Sunday, December 23, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Between Lime and Rust (from the journal)

Snow light moves
through the wood
in the warm evening.
Practicing for later.  11-3-12

Making a valley through the cloud,
the sun decided to join our day.
We all breathe the light.  11-3-12

Too cold for wren to sit still
on the maple trunk.
A burst of feathers in the light.  11-6-12

This maple’s last leaves
are yellow, holding on
like lost fog.  11-6-12

Many feet move through
the early woods—
deer feet stepping high.  11-6-12

The only red left now in the southern
wood is the reflection in the window—
my red sweater.  11-7-12

Redbird flies under
blue jay’s shout.
A cold wind.  11-7-12

Most of morning light
comes from honeysuckle’s
new yellow leaves.  11-8-12

Brown wood, gray sky
softened by lingering orange leaves
moving one by one
in the early winter wind.  11-8-12

Leaf by leaf
the wood lets the sun
in for its winter rest.  11-11-12

Is it the same woodpecker
I chased off the house
last week?  He gives me
the same dirty look.  11-11-12

The shelf of yellow holds
light caught from a watery sun.
Brown oak leaves nose their way through.  11-12-12

A thousand points of counterpoint
between lime and rust—
myrtle’s autumn song
plays on our grateful eyes.  11-12-12

Orange and yellow,
not any orange and yellow,
but November’s orange and yellow
wet with rain.  11-13-12

Deep in the rain-damp wood,
hickory’s last golden leaves
waving goodbye.  11-13-12

The gray clouds moved down to see today,
to see honeysuckle’s brilliant
lime light.  11-13-12

Redbird comes to see if
the person in the window is still me.
It is.  I’m watching winter from the window
and her part is still red.  11-14-12

The sun is in the middle of the wood.
How can that be?  I’m in the middle of the wood.
Does the light breathe?  It does.
It breathes the sweet morning breeze.  11-14-12

Honeysuckle’s yellow leaves
take up the forest call.
Above, dogwood’s single rusty note.  11-14-12

Honeysuckle doesn’t mind the
gray morning sun.
She’s her own yellow.  11-20-12

Blue jay in the morning.
Loud enough
for himself.  11-21-12

Cold air.
The high sun
moves through
still leaves.  11-21-12

Falling orange oak leaves
catch the sun
all the way down.  11-21-12

No help for it.
Against the red orange leaves,
it’s a violet sky.  11-21-12

A backlit woods.
Tall black trunks
ground the shimmering eye.  11-22-13

A quiet girl reading on the couch—
the aardwolf and all the others
capture all her breath, her reading breath.
Quietly.  11-22-12

A flood of blue—
morning clouds,
morning sky.
Yellow honeysuckle’s breath
brought close to my face.
Left red—the last berries.  11-24-12

Anna Hubbard

Unmoved by the winter wind—
a memory.   Moving light resting on her
eyes, on her hands, her moving hands.  11-24-12

Broken up and scattered—
winter light, sparkling
in the hollies, the inkberries,
on my eyelashes.  11-26-12

11540 Blix Street, North Hollywood

The place of memories is gone.
The chimney, the roof,
the narrow place where she sat between
the sink and the stove.
The sink gone, too, the woman
washing the dishes, the light from
the window falling down her wrinkled face.
The window gone, too.
All gone.  11-26-12


My grandfather said it would never come down
in an earthquake and it never did, not in any
of the earthquakes.  It was the bulldozer
that brought it down, brought it down easily.  11-26-12

My Dark Room

Chain link fence on three sides, like a prison, 
my bedroom painted dark brown,
the windows too high to see out of,
a closet packed with discarded toys,
but in the near corner,
a desk, my desk, my typewriter, an anchor to
a future I couldn’t see, not ever.
And on my desk, a Japanese painted porcelain pig,
free from a bank on the other side of the
salted valley, round and full of promise and pennies,
the only light in my dark room.  11-26-12

Lime and rust.
The only warmth
under a gray, grizzled sky.  11-27-12

Thinned by cold,
honeysuckles hold
the last of summer’s light.  11-27-12

The same color as winter wood,
squirrel shivers her tail just before her leap,
her leap through gray air
as quiet as the rain.  11-27-12

Morning light.
The last leaves fall down through
the opened wood.  11-29-12

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Locking Place

"Ruby under the willow."  Pen and ink with watercolor, 10 x 6" 

Illustration from The Locking Place by Kathy Walden Kaplan and Kate Oliver.   This middle-grade novel will be coming out in January, 2013 from MAB Books. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Vagaries of Choice (from the journal)

There are no words
for creeper’s fall color—
as rich now as the harvest moon.  10-2-12

