poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

Blog Archive

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Days of Candles

Days of red ribbons painted on the wallpaper in front hall and other dizzy-beautiful
patterns. Out the window the graves in rows
each have a daisy wreath reminding you of the lace
at the throat of every lady this season, fastened with a jewel at the neck.
Days of dust in the best houses deemed respectable
because it's been in the family for years. Days of the bedtime story
that could soothe away a sickness. Days of braids,
ribbons, straw hats and baskets, hold them high as the front of a horse
slowly becomes visible, pulling a load toward the only church on the island,
one side pinks in the sunset,
as seagulls swoop their angle is measured against the spire
to predict the weather
as the horse draws closer.

Days of sewing circles and quilting bees
box socials, magic lantern shows and moonshine.
Days of sick children and a hundred different ways to say fever,
to say diarrhea, to say death.

Days of hand-made traps for every kind of animal.

Days of flowers growing everywhere and dresses of flowers
or ruffles meant to look like the foam of the ocean,
nights frothy with stars,
mornings of moons,
and daytime breaths of stardust, the pollen of goldenrod in the afternoon,
nights in wicker rockers on the front porch pretending to sew
or knit so you can hold something smooth between your fingers before bed.

Days of an intact ozone layer and wreaths of daisies on deaths.
Days of out-through-the-window-to-jump-into-a-waiting-buggy-crime.
Days of getting caught up a tree like a cat, of tangled skirts and hold on tight.
Days when the dog with night terrors gave the town bad dreams
with his horrified barking making every night longer and longer
until he was shot.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ladies Yoga at 3

The bee, the flower, the butterfly and the blue
I saw them for you/ I saw a whole field and kept what I could in my eyes.
With nothing in my hands and empty pockets,
twelve ladies are not locked down, for the next hour. Breathe colors, breathe

mountains, sky, sea that holds her breath and counts with us, and
the bee, the flower, the butterfly and the blue,
we grow trees in cold concrete rooms from nothing. We become trees and mountains,
with the nothing in my hands and the nothing of empty pockets,

we begin. Breathe. Learn this and you can do it in lockdown. Breathe
mountains, sky, sea that holds her breath and counts with us, and
a guard. He’s got a gun. And a list,
we grow trees in cold concrete rooms from nothing. We become trees and mountains,

ordinary corpses, under graves, under flowers, bees, butterflies and blue skies,
we begin. Breathe. Learn this and you can do it in lockdown. Breathe
relax into it. Breathe. Don’t be afraid. That man in the doorway is not God. He is just
a guard. He’s got a gun. And a list.