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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Gratitude

I passed you in the mall;

You were pushing a stroller;

You held a small boy by the hand.

 

I caught your eye,

Though I didn’t mean to,

Or, perhaps,

It was the other way round.

 

     So, in an instant,

     All our history passed before me:

     Our casual meeting…

     I needed a place to sit;

     You had an empty chair…

     Our first quiet talk,

     Sorting each other out…

     You are not merely being polite;

     I am not a serial killer…

     The first time we really looked,

     And felt the space between dissolve,

     First kiss, first embrace,

     First clumsy tangling,

     Laughing curses at clothing,

     Our first night, knowing

     It was the first,

     First child,

     And here I am,

     Not caring what comes next,

     As long as it is with you.

 

All this in a moment,

A moment in a busy mall,

A moment like a wildflower

Stumbled across in a thatch of weeds,

And passed,

With only gratitude to mark the moment.

 

 

    

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.

Boulevard

It’s Saturday, and the coffee shop

Is overrun with young girls,

And this is not even a school day.

 

It is most confusing, strange.

 

In the background, someone is singing:

Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

 

Balthusian has no broken dreams;

He harbours no dreams at all.

 

All he has is a coffee.

He refuses to notice the young girls;

He studiedly ignores them;  he says,

“They are of no interest to me.”

He pays them absolutely no attention.

 

Don’t kid yourself, Balthusian!

You think more of them, as you ignore them

Than if you recalled them, summoned them

As if from a broken dream,

 

And this

Is not even a boulevard!

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 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.

Rhonda Poem 3: Beltane

She met me at the door,

My arms were full of daffodils.

I watched her rummage for a vase.

“Here, this one will do.”

She held an Okanagan wines carafe.

 

She set it on the bedside table,

And drew me down with her.

As we lay, she glanced at the table.

“Look, ” she said, “the label!”

‘Summerland Riesling’.

She laughed.

The Summerland was the celtic afterlife.

Daffodils in Summerland…what symmetry!”

She said, “Springtime to winter…

It’s an omen, my friend.”

 

I already felt cold.

Must it be?”  I asked.

 

Trust me,” she whispered.

 

Out of the corner of my eye

The blossoms shone like the sun

All the afternoon.

 

 

 

Rhonda Poem 2: At Imbolc

Falling in love….what a interesting way of putting it.  Someone once wrote that love gives wings to your heart…you fly!  you soar!  Is not love in its beginning exultant?  And if a love ends…and most things do end…is not that the time of falling? So, in the beginning you do fall in love, as a fortress to a conqueror, but, remember, love, in both its beginning and its ending, is merciless.

Rhonda Poem 2:  At Imbolc

I met her at a party

Where they scattered you among strangers,

Pulled apart every whichway, confused,

Desperately searching for recognizing.

She was standing alone, watching.

A small smile played about her mouth;

I caught her eye, from across the room.

I dodged my way to her.

And then the room contracted

And the talk became a background murmur,

Like a distant brook,

Like a far-off wind,

The lights were on us alone.

All I could find to say was

“I’ve fallen in love.”

Even then, she did not answer, or ever.

She just took my hand and said:

“Let’s go somewhere.”

And when we parted, later that evening,

We did not arrange to meet,

But in the noontime light or midnight

We would call to each other;

We never thought to deny the summons.