Site design: Skeleton
Sample Poems by Marcia Hurlow
The air should be white it feels so thick,
or yellow-brown with the stench
of tobacco curing in the cracked black barn
rising over the field. The clouds have closed
my room, my house. Even the yard is contained,
so I rest under the water maple
for the sky to break in rain.
Ground roots align me with stars I can't see.
Clouds thread through the branches,
slip through the thousand eyes of the tree.
Their thousand lights fade against the sky,
then fast pellets of ice form and sort
through the wide, darkening leaves
but melt before they reach me.
I pray for their bright
sting on my forehead, or a stray leaf
broken loose by the wind, or the earth's soft
rush through the roots by my side.
The Music of the Spiders
for Lawson Fusao Inada
Never mind why I have worked so late—
I put my head down on the table
to rest my eyes, when I see the spider,
a kleenex intaglio. I lift the edge
of the tissue to release him. He runs
like a night club singer to the spot
of light from my lamp. Then still. Is he
waiting for the band to begin? Then alive
with some inner trumpet, a luminous,
jazz-rhythm spider, frenetically blows
his cool lines, his silver licks, his spare
change high into shadow off-stage. Applaud
those jump-beat threads, those be-bop rays,
and oh, those sweet blue spaces in between.
Cows, 7 a.m.
This is the hour
they stroll out to pasture
painting a line
white and black, between
the crest of the hill
and the dark green cloud
of trees or the pale
morning sky. Their queue
the edges of landscape
then erases itself
into the woods.
Waking Up Lost
Sometimes driving home late
in Kentucky, I would come
alert, the landscape clear
and framed as a photograph. I wouldn’t
know where I was
though I drove that way daily.
I might be outside Danville
or just approaching Wilmore.
The fields rolled, the barbed
wire biting heavy maples the way I’d
known them since childhood.
In that loss and peace, if I said
aloud my darkest dream, it would be
healed. Jerseys would push
their brown heads through
the fences, the most familiar
robin would sing something
I memorized in grade school and
I would be in exactly the right place.