Thursday, April 24, 2014

telephone pole fence at Couchwood - PL
I'm on the neighbor's side in "Mending Wall."
He needs to show the bound'ries of his place
to let the other know how soon a pall
can fall when acreage lines are breached. A case
in point--from my perspective: privet grew
on my place undeterred. The neighbor pled
with me to let her cut the brush. I knew
that Queen Ann's Lace live there and shook my head.
Her partner didn't get the word and cleared
my hedge and vegetation fence. Was I
enraged! I promptly stomped net door and leered.
I yelled, "That barrier of hedge was my
attempt to stop encroachments. From now on ..."
But back to Frost. The older neighbor stacked
his rocks and listened, unimpressed. A yawn
perhaps, a step, then his reply, which lacked
a change of heart. "Good fences make good neigh ..."
Our poet shows the man still strong enough
to lift two stones at once. Unswayed, we'd say,
by logic of the orchard man, he rubbed
rough, calloused hands together, knowing well
his father's reasons for a wall. His plan:
no change. Not now. Not ever. He can't tell
the man to keep his distance. Fences can.
[PL, Honorable Mention, Lucidity Retreat, 2012,
published in April in the Ozarks, 2012]

Thursday, April 17, 2014


As I slipped through the pantry door,
you stood before
me, face to face:
a quick embrace,
a smile. You whispered, "Patience now;
someday, somehow. . . ."
Despite the risk,
we dared to kiss.
Then, passing to the drawing room,
I left the bloom
of love behind
for none to find.
PL, from delicious fatigue, 1992

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Three poems on quilting

[from Google images] 

      ---from Macheski's "Quilt Stories"
I. The Quilting Party ( a Minute form)
Deaf Hephzibah sits down to quilt,
   her head atilt,
   and tries to hear
   with her good ear.
Young Phoebe says, I'll piece some blocks..."
   "You'll twist your locks?"
"...the lover's chain."
    " awful pain."
"So how's your husband this hot day?"
   "I know I'm gray."
"John's sawing wood?"
 "I'm feeling good."
II. Memories (a Cameo)
scraps of calico,
remnants of bright copper cushions
from Mother's
easy chair; dancing-school ginghams,
the rich silk I bought myself--
III. He CAN quilt! ( a Pensee)
allowance to try quilting.
(White thread on dark cloth--easier
to rip out)... His good stitching stays!
[PL, published in Old-Millpond Anthology, 2004]