Things Are Dying Off 1997

 

 

      Things Are Dying Off

Things are dying off.

I go outside to water the

Tomatoes, and I notice that

The other plants, once juicy green

Are starting to de-clothe,

And I’m surprised.

It’s happened in a week,

When all my expectations speak

Of succulence: greens, mauves and blue.

I go outside and they’re all through,

Save one or two who’ll thrive,

Survive the snow –

And I’m surprised at my surprise,

My lack of observation.

Surely there are signs to read

That speak for all creation.

If I sharpened all my senses,

I would notice – way ahead –

When nature’s fruitfulness was done,

Taking death without surprise,

Which knack alone

Would make me wise.

But I’m still far away from that.

 

*

*written three days after the death of Princess Diana.

did I mean Di-ing off?

©

 

Things Are Dying Off 97.9.2Birth, Death & In Between; Circling Round Nature;

Arlene Corwin

Everything Gets Old 1997

      Everything Gets Old

Oh, those lips, they were lovely.

The outline firm, the bottom lip full;

The skin itself crack-free,

The color like roses, or wine that you mull

With cinnamon stick from a kiss someone stole.

The corners went naturally up and a little bit out

So that lipstick could follow the contours

Without any effort or pretence at pout.

Oh, those lips! They were mine,

And I took them for granted:

The moisture, the shine,

The smoothness, the wrinkle-less upper lip line.

Foolish girl that I was!

If I knew what I know –

That all beauty must go –

I’d have gazed at them at them just that little bit longer;

Exercised muscles to make their tone stronger.

Something –

Done something!

But what did I do?

Nothing! The youth and the dew

And the rosy pink hue –

Well, I hadn’t a clue.

I blew away kisses and suitors alike,

Never dreaming that loveliness ends. Now the night

Of maturity, autumn, – the older years call;

And I feel just a little bit sad for neglect

Of the gifts that I scarcely acknowledged at all.

©

 

Everything Gets Old 1.19.1997

A Plethora of Riches 1997

     A Plethora of Riches

I’m tired of picking mushrooms:

They’re everywhere,

And every time I step outside to get the post

Or take a stroll to someone’s house,

My mushroom-oriented eye espies

A fare, free as the air:

Spicy, fruity, nutty-scented,

King’s ambrosia, restaurants prize: Giants!

Size of dinner plate or coffee cup,

So stopping, stooping, take them up.

“Aha, a group for mushroom soup!”

My counter’s filled with peelings:

Stem and cap and earth and spore.

Swamped (a pun). No more! No more!

On forest floor or in the ditches,

Inundated by these riches,

I can’t seem to rid myself,

Reduce the pile or shrink the stock;

My freezer’s full. They’re chock-a-block

On every shelf,

And every time I serve a plate,

Scores of upstarts wait outside

And I, who suffer from

A lack of will to not bend down

Wind up reloaded. Mushrooms come

From all directions: Nature’s crown.

Arlene thinks she well may drown

In fungi she can’t name in English,

But, which costly, hunted dish –

Cherished food to fry or bake

With meat or fish, in soup or quiche –

Is there within a finger’s reach.

And I, ungrateful, maybe selfish,

Feeling I’ve a stomach-ache,

Sit panting for the season’s break.

The plethora encroaches.

©A Plethora Of Riches 97.10.1

Circling Round Nature;

Arlene Corwin

Fund Of Calm version#2 1997

     Fund Of Calm
Last night we walked.
We passed a stream
That had the force
Of heavy rain and spring
Floods. Poised upon a beam
We watched the brook melt into calm –
Gyrating, hurtling waters glide,
Become the lake we walked beside.
The source a lake, the end a lake,
And in between a straggling, gushing –
Sometimes rushing,
Ever pushing course
Of force
That trades the rivulet for torrent,
Finding not one rock abhorrent.
Going, drying out and waiting,
Flowing, freezing or sluice-gating,
Yet, proceeding to its lake.
And the lake was calm.
 Last night I also dreamed.
And in the muzzy
Veil of day remember
That a helper, although fuzzy,
Showed me how we slip away;
How we’re borne from place to place,
Plane to plane or room to room,
Stage to stage or shelf to shelf.
I can’t describe it for myself.
The image faded. All I’m sure of
Is the quietness I’m full of,
From the picture that I saw.
There was fear. Then it was taken.
Death was seamless like the lake and
Busy brook, dissolving one
Into the other for the sake of
Moving forward just for fun
And for the unknown trip begun.© Fund Of Calm 97.5.12

It was all a fund of calm.

 

 

 

Circling Round Nature; Birth, Death & In Between;

Arlene Corwin

 
 
 
 

 

 

Fund Of Calm 1997

      Fund Of Calm

Last night we walked and passed a stream

That had the force of rain and spring.

Poised on a beam,

We watched the brook’s

Gyrating, hurtling waters

Become lake we walked beside:

Source: lake; end: lake.

And in between a straggling, gushing,

Rushing, ever pushing course of force

That trades the rivulet for torrent

Finding not one rock abhorrent.

Going, drying out and waiting;

Flowing, freezing or sluice-gating,

Yet proceeding to its lake.

And the lake was calm.

 

Last night I dreamed.

