G.F. Boyer – Poems and Photographs
Reeds and Sky
Weeping Lovegrass – Do Not Mow
Sign in the median of NJ Route 55
Frothy with split ends, it ripples
in the breeze of passing traffic.
I picture women mowing here, their
ponytails aflutter like these grasses,
in exhaust and dust and summer heat,
while cars and semis barrel past
at arm’s length—danger framing
dullness and routine.
Someone in a highway office ordered them—
for their evocative name, perhaps,
or for the most mundane of reasons:
to stem erosion, their lovely name
an extra perk. Someone planted them
and posted signs of warning
so we travelers might ponder
how our senses, blunted daily,
can awaken to beauty after all.
Afternoon Nap in a Pasture
In tall dreaming grasses far
from the highway, sky a speckled
grackle’s egg, in languorous daisies,
in the clamor of wild iris and red clover,
you begin to rouse, your eggshell
of sleep cracking, dissolving, and then
overhead, there they are: a flowering
of cows, a daisy chain, staring down,
solemn and genial circle—dark-lashed,
chewing, bewildered—and your eyes
too, are a mirror, as above them,
storm clouds tumble and darken.
The Calm Before
Light drips over roses, horns of foxglove,
hackles of honeysuckle stupefied with heat.
Grasshoppers leap in sun-heated grass.
Just ahead of a gathering storm, bees fly laden
from bloom to open bloom, hefting saddlebags
of pollen back to the hive, veering and wavering
like helicopters nearly out of gas. Through the
glass of a darkening dream, I hear their drone,
the August afternoon a canopy of heat
and hush but for bees chugging across the yard
from blossom to prismatic blossom,
even the cats too hot to bother watching.
Leaves in Snow
Elms shoulder up sidewalks,
dowse underground streams
in clay and metal pipe.
carve apertures, atom by atom,
As pipes burst their seams,
joints rupture, larger roots
muscle in, while the smallest
savor their new climate—
to the power of raw persistence.
Queen Anne’s Lace with Bees
He’s a secret in a pocket, a change purse, a pillbox,
a pair of yawning jaws. Elementary of anatomy,
sedimentary of milieu, when talk turns to chowder
he skedaddles. He doesn’t babble, doesn’t tattle.
No, rather than a clamor, he clams up—
in heavy armor. Although he’s got a heart, sentimental
he is not. With his down-to-business mouth, he spurns
proclamations and exclamatory phrases.
He keeps his hide-out secret, but for a telltale jet of water.
And though he has a foot, he oddly cannot stand
to read the ocean’s prose, endlessly inscribed on sand.
Beauty is delicious and healing, a feast for the eyes or the heart or the mind. One of my favorite verses from the King James version of the Bible reads, “And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.”—Isaiah 28:4
G. F. Boyer earned an MFA from the University of Washington. She teaches and critiques creative writing (poetry and fiction) and is a freelance editor of fiction and creative nonfiction (and everything else). Her poems have appeared in a number of publications, including The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, RHINO, and Heron Tree. More at: clementineunbound.wordpress.com