Simply put, spring is a crossover season, often full of dreaminess and mist. The world around us is all about becoming, and change happens every day—every minute, even. Often our attention spans are short, because we can’t linger on anything too long.
The following poems, while not being about spring directly, embrace that sense of impending change. They’re looking forward, full of hope—and peaceful, too, in the way they’re looking back. Kind of like Janus, the Roman god of doorways, with his two faces, gazing into the future and the past at the same time.
The Dream of an Uncommon Language
I do not dream
of a common language,
of a phrase I can say in Quito
to be understood in Iowa,
and smiled at in Jordan.
I would not dream
of out-of-work translators.
What would they do
if not carry his words,
and the warmth of his tongue to her ear?
I cannot dream
of describing my love
if not in Arabic.
What else would I
say over dessert?
of wanting you
in languages we barely know,
of being untranslatable
as we are.
The shadow of a crow wavers
over the river wavering
above the shadows of worn stones
so nothing is real, reflection
upon refection in this life,
except the river, blur of stones,
and, somewhere else by now, a crow.
All it takes is a hover of mist
over the next hill to make me think
the hill is an entrance to where mist
becomes a god, dissolving the hills
and pines so each pine likewise becomes
godly, barely there, with a secret.
Two hours later, it lifts and shifts
to clouds—maybe it was always clouds—
and the gods have retreated or fled
to the high peaks I can’t see from here.
But I can the whole of that hill.
I can even see part of the trail
as it curves away. The trail they took.
Legs and Arms
Easier to wrap legs
than fold arms around love;
chemistry’s lavish thrill
slips away soon enough.
We frittered the heat,
then claimed rectitude:
Dull banter overwhelmed
blended with self-pity
is a bitter gourd diced
then boiled in turnip broth
of past magical thought.
Kaput. Resigned from love.
Disregard that buzzard
Get another . . . Get another.
in a Milk Duds kind of comfort
feet up at the movies like Paul and Joanne
so that you float down the river like Boudu
meanwhile the nattering booksellers
have their trade and wares and authors rosters
dribs and drabs
as if I had insincere notions they were true blue
I never thought of anyone but you and that’s why
am I right or am I strictly from left field
the flowers thrust into your hand burst open
revealing the corollas and releasing heavy scent
you let overpowering us settle on the furniture
Jordi Alonso is currently is a Turner Fellow in Poetry at SUNY Stony Brook Southampton and has been published or has work forthcoming in The Southampton Review, Edible, The Colorado Review, The Lyric, and other journals. His first book, Honeyvoiced was published by XOXOX Press in November of 2014.
Although Laurie Duncan grew up in the Midwest, she did so close to the mythology and reality of Colorado. Her great grandparents were homesteaders but lost everything during the Depression. When she moved to Colorado, she began writing poetry after a forty-year hiatus. In the fall of 2014 she joined five others in the Lighthouse poetry book project and is currently at work on a full-length manuscript.
Robert King’s latest book is Some of These Days, from Conundrum Press. He directs the Colorado Poets Center.
Christopher Mulrooney is the author of toy balloons (Another New Calligraphy) and Rimbaud (Finishing Line Press). His work has recently appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, Communion, Tipsy Lit, streetcake magazine, Cut-Thru Review, The Journal, San Francisco Salvo, riverbabble, and Dink Mag.
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