Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sous Ton Visage-- Under Your Face.

Under Your Face (Eng)

your visage

sculpted of peanut butter in full sun
your traits melting under weight of years
your wrinkles sliding under a frown
stranded under gravity

waiting for me on the quay
no you never cry
your creator lacked talent
mine romance

I write the scene anew
in order to replay your ego
your pride lost under dust

the train arrives
my stomach slides
I retain the essential
under other skies
to my own rhythm

everywhere I replay you
I meet you mother finally relieved
under funerary ashes

Sous Ton Visage (Fr)

ton visage

sculpté de pâte d' arachide en plein soleil
tes traits fondant sous le poids des années
tes rides glissant sous sourcils froncés
tu gits là sous force de gravité

m' attendant sur le quai.
non tu ne pleures jamais
ton crèateur a manqué de talent
le mien de roman

et j'écris la scène de nouveau
afin de rejouer ton moi
ta fierté perdue sous poussière

le train qui arrive
mon estomac qui dérive
je retiens l'essentiel
sous d'autres ciels
à mes propres rythmes

et partout je te rejoue
je te rencontre mère enfin soulagée
sous cendres funèraires.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

White Feather

White Feather

The old Indian woman stoops on her wooden porch and picks up a white feather. Her bones are tall and wide – she has the proud bearing of a Shoshone.

Her pouchy brown eyes are now covered with slowly advancing cataracts, but she can still feel her mountains; she can smell the cool dry air brushing over high valley grasses.

She tells of days when her grandmother walked out of the stone age before she died with such quiet confusion.
She tells of her mother who wore her Indian name with dignity to her own end.
Now it is she who bears responsibility above the new insanity. Only I know her name.
She now is worn and consumed by the unmentionable degradation of unpronounceable disease.

She who was summoned to fight for her people’s rights at senate committee hearings – she who held up her great gray head, softly voicing her peace above skinny nervous men who underestimated her indolent presence.

An indulgent smile moves across her tired round face as she speaks of her children’ s children:
“Sure, they didn’t want to live at the ranch. There is no modern man’s fun up there – progress calls down below on the great desert floor – much, much too lonely up there – I’ll lose them as I lost their parents to the money or the drink.”

She moves slowly a lenient hand, and calls with voice neither raised nor anxious. The peace of god and old aunts is with her. The love of gray husband, always around. She senses passage of seasons on her land with the resolution of a fair borrower.

Round eye sagging in face of concern – round hip of motherhood – carried papoose and basket to collect pine nuts and rush root and once felt part of the all mother. She dries her great wrinkled hand on a flowered apron. With a squint to the dusty mementos on the wall, the woman gathers ancestral consciousness in one long breath.

She remembers ancestors who hunted all the way to the birth of the river; now she sees her sons gather wild horse and buy violent new cars – till they depend on the wealth of others and the destitution of self.

She bears the looks of townspeople who mock the schoolchildren hire the fathers and the bureaucrats who evade her honesty.

Proud Shoshone woman, my friend.

Geese have gone south and the “taibos” will soon be driving up the rock trails with their infernal machines mounted on so high axles as to conquer Earth itself.

The Indian woman’s legs are heavy as her head now. She doesn’t want to be driven into town anymore, or to the Indian hospital on the Paiute reservation – free doctors – free nurses – cost plenty – to her – so nice – so far – so, no.
Time to let spirit go – god is fine and the doctors also. Children will be well: one married to sweet blond girl; the other just got her diploma – she is strong now.
Husband' s tears will dry up in wind – time to speak Shoshone once more to old aunt. A phone call from down below – a two hour drive.
Old woman twirls great white feather in rich brown hands.
Time to let spirit go south.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Lady of Café de la Gare.

With long hand folded as a broken wing, she brushes a gray strand from her forehead, an aging beauty from the silent screen. Elegant in her tidy apron, Simone glides across decades in classic gesture.

Cloth moistened, the lady of the café de la Gare wipes each marble tabletop, with neither haste nor sloth, intent on comfort and cleanliness - eye to the door, ready to welcome her regulars. Those who have spent the better part of their youth and most of their retirement in her establishment.

A northern pride keeps her chin well lifted and her long limbs gracefully answer each task as she nearly waltzes through the long tables of the bar, her voice, strong and sharp, sings of the unforgotten Paris of Henry Miller stories and Garbo movies.
With respect in eye and courtesy to lips, her blue gaze sees to every anticipated need of her daily clients, her friends in quotidian routine.

As long as she serves stout red wine with the same smile as she pours bitters, she will be surrounded by the imperturbable mystery that binds the servile to the served; a courtship of kind in the untouchable, unchangeable environment of rural French cafés.

The indomitable lady of the establishment, owner of her destiny in the face of faster trains and full buses, she draws the menu with chalk in hand and keeps the card games honest. With neither reproach nor unkind word, she sorts out the daily gossip to be served with the spirits. She has heard every complaint about every politician installed in more decades than the clientéle can count. Shakes her head, gives a knowing nod and refrains from joining the popular frenzy.

When talk turns too personal, the lady pours a slow wine in the glass of the loudest, and tones calm down as if the ritual gesture brought sense into the room. She knows how to encourage the positive and alleviate the pains. With a hand raised to the routines of the evening, she can relieve tensions with a simple question,
and you Edgard? Did you prefer the trout or the veal this supper?” it's all in the timing and the tone; never a judgment be told.

Simone glides upon the ancient tiles and serves her people well. She is the lady who waits for the train and the bus everyday, neither sad nor anxious, as she has done for years. Her silent companion stirs the soupe du jour, a stout and sweet woman, seldom seen out of the kitchen which is full of warm ovens and old utensils.

Today, quiche and salade aux champignons rosés, to remember Raoul, the homeless man who came after supper, daily, to partake of leftovers and a glass of piquette, the sour house wine. The train could not brake in time, says the headline.

Women' s Month Ongoing.

  In order to commemorate half the world of humanity, i shall post poem or prose a day.
The feminine side of all in all its aspects. An exercise in blogging and topic maintenance.
This humble beginning was published on Durable Goods, a micro mag which is printed and edited by Aleathia Dremmer--a Wonderful Woman. mother and friend, with a keen eye for the written word.

Two women

one solemn one silly

sat at a wooden table
and read each other' s work
they laughed they cried
written words to surface
to show to share
kitchen wisdom
in great rifts of passion
dressed in light fare

some solemn some silly

one classic one rustic
borrowing burying
sorrows in serious lines
writings of toil
memories of soil
never far from tears
never faint from fears
they laughed at the script

some solemn some silly

nadine sellers written in Colton CA on a steamy day...years ago.

Monday, March 7, 2011

an Ocean in a Bathtub.

Spring has once again taken a detour, postponing chores and serious work till further sunshine...late snows and frozen rain gracing the hillsides with shimmering decor, birds engaged in bickering and gathering what winter has left. Nature an eyeful of continuum, never deterred. Today is not for wasting, so i gather my own leftovers, words of lost meaning, recycled in a few lines, through a landscape of snow-drops and barely bulging bulbs.

Having read songs of sea and elements,
then watched the whale's acrobatics.
Mind waving along schools of silver
meandering along thermal currents.

Pulse resting and tension releasing its nasty grip.

Slowly, i let words fall, not trying to catch them.
Slowly, i swallow water and release it again.
Immersed in the mineral brine
then float about, alone in time.