by Susan Burg

  • RoseGarden

Latest

Two Inherent Deviations

 

  1. Italian in English Class

even if my mistake hovers over me

forms evil obstacles throughout the day

and ridicules me for having been deceived

 

even though I’ve been bombarded by hailstorm questions

flattered then beheld.

the annoyed class was relieved

the moment I touched the woman’s muscular arm:

“we must speak English”, I said

 

 

  1. Abusive

the man who cherished her in trickery

and hunted her down like an animal.

Held in contempt for love

she succumbing to his fist

although she tried

 

to pull him up like a raggedy doll

and make him right.

Wasn’t her abuser like any abandoned animal she would have rescued?

 

Washed by sleep, she is forgiven.

she tugs at her hems

squeezing out the grief

as if it were some poisonous fluid

inherently present.

Man At the Train Station

 

my train arrives in the dark and I wait:

bag, trolley and tired

I sit on a bench at Deerfield Beach Tri Rail. Wait

alone

passengers arrive, board, sit on benches. then

a man approaches the train:

“Evening ma’am” says he on the platform as others pass by,

nod, a word to me and load into their trains.

 

Mystery flows into my blood

such unfamiliar customs in my country.

Would a stranger greet me at night

on the other side of the world?

 

Bag, trolley and tired he would speak to his brother

stick to his wits

and gaze only into the horizon.

alone dark night

THE CROWNED CAT

In Winterwill a hill town in the North

came to be

a crowned cat

an extra being with extra cat power.

Trotting through the Grand Palais

his eyes glimmered and his snout smiled

so that

when he opened it to speak

the sunlight enveloped his canines and whiskers

reflecting an immense light onto a mirror.

The plebians said in unison, “Ahhww!!”

The crowned cat began to sing!

A feline vocal of unearthly chords filled the palais!

We tried to join him but were at a loss for words…

We offered him beer

he said no

We offered him honey

he said no

We offered him tea

he said no

We offered him cakes

he said no

He ate from a royal gold plate

dipping his jaw to lick the salmon I had brought.

He thanked me

but I had fallen asleep in my chair!

I began to snore loudly

so he hissed!

His crown fell to the ground.

The plebians laughed

the crowned cat roared

and hissed

then I woke up.

Daughter

I

Exquisite shells cover the floor!

I step barefoot on small remnants of your last visit

childhood tokens

diaries written in your cryptic hand that remain hidden in your cupboard

all got thrown out except these daunting shells

folded notes inside boxes from a world within your room that once

revolved around a small fluttering existence.

II

Will you come when there is none else to be found?

when the water is low, when the tide turns?

Will you smile from afar with transparent eyes

your voice remotely strained,

in the unfinished space where your footsteps are real

and you laugh and whimper in high tide?

III

Your shadow hunts me in your absence and talks to me

It takes hold of my shoulders and shakes me.

I whisper in its ear and take its hand

but it has no body

I leave it treats

guiding it back into the real world but it gets lost.

I reach for its child hand but you have gone away.

IV

You let go of my hand.

there you are and I

will always be waiting for you in the car listening to “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”

Another song

across the Atlantic.

My Daughter

Exquisite shells cover the floor!

I step barefoot on pieces – small remnants of your last visit

and childhood tokens

diaries written in your cryptic hand that remain hidden in your cupboard

all was thrown out except these daunting shells

folded notes inside boxes from your world within your room that once

revolved around a small fluttering existence, this lazy Valdarnese death valley

where you learned to thrive.

 

Your shadow hunts me in your absence and talks to me                         It takes hold of my shoulders and shakes me.

I whisper in its ear and take its hand

but it has no body

I leave it treats

guiding it back into the real world but it gets lost.

I reach for its child hand but you have gone away.

 

Will you come when there is none else to be found?

when the water is low, when the tide turns?

Will you smile from afar with transparent eyes

your voice remotely strained,

in the unfinished space where your footsteps are real

and you laugh and whimper in high tide?

 

You let go of my hand.

there you are and I

will always be waiting for you in the car listening to “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”

Another song in the night

across the Atlantic.

