Maybe you've noticed something by now. How could you not? It concerns the ilk of poet to which I, humble blogger in your immateriosphere, belong. If, that is, I belong at all. But membership is another issue, not for today. For today, I confess the readily apparent. I am of a lowly sort of poet. Much out of favor in modernity, to say nothing (except this) of post-modernity. But there are those who remain on the outskirts--simple, rustic folk we are. We luxuriate in decay; we wallow in wet-clay. A deer in the distance through sycamore and pine: we stop and watch. And watch. And only turn away when the deer does, never for boredom or haste. A sky turns lavender in remnant light: we return to lavender associations--other sunsets, other instances of loss and deep, deep longing, other bracings for night. We are the nature poets. Untimely? Yes. Unsophisticated? Often. Unnecessary? Perhaps. But we survive. On the outskirts. In the woods. Unshowered, unshaved, unkempt. Eyes wide in wonder, peeled for fear of missing something lovely or so densely ugly only loveliness remains.
In my years of writing poetry, I have regularly tried my bulksome hand at more delicate poetry. More refined poetry. Or poetry with more chutzpah. More damn-it-all verve. And at times, I still try. I see what's being published in fancy journals and I try to emulate. To see if I can. Can I be the sort of poet who dresses in his Sunday best? Can I be the sort whose mortarboard cap and tassel seem permanently donned? My pride says yes, of course. Surely I am qualified. But in the end I fail. And for a while I am sad. Woebegone and pitiful.
Then I spot the deer's white tail--distant but indeed. And I watch and watch. Until it turns to leave. Or until the sky turns lavender and I am transported to a place where I belong. Which, fortunately, is right where I am. I am a nature poet.
I say all of that as introduction to this little number I wrote yesterday. It's still rough around the edges, but you've also probably noticed by now that that is how my poems usually remain.
March again, again greeted warmly.
Birdfeeder rocks on its wire, nodding,
Empty. Birdsong: Halloo, it’s March again.
Knock, knock—the flame-crested pecker.
March, come in. Please do.
It brings wine and early flowers—house-
Warming. Brown-yellow grasses,
Days numbered, sulk in pear-tree shadows.
Smokewhitebloom stench. Pear trees.
Lovely and sour. March. Not quite
Spring. A petal on the lip. Tongue-tipped.
Today’s lesson is flesh.
How to greet it warmly, when
To eat it madly. Birdsong: March,
How do? How do you do? Food
For the rocking feeder. Finches
Await. The squirrel awaits. Summer
Awaits. Spring, come in. Please do.
February fronts, hot on cold,
Acorn and sweet-gum ball,
Lingering, last leaves.
Way-made for purple clover tufts.
Way-made for ample rain. Tomorrow’s lesson
Is flesh, continued. A lip on the petal.
Finger-tipped tongue. How and when?
March, how do? Please do
Come in. Birdsong again, house-warming.