Thursday, September 20, 2018

Let the Cypress Sing Amen

Before the parting of the ground for the bare and exiled root
I dream a celebration:
Let our Cypress wanderers sing Amen!
Before the new foundation, before the rebar and cement
I dream a celebration:
Let our Cypress brethren sing Amen!
In the parting of the clods, in the planning of the walls
I dream a celebration:
Let our Cypress family sing Amen!
Amidst the leaves and wires, all the words, the muddy tires
I dream a celebration:
Let our Cypress congregation sing Amen!
I see lemonade and gardens--children, cooks, and artists
I dream a celebration:
Let our Cypress bards sing Amen!
Where waters have receded, where rebuilding is needed
I dream a celebration:
Let our Cypress readers sing Amen!
By the slim announcement upon which my hope is founded
I dream a celebration:
Let our Cypress pilgrims sing Amen!

Last night, we received word that our library would be rebuilt, with a possible groundbreaking late in 2019. I'm hopeful that the delay is caused by a need to plan around and possibly dismantle existing buildings, the need to build up a mound similar to those that Mercer arboretum has built as berms and viewpoints above the banks of Cypress Creek, and that the architects and financiers are dreaming with largesse and whimsy.

They probably aren't...however, the poem above was sparked by my dream for an opening celebration for the new library. I imagine it being scheduled for a lovely early fall Saturday after the library has been built with a wraparound covered porch with reading nooks and places to overlook the gardens. I imagine a roof designed to accommodate star parties.

I imagine crowds coming to see children from local clubs performing; the high school bands and orchestras sending musicians; local theater companies reading stories from Harvey or reenacting the arrival of the library's namesake, Mr. Baldwin Boettcher, from Germany; even, perhaps, an actor dressed appropriately with a concertina around his waist wandering around to tell stories of what it was like to come to Texas and why a library was eventually named after him.

I imagine hot dogs and those amazing watermelon or cantaloupe drinks from Old Town Spring, nachos and BBQ, a plant show, and guided tours of the new library and grounds.

I imagine craft tables for kids.

I imagine covered tables where groups associated with the library get a chance to meet the neighbors and talk about what they do and how the library has supported them in their endeavors.

I imagine local politicians reminding themselves why they chose to serve--what it means to have a community and to take care of that community.

I imagine these things because it keeps me from screaming Why so long? It keeps me from picturing the water covering the road; it keeps me from remembering that Saturday before the hurricane sitting in the library and thinking that everything would be fine.

I imagine these things because you can't create what you refuse to imagine.

-- Chrissa

Sunday, September 16, 2018

What She Didn't Need


It was advertised for months.
A kind of sudden conversion--video, photos,
Drawings, advertisements, old shows--
Make your world live forward and backward;
Let everyone live in your head.
In your curated head.
The You-seum©.
Life was no longer permitted
Even the slight bulge, oil-paint thick
From canvas. It was drowned in glass,
Girls like goldfish with their thoughts
Flashing like scales over their eyes
With cuttlefish semaphore ads
For brighter seas, more pixels
Per inch of flesh.
She had always wanted concrete
Walls, floors, benches; blank
Save for paintings lit soft and bright
No imputation of mess, the worst
Thing you could be was messy
Beyond frame.
It was advertised for months.
A temporary blindness, they said
Was possible but resolved in most
Within 30 days. And some experienced
Nausea at the flickering mental
Shadows. And some drowned.
Water, breakable as glass, unreeling
A dry world.

Sharing with The Sunday Muse & Poets United (Poetry Pantry #420) this morning.

-- Chrissa

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Once, Sunset

If the storm lessens, if we can get to the car
Through the vastness of asphalt and puddles,
Cheap, off-campus pizza in front of the tiny TV
Not yet ours, still his, will happen. We wait out
Wild rain over Houston, Gulf tumbleweeds
Blooming loud, hammering seed rains
Deep into the concrete and into the clay
Paving the grass blocks between buildings.

The rain makes them shimmer, but the yellow lines
Were already just impressions on the sunken asphalt
Spread like an apron skirting in front of K-Mart
Gleaming in green/white splendor, dry and bright
While those of us in the parking lot huddle,
Ignore each other, and splash for the doorways
Sliding open as we approach, almost running
For the light and the rubber mats and air conditioning.

