Sunday, September 28, 2008

Poem of the Week #39

Advice Dyslexic

Straighten right and up fly.
Tide high in morning,
and broke for go.

Lamp the lights
and harvest the gather.
Let no unturned go stone.

Hearth the sweep
and bread the butter.
Be neighbor to your good.

Then, let no island be a man
and avoid making molehills
out of mountains. Beware

the teapot in a tempest,
and remember, people living
in glass stones should not throw houses.

Take yourself with a salt of grain,
for there is nothing sun
under the new.

Up wake and give day
for the thanks. Fandango
the dance and go peace in forth.

Tread earth over this good lightly.

Lisa Vihos

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Poem of the Week #38

They Wait

There are poems out there. I’ve felt them
pushing up against the gates, trying to escape.
Their voices rumble just below the surface

of sound. You can hear them singing
softly in the language of your mother.
Now and then, one tumbles over the transom,

makes its way onto the page—a crumb
from your lunch box or a torn snapshot
blown by the wind and lying on the ground.

There are poems in here. You find them
in the bottom of your pocket, now or later,
crushed petals made right by a father’s hand.

Some of them bloom within minutes, but some
have been forming since before the ice age.
They wait, these poems, to unfurl like one of those

little foam dinosaurs in a capsule that you drop
in the bathtub. You watch as the gel casing melts
and the squishy behemoth emerges. You watch

as it steps onto the smooth, shiny island of your knee.
An entire kingdom there awaits this porous herald,
awaits the creature’s fine voice and marvelous decree.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Poem of the Week #37


This morning, I stood on the bluff, early,
looked down at the great lake and the light
twinkling on the surface. I thought at first
it was a jeweled path laid just for me.
I marveled at the sun’s bright display,
then saw I had misjudged the exchange.
As much as I was in love with the lake,
the lake was actually in love with me—
sweaty, old , and tired as I may be.
It had mistaken me for a young starlet;
leaned toward me with a hundred flashes,
eager to capture what smile I might offer.
I turned then from the cameras to start my day,
gladly accepting the lake’s admiration.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Poem of the Week #36


I stand five foot one and three quarters
in bare feet and sport a pronounced
thickening through the midsection that no
sit-ups can touch. I’ve been compared to Frida
Kahlo, Paula Abdul, and Natalie Wood in my day.
At 48, I am still young in some circles. I face
my laptop in the coffee house, surrounded
by youth. They do not see me as one of them.
These days, they come pierced and tattooed,
their grins awash in the glow of cell phones,
but otherwise, they look the same as ever;
one suspiciously resembling my first boyfriend.

Apparently, I am old. I look in the mirror and I’m
astounded by bifocals and thinning, steel gray hair.
Don’t even talk to me about L’Oreal or Nice ‘n Easy,
because there must be some mistake. You see,
I’m still that girl in a halter top, short shorts
and flip flops on a summer night in 1972
at the Dairy Queen on Woodward Avenue
posing with my girlfriends and collecting
the wolf whistles of boys in muscle shirts
sailing by in white Mustangs. My hair then
was thick as a milk shake and dark as night.
Regretfully, I admit, I miss being ogled.

Lisa Vihos