Sunday, March 28, 2010

Poem of the Week #117

The Queen

In the airport security line,
a small child peeks at me
over her daddy's shoulder.
He holds her in his arms
and she holds her hands
on each side of his neck
as though to steady his head.
She grounds herself, holding
her Rock of Gibraltor.

It is a gesture that loves
the thing it holds
though also has the power
to someday break it.

But for now,
her gaze so assured,
her gesture so natural.
What else are a daughter's hands
but magnets to the face
of the first man she loves?
If anyone joined me in noticing her,
we would have to bow.
She would command us awake,
saying without words,

Care for all things,
as I care for this one
and know the true meaning
of home, land, security.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Poem of the Week #116

It's Been So Long

since I've travelled by plane. Four years?
Standing in line with my fellow humans--
potential terroritsts all--from the smallest
of the small to the frailest grandmother.

Everyone knows the drill,
removing their shoes on cue,
a minor humiliation in the name
of homeland security.

A dapper young businessman
on his cellphone, reaches down
with his free hand, unties
his Bruno Maglis.

An Asian woman in too-tight jeans
wobbles, then steadies herself
on the stanchion to remove stiletto,
knee-high, black boots.

A small girl in Hanna Anderson prints
casually flips off her huaraches.
I want to lean over,
kiss her tiny feet, say,

Darling girl,
surely no one could imagine
that you conceal jellied explosives
in the leather thin soles of your shoes?

But this is 2010 and she, less than seven.
For her, removing shoes in the airport
is no big deal. For her, this is just one more
wacky adventure on the way to Disneyland.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Poem of the Week #115

Walt Asks

Fatiguers of hamstrings, did you feel me strain
while still afoot upon the road? Did you feel
my sinews work like pulleys on my course?

Carriers of water, what is the secret of your
warm depths, and why do you forget to swallow?
Do you remember when I leapt over you?

Throwers of pearls, can you see that swine
are everywhere, and how easy it is to lose sight
of the one true prize?

Wrinklers of bedsheets, can't you feel
that death follows life follows death
and that in between them
is the journey like this open road
that unfolds across the blanket of time?

Fellers of trees, how is it that you ever fail?
The tree falls away, no matter what you do or don't do.
Stand back, make space for the trunk.

Tenders of vines, do you know that the body
is dense and wants only to return to earth? The body
is clay waiting to be spun into a vessel of use.

Lowerers down of coffins,
did you hear me call your names?
Did you hear me give thanks
for the day you dropped me
into the dark earth like a seed;
the day I first fell in love with worms?

Strummers of mandolins,
can you sing me about the Soul
and her melancholy, the constant note
in life's chord? She is filled with no body,
but if you stop to listen,
you will hear her sing.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Poem of the Week #114


Being dead is not so
bad. Life offers worse things.
Face it. We come we go.
Leave the frame to decay.
Peel skin and hair away.
Rise up on wings.

When you walk past me now
you do not see my face.
You do not touch my brow.
I had to leave this world
my eager soul unfurled,
found a new place.

Still I hover near you
your hand, I gladly caress.
These feelings. Are they true
if there is not a body
(as in arm, flank, or knee)
nor heart to mess?

Dead is dead, I am told.
Yet cold and numb implore.
Something touched, warm and bold,
pulls at my formless bliss.
A new delicious kiss.
I still want more.

Lisa Vihos