The Cardinals

For the second time since we’ve lived in this house, cardinals made a nest in the mountain laurel.

Inspired by Kristine O’Connell George’s book of poems titled Hummingbird Nest, I’ve written a few of my own haiku about our cardinals. I didn’t notice every detail, so it’s an incomplete narrative.

April 22

cardinal in the nest

safe in the mountain laurel—

plans for motherhood

April 24

Mama cardinal sits

on her nest in pouring rain

all day—never blinks

April 28

“Some birds are people

watchers,” says Tony Hoagland.

Mama Cardinal is.

May 1

Male cardinal busy

back and forth—female sits tight

unmoving, umoved

May 4

three baby bird mouths

open, parents flit for food —

We watch from inside

May 5

Papa Cardinal feeds

gaping baby mouths and Mama,

who feeds chicks also

May 7

baby cardinal pokes

out his fuzzy head—does not

see the nesting snail

May 8

quietly, oh so

quietly, pull up the blinds—

Mama Cardinal’s there

Almost Mother’s Day

through thunderstorms, winds

(damaging), hail, tornado—

Mama Cardinal sits

May 10

baby cardinal stands

gray and fluffy in the nest—

“I’m self-sufficient!”

May 12

Cardinal family pecks

the grass and then flies away—

the nets is empty

The black hole

at the center of the galaxy consumed

my husband’s sock, stole

the name of the book—you know, the one

that changed my life, took the maple

in the backyard, the house on the corner

It appears to be eating our grass. I blame

the black hole for absconding with his memory,

with her brilliant idea when she sneezed.

The pages of my journal creak as I search

for the poem about the daisy

(or was it amaryllis), words drawn

from ordinary dust

star dust left

over from the supernova

that started it all

I Spy Yellow

I Spy Yellow

all colors and descriptions from A Is for Azure by L.L. Barkat, illustrated by Donna Z. Falcone

you are a Brass-petaled field

a Jasmine coil

a Xanthic mix

sometimes I hear your Yellow hello

you are tucked in a Red bed for gold

you hide in plain sight in Kiwi 

and Vermillion 

and Umber

and Silver

even White 

in the corners of Purple

along a Navy trail

on the far edge of an Iceberg stream

you are nowhere to be found in Fuchsia

I spy you

in a Cranberry twirl

and a Denim blue sea

perhaps that is you on the margins of an Orange flame

in the back of a Midnight terrain — a bulb blooming bright

until morning’s Tangerine sun

An Easy Way to Write Poetry–Journal!

Published January 18, 2019

‘Revenge’

Revenge

is juvenile

sic ’em with a poem

get the last word

in rhyme, attempt ragtime

say it slant

leave love

‘Reinata Caridorada’

Reinata Caridorada

 

hot sunset steals the gay light

among once-wildflowers dead from drought

where oak and cedar meet — small birds

 
glean. We grab

phones, snap males sporting black eyeliner

females flashing off-the-shoulder wingbars.

 

A dozen endangered yellow faces

black throats white bellies

Warblers of charity

 

‘Crepe Myrtles’

Crepe Myrtles

 

The technology of these perennials astounds me,

accustomed to trees that never turn and grass that turns

too soon. My blooms lag behind

these sentinels of sidewalk.

If I could resist my mountain nature

I’d stand tall in the summer sun

croon hot pink.

‘No Sale’

No Sale

 

I cannot find the correct vendor

the one that sells the right thing to say

I looked in the restless crowd

looked early in the cave at the edge of the sky

expanded my search through summer

since the desired saying does not seem to be for sale

not today

I take the first train I see

exercise my right to be wrong

say the first word that stands up

says Hi

‘The solution is always’

core.

 

Basic planks

like, Do you need

 a sandwich? a nap?

 

Breathing

Paying attention

Gratitude and grit

 

Routine and serendipity

Holding yourself in an upright push-up

for a solid minute

 

then pushing back into a child’s pose

for the next

I believe, help my unbelief

 

This morning is 9 degrees cooler

than yesterday and the redbud

sprouts leaves

‘I’m Afraid My Raincoat Was Out Dancing All Night’

The inspiration for this poem is Lianne Mercer, who described with great delight her new red raincoat from Lands’ End.

 

I’m Afraid My Raincoat Was Out Dancing All Night

 

(the moon was full).

If it had been a sensible brown or black or gray or even navy, no one

would have noticed. But it was red,

the fire engine red of a children’s storybook.

My red raincoat danced

against the creeping drought,

flapped like flopping raindrops, twirled like swirling thunderstorms.

 

This has happened before.

 

I’ve had to retrieve my raincoat from many the scene of a dancing

crime. Our relationship is fraught. I want

it to wait quietly in the closet. It wants

to scare up some precipitation.

Neither approach increases atmospheric moisture.

 

But today

 

when I went outside before dawn to get the paper, it was wet

with dew. I left the news dripping in the driveway

put on my red raincoat

and together we danced out the door.