The Gods Talked

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

So the gods talked
and nothing really happened
until a storm from the south
breached the enclave and blackened.

Then the smallest god of all
stood up and spoke his piece:
Nothing will change ever
Cause the people are not geese—

For geese ride together in the sky,
each takes a turn in front,
and they depend on each other
when the wind becomes too blunt.

If people could lead and follow,
a lot of this would be solved—
so my suggestion to all of us
is let the people evolve.

NOWRUS

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

(“New day”: Northern Hemisphere’s Vernal Equinox)
—Michael H. Brownstein

Dawn,
the first day of springshine,
the mirrors polished
rose water as centerpiece,
decorated eggs,
purple hyacinths,
living greens,
lit candles,
honey-soaked baklava—

Smile into the mirror,
happiness.
Smell the water of roses,
fresh air.
Painted eggs,
poetry.
Purple flowers,
beauty.
Living plants,
light.
Candles aflame,
warmth.
Homemade sweets,
love.

Nowrus:
day conquers night,
soon seas of blossoms,
good friends and family,
wonder and awe,
prayer,
one hand in another’s,
the sustainability of life.

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