Almanac of the Invisible
Larkspur Press, 2014
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The poems in Almanac of the Invisible emerge from the place where many of us find ourselves — caregiver to aging parents and witness to the generation that will supplant and carry us forward. Rooted in farms, long gone or going away, these poems attend to stars and seasons, seeding and harvest.
Reviews & Awards
“This collection feeds that hunger for the unsweet, for the homely, substantial nutrients of the soul presented in an exquisitely crafted book of equally exquisite poems.”—Oregon Ferry
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything. –Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act II, Scene vii
So much she does not know, now that she’s reached
the cusp of Age. Past the apex of that Renaissance
bell curve – the seven ages Shakespeare preached,
the ones she once rejected, so certain that
she had to stay the same. This spring she fights
just to stay erect. Her father’s losing weight,
like a Jenny Craig success. A sly grin lights
his face when the doctor’s scale edges
down and down – one seventeen – he fights
to reach a hundred pounds. He’s eighty-eight.
She thinks he wants to disappear, sick
of his crabbed reflection in the glass, the weight
of living. She’s relieved to leave him. The peace
of her own place, a balm broken
by a cardinal pecking at the window glass.
“That bird ought to put her strength
into making eggs,” a guest opines
on the second day. The woman thinks
of her unborn grandson, safe, reclining
in her daughter’s womb. When she calls
her father, he’s forgot to eat again.
This man who named her world cannot recall
the name of the white flowers that star
his April lawn. All day the bird flies, full
force, at her double. Undeterred, far
from her abandoned nest. She’s young. She still
believes her image, its power
to define, devour her. Enraged, she’d kill
it to defend her space, though it is herself
she duels in truth. The shade she cannot still.
First published in The Heartland Review, Spring 2010.
Detail: Garden Path
A weavery of stones, sand
between, and two curled leaves—
we stoop and aim.
My daughter sets
the lens toward her toes and snaps.
“Great idea,” I say. “Let me
take one of your foot.”
“Oh, Mom, I’m glad you
like silly things like me.” She angles
her foot, sandaled on the brick
and I zoom in.
On the path,
plump white toes, a canvas
strap, fat lines of moss,
echo of her laugh.
First published in Still, an Online Journal, Autumn, 2012