Sunday, May 30, 2010

Poem of the Week #126

In the Garden of Me


In the garden of me there is rich dirt
and an organized row of leafy greens.

There is the rope trellis to which I hook sticky,
spiral tendrils of sweet peas. There is lusty basil

and bright lemon verbena that has taken over
one entire end of me. There are weeds—

oh my goodness—are there weeds!
I pull what I can; leave the rest.


In the garden of me there is a large sand patch.
I think one year I made edamame work there.

My strawberries have never taken and my tomatoes—
unless cherry—are always sweet home to slugs. But,

I am learning to grow that which thrives best
in the soil I have been given.

With regular attention, my bush beans seem happy.
My arugula rocks.


If I go a little ways out from the vegetable bed
I come to that flowery tangle, that place

I could get lost for a lifetime of aromatic Sundays.
Under my tree, I lie in cool grass and inhale green.

I pluck blue bits from above for my basket. That
is the ground where sky and earth meet and find

a place to rest; a place where hummingbirds sleep
deep in the bower of my chest.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Poem of the Week #125

How I Got My Wings

They began
as an annoying itch
between my shoulder blades,
running along the scapula
like poison ivy
turned pins and needles
turned porcupine quills.
They instigated an irritation
so profound I had to drink
myself to sleep each night;
a half bottle of cabernet
per side. I was beside myself
with grief over a wide array
of losses over a long trail
of years and tears.
Tears, I had shed
by the bucket.

But one day
the itch was gone.
I awoke with a feather
tickling my nose. I realized
my own wings caressed
my face like the hands
of a phantom lover
who wanted me blessed,
wanted to tease me awake
and surprise me
with a gift. The gift
to fly up out of the pain
and let the earth shift
at the drop of a hat
or the flap of a wing;
like going airborne
in a dream.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Poem of the Week #124

In Retrospect

I am glad
I did not stoop to pick up
the perfectly formed crescent
of a dog’s toe nail—dark at the base,
pale at its point—lying in the middle
of the sidewalk in the pre-dawn dimness
of my morning stroll. You don’t know
where that nail has been
I said.

Ten paces further up the road,
I came upon another discarded treasure;
same coloration, but this one smeared
into the revelation of its true nature:
not dog nail, but duck turd.
Aha! I said.

While up ahead, Mr. Mallard
and his wife waddled across
my neighbor’s lawn
like they owned the place,
doing their morning duty.
Stopping here and there
to bequeath their bounty,
unaware the confused
human following
in their wake.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Poem of the Week #123

Six Haiku for Mothers

Mothers do not cry
over spilled milk. A smart one
hands you a dish rag.

A mother stands back.
She, the small wind behind you,
always breathing love.

Mothers crave flowers
brought first by small hands, later
sent from far away.

Mothers ask questions.
The answers do not matter,
only the telling.

Mothers lose it (now
and then) when least expected.
They need mothers too.

Only mothers know
how it feels to split open,
bring forth a world.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Poem of the Week #122

Theory Overheard

I am late for class
and I dash past
two small boys

who fidget
in the hallway of the Y
by the racquetball courts.

Their conversation
slows me. They discuss
the mechanics of elimination.

I hear, It melts.
Your poop turns into pee
and comes out your penis

I hear giggles, an affirmation,
and then another voice asks
Do you poop when you die?

As I round the corner,
I slow for the reply:
Of course you do.
But it comes out dust.

Lisa Vihos