20 May 2016

Fragment Friday - Five Poems for May

Spring and green grass to roll in!

The Fox Bead in May

By Hannah Sanghee Park

The kiss is, strictly speaking, a passing
of of   twice: a bead from her mouth to his,
then back, ad nauseam, and the boys who lived
and died for it. The lovely girl amassing

ninety-nine spirits, and in high spirits
for consuming her highest amount. Once
the hundredth boy arrived she starts her hunt
in her haunt, a hill’s field filled with fitting

Artemisia absinthium.
And every day they kissed to swap the bead
and for a month he waned and wans

and when he learned the truth about her tongue,
he downed the bead: her true form a nine-tailed
fox who could have turned human, had he kissed on.



The Logic of Spring

By Alexandria Peary

In another poem, called The Logic of Spring,
        a mechanical drawing of a tree 
that I've passed a 100 times
         on my way to a different problem. 
I glance backwards, and the stack of the day
multiplies, glancing backwards several times, 
the dog-eared corner with the graph paper sky of that morning
        and the logic of spring. 
Right before I wake, I hear the riposte of mean jays (blue dots
        that drag the pink banners of answers off the tree
with words in gold italic latin)
        from the fog pumped in by the machine
set on my lawn. First thing in the morning,
(page numbers in all the dish rags hanging around the sink)
         I part the buttery curtains
to see beyond the doric columns sitting on my porch & the
         hibiscus twig 
that someone has set the stump of such a tree—gray
         smudges and still intact line breaks
with flashing pink splashes— 
outside my house while I slept.
Seems unbearably cruel until
I realize that in the flapping fog I finally hear its questions. 
Are you so easily distracted
         by pieces of a poem 
attached to a tree?
         in which as the situation changes
you catch glimpses of yourself 
         a series of emoticons.




May

By Karen Volkman


In May’s gaud gown and ruby reckoning
the old saw wind repeats a colder thing.
 
Says, you are the bluest body I ever seen.
Says, dance that skeletal startle the way I might.
 
Radius, ulna, a catalogue of flex.
What do you think you’re grabbing
 
with those gray hands? What do you think
you’re hunting, cat-mouth creeling
 
in the mouseless dawn? Pink as meat
in the butcher’s tender grip, white as
 
the opal of a thigh you smut the lie on.
In May’s red ruse and smattered ravishings
 
you one, you two, you three your cruder schemes,
you blanch black lurk and blood the pallid bone
 
and hum scald need where the body says I am
and the rose sighs Touch me, I am dying
 
in the pleatpetal purring of mouthweathered May.
 

Karen Volkman, “May” from Spar. Copyright © 2002 by Karen Volkman. Reprinted by permission of University of Iowa Press. Source: Spar (University of Iowa Press, 2002)



Springtime in the Rockies, Lichen

By Lew Welch

All these years I overlooked them in the
racket of the rest, this
symbiotic splash of plant and fungus feeding
on rock, on sun, a little moisture, air —
tiny acid-factories dissolving
salt from living rocks and
eating them.
 
Here they are, blooming!
Trail rock, talus and scree, all dusted with it:
rust, ivory, brilliant yellow-green, and 
cliffs like murals!
Huge panels streaked and patched, quietly
with shooting-stars and lupine at the base.
 
Closer, with the glass, a city of cups!
Clumps of mushrooms and where do the
plants begin? Why are they doing this?
In this big sky and all around me peaks &
the melting glaciers, why am I made to
kneel and peer at Tiny?
 
These are the stamps of the final envelope.
 
How can the poisons reach them?
In such thin air, how can they care for the
loss of a million breaths?
What, possibly, could make their ground more bare?
 
Let it all die.
 
The hushed globe will wait and wait for
what is now so small and slow to
open it again.
 
As now, indeed, it opens it again, this
scentless velvet,
crumbler-of-the-rocks,
 
this Lichen!
 

Lew Welch, “[I Saw Myself]” from Ring of Bone: Collected Poems of Lew Welch. Copyright © 2012 by Lew Welch. Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books.
Source: Ring of Bone: Collected Poems of Lew Welch (City Lights Books, 2012)



The Burning Kite

By Ouyang Jianghe 
Translated by Austin Woerner
 
 

What a thing it would be, if we all could fly.
But to rise on air does not make you a bird.

I’m sick of the hiss of champagne bubbles.
It’s spring, and everyone’s got something to puke.

The things we puke: flights of stairs,
a skyscraper soaring from the gut,

the bills blow by on the April breeze
followed by flurries of razor blades in May.

It’s true, a free life is made of words.
You can crumple it, toss it in the trash,

or fold it between the bodies of angels, attaining
a permanent address in the sky.

The postman hands you your flight of birds
persisting in the original shape of wind.

Whether they’re winging toward the scissors’ V
or printed and plastered on every wall

or bound and trussed, bamboo frames wound with wire
or sentenced to death by fire

you are, first
and always, ash.

Broken wire, a hurricane at each end.
Fire trucks scream across the earth.

But this blaze is a thing of the air.
Raise your glass higher, toss it up and away.

Few know this kind of dizzy glee:
an empty sky, a pair of burning wings.

2 comments:

Kathleen Cassen Mickelson said...

Nice collection of spring poems here! Thanks to collecting them in one place.

Constance Brewer said...

Just thinking springy thoughts here!