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Simple Things Which Are Lovely: Four Poems

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by Caroline M. Rogers

Still There

Unfurl your arms as you wake my dear
and find my elbows with your sleep-soft hands.
Sneak me close in your recesses
still present with the amber breathing of campfire,
the sticky, unyielding patches of pine on your skin
like the hoary, crystallized disorder of honey
and your hair dried in lake water,
speckled with pollen.
We took the kayaks out today
to spy the root-woven steps
that would lead us to our honeymoon,
there along the lily pad shores
of a dozen or so campsites
nestled in my mind.
If we were to marry,
should a pair of porcelain owls top our cake,
I’d find you happily
among the faces
where my toes meet the grasses
and fresh basil has been potted
to scent the day with the sharp
inhabitable wholeness
you feel when you look up
for the first time all evening and see
“Ah, there are the stars again.”

Set Your Intention

The meticulously arranged mess
of ferns-
a sea of tethered paddle boats
awash atop the silent stacks
of dried, torrid leaves,
green tips stretched up in
endless directions
pulling down energy
as verdant as the
second just before
the drummer’s next beat.
In this forest made of shy thunder-
barely drops
touching, pressing, plinking each green,
the gentle pulls of ukulele strings.
Voices on the porch rub themselves
up and down
and over tree bark.
The plaid of their singing is chilled, tomato bisque-
thick, perfect, sprinkled with zest
of chives and parsley,
each tone a ringing dahlia petal
nestled into the core,
shades changing circularly, evenly.
My heart beats happy; it’s filled with light.

Always in Want

Electrified by doubt
I feel my body, constantly, a directionless
airplane, winding down from
the maple,
hovering intermittently
with not enough understanding of the earth
to guess whether
I will reach any sort of potential on the ground.
I love you,
but this book arrived today
just full of poems by a woman I know.
While I am desperately writing this,
my floating-round feeling
(and your talk of Republicans on the pillow next to me)
leaves me one-winged, antsy,
dipping my finger over and over again into the too hot tea.
It is not my pen that’s out of ink
and the night
will inch by dreadfully now,
dreams impinged upon by Emerson’s dire
reminders about the letting go of “nonsense”
which I feel to have committed lavishly
in the presence of this woman’s book.
You sleep
and hours drop themselves like wishful pennies
on the taut surface of wherever I happen to be.
I feel the leaves dropping in my eve dusk bones.
The electricity pouring over our bed is
linear,
with fewer openings for interpretation
than the moon herself
or the cool darkening of the river this time of year-
water turned so black and clear
that you can barely stand to touch it.

Zen and the Art of Blueberry Picking

I’m not really one for meditating
which I know is backwards in a
hanging upside-down sort of way,
when you really meant to be upright.
Each month as I peruse my Yoga magazine,
I generate poses in my mind,
imagine each stretch,
and commit to sitting quietly for at least fifteen minutes a day.
But those quiet moments often amount
to the tender tearing of lettuce,
getting ready for dinner,
or listening to the fan
as I straighten out the bed
before we climb in.
Sometimes they come in
waiting criss-cross applesauce
in the grass
for the heron
to make his way skyward from the pond to his next perch.
But this is really it I think to myself,
here on the edge of the lake,
one foot in the kayak, one on a rock.
I’ve really got it all here—
the balance of my pose,
the soft, focused plucking
of blueberries,
dropping them into the drysack that fits snuggly into my
sailing mobile.
I watch you methodically and silently
taking them
three, four at a time
with a gentle roll of your fingers,
from the topmost branches.
I hear the water moving against
the roots of the bushes
and gently pushing the kayak and myself up against the shore
with each small wave.
Steamboat Willy, the oldest boat on the lake rings his vintage bell
and for a moment I’ve lost my contemplative state,
realizing that I’ve become Sal—
more blues in my mouth than there are in my bucket.
I wonder if you see me,
my lips sealed purple
and I try to manage a small handful in one picking,
as you do,
only to see several drop down into the water
with the most musical sort of plop you could imagine.
I am so present, so right here.
The clouds are nearly audible;
they’re breathing.
My toes grip the moss
and this is really all there is,
all there ever needs to be—
from the time I was five
until here with you,
this very advanced, concentrated, twenty-something
kind of meditation.

Caroline will be featured in an upcoming publictation from Steady Moon Press called, The Poet’s Word.  It is set to be released in early January and will be for sale on Amazon.
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One thought on “Simple Things Which Are Lovely: Four Poems

  1. These are beautiful. A joy to read.

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