I come to writing late in life, but with as much enthusiasm and vigor as are possible. Although I’m into memoir and short stories, poetry remains number one in my heart. I travel widely and invite my journeys to color my poetry and bring out the senses I experienced.
How do you shield your loved one from uncontrollable grief? I learned the hard way that it is not possible. When the parent responsible for bringing us to this country was faced with the last member of his tribe dying, his pent up angst from years of persecution and heroism gave way, and he could no longer hide from his daughter the wound the death of his brother inflicted on him. I would have given everything to console him.
You crumbled before me
like a pillar in an earthquake.
You liquefied like an iceberg
in a tsunami.
You were the strongest man
I knew, in morals and justice,
yet when your brother,
the last of your family,
died, your grief could not
contain itself. You burst
like a damn trying to hold
back floodwaters, and I
witnessed the sharpest
pain of all in your heart.
The wetness from your eyes
told me more than I could bear.
You shattered like a wine glass
falling on a ceramic tiled floor
creating shards that could never
be put back together again.
I had never seen you cry before,
never saw you cry again.
You, the last bridge from the old world
to this one saw a weak dynasty
disappearing, and I, your daughter,
will never forget what it cost you.
I knew not how to bring you solace,
could only lay a bouquet of words at your feet
and hoped it would suffice.
Even nature invites us to see two sides to every occasion. As beautiful and uplifting as the color rust can be, its hues can also spell trouble for our manmade devices. Like everything else in life, we must look at this in balance.
A warm hue of autumn
Less loud than red
Tamer and understated
Calming and quietly rich.
Appears in fallen leaves
On branches barren, nude
On grasses shedding green
Now toasted in rays of gold.
In overcast, creaking sunsets.
It also eats at metal
Spreads on sheets of steel
Locks in place the joints
Of angles and their degrees.
It thrives in rain and downspouts,
Corrodes the pipes and gutters,
Stains the waters that pass,
Enhances and elevates patinas.
Indeed I love its dual appearance,
The pigment that draws me into sunsets
To sample a smear of fall
Accompanied by a oxidized creaky hinge
On a weather-stripped outdoor gate.
Walking down Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley, CA, city life hits me in the face, and dodging obstacles, whether objects or people, is a learned skill. I generally keep my eyes down to watch my steps and avoid the ‘spare change’ demands (they used to be requests). But doing that may cause me to overlook a joy I experienced as a kid, jumping on crunchy leaves in autumn. As an adult, I ask myself if I dare to re-engage with this activity of my youth.
A Pile of Leaves
A day in April masquerading as fall
stacking things in my way as I progress
down the urban sidewalk at noon.
I step over used napkins and cigarette butts,
avoid misshapen cycles with missing handlebars,
miss the scooters leaning against meters,
leap over ponds of spilled cokes
and mounds of stale fries half-painted red.
I escape the tree roots reaching for my feet
from the lifted sidewalk slabs,
stare at piles of dry, crumpled leaves,
and involuntarily inhale the in-my-nose pot.
A few blocks down, it dawns on me.
I missed my chance
to stop, dance and stomp
on crunchy leaves.
I missed my chance, damn!
Too late to go back,
and call them out?
© 2018 Evie Groch
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