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lu-mi-nous/ adj./ 1. The quality
of light as the surface of a river
at dusk catches silver
from the sunís leaving;
daylight reflected
on water/in motion on canyon walls/
fractalled into rainbows/waterfalls;

2. full of light; bright as
a luminous sunset, or even as
certain fish and plants are luminous;
Syn: glowing, radiant; The face
of the full moon/was luminous
on the night river/its shadow
moving across the black cliffs;

3. shining by its own light as a soul
or as the stars and planets are
bodies in the night sky;

4.Figurative: easily understood,
clear, enlightening or enlightened;
We who traveled/ on the river/
were changed/spirits made
for a brief time/luminous.

First printed in In Plein Air (Poetic License Press, 2017)


See in the basket how the apples blush--
Eve might have picked a bushel from the tree.

Tart as teeth on edge, their fragrance clings

where fingers cup slick skin before you cut

the core away to rosy yellow scraps that fall.

You hear an old clock ticking in the hall.

Cold passion moves you like Sylvia in Devon,
these apples not for brides but for a crone.

See how their shed skins wrinkle in the sink?

She couldnít bear to hear the childrenís cries,

the damp, the bread to knead, Ted and his bees.

Each day seems longer after autumn comes.

And, mirrored, the butcherís hook wonít tell a lie,

yours gone like the smooth face of every youth.

Whatís sour will sweeten the season with a pie.
Bake one for your lovelies before they fly,

Grandmere.La croute a tarte tu preparez.

See how all the moony slices multiply

to fill the plate? Turn on the gas--

later eat the little ones you saved.

First printed in Main Street Rag, 2018.

Compass Flowers

Above tree line
on steep grassy slopes
sprung from scattered rocks

grandiflora flourish untended,
bright yellow sun goddesses
all turning east

their full-petalled faces.
They are not versed
in the ways of the world

but in them sun lives.
Compass flowers

called by early surveyors

crossing difficult terrain
to tame and map a nation.
They survive still, flourish

between clear blue
and cloud, between snow
field and high mountain,

all a-tremble, unfurling
until the wind turns
its back and they fold

into their secret deaths.
Not at all boastful
how they raise, bow

their golden heads
every day of summer
and not one is disregarded.

First printed in Clover, 2018.

Green Hearts

New leaves are spiking outside my kitchen window,
pale, delicate, unfurling from a bare aspen like tiny scrolls.

Underneath it long fingers of iris have pushed up
from bulbs hiding in the moist mystery of earth.

Another sign, yesterday I saw yellow forsythia
sprung out from a tangle of branches in the garden.

At the sink I stand in awe, no words for these gifts,
I who have also felt the broken will of the body,

been lost in the dark, uncertain alleys of the mind.
Even in my unsteady hand, when I hold up

this clean glass to a beam of light, it reflects back
through the window an offering of green hearts.

Forthcoming in Leaping Clear, 2018.

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