 

December 31st

The last thing

the last minute

last

time I saw you

the last breath

and last given word

echos

shining and I snatch it the last time.

The silence that drags

the silence of absence

silence

shoved inside my mouth

the silence that I love

that I hate

and its sound shattered along the winter tree where I wait to sing

circling.

The last day of this year

silence is friendly.

It sends me wishes

kisses from afar

It stings and opens up like a flower.

The moment

the first flower

perfect the first time.

Silence surrenders to song.

My Internal Prisoner

Is there a softer side on the other side of the earth?

My internal prisoners have scattered so I have somersaulted to another life.

There is my old tree where I fantasized of unborn things and

my garden of tulips that my father planted along the house bricks, the corner window where Pixie waited and birds came to nest.

There is my oak tree …the patio where we partied and ate unimaginable petit fours in the spring.

I am dancing through the house to Porgy and Bess, famous in my fantasy.

Sitting on the stairs watching my brother’s friend come through the winter door that never opened up.

Harriet’s room is untouched and bearing hidden pink boxes, her diaries filled with perfumed words – there are towers of fluff as I look her in the eye, she is still 17.

and down the street I see my bicylce as I left it on the sidewalk to listen to the train howl, discover caterpillars, visit Bonnie or Hillary.

I went back today to the house across the Atlantic to lay down in my bed and play out my teenage dreams again.

 

Aside

1977

I was eating pasta with Berny in a trattoria

started talking to a stranger the way my mother does:

do you know how to cook Italian food?

the lips that kiss

the tongue that seeks

tempt

take

and repeated

you are hiding his bulls eye in your hand

decrepid face

fox ox and brutto

that is the sound of snow that clutters the streets

fragments, morphemes and shreds

I call your name in alien sounds

brittle ice gelo.

this white candid stuff

solutions.

December Fist

cold and white like smoke curling cubic and whithering bad

news then good 

we anguish as the wind pulls us closer in its fist

 

then it releases us onto the ice ground a wintered love a puddle so we 

squirm in its path 

panting

 

we huddle  and seek warmth from each

other

a warm hand

glance 

embrace

we are not victims of the chill that ripples the globe

we are victims of its love 

wintered and worn

Alice’s ocean

the two ends of an ocean held in your grasp:

I walk neatly to one side and jump over a storm

the breeze cools down and sleep is interrupted by this poem

crazed poem in hollow place

the summer rolls on top of itself barfing up bad meat of last year’s investment

my head throbs it’s not a dream

the crazies are real and running free

yesterday one had automatic guns that shot holes into 12 dead people

hang on hold on hang on hold on hang on hold on hang on hold on

sit tight the ride aint easy

rock

rock

rickety ride down the road we go

cough up the bloody mess like decayed spirits and what is left?

the world gets tossed and thrown out into which universe?

we are caged animals abandoned in a heap

and bitterness is running through our veins.

dog eat dog world in a vacuum that sucks and sucks….

Faith in the Known

If

I lose my way and the sun goes down

will I find the well again?

If my ear unscrews and I hear no one

will I still hear your call?

When the sun goes down and I lose my way will I see your eyes in the darkness?

When I run down the road and find no paths at all will I slide down the hill?

When I face your smile at the deadline shine like the stars will I jump?

When I reach for life will I keep my pace?

 

connect the roots?

gather your sounds in small pieces

smooth it out in a bucket?

reach for some more because there is more to come, she

said to herself

Smokey

I

you are afraid but you run away…the rain takes you away from us and the planet envelopes you in a throbbing package

I await your return…at least to say goodbye.

II

at 11 PM you are seen near the roses….ready to play.

You gallop around the house despite your 100 years racing us.

III

You have forgot the scents of grass and rain.  The streets.  And now you dream of eternal love.

 

Image

RoseGarden

RoseGarden

Giardino delle Rose, Firenze

Past Lovers

open doors to watch me with folded arms

appearing in corners, the image enlarges and I see my lovers from the past

looming over me bodies of thought

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 28 other followers

%d bloggers like this: