Sunrise, 30 December 2020 Now is the hour of the small birds storming into the cypress tops, which do not bend as they do under the weight of magpies and ravens. A murmuration of morning steam rises off the cement factory. Disguised as fast-moving clouds, they power up the valley; an insubstantial mother tugging at the hand of her sleepy puff of a child, running off into nothing. Now the sun snaps across the mountains an incandescent ribbon of rose-lipped pink. Clouds, scattered across the measureless pale-blue tile of sky, explode into tulip petals, pink swans, holy doves alight.
a follow up poem to “White Skirt on the Train”
Old Women and Old Men at the Ferry Stop
(The old women)
We remember the harem of the walled citrus grove;
Old women, how like apple trees we gather now:
Pink, heavy with stories of
some familiar odd thing —
mimosa trees, a seagull’s wing.
The wind rattles branch and bone
creases in our skin drawn dry
the feathered marks begin
(The old men)
A grove of old men gathers at the dock
live oak, pin oak;
Backs curved, stilted up
Worn down with the effort of standing
Dry twig of a laugh cracks wry.
The empty and chaotic air,
that passing through the trumpet sounds:
Ferry outbound, ferry in
Grebes baste across the swanless surface
21 March 2020, Lombardia, Italia
the world has stopped
crowned with silence.
On the occasion of the municipality posting a letter asking people to pay their cemetery dues
Boxes of disremembered bones
expatriated into/out of locus
the heartbreak of a January
Her eyes slide to the side
like a Sienese saint
Painted by the brothers who died in the plague
back when there were 100 stories to tell
while bodies rotted,
left where they fell.
Escape into a place where
we can’t smell
we can’t feel
we can’t fear
But she’s convinced it’s coming:
the lost weekend
of the barrel.
Her hair is like a flag,
like an olive branch,
distinguished by its colour,
(unique but the same,
as so many others),
flapping in the wind
This evening’s fresh clouds burst, Scattering across the asphalt a handful of rain’s unseasonable black confetti.
A jug of wine,
I feed among the lilies of this resplendent sky.
One year when the awakened plane trees
find themselves struck yellow in the night,
there will be nothing left of me but
a memory in your hands as they pull
wet laundry from the spun drum or
open the window’s case –
inviting October’s last, warm breath
to communicate the dust
between one room
by Bonnie McClellan
This was first posted in May of 2013.