Sunday, June 28, 2015

16 And Never Bn Kssd \ Hoo-hoo

Nancy: In my world of the ‘30s and ‘40s, I heard “girls don’t,” “girls can’t,” and “we don’t take girls.”  Over and over I turned to Madame Curie, a girl who could and did.

16 And Never Bn Kssd

Thank God for Madame Curie,
my best friend in the years
when I could neither Talk To Boys
nor continue as Mowgli to their wolf pack.
Neither of us went to pajama parties,
or mastered pin curls, or eye shadow,
and although we never spoke
across the mounds of books,
she smiled and shook my hand
when I stood up and opened the door
and set out alone,
determined to discover new lands.
Sometimes it was a vaccine,
a city unearthed,
inscriptions read –
I smiled back at Madame Curie
and walked out of the library
into the sun.

Alan: A recent blog post by Christine Nielsen got me thinking, why is it that (some) men still just don’t get it?  Then I remembered a story a friend of ours told us about her young grandkids, and this poem tumbled out.


“I have a hoo-hoo and you don’t!” she teases
her little brother, pointing to the folds
between her legs.  Ah Freud,
where is that envy now?  Her mysteries
so out-rank his all-too-obvious wee appliqué
he feels ashamed.

What is the use of writing in the snow,
watering the tree trunk,
when she can boast such clean superiority,
such a tidy origami of parts?

She laughs and points again,
and in that moment we know
the Big Bang was not a male experience
and at the center of every maelstrom galaxy
lives a concupiscent hole.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Phoebe \ Summergreen

Alan:  Our phoebe’s a small but ebullient summer companion, whose explosive song Peterson calls “well-enunciated.”  That’s like saying a drill sergeant’s voice is “well-modulated”: while not untrue, it fails to grok the fullness.


You have betrayed me, Phoebe,
slipping from the pages of my books
like a whisper, a young girl
running barefoot in summer dew,
beautiful and painful as first love.

For starters, you’re a guy.
You sneeze your name, over and over,
from a nearby branch –
“Look at me!  Look at me!” – full of yourself.
Testosterone with feathers.

I know your type, June party-crasher,
hopping about, drawing attention,
snacking on the wing,
stumbling against the furniture,
wearing a silly grin and a lampshade.

But Phoebe! Phoebe! I forgive you.
You are otherwise sober, industrious, neighborly,
always on hand to give advice,
keep an eye on things, look me straight on,
ward off time’s passing and despond.

Nancy: Before weather, time and insects, new leaves like green candles...


the water was green
and the young corn
and the light under the ferns

outside the window
June lights the birch
a green flame

the old woman watches
now the ash catches
green, green

child, child, look at you
green the old woman remembers
the branch where she sat

the summergreen trees
water, arrowhead leaves