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December Poems 2016

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1.

This winter I’m seeing the naked trees

And remembering I will be sixty

Years old in November but I’m lucky

Because I don’t feel my age and because

 

Of my exercise I’m as spry as a

Teenager but I have wrinkles about

My eyes and I have memories also

And as I’m driving and seeing the bare

 

Branches of the trees overhanging the

Street I remember the cathedrals in

England I saw when I was a student

And realize that the stone tracery

 

In those churches are meant to represent

The graceful lines of trees in the winter.

 

I’m sometimes

surprised by

eyesight

memory

and insight.

 

 

2.

Nothing is like an onrushing cold for

Grabbing attention as I felt it in

My throat in my voice when I tried to speak

Especially in my nose which began

 

To run and mostly in my noggin which

Became seasick and then there were the times

When I rose from bed once the congestion

Had taken hold and my back and shoulders

 

Felt sore my head throbbed as I went to the

Rest room but there is a lighter side to

Getting sick as it took me out of my

Daily routine separating me from

 

The hamster wheel of doing the same things

Day after day exertion without thought.

 

Recovery’s not

quite like returning from a

vacation but it

is a rediscovery

of marvelous energy.

3.

A word carries a meaning and a string

Of words make a sentence carrying a

More composed meaning making a point that

May be worth remembering and saying

 

Hippopotamus makes me wonder why

This pell-mell collection of syllables

Is stuck to that creature because the word

Hippopotamus can’t be said primly

 

Or lackadaisily without losing

Dignity and if you’re serious when

You say hippopotamus you have to

Use a neutral inflection and also

 

The cadence should be a bit quicker than

An ordinary word — so be careful.

 

Usually I

don’t have to enunciate

hippopotamus

or also rhinoceros —

But when I do I’m ready.

 

4.

Imagine a crystal glass of water

Holding the glass and seeing the water

Lifting swallowing and following it

In your mouth throat and chest and isn’t the

 

Cool water transparent and isn’t it

The taste of no taste but doesn’t it taste

Like nourishment like the essence of health

And while attending to the water it’s

 

Easy to take a breath to draw the air

In your nostrils feel it in your throat and

Enjoy the swelling of the chest and the

Dissipation of the breath through your nose —

 

The simple rhythms of life resemble

The wind in the leaves the waves on the sand.

 

I need to know words

because I need a worthy

direction but then

I want to go further and

live in the place of no words.

 

5.

I’m grateful for the asphalt because if

My driveway were gravel I’d be blowing

It away bit by bit and I’m happy

To have my sturdy snow blower because

 

No matter how prodigious the dump it

Plods along spewing the snow to the side

And I can swivel the direction of

The spray by turning a handle because

 

I don’t want to blow into a fierce wind

Because my face would get crusted with the

Snow and as long as the temperature

Stays well below freezing I’ll be OK

 

Because if the air is around freezing

The snow blower clogs and then I shovel.

 

It’s not much fun

thrusting away with

a loaded shovel

with snow sticking

to the metal.

 

6.

When the wind blows through the bare branches of

The trees on a morning in December

When there’s a chill rising from the snow on

The ground when the sky’s predominately

 

Cloudy with scattered stretches of blue there’s

A bleakness about the moment as the

Trees epitomize the absence of the

Sun as in stark nakedness they’re swaying

 

In a fierce wind that’s not leavened with the

Soothing sound of the leaves and yet there’s a

Warmth in my heart and a kind of austere

Beauty about this day that reminds me the

 

Sun’s not really absent life endures and

I discover fortitude in winter.

 

Suddenly there’s a

Pileated woodpecker

on the cottonwood

Striking the tree with its beak —

its scarlet head is lovely.

Read 515 times Last modified on Friday, 03 November 2017 10:15
Barry MacDonald

Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.

www.stcroixreview.com
More in this category: « A Tribute to Terry J. Kohler
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