FOUR POEMS BY LAURA GLENN

 

 

Autumn Bus Ride

Leafy trees color leafless ones.

A man rakes a cloud.

 

Images from the left window

reflect on the window to my right:

 

Old houses float across lawns

to root in trees.

 

An elderly couple walks through a field,

then through hills and sky.

 

 

 

A horse flies over a silo.

Cars glide on a large pond—tailed by a fume of starlings.

 

A bicyclist wheels through a rippling stone wall.

A submerged house drifts: some windows open.

 

Yellow evergreens scrub into a tunnel.

Where are we going?

 

The sky turns brick.

A man walks his dog through it.

 

 

 

New storefronts slide over old-fashioned ones.

A man and a woman stride through each other, take no notice.

 

An extra lane of cars drives the wrong way.

Wildflowers dot the grass: car and traffic lights.

 

Extraordinary: The ordinary meets the ordinary.

Tracks railroad up houses like ladders,

 

a cat curled on one rung—rescued!

Clouds are lost in clouds.

 

 

 

Fields add green to green: greenest

where both sides meet.

 

The grass changes its hue.

Imperiled by illusions,

 

a woman steps over a verdant cliff

into the blue.

 

What could she be thinking?

Ah: The road lofts up beneath her.

 

 

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Juggled

Just when I find that still space

in the center,

you can hear a pin crash!

 

Lately, I’ve been feeling like pins

whirling through the air.

Up we go again.

 

Who’s the juggler?

Why are sparklers added?

 

A shower of fiery angels

spark from heads of pins,

circle like fireworks

 

in daylight.

More pins drop.

 

Douse the burning grass

in a shower of water.

Please, do not add knives . . .

 

So many selves flying flaming

—faster, faster—

spinning till they disappear,

 

as if I didn’t know

what’s coming:

extinguish me anew.

 

Sometimes a force almost

beyond me helps to pick me

up in the air again;

 

sometimes, for a long moment,

everything stays there.

 

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Elegy for the Luminous

After centuries,

pink roses remain dewy—a few weighed down

by headiness. You’d like to inhale the golden-orange freesias: not a scent

 

of turpentine. Crocuses open beaklike, snowdrops droop,

colors swirl up Rembrandt tulips,

persimmon lilies arc

 

backward in the vase aswarm with flowers

of every season—combinations

no gardener ever saw.

 

     In your garden one loveliness replaces another.

     Sometimes shoots drown in their roots in an eyesore

     patch of earth you can’t paint over.

 

    Winter gessoes your canvas white.

    You sketch on it with a stick

    and dream of seeds—their hidden pigment. Eternally pink

 

petals collect at the bottom

of this Dutch Still Life,

where grape hyacinths spike up, and higher—star delphiniums.

 

Poised leaflike on a stem, the subtle butterfly’s beyond delirium.

Despite the museum window’s darkening landscape,

despite the pithy insights on the painting’s placard,

 

you don’t notice—farther down the wall—

the framed timepiece, mirror, skull,

 

but admire the lushness of the peony,

the creamy yellow strokes of composite,

the unblinking delft verbena.

 

The lizard

lolling in the shadow, deepened by age,

takes in the viewer who, forgetting the reaper, gleans

 

the moment, and wanting all bounty, all seasons

at once, loses sight

of the heavy frame.

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Depth Perception

Last year,

walking this path,

wind blew through a pine tree—

for an instant I saw the ghost of the tree

made entirely of pollen, and shaped like a pine,

float through the air.

 

Something about this evening light:

distant streetlights cast long reflections

across the lake—shrouded, amber-tinted,

and shaped like upright bodies

bandaged by the light

like mummies,

though I also think: Ganges.

 

“It’s the dead,” I say

and start to cry.

“Father,” I whisper.

I start to connect

to one of the reflections

—they’re like cocoons—

as if something might emerge,

and my father and I might continue

things said and left unsaid,

heard and not heard.

 

Down the lake

of time, the reflections appear

in sequence—staggered—and stagnant

for the moment, like the gone.

 

My father loved travel—

India, Egypt, everywhere.

Where are you going now,

brave voyager?

 

As solid looking as the lamp lights’ reflections,

reflections of car lights

move fast,

as if there’s no one here

they need to stop and see.

 

I head home on my walk,

treading soft needles to humus.

My father, with his gift

for making something

of life, now is light on water: illumined;

 

swaddled, like a mummy,

about to start a new life . . .

and some part of me can’t stop entertaining

thoughts I don’t believe in.

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Acknowledgment

 

“Autumn Bus Ride” appeared in Literal Latté and in I Can’t Say I’m Lost; “Juggled” appeared in When the Ice Melts; “Elegy for the Luminous” appeared in Like a Fragile Index of the World and I Can’t Say I’m Lost; and “Depth Perception” appeared in From the Finger Lakes: A Poetry Anthology,  Healing Muse, and in When the Ice Melts.

© 2017 Laura Glenn                                                                                                                                                                                              lauraglenn95@gmail.com

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