The Innisfree Poetry Journal
by Laura Manuelidis
I call them Indian stars
that flash in the sand:
Stars that drip down kernels
on dune grass.
No, I have no name like Alden
Standish, Bradford or English,
No skin that is truly fair;
No hands that can be disentangled
But I have come to rescue you
From your cold-hot graveyard
You are dark as the redness of this autumn moon
I move with your thumping rhythms
Each time my feet are planted on your soil
and feel your emaciated hand digging for seed—
So I become drunk as the flowering maize you seek
On this hill I take you, my pathfinder
As my Rebel Red
Against the gray green
Dusty miller, Bayberry dune.
Like you in the night I turn to silver fire.
Like you, I am loyal as forgotten America.
Like you, my spirit is washed
But not quelled beside this stealthy bay.
Dog eared sea's
Out again today, wagging its tail
Listening to shore
Learning to receive foam's
Animated, cold nose
Or what the clam
Slipped between two curtained rims
Smiling with shadows of low tide
As if old claw could dig up sand
To find lost reef, anemones
Where once dreamed fishAnd so crawled Man
Who rails at the edge of every wake
Where the exuberant, untamed cur
But never fully sleeps
Upon its patient, generous watch.
Rooming House, Kyoto
Fine lines appeared as her eyes
Sped their tinsel through the antechamber.
On the shelf she smiled in a photo
beside another self: her husband.
She told me he was kind:
I saw it in her look, the loss.
Outside a geisha, new with split plum coif1
Paused by the door:
"No time, today, to paint."
So we stepped back through an emptied space
Except for the scuffed formica tables where she taught
Something exquisite: Unblemished paper.
"Calligraphy is easy if you breathe
as poetry—Deep in. Then out."
The numerals of lines
Aligned in perfect order
Then flowed, and stretched the black.
My paint dripped novice red.
It chopped the air between my strokes.
"The wind is good" she said.
(But the heart—I knew—misshapen).
Copyright 2006-2012 by Cook Communication