Mastiff

She walks with quick, little steps,

Arms stiff,

Wooden, as if

Fearful of calamity.

 

Her breasts, however,

Parting the world before her,

They have a life of their own,

And she,

She is walking them,

As she would an unleashed

Mastiff,

Nervously aware

Of the danger they present.

 

 

The Old Ram Rod

I am told,

As I push 70,

That I should show some subtlety,

Some finesse,

Be less obvious,

That it is somehow wrong,

Even unbecoming,

At my age, or any other,

To write of sweet curves

Welcoming thighs,

Glistening lips…

To write of the misdeeds

Of that old, bald-headed rogue,

Who always grins his

You can’t fuck flowers motif.

But,

While that billy still butts,

I’ll give the birds,

And the bees,

And the cigarette trees,

Lovely blossoms waving in the breeze,

And tired old Decency, itself

A bye.

 

I Would Know You

I would know you.

Tho we have never met,

I have dreamed our conjunction.

Only your face I cannot make out,

But, no matter, I would know you.

 

I would know you by your walk,

By the swing of hip and shoulder,

The familiarity of your stride.

 

Would you know me?

Let us say you would not;

You are so much younger.

 

I would watch you write a note,

The same underlining, the same slurs.

I would hold my breath as you read,

As when I see you walk in,

That searching gaze,

 

That sudden smile.

Would you know me?

 

If we should meet and embrace,

Your breath on my ear,

I would kiss your hair, your throat.

 

We would talk of obscure things;

You would laugh, “how alike we are!”

 

Would you know me, then?

 

When we would next embrace,

When we would be face to face,

And if, surprised, we would be mouth to mouth,

 

Would I have the courage, then,

To tell you who I am?

 

 

 

 

 

Blustery

You toss your head, your hair back with a flourish;

One of the charms of a blustery day, that.

 

You said you had lost all power for a while;

I doubted it, but you did mean electrical.

 

I walked my beagle up Mount Tolmie;

It was wicked cold, wind whipping the crest.

 

I could not toss my head, or flourish;

The wind mussed me like a lover,

 

A rough lover, with powerful hands;

Fortunately, I was fully dressed.

 

When I came down, I was almost sad,

Altho, I did feel well ministrated.

 

Someday I will essay a sonnet;

How the wind stroked me breathless.

 

I will show it to you when you next flourish

Your hair.  I doubt you will blush, but,

 

You will smile in that way you have,

And I will think of you losing all power.

 

 

 

 

 

Priests

Balthusian’s first love was nine years old;

All others have been measured against her;

She was taller than he.

 

In the way of children, he did not so much as kiss her.

She went off with a boy taller than she was.

Then she went off with one still taller.

 

She married that one;

She discovered he could not have children.

 

In her disappointment, she at length

Returned to Balthusian.  She said:

 

“What do you think, Balthusian,

Should I have waited?”

 

He realized that she was simply curious;

He hung on her every word,

 

Until he became quite short of breath,

Even tho he was now taller.

 

He loosened his collar,

And did not think of priests.

Balthusian’s Love Song

I have a number of alter-egos.  Balthusian is one of them.

 

            Balthusian’s Love Song

 

You never surfed, or went by freighter;

I never left dripping when I overturned;

We recovered, and thought no more of tulips.

 

All things are erotic by moonlight;

Our encounter was no surprise, then.

Our bodies were polarized.

 

When we had finished I let go the blind;

It rattled like a passing train;

We ignored the scenery over breakfast.

 

I never pressed the shutter, you know.

Of course you do;  I know these things.

If this was a dream, it can recur.

 

I remember the back seat for gum wrappers.

You come to notice such oddments.

We lay together, ordinary as a carpet.

 

We died our little deaths so often,

Our lives were measured out in pomegranates.

 

 

Rhonda Poem 7: Postlude: Yule

This is the final Rhonda poem.  There is no happy ever after…there is only memory.

 

It is over.

And whatever we have done

Is buried in snow, vanished in drift;

Winter is merciful.

 

By the time the thaw reveals the past,

I will be ready to look upon what remains

Without desire,

Without regret;

 

Memory undefiled by mourning.

Rhonda Poem 6: Samhain

We sat in the car outside her house.

She had guests, so I could not go in.

After a time, I switched off the radio,

And we looked out the window

At the full moon and the clear sky.

We dozed.

 

When we awoke, it had snowed;

The windows were covered, the car dark.

As one, we wildly opened our doors,

Stood trembling on opposite sides of the car.

 

That night we kissed a strange kiss;

It would soon be over.

 

When I phoned later, she was out

She did not return my call.

 

We have met since,

But do not speak of our days.

 

Snow, snow on the windshield…

It still saddens.

Rhonda Poem 5: Lugnasad

“All this is ours”

She waved at the hills of grain.

We stood in the farm yard, ringed by poplars,

(All the same height, planted as a wind-break)

Magpies squawked overhead;

We walked to the barn, and waved to her parents.

 

“No, no saddle.”

She haltered the little buckskin, mounted.

I clambered up behind her.

We walked out of the yard, into the fields.

The house disappeared behind a rise.

I let my grip on her waist slip upward;

I cupped a breast.

 

She flailed back, laughing as I fell off.

She turned, sat sidesaddle, took off her tee-shirt,

Then gracefully, whipped off the rest,

Tossing her clothes to me.

“Lead him,” she said, and passed me the reins.

Carrying her clothes, I walked into the grain.

 

I looked back.

She sat tall, golden skin glowing,

Her red-blonde hair floating in the sun–

She seemed to grow from the ripening wheat.

 

“Will he stay?” I asked.

“Yes.”  She slid from the horse.

 

As I lay on her, I said:

“This ought to be in spring, in the furrows,

For a good harvest.”

She squeezed my sides;

“Now,” she said, “for gratitude.”

“Gratitude?  For what?”

“You fool,” she said

And hugged.

 

Rhonda Poem 4: Midsummer

In the afternoon, there is a dazzle

A shimmer in which I walk in trust, blind

To the edge of the stream-cut slash,

Where the tall trees block the sun again,

And the brook lies in sudden clarity.

 

Because it has but recently emerged from light,

It is pristine, it carries nothing, lightly

Run its waves, like children.

 

It moves gently amid the wreck of spring–

Stranded logs, bits of this ‘n’ that from far upstream,

All abandoned to the winds along the banks,

Roots of willow and poplar and spruce,

Trees deep undermined, in a slow topple

Frozen over the water in the heat of summer.

 

Dragonflies in impossible blues and greens

Dart from bank to bank, skimming the waves

On nearly invisible wings.

 

Above, the applause of aspen leaves

In the unfelt breeze.  A single leaf

Falls, spinning, spinning, then caught

And borne off on the breast of the water.

 

For no reason, I raise my arms;

The air is cool as lips.

 

The sunlight flits golden on the waves,

And the water itself seems to float;

It runs through my fingers like hair.

 

The air is cool as lips;

The water, light as hair.

 

Beneath the trees, the heavy scent of humus,

Soft and rich, alive, dappled with sunlight

And violets and the small flowers of wild strawberries.

 

She  and I once lay here together,

And when she stood, I held her hands

When she would brush herself.

She smiled, stained with green and brown,

A sheen of sweat between her breasts,

Her hair hung with leaves and petals,

Transfigured by the sun.

 

We stood in the stream,

And washed away each other,

And this place.

 

But the air is still cool as lips,

The water light as hair,

And the earth soft as memory.