Sunday, June 27, 2010

Poem of the Week #130

Making Time

In a large ceramic bowl,
preferably one that belonged
to your grandmother,
cream one half pound of softened
eons with a cup and three quarters
of finely granulated nanoseconds.

Set the mixture aside.
Sift days, weeks, and months
into a smaller bowl.

In the smallest bowl,
place your fluids: the years.
Add one teaspoon of vanilla
and one of orange or lemon zest.
Add whatever childhood memories
you have handy in the cupboard.

(Memories from your teen years
can add heft. But don’t overdo it.
You want your time light and airy,
not weighted down by teen angst.)

Alternate adding the dry days
and the wet years to the creamed eons
that have been waiting patiently for you
throughout the middle of your life.

Mix vigorously. Then pour your time
into a greased and floured bundt pan.
Bake in an oven hotter than the sun,
smaller than a bread box.

Baking times will vary.
A toothpick or sharp knife inserted
in the center of time should come out clean.

For best results,
do absolutely nothing but breathe;
be nothing, but kind. Then,
time will make itself. The past
and the future will drop away
and there will be only now.
And you will have more
than enough to savor
forever and ever.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Poem of the Week #129

Snail, Bird, and Worm

"Snail, snail, glister me forward,

Bird, soft-sigh me home,
Worm, be with me.
This is my hard time."
T. Roethke

Snail, bird, and worm,
be my consorts, architects
of my tomorrow.

Guide me down
your trails of light and air,
open me to earth and sky.

This time, I will listen
not with my ears
but with my pores.

Sanctify my very life,
this ground of me
you care for.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Poem of the Week #128

Brother Rat

Jamal’s final days
were painful to watch
and it crossed my mind
more than once
that maybe I should
bite the bullet
and suffocate him, but
euthanasia is not my style.
Instead, I told him I loved him
whenever I had to pass by the cage.
Did this help him or me?
God only knows.

Jamal had a long tail
and spent his short life
tumbling merrily through cedar.
He is survived by his devoted brother,
Krusty, who liked to beat the crap
out of him at 2 a.m. Together,
they ate through two wooden houses
for the sheer joy of chewing.
Krusty was always plumper, stronger.
Near the end, he offered himself
as a brotherly death bed; a warm ratty
comforter, a beating heart.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Poem of the Week #127

Mother’s Lament

There are days when a glance
from a teddy bear can unhinge me;

when an old photo or another birthday
gone past serve to remind me of everything
we have lost in the shuffle of our years;

when I see that the crow returns
to the fence post because he wants
one of the baby bunnies nursing in the bramble—
(the mother appeared yesterday as I drank

my morning coffee. She checked me out.
She learned I won’t hurt her or the babies.)
I know other things will happen though,

things I can’t control: weaning,
separation, nightfall, crows.

Lisa Vihos