POEM: tiger

Sumatran Tiger


at lunch the expedition
was interrupted
by the arrival
at the edge of camp
of a Sumatran tiger
a creature so rare
everyone leapt up
to catch a glimpse
it eyed the watchers warily
for a moment
then stalked off
into the underbrush
leaving behind elation
at its existence
at its departure
that it might never
come again

20 May 2013
Auburn, AL

POEM: under a bigleaf magnolia

Magnolia macrophylla leaves

under a bigleaf magnolia

I can’t identify most trees by name
but I can remember exactly
where we were standing
the first time you kissed me

afterward a friend told me
it was a bigleaf magnolia
a primitive tree, she said
one of the first with flowers

a tree with leaves so big
they sometimes break
their own branches
I know how the magnolia feels

standing in its shade
I thought my heart might leap
through my ribcage
dissolving when it touched the air

and I imagined you opening
your own chest / reaching in
to remove a piece of your heart
so you could share everything with me

1 May 2013
Auburn AL

POEM: tall grass


tall grass

there’s a place just off the path
where the tall grass is pressed down

fingers scratched from a prickly plant
growing up through the tall grass

hay strewn across the tall grass
caught in hair, on clothing

tall grass bathed in the full moonlight
like a day-for-night shot in a movie

still the next morning the tall grass
retains the shape of the night before

and in the laundry basket there is tall grass
and hay and a prickly plant waiting to be removed

27 April 2013
Auburn AL

POEM: migration



there are
a thousand birds
of every color

across the sky
like distant gods

26 April 2013
Auburn AL

/ / /

This poem tried hard to be the beginning of a longer poem, but I just kept coming back to these two stanzas until they felt complete.