Pics and Poems
(First published in NoVA Bards 2018)
City of Roses, how have you been
while I slept far away, forgetting
the touch of my homeland?
Misty rains adrift
on ocean-sweeping westerlies
descend to form your character -
restore for me an echo of my youth
in cool clean air and rain-rich greenery;
in long June days - dew-daisies underfoot -
and roses all summer.
No, I say - no to earthquakes; to volcanoes -
you're no healing home for me, nor haven for my child.
Instead, a subterfuge
or shifting floor beneath a seasoned heart
whose bargains ever slide apart.
What solace now, those long-missed English daisies
that I delighted to discover
at my feet again
in your green gardens?
Nevermore beguile me - hopeless hope
childhood's tea and cakes.
Anne Emerson, summer 2017;
Revised 2020, 2023
(Published in NoVA Bards, 2015)
Nominated for Pushcart Prize
With clear, dry air and dusky grass behind,
and mountain vistas in our senses yet,
we catch an airport taxi home to find
the work of life returns: vacation’s debt.
It settles down like dew, that humdrum mood—
mow lawn, make beds, get larder shelves restocked;
for no-one’s sharing home-made beer and food,
or places new adventures have unlocked.
They feel so close: a campus, floral walk;
Dushanbe tea, unruffled Echo Lake;
and friendships from our youth engaged with talk.
Another parting brings its belly-ache.
These scenes will soon be lost like wave-washed prints
whose contours smooth beneath the rippling tide.
Alone, my words and images give hints—
creations whose first urgency has died.
Anne Emerson, February 2014
Lavender and Lime
We take our picnics onto cliffs of chalk
in wartime, though no bluebirds flutter there
as shadows fall on sterling spoon and fork
and alpenglow consumes once-storied fare.
Return to us, oh sweetly fading calls
of lavender and lime from younger days –
your sunset-world that built these ivied walls attracts no more, in half-distorted ways.
It's caught within an other-making loom –
in fabric folding on itself through time
to strangers breathing lavender perfume –
and sipping liquor, laced with Rose’s lime.
To weave again, behond old myths and dreams,
a shadow has to breathe, and break its seams.
August 2022, revised July 2023
Light Comes In
(One Version Published in Poets Domain 2018)
heralds earth’s primeval light -
sleeping waves catch fire.
Walk on the Beach
Crisply cold - bright sun
on wave, gull; with scattered tracks -
worlds unknown, at home.
Cobalt, peach, light airs
float to sleep on wintry waves -
three hikers linger.
Anne Emerson, May 2019;
revised 2020, 2023