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Andreas Gripp, CA
 

 

 

 

Poems from Beads on Blossoms

An Ephemeral Affair

On our final day together,
my lover brings a blossom,
a solitary bloom,
says flowers are lost
by the dozen,
that the beauty
at the top of a single stem
explodes upon an iris,
that an orb should not absorb
a flood of fleeting,
fragile colour.

I take my darling's gift
and soak her mahogany hair
with my eyes,
grateful that I'll remember,
be fond of the fronds
we've felt, the pond
by which we sat
upon a wooden bench
for two,
pitching pebbles
for a wish,
knowing pennies
purchase more
but might be toxic
to the fish.

 

 

Raking Leaves with Anneliese

She holds open
translucent bags
as I heave
loads of coloured
leaves
into their crinkled,
plastic mouths
like a backhoe
dropping dirt
into a pit.

The Stasi
took my father
into the night,
she firmly sighs.
I sent letters
to the prison
but I never heard
a word.

I note golden,
scarlet foliage,
fallen
like unpicked apples.
Some have twisting
worms, limp
as flimsy laces
on my loosely-knotted
shoes.

She says mother
stays in sackcloth,
with a veil
that never lifts
in public places.

November's
biting wind
scatters half
our work away,
our faces
turning numb
in waning light.

 

 

Aurora Borealis

In the north, at this peculiar season,
at this time of cricket-night,
we'll see aurora borealis,
the waves of greenish light
on grand horizons.

I think of stately trees,
if arboreal pertains to Heaven
and you tell me that it doesn't,
that it's terrestrial,
that the trunks and spindly branches,
with leaves that fill each top
as diadems,
are simple, silent observers
of the celestial show above.

I mention holidays,
the one we're currently on,
if the calendar takes note
of the kaleidoscope ahead
and again I'm deemed confused,
that the planting of oaks and elms
has nothing to do with the stars,
that Arbor Day is christened
with a shovel and a spade.

A final, blazoned variant comes to mind:

Aurora, with radiant, emerald eyes,
a daughter's perfect name,
one that we'll hold onto for the future,
as a tribute to the swirls
of cosmic glow,
ones that dance aloft,
soundless and angelic.

 

 

Haiku

Full moon
free of clouds
Crescendo of crickets

 

 

Slumbering forest
cloaked in snowfall
The sound of snapping twigs

 

 

Dawn's dew
beads on blossoms
Hummingbird hovers

 

 

Sijo

A bald eagle, perched in the pine,
staring down at us below.
We are unwelcome visitors,
disturbing the bush and brush.
Bald? No, white, like the mountain tops,
a crown of kingly feathers.

 

 

My garden blossoms by its roots,
the spray of water they absorb.
Keeping green each leaf and stem,
I rarely see them, these veins:
Below the ground, the earth
an unlit heart to which they reach.

 

 

Tanka

Our daughter races,
attempting to catch the birds.
If she had the wings
of a pigeon, she'd leave us,
dropping occasional notes.

 

 

Fire is our future,
we learned in astrophysics.
Dharma says detach:
the sun to swell and swallow,
with even the ashes gone.

 

*from Beads on Blossoms. Andreas Gripp. Canada: Harmonia Press. March 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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