[lit-ideas] Re: Sunday Poem

  • From: david ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 1 Jan 2006 01:12:25 -0800

One day I'll be able to make words mean more,
to squeeze and twist fruit to the encore,
but until then the rind's zest is it,
the finish, the whole, the bow,
except pulp.

Nor pussy, nor weeping,
our gift willow is a dragon's claw,
salix matsudana "Tortuosa,"
growing twisted because--
in the intelligent design of gardens,
a crooked way trumps the straight.

Wind, willow and cold,
got together for an ancient dance.
Through the night,
it left the willow stripped,
naked, leafless,
a Merlin's stick,
green about the trunk,
rooted between death and resurrection.

There followed a flock of finches,
light-breasted, black-capped,
old-fashioned judges,
stopping for lunch where magnetism and desire direct.

And then E.R. Dr. S. came down the mountain,
stretched around the edges.
I made for her a new dish, of my own invent,
ginger and butter and marmalade
glaze on seared tuna,
the rawness in the middle
exactly to her taste.

But she ate little,
instead sat at our piano,
played and made a rare host of mistakes.

It turned out her FEMA friend
had become
a physician suicide.

And that is that,
and this is this,
the twisted willow,
closes the show.

David Ritchie
Portland, Oregon

Other related posts: