Where shall I set my listening chair?
In the oak wood behind my house
where hemlocks stand and pines blow?
In the slightest breeze they wave their leaves
and needles as if in greeting. Through rain
snow, sun and ice, rooted in place
they live and die, making more beautiful
that one place, and that is enough, I believe.
We all know the snow is coming
forthwith, when we will hunker down
in cave, in house, in cold cellar.
Like dried hydrangeas and goldenrod,
all in our rooms, we’ll await the spring,
when re-seeded with life, we’ll emerge
into the fervent light.
Let the book fall open where it will.
There, your direction for the day.
Deaths listed on the left.
On the right, the title page:
The New Testament
begins here today as
The Renewed Testament.
From this day forward
what you write will be
for better, for worse
for richer, for poorer
in sickness and in health
my life being lived as a woman’s
life is lived on the planet now.
A cardinal rule of spelling is i before e
except after c. Historically a follower
of rules, with spelling no exception,
I had always misspelled sieze.
It looked right but it wasn’t until
my daughter’s epilepsy broke the spell
of that rule as it applied to seize or seizure––
that it would never ever qualify
as inadvertent oversight again.
Lift up your hands, your empty hands
and pray for the starving,
Your heart emptied of prayer, now
pick up the pen in your empty hand
and write a check to address hunger’s pain.
On Sunday, April 2, 2017, from 2-4 p.m., I will be reading from my first published collection of poems, The North End, at Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester, MA. There will be a Q. and A. in addition to the reading, and books will be available for purchase and signing.
The store is located at 65 James Street. For information, call the store at 508-796-5613.
The north wind turns its pockets
inside out and rain becomes snow,
blown with hurricane force, flung
hurly-burly against the pane
and unwinding over the fields
in a full-throated howl. I hear
the chuckle of March, like Lucy
with her football. She’s fooled
Charlie Brown once again.