Thursday, January 4, 2007

Two Poems: Lynn Strongin

Oldefield Road (Taper-Cupboard)

the old orchards
the oaken bookcase you made me when we were young,
I was in my thirties
a cutaway happiness.

Existential loneliness.
A long creative arc:
We do our job
by paying attention:
Canadian woman prairie painter’s jam jars lined
the stained glass light pouring thru them:
the lover who must not pretend.
the child in winter
in a moon-white suit in a second.

* * * * *


Trained to grow in a flat plain in symmetrical pattern

Traditionally, year begins quietly.
mirror reflection of barns, corrugated roofs
pleated copies in blue irrigation ditches.
January, though, can begin with elegance
Fire-tongs lift it from the blaze
of tragic face turned in both directions.

Tallow fire in my head
Van Gogh’s eyes were mine while we drove
post-Christmas land: (world without orgasm):

sheets of ice, folded wings
folded winding sheets over espaliered apples
earth pleated skirt:
the hurt furrows:
hedges of poplar
straight white sticks
standing by insufficient guardsmen
Champagne poured back into the bottle.
How can you be a Berliner? Hailed as next Pavlova
at age eleven at the Bolshoi, adolescent Dante?

Now, studying photography in Germany? Some ploy.
Bubble-baths on Holocaustal soil heartshaped face
peachskin, youngest niece.
Anne Frank was made into a short ballet
music by Ernst Bloch played in a ballet written expressly for you at age 13
you wear the nitty-gritty industrial air now of Berlin
who wore ethereal chiffon blue only five years ago:
Give me the candlelight, the clear understanding of crucifixion
in which to forgive
blue numbers under the skin had you been born in ‘41
now some man’s dream girl in Berlin”
will the long bleak nights clear into morning
torch held by love to painting?

~ Lynn Strongin lives in British Columbia, Canada. She has been widely published over the years. You can find out much more about her at her website.

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