How do we create love?

A Christmas Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

Four days from the start of winter, five days from the great Ursid meteor shower,
six days after the temperature climbed into the sixties, rain fell, froze on contact,
changing everything to white ice, clean and smooth, clear and crunchy.
The man and woman stand outside their small home, logs burning in the fireplace,
candles lit in darker corners, thick sunlight heating everything through thin windows.
It is cold outside. They listen to the scents around them, see the sounds of shadows,
smell the fresh breeze swinging through the bare trees, arms around each other,
scarves across their throats, hats light on their heads, heavy jackets open to the day.
Christmas comes in the morning, he says. I know, she answers. I never asked,
he continues. I did not ask either, she replies. I do not need anything, he says.
Nor I, and she smiles and pauses and lets out a fog of air. We are not like that,
he begins again. We are not like the air you see in this weather when you breath.
We have something stronger and we have something greater. She turns her head to him.
A glitter of light flashes through a nearby evergreen, its needles ripen with sunshine,
each branch flickers and stops—a pause in wind. I know, she answers.
We have all we need. We have a flower blossom and an agate and he kisses her lightly.
That is all I have ever needed and will ever need, he says, the flint strong within him,
the day blue-lit, the forest strong and healthy, rainbows slipping from the eaves.

Love is created in many ways. This is but one of them.

(From his new book, How Do We Create Love?, Cho;lla Needles Press, 2019: https://www.chollaneedles.com/2019/11/new-book-how-do-we-create-love-by.html? )

A TRIBUTE TO MARY OLIVER

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

MARY OLIVER (1935-2019)

–who wrote my favorite volume of poetry, “The Leaf and the Cloud”.

She will always be the onomatopoeia of flowers,
the metaphor of fourteen-year old locusts and the old oak branch,
an alliteration of dogs, unleashed, exploring
swamp, puddle, briar patch, bramble of leaf, sieve of earth:

Can you not see her in black snake
dipping herself into black pond too early for dawn?
In the imprint of bent clover wet with dew?
Near the stone of the slug where garden snail glistens?
In the soft petals of the apple tree painting both tree and earth?

Ants and thorns, love and stars, moon and a litter of light across water,
fox and her teeth, wolf and her courage, spider and her thick strands of silk.

MARY OLIVER (1935-2019)

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

–who wrote my favorite volume of poetry, “The Leaf and the Cloud”.

She will always be the onomatopoeia of flowers,
the metaphor of fourteen-year old locusts and the old oak branch,
an alliteration of dogs, unleashed, exploring
swamp, puddle, briar patch, bramble of leaf, sieve of earth:

Can you not see her in black snake
dipping herself into black pond too early for dawn?
In the imprint of bent clover wet with dew?
Near the stone of the slug where garden snail glistens?
In the soft petals of the apple tree painting both tree and earth?

Ants and thorns, love and stars, moon and a litter of light across water,
fox and her teeth, wolf and her courage, spider and her thick strands of silk.

Published in Medusa’s Kitchen:
http://medusaskitchen.blogspot.com/2019/03/the-onomatopoeia-of-flowers.html

This is the army marching through Mexico to attack us. Tell Dump Truck Trump there is no need to sleep with the lights on.

Compiled by M. Lapin and Michael H. Brownstein

New York Times: More than 5,000 active-duty military troops will deploy to the southern border by the end of this week, Defense Department officials said on Monday, an escalation of a midterm election show of force against a caraan off Central American migrants that President Trump has characterized as an “invasion of our country.”

Stars and Stripes: President Donald Trump late Wednesday told reporters that he intends to send 10,000 to 15,000 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, indicating that as many as 6,000 additional troops could be notified to prepare to deploy.

President Trump:  if the immigrants who are marching to the U.S. border throw rocks at our troops they will be shot.

WE WEAVED A BOW TIE ACROSS THE STORM

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

the Aborigine sky
bright grey blue
Choctaw

a lurching of grasshoppers
deep in the weed
the shriek of crickets

didjeridu
bull-roarer
gum-leaf

peepers in the grass,
the large hand of a child
thick as brown dessert air

clapsticks
kora
karimba bali

First published in Outlaw Poetry:
https://outlawpoetry.com/2017/four-poems-by-michael-h-brownstein/

The World is Not Coming to an End

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

One one by four oak plank,
a water logged salt stained antler of driftwood,
the soft skin of butternut bark and scar.

The world is coming to an end, she said,
and the young girl down the street
tied a dog’s leash around her neck
and went for broke. Elsewhere,
a dust of clouds rose from the shoreline,
smoke from a mountain shaft tinged the air,
an airplane let loose flames that blackened in the light.

How much strength to rise each morning,
eyes injured on a disfigured face,
the rocking of the body, the rhythm of what is heard
and what is not heard.

The world is coming to an end, she said,
and a boy was born to the mother of a soldier,
the son of a veteran in another round of war.
Count the fingers, count the toes,
how does his face look?

Years will go by,
a tree will mature and grow strong.
The world will not come to an end.

Let’s gather wood on the beach near the dunes.
You know the place–down the thick sand trail,
across a few ridges, near the graveyard of branches
where leaf changes to stone.

Once we dug a hole in the sand, placed sleeping bags
for flooring, built a roof with whatever wood
we could find. Openings filled themselves with night
and we slept well.

First published in poetrysuperhighway.com