Little Caesar's is an indentation in the entry plaza.
We wait in dimness for our pizza, a pot of cream cheese,
And our breadsticks, bound for the dorm apartment
To be eaten while watching TV in the otherwise darkness.
It is afternoon, but the lights are wet, blue and white and green
Even the cheese glistens pale in its cardboard lair
Soon to be lying open to the sunset beyond the rain
Still smelling of K-Mart and garlic and air freshener.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Magus Season

She turns to go, a handful of blueberry-sized tomatoes
Dried to fruit leather in her palm. It has been, she says,
A magus season, a dust and conjuration front encircles my waist.
She eats a wrinkled tomato, her teeth piercing it. I think
Of insects with prehensile tongues and sharp whines,
Of assassin beetles redder than tomatoes, of dragonflies
Black and white, masked in the colors of no season.

I will be careful of her train, burned along the edges
And spiked with match-heads. Let the fields--the yards--blaze.
Neither I nor the sun will remain as we have been.
Already, I feel the festal blubber. I taste the swelling.
She does look sleek. Thundercloud shadows shimmer
Silver over her skin, flickering upward, purple and pearl,
To a frown. I wait at the edge of the patio. Off the grass.

There will be popcorn, she states. Pauses. Smiles.
Lightning dances in her hair, sparking from strand to belt.
She wants the car. She has processed enough, barefoot,
In this strange season, stomping out dust and conjuration.
I drive her to the pier; evening is glimmering neon.
She hands me a cob; I snatch a paper bag from a gust.
Kernels explode. She walks barefoot down the slats.

I follow, sea breeze drying her asphalt and resin scent
Over my arms, corn steam wreathing my cheeks.
At the edge, sun and water glow more widely
Than the chancy shacks promising a sly magic nearby.
She slips from her wrap as matches ignite, leaping
Dolphin-arched into the ocean. Summer salts my kernels
With her splash as she swims toward the diving sun.

Sharing this week with both the Sunday Muse for Muse #20 and with Poets United for Poetry Pantry #419. This week's poem was inspired by a conversation I had about squash (what am I supposed to do with this UFO...errr...white squash?) and how odd and disappointing the growing season has been. Hoping this week finds you with tomatoes of rare juiciness and flavor & good conditions for writing as well. :) 

-- chrissa

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Vampire Coast


When the days were newer and the sea
Growled and gnawed my ankles while I yelled
It gave me a bite of itself.

I live on a vampire coast, and my salted blood
Has reared generations of them as I reached
Across the sidewalk.

We keep our ouroboros mouths locked
In a devouring kiss upon the slick skin
Round about us.

Hunger is our native flag. Hunger our native
Flower. Tongues snap in the breeze, piercing
Concrete and asphalt.

We can float on the thick air and rough
Warmth while their string appendages
Madrigal our blood.

I live on a vampire coast.
I dream myself its were-sea.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Rain Gates


Wait for the water to sheet from the gutter
Right above the door and from the patio umbrella.

Wait for the rain gates to become sheer and solid.

We will walk from one water to another,
From air to ocean to the breath of stars.

Wait for the water. Wait for me.

While the door is open and the rain is pouring
While the water comes from a place I can't remember

Wait with me, here by our door.

Can you imagine the place where nothing
Becomes pressure, becomes liquid, becomes solid?

Wait for the gift in the darkness.

Open the back door and sit on this towel
Let the water fall on your face, your shoulders

Wait for it to recognize you.

Your skin, the pulse of your heart, and the tears
Near your eyes. Breathe along the canals and channels.

Wait for the water.

We will walk from the house into the universe
Through a door sheer and solid, heavy and wet.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

An Ominous Sense of the Numinous


Mosquitoes startle from unseen places at the edge of the pier
They are gatekeepers; walk through them without fear
A forest gave its bones for your feet, it warms your toes
Wavelets hone the star that shifts your skin to deeper tone
Ringing flesh to play the dreams lapping at your craft
Tied secure on this shallow, green, and golden draft
Upon Fairyland's backyard, upside down and blinding.

Something simple for this morning...something about getting lost in surfaces, perhaps. Linking with The Sunday Muse for Muse #19 and with Poets United for Poetry Pantry #418. Having a second glass of coffee (iced...it's still warm here, although with any luck, it'll rain a bit today) and plotting to sprinkle the beds that have just been cleared with pumpkin seeds. One season, I will grow actual pumpkins!! How else will I ever get to write about a ball?

Well, as it turns out, the rain decided to start early. This is a tiny patch of green in the midst of yellow (it's the side of the yard where puddles form) and I thought the tiny flowers were lovely. I'm not going to object to volunteer blooms in the middle of a hot and hotter summer. :)


Hoping everyone has a wonderful week and a productive & peaceful one. :) 

-- Chrissa