I enjoy time at our river cabin up in the woods, long walks, campfires, movies on The Big Screen, live plays and concerts, hot/cheesy/spicy-food, playing cards with friends, etc. Poetry—both reading and writing it—reminds me to slow down, to breathe, to be here, now. And I need reminding. An avid reader and writer, I’ve published hundreds of poems, essays, and articles, and three poetry books—Wishboats (2000), The Secret Language of Women (2006) and The Light You Find (Blue Begonia Press, 2014). I’ve also edited journals, books, and anthologies. I teach English at Central Washington University, and live with my spouse in Yakima, Washington—The Fruit Bowl of the Nation.
First of the Season
This morning, tulips explode,
like that spring your mother lay dying
when the first bright bursts
in her rock garden caused
your breath to catch and bloom—
vibrant hues igniting, rising
like flames, like fireworks;
yellow, orange, and red insisting
on beauty, on living, on yes, on more.
Throat Praise in the Desert
We left the sprinkler on all night.
This morning, sparrows chatter and sing
bathing in the new small lake
they've found in basalt rock.
Their melodies say "This pool is ours."
Their state flower is beauty.
When they shake with joy,
my heart flutters, too,
celebrating the cool pleasure
of water held in stone.
She believes in her cat.
She believes in good coffee.
She believes in doing her work.
She trusts what she makes
with her own two hands.
Monoprints of a haunted middle-aged face,
the deckled paper’s watermark.
Bowling-ball sculptures punctuate her yard.
Dark chocolate truffles hold surprises.
She plays well with others,
though much of the time
she would rather not.
Purple ribbons her silvering hair.
Unmatched earrings dangle,
rubber bracelets loop, skulls grin.
She knows the bicyclist loves her.
She knows that brothers die too young.
She knows that laughter helps.
Scarves spin from clicking needles,
yarn unwinding colorful streams.
Quick repetitions, a meditation of fingers.
She believes creative work kills Death.
Drawing tools and sketchbook provide
mojo stronger than bad medicine.
No day without a line, pages grow.
Stitched together, text and image
tell a new story, sing a different song.
©2015 Terry Martin