Sunday, September 19, 2010

Three Poems by Anna Donovan


Sometimes her hands rest
pale and poised
as deep desert doves
on age polished sand,
every gesture soft
as grass under a moonlit night.

With mournful countenance
she tells of eleven windmills lined
as soldiers on a hill
to guard an ancient pine forest
where Moors still harvest
sacred saffron crocuses
and olive groves behold
orange and lavender clouds.

And I wonder,
as my grandmother turns
the frail pages
of a most precious book,
if she took the old world
with her when she went
beyond the hills.

She looks up
from the rolling vines
of a watermelon patch,
all round bearers of sweet joy
in her mind's eye.

"It is fragile things
that continue."

She says, as she folds
her hands in the shape
of a tall steeple
before morning prayers.

No Mountain Climbers

They pose before a glacial valley
with the mountain rising in the distance,
their complacent smiles tell
of amenities, cheap female companions
and a steady flow of whiskey sours.

They're no mountain climbers
my father and his best friend,
but mountain climbers
celebrate with them.

Perhaps team players
secretly admire
the few who go about
unencumbered by bonds
and filial attachments,
or the simple matter
of the wealthy
carelessly spending
on vacation.

They all know,
even soccer players
down in the city's heart
will share the spoils
of this mundial.

A crimson pink sunset lingers
in the distance,
and my father looks like a man
shrinking in his own clothes,
trying to be who he was
and exhausted by the effort.

And his best friend
stands a few feet away,
already removing himself
from my father,
lest Death also chooses him
by mere proximity.


Even as we cross
every line ever drawn
on the sand,
with a want flailing
our bodies
into the eye of the storm,
the two-eyed violet
golden and nubbed,
I see the end
from the beginning.

The bleary eye
of a spent storm
will pause ripened
with second thoughts.

Troubled you'll linger
in an absent touch
and stand still
while the day blurs
furtive oranges
a rustle away from fire.

Cloistered and conjoined
in accumulated ambivalence
we will move manacled
by manic passions,
secretly longing for
the piercing scream,
the flaying flares,
shrapnel and flesh wounds
round the seething monster,
the bare light bulb,
pendulum in the crime scene.

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