Thursday, April 30, 2015

Poetry Season

For a fast month, we harvest poems,
April-ripe and urgently bursting,
our baskets stretched with letters,
with words, with finely worked lines.
We gather our treasures together,
share them, mix them, lick our fingers
as we linger on the long notes,
rejoicing in the juice of songs.
Around us, the ground catches
the leaves, the snatches of sound, the seeds
that fall, almost unnoticed, from our pens,
and then — and then! — they sprout,
the sharp green words come shooting out,
and verse begins again.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

And As I Walk

I walk, and as I walk, the bridge appears,
a single step, a single inch, but just
enough to keep me going through my fears,
to keep me going as I learn to trust.
With surer step, the surer base I find,
a faster pace, the faster comes my track.
But timid going, timid heart and mind,
draws the long proceeding trail back.
Beneath my feet, beneath my sight there lies
a vast, unlighted, fastly falling dark.
I raise my eyes, my rising, lightning eyes
and follow the far rising, lightning spark
that calls me, draws me, onward, upward, lo!
to that far shore, where God calls me to go.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Feijoas

Feijoas magically appear
in buckets, bags and bins,
and when you think you’ve used them all,
some more come pouring in.
They go in trifles, cakes and crumbles,
we eat them raw unguarded,
two bags’ worth went to chutney — still,
we’ve more than when we started!

Monday, April 27, 2015

New Zealand Rain

The rain in
New Zealand
falls
surprisingly
downward.

The ground becomes
somehow
inexplicably
wetter
rather than dry.

This can only mean
one
thing:

Spring has Fallen.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Ambushed

Throughout the fall,
and then the winter,
I had nary a cold nor a sniffle.
Germs fled in despair,
powerless before my immune system.

When April came,
I let down my guard,
failing to account for that fact that
in New Zealand,
it would suddenly be fall again.

They were waiting for me.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Poem of Poems

(with apologies to pretty much everyone)

O, where are the snows of yesteryear,
     Alone and palely loitering?
Once upon a midnight drear,
     They changed their state with kings.

I caught this morning morning's minion,
     She walks in beauty like the night.
And everything happens that can't be done,
     To rage against the light.

I am the music maker,
     And captain of my soul.
I take the road less traveled by:
     The grave is not it’s goal.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
     And Hope is the thing with feathers.
Death I think is no parenthesis,
     But I go on forever.

I wandered lonely as a cloud,
     And went to Innisfree,
My head is bloody but unbowed,
     Death kindly stopped for me.

* * * (additional verse that didn’t quite seem to fit) * * *

Today we have naming of parts,
     But I know not which to prefer.
O, never say that I was false of heart,
     By the shining Big-Sea-Water.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Driving on the Left

Recite the mantra constantly: drive on the left,
(Please hold. Your brain has temporarily been blocked.)
The roundabouts can put your signals to the test,
I’m glad the pedals for the gas and brake aren’t swapped,

(Please hold. Your brain has temporarily been blocked.)
Watch approaching traffic coming from the right,
I’m glad the pedals for the gas and brake aren’t swapped,
Convert the speed limit — kilometers to miles,

Watch approaching traffic coming from the right,
Police have zero tolerance on speeding here,
Convert the speed limit — kilometers to miles,
Though mostly things are not as bad as I had feared,

Police have zero tolerance on speeding here,
At each intersection, windshield wipers wave,
Though mostly things are not as bad as I had feared,
I think we’ll possibly complete this trip alive,

At each intersection, windshield wipers wave,
The roundabouts can put your signals to the test,
I think we’ll possibly complete this trip alive,
Recite the mantra constantly: drive on the left!