Sunday, November 30, 2008

Poem of the Week #48

You Dreamed I Dreamed

You dreamed
I was knocked unconscious
in a sledding mishap.

You brought me in
and laid me out
to revive me by the fire.

We were surrounded,
you report, by doll-sized
hearth chairs

and all our friends
were present
to bring me back.

But I would not wake up,
so happy was I to be
asleep inside your dream.

First, I climbed
a multi-colored staircase;
its broad steps,

I myself had painted.
Then, I ran the length
of a football field

as goal posts
sailed towards me,
passing merrily overhead.

I floated
at the bottom of the sea,
caressed by seaweed.

I waded
in a shallow pool;
was blessed by a holy man.

At last, I came to rest
upon a Persian rug,
where we both woke up,

two travelers glad to be
together with a cup of tea,
telling stories by the fire.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Poem of the Week #47

Two Houses

Your house is a thinking house.
The lights are on all night.
The bookshelves make a fine argument,
and even the doorknobs cogitate.

Your house is a thinking house.
Ideas are its bricks and thought
its mortar. Let no one enter
who is lacking in logic

for this house will put him to the test:
quadratic equations in the kitchen
semantics on the sunporch
biology in the bedroom.

My house is a feeling house.
The wood beneath my feet
cries when I step, the windows
turn their mirrored faces to the moon.

My house is a feeling house.
It smells like sage and sausage
and the curtains hold the songs
of yesteryear between their folds.

The desk is inscribed with my letters,
the ones I never had the nerve to send.
The banister recalls a thousand touches,
and the hall closet, an old felt hat.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Poem of the Week #46


To be and not to be.
That is the answer.

Whether it is ever noble to fight
or just let go to put aright

all that has been tossed and churned
upon your troubled sea.

The question rubs and leaves a burn,
a stain upon the mind, my friend.

But should you cause your own demise,
you're nothing but an end

and will have only missed a bit
of fortune’s outrage thus,

for slings and arrows fly
no matter who or what.

Better then, to greet the day
with the faith of a blind man

groping for his cup. Take action
when and where you must,

and go instead the road
where one good turn leads you

to another and another
until you find the place

where you might die, then wake
to dream the day. A place

where you might lay your shuffled head,
and find there one who lies beside you

night to night, and coil to coil,
unwinds you, mortal, for a while,

helps you to remember and then forget
all that time lays dead and bare

and brings you fresh to brink of day,
a traveler, back from anywhere.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Poem of the Week #45

Strike the Midnight Bell

Strike the midnight bell at noon.
Let its ringing rouse the moon
and sun from slumber.

On this day, let rice cook itself.
Leave brooms to their sweeping.
Forget about doors. Go through roofs,

through windows. Be healed
and hoist your bed upon your back,
but leave no footprint.

On this day, let last be first,
let first be somewhere in the middle.
Let no one be last.

Strike the midnight bell at noon.
Let knowing be not knowing.
Let stars do their shining.

Like the sound of one hand clapping,
tap others lightly, as God taps you;
you, the one hand.

Then, when a tree falls in the forest,
be there—wherever you are—to cradle
the earth when it shakes.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Poem of the Week #44

Hike in the Woods

We three mothers trudge up
the leaf strewn path. We stoop
to collect ruby-red leaves, share them
with each other like treasure.
We walk to collect ourselves.

We flex our tree trunk calves,
feel our hips sway beneath us,
hips that have held onto men,
held up these children
who now spirit past us.

We enumerate our aches and pains
and the aches and pains of our husbands.
There are pitfalls and ledges ahead.
Changes are coming and we want to weep,
but the children won’t let us.

They zoom past, sweater-clad bullets,
shot over rocks and the roots of trees
shouting “move out of the way adults!”
They fly past and we are
displaced goddess mothers

with sticks, stones, and feathers
stuffed in our pockets; the keepers
of water bottles and granola bars.
Once, they couldn’t live without us.
Now we are mostly in their way.

Like the autumn trees screaming
their yearly goodbyes, we intend
to go down in a blaze of glory,
hanging onto our vitality until the last.
We cannot explain how this works,
but we are not even close to dead.

Lisa Vihos