cattle graze among fields of corn

Pregnant teenager
slaps the ball of tortilla dough
hand to hand

Sinking sun sharply defines
the western arroyos

The lone light bulb
above the taco stand
shadows a dozen faces

Young couples sit on bare steps
soft murmurs under the bougainvillea

Mountains suddenly backlit
growls of thunder
horses' hooves on the cobblestones

In the jagged lightning bolt
a cloud of gnats

The faces of the
curbside drunks
more deeply wrinkled

The first rain sounds
through the palm fronds

the shopkeeper says,
"Es bueno para el lago"

But tonight’s mud
will be tomorrow’s dust


 Written on August 24, 2003 at 113B Ramon Corona, San Antonio, Tlayacapan, Jalisco, Mexico


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Deadline for your collaborative poems for the next issue is
January 1, 2004

  Poems and comments Copyright © Designated Authors 2003.
Page Copyright©  Jane Reichhold 2003.

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