Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Christmas Poems

the sunstruck red
of unpicked apples

A plastic creche
to hold some straw
and the Son of God

after a year in the attic
these gold and silver baubles

Behind the door
behind the wreath
cookies still warm

Snowflakes falling
on my head and on yours . . .
we are not strangers


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Seasonal Haiku

Seasonal Haiku that will appear in Farm Song before my 71st Birthday, I hope.

October moon
the black cat stretches its paws
up up up the pane

Special guest
sunlight slides
into the cherrywood bowl

Email from a friend
I thought I'd lost -

Cloudless sky
70 years of birthday candle smoke


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Carol’s Mother’s Day Wish on Mom’s Birthday

Carol’s Mother’s Day Wish

While raising 10 other children,
three of them born after I came home,
She accomplished Himalayas of laundry, Rocky Mountains of cooking,
and Fruitful Plains of flowery gardens

In the midst of all this activity
She did everything I needed and almost everything I wanted

Because she fed, bathed, and made wrinkle-free beds,
I spent more than 50 years in bed without a pressure sore,
no case of pneumonia, not even a single night in a hospital

I was a reader and she found perfect books
at the library and on the bookmobile
I was a writer and she scribbled my confusing corrections
in crowded margins
I was a poet and she brought me stories
of outdoor experiences
that I could turn into haiku and tanka
I was a bookmaker and she helped me design covers
measure and cut and tape, choose fonts and evaluate colors
She packaged and mailed hundreds of books

She participated in every aspect of my life,
Always with interest and engagement

She was at least half my memory

Now she relaxes on her sunny porch
Great-grandchildren and hummingbirds
swirl by

Happy Mother’s Day
To my amazing
And very dear mother

You gave life to me twice –
once on November 16, 1949
and again day by day starting in the 1950s

With love,

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Weight of Stories - Poems for Mom

Bunny Purington on the Bridge of Flowers, July, 2015

A swirl of high clouds
between the retreating sun
and the frosted earth
My mother folds away the old quilts
that did not save her asters

Blue-painted beanpoles
in the new-planted garden
copper chimes flicker
I relax into the stillness
of growing things

This hepatica
whose freshness lasts for an hour . . .
if left in the woods
I wouldn't have seen it,
wouldn't have seen it wilt

Her sharp knife quick
to peel, core, slice the red apple
- we talk of childhood fears
how I blocked my ears
against the fairy tale

Tipped-over maple tree -
its deep roots released from earth
by too much rain
I also want to end my days
where I have always lived

West wind
shudders the farmhouse
I feast on comfort food
beside the garden catalogs
a kitten plays

By the attic stairs a
pot of rosemary
- at night the house creaks
under the weight of stories
no one ever threw away

   Tanka from Gathering Peace

Thursday, March 7, 2019

March 2019

Early morning in Colrain after the March 5, 2019 snowstorm.
March 5, 2019

Parting words
a window thrown open
to the spring evening

Mauve tulips
the garden shades
from twilight to dusk

Evening stroll
stopped. by the blank of peepers

White picket fence
on both sides

As you can tell, I’m impatient for spring. Farm Song is still a work-in-progress, with no deadline I dare announce.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

January 2019

Black-and-white cows
he opens the barn door
to a sky of stars

So cold so clear . . .
how many steps from here
to Orion

the kitchen table laid
with seed catalogs

Sink-full of dishes
kitchen walls streaked pink
by sunrise
Grandchildren in the farm kitchen, Spring 1998

Winter kitchen -
rereading the newspaper
before it feeds the fire

Snow on the road
on the fields, on the branches . . .
on the cardinal

p.s. "Farm Song" is still a work-in-progress, with more complications and more interruptions than I could have imagined.