Liturgy For The Rhododendrons 2013

Liturgy For The Rhododendrons

Twenty-three days into June,

Rhododendrons gone,

Having lasted longer than

They’ve ever done

In all the years we’ve lived here,


This week

Just when we celebrated summer’s solstice;

Glorious, abundant, no, profuse in pinkness.

We were blessed.

As if it knew it was no longer needed,

Days of admiration ended,

Rhododendron’s tree called on the rain

To pellet down

Like hail.

So now, until

Next year,

We gaze enraptured,

Petals shrunken, darkened,


Liturgy For The Rhododendron   6.23.2013

Circling Round Nature; Swedish Book; birth, Death & In Between II;

Arlene Corwin

Jurassic Park Unknown 2011

        Jurassic Park Unknown

I’m waiting for the day

When DNA

They’ve saved from poxes that

They won’t destroy

(God all knows why)

The dinosaur they plucked, dug

Out of an egg or mountain –

(I’m too ignorant to know where, how –

Will lead an unpredicted destiny

To cycles, repetitions,

Endings/starts in Time

(Which doesn’t give a damn)

And atom clouds, a darkened sun,

The wheel,

The use of fire…


To you, dear reader,

(You I know, who are informed),

This speculation sillily surplus –

I  had to say it!.


Jurassic Park Unknown 1.3.2011

A Sense of the Ridiculous; Our Times, Our Culture;

Arlene Corwin



Intentions Noble 2012

Intentions Noble

(Adventures in Sweden through the heart of a Brooklynite)


Oh, my intentions were noble:

To pick the blueberries

Bursting like cherries

In forests nearby.

The plan to enhance and to nourish

Eyes cherished by vitamins: berries the promise.

Hours of handfuls and not one collected;

Mouthfuls not potfuls and not unrepentant.


If weather obliges –

The morrow is dry,

What hasn’t transpired in ages and ages –

Berries like cherries in forests nearby

Will not go unstockpiled

But undergo pie after pie after pie.


My Intentions Were Noble 8.5.2012

Circling Round Nature; Swedish Book;

Arlene Corwin


Documenting Summer 2012

Documenting Summer

Outside on the steps with coffee,

Green grasshopper on my knee,

Diminutive, lime, tranquil, friendly.

I’m as mesmerized as he.

I’ve had on me all kinds of creepy-

Crawlies: dragonflies, ants, butterflies,

Worms, beetles, ladybirds, small spiders

Who have lived and thrived

On shoulder, chest, calf, forearm, toe,

But green grass thumb-sized hopper – no.

Staying long enough for me to see

Tiny antennae, four small feet

So magical they look like drawings,

Cartoon wings:  strong but unreal  –

Long enough to get the feel of

What it’s like to be a hopper

(as opposed to walk- or flier, masticater

of the crop,)

I never have to take a break,

Vacate the land,

Evacuate familiar walls.

I’ve had my very own firsthand


Time’ll tell what else

Shows up.

Documenting Summer 7.3.2012

Circling Round Nature;

Arlene Corwin

To Take A Life 2012

                To Take A Life


Just took a life.  Damn, damn!

A kind of biting flying thing

With lacey, lovely spotted wing

That moved up windowpane.

Damn, damn!


I thought I’d save it

With a card and cup

(as I do every summer –

Oh, I feel so stupid!)                                                                         

But I injured it instead

And had to kill it – dead!                                               

(To end its writhing)


Damn, I am

A horrid woman.

What to do?

My face is warm.

I’ve harmed,

I’ve harmed.


Sacrifice of sorts is called for.


Life means movement.

Life loves life.

Killing’s stilling movement

For a time I can’t determine

But which might just mean                                                                


And that is much too long for me.


Damn, I just took life.


To Take A Life 7.2.2012

Birth, Death & In Between II; Circling Round Nature;

Arlene Corwin




Midsummer 2012


We celebrated midsummer.

Now It’s over.

We ate herrings, mackerel, dill, potatoes,

Grilled tomatoes, chicken, rice;

Cheese, grapes: weariless our appetites;

Strawberries, cream, cake & coffee.

Drinking red and elderberry,

And we toasted

Summer’s solstice.

We played boule, guitar and sang;

Discoursed till evening.

