A cat is hunting a mouse
in the dark
just outside the squirrel’s hollow tree
hopes that noise is not an owl
who sees better at night than the cat
who sees better at night than the mouse
who sees better at night than he does
the squirrel is too afraid of the owl
to write a poem about it
instead, he will write a poem
about the cat, or perhaps
about the mouse, who will
when the sun is so bright
it would hurt his eyes if he went out)
and find himself unable
to write a poem
about the cat.
“Bête Noire” was first published in The Bicycle Review
TEARING OUT THE BLUE GIRLS
We dug the roses from their corner plot.
They’d done well there, but sadly we agreed
that we had erred severely in their placement
and thrown the yard’s design into imbalance.
We tore them out.
But rootstock spread and sprouted, its rough pedigree
exposed for all to see. The elegance
of what was grafted to it, long since gone,
has been replaced by something old and tough
in colors we’d not planned, in shapes unbidden,
with leaves unlike the ones we’d hoped to see,
with thin and arching stems, not solid stalks,
and, unlike the roses we had killed,
with simple blossoms―just five petals each.
They come up where they will, and when, and how.
They’ll still be there when all the rest is weeds,
wild grasses, asphalt rubble, stucco shards,
a barely recognizable foundation
and sun and dust
and wind and rain
“Tearing Out the Blue Girls” first appeared under the title “The Garden Evolves” in the anthology Yesterdays, Rock and Feather Publications, 2007, and was re-printed by Canary, A Literary Journal of the Environmental Crisis.
POEMS AT OTHER SITES
“ISLAND WEDDING SONG,” “RAMPANT ANTHROPOMORPHISM,” “REVELATION,” “TRAPS,” “TWO HOUSES”
ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment (Published in conjunction with Oxford University Press), Volume 24, Issue 1, 1 June 2017, Pages 161–164, https://doi.org/10.1093/isle/isw085
“BIOLOGICAL CONTROL,” “REVISITING,” “A FULL SET”
Convergence, Editor’s Choice (Cynthia Linville) 2014
“BIRD NETTING,” “WISTERIA FROM SEED”
Glassworks, Fall 2014, Issue 9, pages 26 and 27. About 3 inches to the right of the image of the journal cover there’s a right-arrow. Clicking on it will turn the pages.