A sampling from THE UNDERSIDES OF LEAVES

A sampling from THE UNDERSIDES OF LEAVES

June Morning

Sunlit room:
a breeze thumbs through
loose papers on the desk.
Shadows of poplars swim slowly on the carpet.
Small lakes on the eastern plains
drink the sky’s blue
and reflections of eagles hunt in the depths.
Here, the dreaming grass
flutters in its sleep.
The steady blackbird chatter spouts
out of the flowers.
On days like this
some men long for a God to praise; others
doze in the nameless mountains of the body.

*****

Snake Eyes

The suburban dwellings darken,
windows full of clouds in which

sharp tongues of lightning flick.
From airless closets children

take down their games. Rain
stutters and lisps on the wide

clean drives, while in each
house a child’s fist flies up,

clutching a boredom that rattles
quietly, like colliding dice.

*****

Belief

for James Wright

The lake is a dark
wound in the earth: you
lean forward, kneeling,
to bathe your hand.

*****

Invocation

The sun’s milk
spills on the sky
and sparrows rocket
up for a taste.
Reaching out over

water, branches
nod in their dreams
or mine, bowed
by the downy
heads of unborn

children disguised
as peaches. Today
I sense you in
the grass mansions,
sparks of your thought

in swollen pods
of milkweed. I want
my voice to grow heavy
with nests and eggs
full of radiant

liquor. I want
to raise drunken
arms in your sleep.
To dance! Then
you might touch me—

as the lake’s shine,
a trembling
embrace,
lights up these
undersides of leaves.

*****

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