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.

*****