Monday, May 16, 2011

how can the wind with arms all around me

I’m annoyed at the same burdocks,
the same box elders greening, the same yellow rocket
all aglow suddenly now that it’s mid-May,
after months of gray.
How often can I marvel at the cottonwoods’ arch,
the same patch of spreading vetch and bobbing violets?
And then, close by my head,
a violent orange shying,
up into the breezy poplars,
with a syncopated
slurring whistle flies:
tree, deedle dee dee.
And I spy the Oriole returned.
And my heart, sandbag silted,


Osborne once said a hundred pounds would take us to Australia.
I do not know what I need today.
What passage is a hundred pounds?
Osborne was a poet.  Sickly.
He died just off the road.
He lay down
watching the spring trees just budding sticky green and blowing so wildly,
eyes to the vaulted sky~~
and then a fly crossed his face and you knew he was dead.
A Poetic Death.  And I do not want to die.
I ring you up at 3 am in tears,
my emotions too big for my skin,
My thoughts larger than the darkness:
I don’t want to die.

And you say, “You’re not going to die, go back to sleep.”

I rest my matted hair, my hot cheek,
into the shoulder of your voice.


then, I.


  1. The title "how can the wind with arms all around me" comes from a song by Yes: "Heart of the Sunrise".

  2. how to break free and reach that new continent?

    the other day i was saying to robert, just how is it that spring every year, every year the same and yet it seems so god-damned new? look at those tiny poplar leaves, their jolly green. jolly little buggers! as though they'd never been before.

    i love the play between stanzas. the resistance is unexpected for me from you as you are a poet who would travel the seas and yes, lay down to die if need be. and so you take me new places. resistance all over the place. i hope it is not so in your real heart.

    i love this poem. love this title. will give it to no one else, even those that wrote it:)


  3. I wonder if the only way we can not resist this life is to turn ourselves inside out? Somehow then we would have more skin to live with?

    It's just too much, isn't it?

    I love this poem too. What a thought, to be annoyed with spring. And yet, yes, that is just it.

    "The shoulder if your voice" !! You have lovely turns here.

  4. I probably repeat myself, but the girlfriend of jazz pianist Bill Evans said that performance was for him a matter of getting back up onstage and hanging himself on a crucfix of Beauty -- that the drugs just brought him down from the impossibly gorgeous trellis he had woven that night. No wonder the return of spring is terrifying. How can we possibly stand it once again? The second stanza made me think of my brother's death in April 2008 - after hearing the news I drove down to my mother's house to comfort her. Across the street a tabebuia tree was ablaze with yellow blooms that somehow seemed obscene that day. My emotions "too big for my skin," the territory of Death terrifyingly close. Sleep. Everything is perfect now that this song is in place.. - Brendan

  5. Thank you all for your kind comments.
    I've posted this over at FB where it has gotten quite the effusive response, rather unexpectedly.
    This started as just an internal musing, a monologue with myself.
    It felt small, a few throwaway observations.

    Brendan, you remember Dianne? I thought of her style of drawing the reader into her observations, her internal conversation, and her device of taking a recently seen film or book read and sprinkling details from those sources into her own experience. I have just recently finished the BBC mini-series "Wives and Daughters", hence the "Osborne, the poet" business.

    The most important lesson here for me, though, is that I get to write honestly, and I am seen, and it's alright. I can thank the support of you poets of the blogoverse (esp. Erin for being an inspiration for free writing), my Artist's Way group for helping me open up creatively, and Al-Anon for giving me the courage (through ongoing practice) to show up as myself, even in a group of strangers, trusting that I'll be supported.