Scattered Thoughts (22 January)

Just fill the page with worded thoughts
Let them scatter, dandruff-wild or
Dandelion dust up-whipped in nature’s sigh.
Make no sudden move or they might startle
And take flight, cautious pigeons
Abandoning their inch-patient search
Among the weeds and wispy grasses.
Trap sounds in ink, blue and black,
Making waves into cursive font:
Here a short dialogue between two dogs, unseen,
There a child wails and shouts.
You wonder whether you should intervene,
Which would mean leaving this page
Where your words might be better heard.
Then you recall these noises come
From other days, earlier nights
Having bitten their way into memory.
From arrival to departure with rapid pace
An agonising evaporation of scenes refuses
To condense as droplets in any case.
Pressing on might lead to harder thoughts,
To questions existential and unanswerable;
For now the weight is slowly raised,
The anchor begins to rewind itself.
Still it strikes you:
They had first to lift the guillotine’s blade
To perform its kitchen magic.

Morning, January (8-9 January)

I go out with the morning light
of summer, in dawn’s breath
to feel dew on dandelion limbs
tickle bare ankles while
winding rose stems studded
with beads, translucent
pearls of water hang still.

At this moment, when nature steals
away from image to metaphor in mind
I do not know that this is a day
where people will claim to be wordless,
where I will be shocked at not being
shocked by the grey predictability:
hatred, ideology, aggression, death
again drawn together
as sure as beauty and peace.

Like these wandering thoughts
this poem does not end
with answers.

A New Year’s List (3 January)

Call her what you will
Those logos were fair warning
For the demands she will now sweat forth
An insatiable lust distilled into this
Thirsty, greasy, slick layer of want.

For starters, please, she’ll take
Adoring looks and admirers
(disposable and temporary are fine
for the coming months),
Flowers and chocolates
(weekly, from the above,
though other souvenirs of their
unrequited affection will do)
A diamond ring
(for the engagement, obviously,
with the words “I love you”
tattooed inside the band,
no, better: outside),
A new boyfriend next year
(the order seems amiss, somehow,
but the old one had to be let go
to make room for new season stock).

But for now, sixteen, she cannot waste
A chance for future planning so to
Graduate into a bejeweled life where
Glittering smiles and envy-stoking laughs
Catch light on shining ornaments of bliss:
Marble, leather, stainless steel,
She will grow accustomed to smooth surfaces
While making inventories of rival abodes
As she perspires from more than heat.

Surely, though, the eventual, inevitable
Coupling will lead her friends to chatter
(To her, of her, but mostly at the
very few gatherings she will miss)
Will give her more jealous pleasure,
Undiluted by adjectival comparison:
Bigger, better, pricier,

Between demands she pauses
Air, water
Then continues her decree,
“I want…”