Wren Tuatha – Four Poems
Emperor of Nimshew
Waving oak leaves in the canopy
make windchimes out of sunshine.
A purple wing leans left, the lane sashays.
Two feral peacocks bookend
Nimshew Road, one at the head,
ribboning between ranch houses
in cul de sacs laid down like daisy
pedals. The other peacock materializes
less often, at the lonely gravel end,
down four miles of log cabins and soda
can trailers. His life is staying one branch
away from the juvenile bear; keeping
upwind from that cougar who snakes
from Paradise Ridge; politely
declining to be tamed by the new
neighbor who feeds black tailed
deer and wild turkeys. His irised wizard
tail eyes are stripped, maybe a slow bobcat
or the comb of a Ponderosa branch.
Tom turkeys are in full inflation, posing,
catwalking for hens and human painters.
But the peacock has no hen to impress,
just me, moved to spot the elusive emperor,
Shiny Things while Wintering
Me wintering, wise little raccoon,
impatient, blood-drained fingers licking room
temperature tea and neglected dreadlocks.
Sorting yellow seeds from poppy seeds,
poppy seeds from dirt. I hear her typing characters
per second, pining for summer shiny sweat.
Short den days, bringing haiku and didgeridoos.
Shiny things. Knobs to turn and regret.
Spilling and more things to sort. Light kisses
her calendar and we have colored markers,
pix and a plate of pearly mung beans. Shiny
prism in her eye so close that her open mouth
is sifting me in like plankton. Hazel, her eyes
are glycerin. I surrender my skin to her nutrition.
Now Blindness asks, What’s in a photograph?
That bending scent–your garden, ripe with dew…
Your softball scar! My gawky dyke giraffe!
Some laughter echoes, tracing down our youth.
The card’mom ghosts that clung to kitchen air…
House renovations–rainbow gingerbread…
The peachy rinse that clouded your roped hair…
Accordion folds…your grin, the sheets, our bed…
Apartments old and brittle; photographs.
So clingy to the touch…Prints left behind…
Your book unshelved, you cradle it–new calf.
Between the slips you visit wilder times
without me. I turn off light’s waterfall–
Your skin my album…my state…sweet recall.
He Points out Porpoises
He points out porpoises off in the chop.
I would miss them in favor
of the ocean of umbrellas
and the kid torturing sand crabs.
Porpoises capering black against the foam
but it’s the colorful plastic that draws the eye,
bikinis and boogie boards. He points out
porpoises and I count eight fishing by frenetics.
It’s just that simple, eat and play. On vacation
we wrap in plastic colors and forget our purpose.
He teaches me to romp in the flux, read each swell
for a jump, dive or ride.
We aren’t fishing.
Author’s Statement on Beauty
To me, truth is the deeper beauty. Sometimes I sit in the fire and sometimes I sit in the garden. I am often concerned that friends use soothing concepts like beauty and positivity as hiding places, deflecting shards of reality rather than coping or taking action. We might all seek a hiding place from today’s twenty-four hour news cycle, and the feeling that there’s no cure for the greed, vanity, and brutality displayed there.
Sitting in the fire, I try to be present with life’s ugliness in order to move through it, rather than around it. Then, when I sit in the garden, being present with sensory beauty all around me is an easy, organic process. I never wonder about the purpose of beauty. It just is, like death and traffic and buzzing silence.
For my poetry, I make lists of “shiny things,” the mundane and random details of my days. I populate my poems with these. I adore the beauty in my goat Rye dancing, the fringe of pine needles hanging in my manzanita tree, and a website dedicated to artful, competitive shoelace tying. It’s the micro and the macro, the tiny details drawing my eye to universal truths, that I find beautiful, destructive, and true. At the end of my day, I love beauty, and find reason to look truth in the eye.
Wren Tuatha’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in The Cafe Review, Canary, Pirene’s Fountain, Clover, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, and others. Wren and her partner, author/activist C.T. Lawrence Butler, live in a California pine forest among feral peacocks and mountain lions. They herd skeptical goats and ponder humanity’s myopia. More at: HippieChickDiaries.com.