Poetry & More

Gravity

It was a beautiful morning.

How can I live without my Florence?

The entry from Helen’s journal, March 21, 1924, the day her daughter Florence died.

 

The sky was grey flannel.

Twigs and a sparrow rushed

along by the brilliant gale.

 

From the outside,

I was the figure crouched

over a bed holding a dove.

 

Her breath burned red in the room.

Her end was as bright

and new as feathered gold.

 

Then, I was the woman unable to stand.

Fly Away Home

For Rebecca

Solitude ripples the pond,

May becomes June.

Swarms of ladybugs, orbits

of vermillion, drift in

the opulence of air. This place

the beavers, not humans,

have mastered. Abandoned

hedgerows and meadows.

 

I think of the tenderness in this world

when someone shares your sorrow:

your house is on fire

your children are gone.

 

The dotted masses billow and float

toward the maple woods:

Fly away. Fly away home.

Poems From Other Publications

Arc Poetica

 

a Japanese White Eye in her nest sings

her world together in strands

 

the metallurgy of morning

copper sky, ocher sea from last night’s storm

 tinny sounds of traffic on the lower road

 

then quiet

the mind arranges like a Mozart chord

nothing budges, a hush of grace says:

 

write it down

 

Voce Piena December 2004

Café Verona at 8 AM

 

A tired espresso machine grinds

at the back counter. Niveous foam

runs down the edge of my thick-rimmed cup.

 

Over there, a chair scrapes against a wall,

a business suit leaves in a rustle

of New York Times. Laptops ignore each other.

 

Tomorrow will be the same tables of anonymity.

 

My body here so soft, so alive, so determined

to disappear. Raisiny, blueberry smells and caffeine

drawing me forward like a morning compass.

 

Mangrove 2005

Afternoon in a Women’s Jail

 

After she’s out, maybe she’ll paint

her walls purple, bright as her son’s

name tattooed on her arm. Salvador.

 

She’ll bake pies and love the cinnamon heat

in her kitchen. Walk to Key Market

on 5th Street for menudo and tease the butcher.

 

She’ll work someplace, maybe buy a teacup

and sit on a stoop some night with a man.

Not Salvador. Someone who likes heat.

 

Make coffee with real cream.

Wear shoes with straw wedges. Dance

to Aretha (who can tease with the best of them).

 

None of her poems rhymed but she filled pages

with longing when I read Emily Dickinson to her —

another life mostly spent alone in a room.

 

By & By Poetry October 2015

A Clock Ticks Without Mercy at 3 AM

 

My mind’s a nest I weave

with bits of debris from everyone’s life.

Worry, my rapturous companion:

 

When will the drought end,

bless the bony sidewalks,

find the parched arches?

 

My grandchildren sent out

without their coats, and bedtime

is bedtime plus an hour.

 

My left ventricle is shrinking,

must face a full winter, pump

harder under my breast bone.

 

My heart beats over my lover’s breathing.

I could live like this for years:

pump wonder pump wonder pump wonder.

 

By & By Poetry 2015

Nancy Huxtable Mohr

nhmohr@retrovp.com

 

Nancy Huxtable Mohr © 2018

All Rights Reserved.