Sunday, July 25, 2010

Poem of the Week #134

Please check out the current online issue of Verse Wisconsin, for great poetry, reviews, and articles. My Poem of the Week #54 (January 11, 2009), "The Assistant" appears there as well.

I Got Up Early (For B.)

I got up early and went for a run
down through the artists’ colony—
which is like a leper colony,
only prettier—where all the streets
are named for colors:
ochre, alizarine, madder.

Being early, no one stirred.
Maybe they had been up late,
carousing. Isn’t that what artists do?
Actually, every artist I know practices
early to bed, early to rise.

Judging by the looks of the colony,
these artists like to collect junk
and pile it up in sheds.
They are also growing algae
in their pond. No outward sign
of art. I ran through the mangrove

and came out on Elm Street,
so much more pedestrian.
I ran until I passed Harvard
and Yale and came to Wentworth.
I went as far as I could go,

until my foot began to hurt.
I limped home, took a nap
in the yellow house at the corner
of Viridian and Van Gogh
with five angel figurines
guarding my bed.

No matter your opinion of angels or artists,
I suggest you wake up early and run.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Poem of the Week #133

First Toast (for Lee)

A certain comfort food
(warm and buttery)

eaten while standing
by a kitchen window

spread lightly with
something sweet

strawberry jam
during the week

orange marmalade
if it is Sunday.

I may have moved
but as long as I have

a loaf of bread, some butter,
a knife, and a toaster,

this gift remains
(steadfast and constant)

crusty but forgiving;
toasted old friend.

Lisa Vihos


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Poem of the Week #132

My father moved through dooms of love – after e e cummings

My father moved through dooms of love
dooms of love on ragged days.
Cornered by the hungry wheel,
he spun the wisdom of his meal
and sprang a sparrow for a song.

My father arched through birds of sell
birds of sell in scaled flight
absent from the shaking tree
he sailed on a paper sea
and took to reading stars at night.

My father drew through storms of day
storms of day that clipped the sky
stirred the air with silver spoon
brought back tales of hollow moon
and kept me from the final fail.

My father bent through dreads of woe
dreads of woe on purple wings
beating hard the wooden floor
softly held behind the door
waking paler images of kings.

My father shook the tree of sky
and let the flower blossom by
the castle well, the sparrow song.
My father worked the earth above
and made his way through dooms of love.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Poem of the Week #131

Last Will and Testament

I bequeath my steak knives
to all the men I have ever loved.
May they divide them evenly.

I donate my ratty sheets and towels
to my neighbors to serve as shrouds.
My dryer lint goes to the fairies for their cathedrals.

The hand-scrawled missives intended
for my first love go to the smart, handsome
attorney in Miracle on 34th Street.

(He’ll know what to do with them.)
To the sun, I give my bed warmer.
My sprinkler, I give to the rain.

My garbage cans go to the trash man
and any rope I have lying around here
goes to the one minding the gallows.

Undone to-do lists and scraps of paper
marked by unidentified phone numbers
go into bottles to be cast out to sea.

Dead batteries go to the Energizer Bunny
and worn extension cords go to a place
where electricity has yet to be invented.

Burnt-out light bulbs go to the ghost
of Thomas Alva Edison and frayed laces
go to the old woman who lived in a shoe.

My pail goes to Jack,
my broken crown to Jill,
and my fleece as white as snow

goes to Mary who sits by her little lamb
and knits me a fine sweater; a cardigan
to clothe me in the next life.

Lisa Vihos