Retreat 2012

MPPR VIII by Linda Warren

Your poem made almost everyone cry,
the poem about your daughter, the catch in your voice.
And then the Yankee storyteller
giving you advice: buck up,
which, being a poet, you can’t afford to do.

Six poets walking in the woods
could not stay together, no surprise there,
but, remarkably, kept count of collective ticks,
so that when they met at the abandoned house
by the lake, with the No Entry sign at the door,
and all trooped in, they collaborated on the rules:
check hair, legs, socks, and necks.
Check out the stairs, broken and holed,
which nonetheless support the weight of poets,
trespassing, but stepping lightly,
noting spiders on the sills,
photographing dead dragonflies, missing decks,
doors to nowhere. Poets love doors to nowhere.

The giant road tick
has six legs, which is, coincidentally
the number of the poets who discovered it,
and the number of bottles of wine
drunk (unevenly) by the poets who discovered it.
This is also the number of photographs
taken of the moon on the night
the tick was discovered
and also the number of times
the tick looked at the moon, which was full
and round and gauzed in cloud and lovely
and no doubt the leader of the pack of poets
who wanted to rise over the lake
and sail the sky and shadow the distant shore
and couldn’t, except metaphorically,
so they discovered the giant road tick,
nailed it down with words, but, walking back,
looked carefully where they stepped.

Broken Heart by Gordo Elliott
How can it be
that we travel for years
then you move?

I mope for eons,
like the dust bunny
in the Swiffer commercial,
not doing anything,
not good enough for any duster,
bees in my stomach,
afraid to meet new people.

I remember
the old Franklin stove in the corner
now and then puffing smoke
while cooking pot roasts and coffee.
I miss the wood crackle
as the red eye of Jupiter
grows and bursts into flame.

I still see the blue jeans
and faded pink sweater
you always wore,
and the gold chain I gave
still hangs around your neck.