Mint tea
the old memory—
Café Central in the rain,
like today.
Wet mocassins on my cold feet.  10-2-12

The long rain.
All the saucers are full,
all the spider webs frosted.  10-3-12

What’s a poem?
A breath full of morning mist
touched by crickets, all the little crickets.  10-3-12

The river runs through the cloud
sitting on the ground, on us,
the finest rain.  10-3-12

On a morning
between summer and fall
crickets go on about it.  10-4-12

Poke condensing to yellow and maroon,
creeper to rose,
the star tree to orange.
All smaller, one color at a time.  10-4-12

Issa Connection (for David Lanoue)

All the single moments
of one  man’s life
blown here—
dark brush marks on paper,
translated for my morning breath.  10-4-12

As pale as moonlight
bladdernut turns
toward sleep.  10-5-12

The old woman closed the door,
refused the book, shut the blinds.
Going slowly by herself, alone.
Let it be like a soap bubble breaking,
all the air free now,
free to be.  10-5-12

Winter came overnight,
cold, on a wind that rests here,
quietly in the rain.  10-7-12

Nothing moves in the wood—
the birds, the leaves, the air—
all are waiting for what comes next.  10-7-12

The old path wrapped in bark,
stiff now, from decisions,
supporting horizontal
vagaries of choice, for light,
with buds as flexible
as breath.   10-8-12

One red leaf
in the dogwood sapling
lights the dark wood.  10-8-12

Across the wood
orange leaves rise
like froth on a green wave.  10-9-12

One wren
in the quiet morning
speaks.  She speaks
about the cold.  10-9-12

A pile of papers
on the square table.
A book almost finished.  10-9-12

A shadow across the wood.
It’s squirrel up on the woodpile,
gaining ground.  10-10-12

Blue jay climbs the maple.
Orange leaves fall with
each step.  10-10-12

The wooded light
moves and doesn’t move
across autumn breath
not yet cold.  10-13-12

This morning light is different from all the others—
this light comes from honeysuckle’s yellow leaves,
from bladdernut’s yellow leaves,
from maple’s yellow leaves.
A new light with only yesterday’s woods
to reflect it.  10-15-12

Red on the salmon
three maple leaves.  10-15-12

Suddenly rain comes
out of a yellow-gray sky.
Everywhere in the woods
squirrels whip their tails.  10-15-12

Poke’s dried berries
float on yellow and maroon branches—
a color we wait all year for.  10-15-12

Star tree glows from inside.
It’s her inner orange
showing through.  10-15-12

It’s a special weight dogwood has,
her orange leaves holding the eye,
the heart.  10-15-12

Under the singing redbird
sassafras shows her
first yellow leaves.  10-17-12

Sunlight poppies ring the art building.
My pockets fill with their
thin brown seeds.  10-17-12

Who will know?
No one will know
when the snowbirds
invert, black for white.  10-17-12

From the far woods
hickory looks in—
green breathing to gold.  10-17-12

Herringboned between summer and fall,
between green and yellow—
the lost wild olive.  10-18-12

The yellow wood
comes closer wearing
blue jay in its lapel.  10-19-12

In the rain—
yellow warmth, advancing.
Blue jay
in the bare hickory
tips her tail.  10-19-12

They threw down their shoes
those two little girls did,
running now down the path
with feet flying to the side,
the liquid giggles
coming down.  10-20-12

Curling forward slowly,
along the brown back,
the white tail in a spot of sun
is all I see of the deer, head down,
pawing up the partridge berry.  10-20-12

With the sun from behind,
hickory’s golden leaves
are all we can see.  10-20-12

That color,
that orange dogwood color,
and myrtle’s red
next to the cinnamon wren
smell like dusty maple leaves
curling up on the ground.  10-25-12

Yellow all the way to Baltimore,
the yellow road,
the yellow Eskimo, the bronze,
the stolen one.  10-25-12

The pink Sieboldii’s
open.  10-25-12

Where was I walking
yesterday when I heard catbird?
No catbirds here now.  10-25-12

The great white storm whirled through.
Yet, still here—
the yellow and orange wood.  10-30-12

Peace now.
Behind the green honeysuckle,
hickory’s golden self is alight
under gray light.  10-30-12

Sea green, cinnamon, gold—
autumn’s other colors threaded through
rain-darkened trunks.  10-31-12

The cloud moved.
The light moved.
Hickory’s empty branches are silver now
in the dry raining light.  10-31-12

It’s like painting,
loose, with colors,
and the other things that shine in the light,
in the dark,
moving things that sigh
with enough breath
sharing mine. 10-31-12