Dew-wet grass glistens under pink morning sun,
and a bee, that liberated prophetess of old,
now silently hovers in the air above, conceiving
of all the truths that are yet to be told.
The full-grown, ripened tranquility lingers
where honeysuckle spills over and blankets
one section of rusty wire fence, half-fallen
to the ground; the grass softly sighs.
The time of longer days has bared its noon,
pure, naked whiteness languorously awaiting a silver
moon that sits high on a coral horizon: Don’t
try to sketch an outline, but let it paint itself.
Empty lots; July’s saccharine kudzu chokes all
that’s in its path as afternoon thunderstorms
spur the vines on to wilder and yet more
uncontrollable growth; autumn will halt the onslaught.
Choruses of ancient lullabies wait in shadows
here, where childhood secrets and open sky
declaim in verse, unsung yet clear, the stories
learned by Devorah when summer’s grass blades bent low.
Before The Wind
soliloquy uprising power of words
they slam, one into the other
tossing echoes virginal sound deflowered
heather-ish whole but sparse
bluing purpling graying
spilling over everything carrying character
and then burning spinning flames yarns
folk tales too they tell secrets floating in empty space
Beginning Midway Through
A cardinal hovers in the garden’s lacy air.
The desk, laden with paper, typewriter and books,
shivers under the machine’s mild drone.
A young father’s image flashes in the dormer; he clutches
his briefcase and his baby as
the postman rides by in his jeep. Wake up!
You’re lying on the beach when you open your
eyes, the antique sunset giving a patina to your blisters,
the pus encrusted like pearls on your cherry-wood
skin. I, too, have slept the afternoon
into obscurity, arising confused at first.
Where were you, if not with me?
I hold out my hand, in a silent Come here
plea. We’re still in love—but this happened
long ago. Over and over in my mind, I review
what I can recall in a desperate effort to reconnect
to that easiness we seemed to find so readily before;
maybe I’m crazy, though—maybe this is all in my head.
Looking out the window, there’s a blur
of red. The cherry-wood desk nestles
in one corner of our home. And, on
the projector screen, you pose with Michael James
in 1958. Even when you’re here, you’re not always with me anymore,
but, at night, I still fall asleep dreaming that our life together is as it was.
Eye Of The Storm
When whispering palms sway in a sustained, even tempo,
and eucalyptus branches crack in a rush of air,
when Red Howlers moan and wail with monkey madness,
and neighborhood dogs bark and bay in eerie ferocity,
when all of the world outside is tinged with gray—
even blood-scarlet sorrel bushes and green vines, grass, trees—
and radiates a pearl-pink afterglow,
then I know a storm approaches—
with torrential tropical gusts and slapping sheets of water,
descending and swirling from a once-cloudless blue sky.
jungle in my backyard—and I
victim of the battle I know
Margaret Adams Birth has previously been published in such journals as Riverrun, Ship of Fools, The New Voices (Trinidad and Tobago), Aldebaran, Atlantic Pacific Press, The Poetry Peddler, Purple Patch (England), White Wall Review (Canada), Green’s Magazine (Canada), Shawnee Silhouette, Mobius, Black River Review, Potpourri, and The Wild Goose Poetry Review; her past work has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.