For April Vermont Public Radio has been broadcasting local poets reading their poems. My Migration poem made it into the mix (scroll down to my name).
A poem I wrote recently about my travels through Italy in spring 2019 after losing my grandmother unexpectedly just a week before her 95th birthday. She’s on my mind lately as the snow is melting and days are growing warmer. She died on Easter, which is fitting as she was the center of our family Easter traditions, baker of Easter casadella cakes and pizza gain. Rest in Peace Grandma Betty.
I fly away from you,
away from the wooden box
that holds your ashes.
Once I land,
swallows are everywhere
like the Scirocco
sweeping up from the south,
dancing like patterns on the robes
of the Senegalese women who sell wooden beads at the market,
black shapes cutting into blue sky.
They appear in Siracusa
where the old men sit lined up in the square,
brown hands folded in rest
and again in Sienna
spilling from the clouds like seed,
pouring over the city’s stone walls,
flowing out over rooftops.
In Venice they flutter above gargoyles like confetti
as if trying to escape tourists
who trail in pink plastic ponchos and rain boots
like a carnival parade
in and out of alleyways,
across ancient bridges.
They follow me to San Michelle,
the stone city of the dead,
mosaics and iron crosses,
mourning doves roosting like
stone angels above children’s graves.
There a chapel sits empty,
a row of wooden chairs waits
beside a candle lit by some unseen hand.
My own angels resting.
The end of a migration.
I’m hosting a poetry reading and open mic later this month at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library. It’s on Wednesday, January 27 at 6:30 pm and will feature Vermont poets Geof Hewitt, Tricia Knoll and Joanne Mellin. The open mic spots are all filled up , but you can still hunker down at home to watch!
Sign up here to attend.
I love this poem by my honey, Jason Imanuel, published this month on Poets Online.
RESISTANCE LIGHTS THE WAY
Step right this way!
See with your own eyes where most men shy away!
Your future is now!
Called the raconteur, his barker’s baritone glowing
as Thomas Edison, the djinn of direct current, declared,
“…alternating currents kill!”
which is how he made those corpses of horses
that he stacked against Nikola Tesla,
who was more concerned with the making than the marketing.
Their mutual rancor denied them both the Nobel Peace Prize.
While Edison surged on to harness electricity
and enough investors to keep him both rich and relevant,
Tesla, impoverished in the grind
between potentials and paydays,
died alone, with pigeons as partners.
I struggle to find much worth weaving
into my own life from Edison’s example,
aside from his acumen for parting men from their money
and his ability to recognize the gift of failing well.
Tesla draws me in with ease,
even in his rigidities and judgements he kept growing,
reshaping, refining and resubmitting himself
to the truths that electrify each pulsing heartbeat.
“Our virtues and our failings are inseparable,
like force and matter. When they separate,
man is no more…”
I hear Nikola whispering in his wireless waves,
urging me to be a receptor when lightning strikes,
to dare to flourish in the flux of the moon,
to defy the urge to pin identity in a calcified moment,
that dropped rock whose ripples are already fading from the water
I’m walking on into a deeper doing through dreaming out loud.