And in the muzzy veil

Remember that a fuzzy helper,

Showed me how we slip away,

Are borne from place to place,

Plane to plane or room to room –

I can’t describe it for myself.

The image faded. All I’m sure of

Is the quietness I’m full of

From the picture I’d invented.

There was fear then it was taken.

Death was seamless, like the brook and lake,

Dissolving one into the other.

Trip begun, moving forward just for fun

And for unknown trips begun.

It was a fund of calm.

©Fund Of Calm 97.5.12

Circling Round Nature; Birth, Death & In Between;

Arlene Corwin

 

 

 

When I’m Allowed To Roam Around 1994

     When I’m Allowed To Roam Around

When I’m allowed to roam around

I become like everyone else:

Full of ambition, indecision,

Anxious, scared,

Ill- or over- prepared

And nervous –

Not thinking of service to anyone

Other than self and pelf.

But thanks to fate I stay alone;

In the country on my own –

Well, relatively on my own –

Surrounded by a trillion pine cones,

Thirteen species bird, one sky,

Occasionally wondering why.

 

Out in the world,

(I used to be out in the world)

I hurled myself at everything in all directions,

All at once.

I’d bounce my skirt,

I’d flirt and pounce.

I’d pounce and bounce

Flounce upon flounce,

Full of desire, breaking hearts,

Aiming higher than my parts

Were meant to. When I roam around

I’m always bound, and lose my way.

But thanks to kismet-karma’s role,

(Forces out of my control)

The ‘country’ force directs the play

Enlivening the peaceful day,

The greenery of scenery

A bar-less cage of freedom.

Here I sing, a star alone;

Engagement: bird, lake, sky, tree, cone.

This from a girl from Brooklyn.

©When I’m Allowed To Roam Around 94.11.19

Circling Round Nature; Pure Nakedness;

Arlene Corwin

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nature Of Labor (Is Invisible) 1994

     The Nature Of Labor (Is Invisible)
I left the house at half past ten.

The morning sun was out again.

The rain had stopped. I stood entranced.

With plastic bucket hanging from

My left wrist, glasses, jogging pants,

I danced along to gather some

Remaining berries. Half past twelve

Returned with half a bucket filled.

Mind you, only half was filled!

I’d stooped and squatted, bent and delved;

I’d climbed and walked and almost spilled…

I’d strained and stained my fingers blue –

The jogging pants were stained blue too.

Home again to rake the leaves.

Well, not exactly – take the leaves

Out of the berry bucket and the spiders

Climbing up it. Half a bucket

Fits a pie. I filled a crust:

Two hours worth of berries plucked.

Tired and hot and bored I thrust

The three hour effort in its place,

Baked the pie, its crust, its pulp

Till crispy. Then the race

Gourmand: family ate it in one gulp.

“Thank you” said the kids, and ran.

“Thank you, darling” said my man.

Day was over. Night began.

 

©The Nature Of Labor 94.9.3

Circling Round Nature; Love Relationships;

Arlene Corwin

 

 

One of Those Thoughts In Meter 1994

 

     One Of Those Thoughts In Meter

No longer young.

The magic numbers have arrived,

And all those processes,

One noticed through the years

Since one was twenty-six

And absolutely thirty-six,

Have all caught up.

“All caught up” and going,

Further still

Downhill.

A strange phenomenon,

These goings on –

This body-thing, which doesn’t work,

(Correction: thing that works –

Of course it works)

But slower, stiffer, more resistant;

Still resilient

(After all, it’s tissue –

Mobile, protean, responsive)

Yet it’s going slowly downward,

Slowly under.

Time (and clime) to change the issue,

Concentrate the mind’s attention

On a soul which has a body,

Not a body, which just happens

To contain a soul.

 

©

 

One Of Those Thoughts In Meter 94.4.16Circling Round Nature; Birth, Death & In Between; Circling Round Wrinkles’

Arlene Corwin

 

 

Primal Energy #4 1993

Primal Energy, My Best Friend #4

Primal energy

Reaching me,

Turning quant-

To quality,

And back again

To quantity

So passive,

Oh, so peacefully.

Primal energy

Out in space,

Author of

The human race;

Dot,

A spot.

But what it’s not is hot

And still, it shapes the plot.

Primal energy

Is my key

To memory,

Humil-/simplic-

Humanity.

And finally

Totality.

©Primal Energy#4 8.19.1993

Circling Round Energy; To The Child Mystic; Circling Round Nature; Nature Of & In Reality;

Arlene Corwin

 

 

 

Primal Energy#1, 2, 3 1993

             Primal Energy#1
Primal energy out in space,

Author of the human race:

Dot,

A spot,

But what it’s not

Is hot.

And still it shapes the plot.

 

 

Primal Energy #2

Primal energy

Reaching me

Turning quant-

To quality

And back again.

Oh, so passive/

Peacefully.

Primal Energy, My Best Friend#3

Primal energy.

The key

To memory,

Humil/simplic-

Humanity;

And finally,

Totality.

©

 

Primal Energy# 1,2,3 8.18.1993Circling Round Nature; Nature In & Of Reality; To The Child Mystic; Circling Round Energy;

Arlene Corwin

 

 

 

 

 

 

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