Monthly Archives: August 2012

Recursive

Opening her head revealed the surprise
of an identical layer just inside
a bodice with lace
under the red scarf
tied ’round her face

Something was said, as she sat in this guise
of deep thought -or prayer- as an aside
a bodice of lace.
Under the red scarf
tied ’round her face

Words that she spread – invoking replies
from wanton purveyors of what could betide
a bodice of lace
under the red scarf
tied ’round her face

And so they were shed -tears- not too unwise
the removal of delicate items decried
a bodice of lace
under the red scarf
tied ’round her face.

Standards (a villanelle)

The piano chord was out of tune,
and during All the Things You Are
lovers kissed in the smoky room.

The singer’s skills I could not impugn
Yet on The Coast of Malabar,
The piano chord was out of tune.

The night was lit with a gibbous moon.
When you wish upon a star,
lovers kissed in the smoky room.

Melodies to which couples spoon.
Makes no difference who you are,
the piano chord was out of tune.

Embraceable you, the ladies swoon
Glasses set on the polished bar,
lovers kissed in the smoky room

The songs, they ended far too soon
I left the player a pourboire.
The piano chord was out of tune,
lovers kissed in the smoky room.

Postcard, January 1778

To my dearest one at home,

My limbs are cold and
the wind has scolded,
bitter nights of snow and ice.

The men, they huddle
’round the coal scuttle,
hoping flames will scourge the night.

From wint’ry Valley Forge,
Your Loving Husband, George

My dearest General,

Answering the latest message that you wrote,
Please use your thickest woollen coat
I cannot send you coal or fuel for flame.
I write my heart to you to use as same.

Remember, I shall see you in the Spring
When snow has melted, and the robins sing.
Until then, keep your warmth in heart,
as proof of strength and hope to start.

With all my love and deep affection,
your loving Martha Washington.

Balance

She folded the paper in a square,
neatly creased,
with each corner aligned.

Between the pressed fiber
are words formed
with her graphite pencil.

Each upward stroke and slanted loop
contains the leavings,
slags and powder,
pressed and fluidized
by the friction
of her fair hand.

Overlapped and crossing
lines connect, curve
and rise to embrace the next,

Yearning a lover’s symmetry.

Each ellipsis becomes
a more breathless desire
than the one before.