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spacer.gif   Gertrude Rubin
Posted by : cj on Friday, December 03, 2004 - 09:25 AM
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Poetry:  Click On The Author's Name
NIGHT OF THE DRUIDS 

Who picked the last rose,
and pricked Beauty's finger
twice? Why were the birds
suspended in midflight, the
barking dogs struck dumb?
The West wind declining
to answer, draws its breath
like a cello's dark note.

Once,
while alone in the yard,
someone felt closely
watched. Or overlooked.
And, for reasons unknown,
knew the difference, but
not the words to say it.


TRIO

Let the souL
dance, leap
to your side.

Like a masked
partner, it will
elevate you

and guide
your feathery
descent.
Then, with a
flick of
its wrist

{the circle
of spotlight
narrowing),

it turns
and pivots
the other. The

one still
poised, wing-
less as you.


SURVIVOR

The last hydrangea
I forgot to pick
hangs outside
my kitchen window.

Capped with a
snowy yarmulke,
its shorn head
trembles

whenever I light
two Sabbath candles,
and only one
wick catches.


MEDICAL POEM

I scalpel your X-rayted
brain scan above my
allergy-prone bed.

A massive migraine
erupted after our last
conjugal fracture.

My left ventricle flaps
on the clothesline with
your cancerous wool socks.

You will never know
the pain of an arterio-
sclerotic heart. Or

find the pressure points
of a purple rose that
can't stop hemorrhaging.



LAPSE

Why do I think of famine
in times of plenty–or
imagine your body will vanish,
leaving no imprint on mine?

Why do I conjure up spectres
of those who sleep alone
in shade-darkened rooms?
Look, I am the world's coward,
taught to fear loneliness;
they are the brave.

Yet I watch you,
your face mapped by sleep,
a sea change transforms me–

I am crescent moon,
squinting one eye
at the landscape below.
Hills, bridges, turrets,
grown more beloved. Tonight,
at the turn of my dark cycle.


TO THE MOON

Blindman's white eye,
the gossip's left ear,
punctual intruder–
you tread a deadly
path, always
on target.

Now is the time
to break loose,
live by your wits,
take the advice
of an earth maverick:
defy gravity.

Waiting in the wings,
exposed by degrees,

you hang like a
hard, wet snowball
that missed its
mark. Stuck
in a spoke of the
Sorcerer's wheel.


EMIGRE

You, the alien angel,
awaken to thunderbolts
of alarm, warmed-over
maelstrom for breakfast.
A mirror, its vacant eye
of daylight, confirms
your wound. Stuffing
your tattered plumage
in a frogman's wet suit,
you flop through streets
of gravely swelling ocean.


ADVICE TO A NOVICE GARDENER

When I die, place a cutting of me
in a glass of clear water. Weeks
later, observe a pale-eyed foetus
swimming along the sides. Quickly
unravel its tangle of afterbirth.
Plant it. Watch a shiny green head
puncture the ground, arms jabbing
at the sun. By midsummer, you'll
recognize me–third plant, right:
clotted with leaves and toughening.



SONG OF THE SEVENTH DECADE

Elatedly I feel young
despite my well-lined face,
watching seedlings sprout,
imbued with petaled grace.
Belatedly I feel free,
a playful, giddy clown,
hearing nighthawks squeal
before they nosedive down.

And lately I feel brave
prepared to take a chance,
spying one lone squirrel
perform its highwire dance.


WEATHER FORECAST

Cold makes no sound
a hand is lost

in the snow
traveller's

advisories cloud
the teacups

your heart wrapped
in tinfoil

smokes
like dry ice

caught down the
sink, words

in back of
your throat rise

white against
ruined

sky, then drop
like wind

in a fork of
trees.



ENCORE PERFORMANCE

Autumn arrives with operatic flair.
Pompous as tenors, the emblazoned trees demand center stage. Crimson-caped maples, leaves showy with arias, regale us
while prima donna willows drag their robes
along the marigold-dotted footlights.
Voices hushed, we gaze up at oaks soaring like gilt archways of "Tosca's" cathedral.

Yet, weeks later, when the eloquent elms
are shorn, their foliage snatched by the wind
the way Valkyries reclaim dead men's souls,
are we not grateful for a small reprise–
the fallen leaves we found and carried home,
placing each shape, delicate as brush-stroke,
on white tablecloths–or preserving them
between leaves of Opera anthologies?



 
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