...However, if they put me after Tennyson I might have looked good. *bah dah chiiiiing!* To many-towered Camelot, my eye.
Here's the poems I read, in no particular order, copyright C.A.F. 2008 and all that jazz:
Remaining here for a year
at the forty-fifth, I remember:
that cut the horizon and wound the sun.
She bleeds a bronze trail
into the water at high-mark tide.
Her blood stains the stinking pylons
of the docks into beauty.
Mussels open tiny mouths to swallow
every last honey drip of her.
The girls in the surf and the kelp-brown lovers
move to the same rhythm.
The sun breathes in pleasure,
fever-red in her furious dying.
Gulls cry with her cries,
beating wings thrumming along with her heart.
The sea lions moan
and crash their supple bodies chest to chest.
An old woman bows with the dune-grass
to smile into the dusk.
As she looks she remembers the summers
of her own hot-blood girlhood.
The filly legs of the surf-girls
pound the muscle-hard sand.
Their feet know fury,
their innocent bodies already know the sway.
Lovers, oblivious to all,
rolling about like seals in the cooling sands.
Hands clasp everywhere,
warm skin to cool grit.
I stood on the cliff rejoicing,
my spirit cast in a taut line off the fault.
I was born in a land of rivers and tides
that flow to the west.
Living this side of the continental divide
is killing me.
Your cold runs from my shoulders,
the night like water,
stars falling from the cedar strings of the earth lodge.
They sink deep into the pool of my iris,
so that I may find the constellations of home
with one eye.
The other will look forward into the world
that my hands can touch.
The ponderosas–my fathers—
sway and breathe dreams,
and the currents of faraway shores into my veins,
so that I will remember
to exhale the tide even under inland skies.
Your granite chorus sings to me,
the pale child with yellow hair,
as I listen to my mother’s throaty chant
rise with the curl of smoke from her fire.
The stars swallow the trail
as a gift from her earth-cracked hands.
I do not share the shade of her skin,
or the jet-and-ashes of her hair,
but I am her daughter,
for the same river-map of the
courses in our wrists and veins.
Western child, horizon child,
the reeds beneath me rattle
to remind my bones how to dance.