Anecdotes run into sand.

Now it’s over.

Nice if we could stop the day,

The shortened time betraying us.

Gratifying if we could detain the light

Night through, the winter through.

True to form,

The turning point has come,

And joy and cheer become a matter of interpretation.

How to hold on

To and keep them? You

Know cheer’s not in the solstice or

The party, for

They both are over

And it is no longer midsummer.

Midsummer 6.22.2012

Circling Round Nature; Birth, Death /& In Between II;

Arlene Corwin

Talks With A Jehovah’s Witness 2012

Talks With A Jehovah’s Witness

We make decisions all the time.

Does that make will free will?

Does making make the will,

Hint at autonomy and choice?

You do not need a church to know,

You-sow-you-reap: a heap of chains.

To me it’s plain: the me I use that uses me

Began its journey

When the male cypher put out some feelers

Into an already & all ready force

Called nature; something in the universe that nurtures.

A first force that doesn’t move cannot produce,

But something in this universe can nurture

Nature, which in turn, can carry through…

And carry through it does through opposites;

With white and black and front and back,

And minus/plus and all of us,

With chains and patterns of potential

In our essences, with tendencies

And qualities

With which we reach a perfect state

Of being one with Something.

Talks With A Jehovah’s Witness 6.16.2012

Nature In & Of Reality;

Arlene Corwin

The Most Natural One Of Us (In The House) 2012

The Most Natural One of Us (In The House)


The most natural one of us

In the house

Is Albert Cat.

When lengthened days of May

Manipulate his melatonic ways

And night sings

“Come to me my melatonic baby”,

He succumbs,

Coming through his door

At four,

(that’s right, that’s 4a.m. at night)

For Cat’s Delite,

At which a.m.

He joins Ms Corwin in

The bed.



                 to-work ethos,



                                         snacks club,

No member of the ‘idle hands

Make-devil’s-work  society,

He follows days circadiant,

His nature conflict-free.  At ease. 

He spends no years in therapy

Spending his money or monies.

Nah, the most nah-tural of us

In this or any house

Is he.



The Most Natural One of Us 5.21.2012

Cat Book;

Arlene Corwin



This Is The Now 2012

This Is The Now


This is the now –

Not less worthy than

The other now when

I was writing verse a now ago.


Albert standing on a branch

Poking paw into its pine-ey needles,

Hunting something I can’t see.

Does he hear something?

It’s inaudible to me.


Pine branch lying on the lawn.

How can Albert find so many holes to claw?

Endless variations on a theme,

His every motion synchronized.

AH!  I see!  The schemer!

It’s a mouse.


Fifteen minutes later:

He’s still at it.

In my anti- nature-has-its-ways-

I’ve piled more branches on the first.

Instinct-Albert isn’t peeved.  He doesn’t curse.

He vaults the mini-Everest.

Front, back, aha, he’s got the drift,

Trying (not-too-hard) to lift

a branch.

Believe you me, they’re heavy.


Albert is relentless, ready, tail swishing.

Poor, poor mouse,  I wish

That I could make it so you lived to see

Another day!

(Albert, why

are you not tired out

or losing focus?)

Systematic, specialized par excellence

This game of cat and-nows.


This Is The Now 3.26.2012

Circling Round Nature; Cat Book;

Arlene Corwin

First Day Out 2012

First Day Out


Just in case I get a thought,

I’ve brought

My pen and laptop


The old-fashioned way.


Feb. twelve.  Light

Brighter over treetop and

I hear a saw afar; a farmer


Making preparation.

He wants light or wood.

And/or – that’s good.

Country dwellers – they’re so clever.


I sit.

Rooftop snow has almost hit me,

Missing by an inch.

Melt, melt…



Is story-telling:



But worth a word.


Another thud.

What luck!

I’m tucked under an eave

Exposed to ultra-violet

I need.

Light’s back and lengthening;

Apple cake inside is baking.

We will gain an hour next month.


Still, temperature demands

Two pairs of tights, leg warmers,

T-shirt, sweater, vest, coat, hat.

That’s that.

My first day out.


First Day Out 2.12.2012

Small Stories Book; Swedish Book; Circling Round Nature;

Arlene Corwin

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