Thursday, July 12, 2012

New Poetry by Emily Strauss


Spiritual Geography

People always say, I love the smell
Of rain, but all I smell is dirt as if
The sky is washing itself and what
Pours off the dusty ceiling is dirty
Brown water we see as rain, reeking
Like car washes or beaten rugs
Dripping muddy rinse water down
The street, Persian carpets
Lying out soaking wet with soap
Flakes and the woman squatting
Her chador gathered between her legs
Scraping the surface with a bowl
And the passing cars driving over.

This is the dry California rain
Disturbing the dust only rarely
Bouncing off dried oak leaves
Down smooth madrone bark
The earth washing all its facets
Into my nose, pungent before
The sky dries again and dirt
Returns to its normal lifeless


Waiting for Words to Come

While I wait for the words to come
I exercise my fingers by digging into
Rock, guiding sticks that float down
The stream, stroking flower petals, feeling
Their moist softness as if velvet came
Alive and gathered morning dew.

While I wait, I notice the wren under
The bush hopping among the dense
Foliage, the spider web arching
Over the stream at dusk, the peaks
Turning pink. Now I am ready.

I will try my hand at sorting pebbles
At the bottom of the rapids, parting
Branches at the creek, I will become
Warm to the air shuffling the leaves
Until they tremble and the deer tracks
In the damp earth, the bird calls and
Night crickets.

Then I will begin to write.


When spring runs feral
obsidian nights crack
over the plains leaving
sharp splinters stuck
in the old moon dory.

The sky breaks on the points
of black shards while cottony
fog waits far out among silent
Swells with the trade winds.
The land is articulate
in the intervals of time
that includes every moment

Space is an arena of smells
Signaling desire without end,
Emotional reticence is lost
Amidst bay, heather,lavender

And we can’t see that the mind
Is infinite, or breath limited only
By the perfume of gardenias
Orange blossoms, and jasmine
As spring taunts us with incomplete
Couplings and summer is almost

- Emily Strauss 2012

Emily is a retired English teacher from California, and often focus on the natural world that she encounters and how it reflects her own emotional interior. Emily has over two dozen pieces published here and there online including Poetry Unlocked, Every Day Poets, and the South Townsville Micro Poetry Journal.

No comments: