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