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Moving Words 2007 Poems

Folk Art

Because the reeds have to be soaked first,
because she'll weave them
in and out for hours, because the tips of the fingers,
exposed to water and reed,
dry out, the skin's oils going into the basket,
what they call folk art, we call
heart's blood, eagle-eye, compass and clock.
In our house, because of this,
we can say our mother's knowledge of making
sits on the table, full of fruit.

-Heather Davis

The Rose Forgets Its Beauty

Drunk on its own scent
head slung
and weeping like a barfly,
the rose sags
over the side of the vase,
shedding petals like tears
into a cradle
of baby's breath.

- Bernadette Geyer

Chocolate on the Wedding Dress

The bride is in the bathroom with the caterer, a cloth, and club soda,
worried that she'll cry and streak her mascara,
matching the smear of chocolate on her dress.
"Almost gone," the caterer soothes as she scrubs the white satin clean.
Back on the dance floor, no one notices
the faint stain of inevitable imperfection.
Except the photographer,
who teaches the bride and groom
to fold their hands over the spot and smile.

- Jacqueline Jules

from "Lilacs"

At three on a moonlit morning, the yard is white with lilacs.
Each snowflake petal glistens. There is no night with lilacs.

Is there a scent more poignant, more graceful in the air?
Freed from cold's antisepsis, the wind takes flight with lilacs...

The poet, sleepless mooncalf, is tired of watching for roses.
He'll dip his pen in purple ink instead, and write with lilacs.

- Miles David Moore

I am the Frisbee

Sun-painted in hues of youth,
I am one with the disk,
my arms as wings,
my hair a rowdy vortex.

The wind is our playground
as we dizzily defy Newton's tedious laws,
answering to no one but the sky,
the air our only witness.

- David Moss

Marking

"Squirrel," you say, showing me a fine-haired brush from India.
"They don't kill the animal, they catch it, take a few hairs."
You dip the tip in red ocher, stroke the back of my neck.
Just this touch and the wind in the pepper trees.

- Judith Turner-Yamamoto