a bundle of poems by margueritte

 Fear no more the light of the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages...
Song from Cymbeline
Wm. Shakespeare

cover photo by margueritte, 1993,
rooftops, ok street, bisbee, az


 In Memorium
(Rodeo New Mexico)

she left a plaster cast
of a tombstone
in an abandoned coyote den;
there, off route eighty
beading north
to Roads Fork;
in the shade of the Chiricahuas
on one side,
tbe Peloncillos, tbe other;;
a tombstone, signed
by those who loved
those who died
of AIDS;;
it was before
she became the old lady
she writes about;
her fulcrum became a cane
and after she watched
a pre-dawn fog
hanging over a pond
in New York City.




the observatory

you mingle there amongst
unspoken words of dreams,
with poetry lingering in your eyes;
you would not creep up
to disturb the coyote's grave
(as do wild beasts of the night);
you would inhale my brain
and return from the moon smiling;
grasping newly coined words;
you would toss them as diaspora in flight;;
you soften even the stony hills
(in their silence);
you quiet my strangled wrath;;
there wasn't a thorn in sight;
all was smooth flowing as waterfalls;
yours is not a feeble font that flows,
for I have seen gush from your eyes
(quietly in spite of the force),
a steady collective stream;
an archetype, perhaps,
of a whiskered quail
being flushed out by a dog;;
it is getting late;
this sort of meandering

has never worked well for the old lady;
how about reading Ariosto aloud
while she soaks her tired feet
in a warm solution of ginger root;
before she closes her eyes,
she will common three giants,
to pull weeds, clean the shed,
plant a rose garden and
get rid of the mouse
that has moved in under
her new convection oven.



on tender hooks

you've been on tender hooks all week;
the waiting, an impossible straight-jacket;
it smothers something with the virility
of monsoon winds;;
there's so much distortion
when seen from behind blinds,
yet all of it passed on as truth in a small village;
I've said it before, there is no truth;
it was the same for Lucretius;
(that is, what he observed);
suffering, never-ending toil and fear;
fear of the constant threat of Death;
thunder lightning wind no longer gods
and the Romans without cell phones;
man is not ready for more enlightenment;
you and I have been spectators,
at the edge, looking in and further inward
without deific intervention;
no gods then and no god now;;
the butterfly returns for pollen
though bees have sucked the blossom flat;
it insists as do they and they and they;
better fun was when the small squirrel
raced the car like a greyhound;;
my concern is for afterwards;
who will wind the mantle clock
tend the garden
who to send cross -continent kisses
who will water the birds...
it has been the water-bearer
who has kept them coining back
day after day
year after year.



hoc est corpus meum
(this is my body)

by now the wasp
should have dug her grave;
(obviously it prefers the spider);
she still possesses a thin fiber of energy
Like that of a moth;
this complicates departure;
(by water by fire by earthquake)
or by Mack truck rumbling the highway;;
Kafka's no longer on the table but
Ashbery maintains top drawer position;
he can't help it; he's that good;;
she's busy watering a parched desert;
trying to keep everything alive;;
if she could have sprouted wings
back when streams ran cold
under a thin layer of ice;
when her precious adder's tongues
stood yellow along the embankment
(a mid-winter miracle);;
the stars have been crying all week;
the full moon arriving to create havoc;;
the wind escapes its cool cave;
whistles above her bed
in the far corner of the house;
it untangles the self-imposed
knots of restriction; frees them
to join the Moon's shananagans;;
should she have taken the Veil;
surrendered herself to the invisibles;;
she thought she was safe behind her new fence;
but I see you have sent the key
to open up her wounded childhood.



tarantula on her doorstep

there'll be no marble stone
to pin me down;
no handful of sod;
no ditch to loss it into;
simply a cold slab in a lab;
a student with a scalpel taking
the first step into dehumanization;;
there's a red rose on my belly;
without thorns; full fragrance
permeating the walls;;
she thought the tarantula an omen;
no; she's left to decode
her own genomes
(as it should be with a hermit);;
memory, like a rat
scratching on her skull,
opens a window
to an abandoned nest;
the skeleton of a bird
that would never take flight and
the crow that swoops to peck
the crumbs of verisimilitude;
she instructs it to drop morsels
on the heads of her critics;
to insure honesty;;
it's the same bird that crowed
beside the cold fire
when the old lady stood
making wishes;
it was at this moment
she focused on basics:
bread soup breath,
absence of pain and people;;
in April she will nestle
'neath the wings of a crane
heading for a frigid zone
where it will gently place her
on an ice floe;;
that was before transport to university
where papers were filed
to insure correctness of passage.




there is no neck to fall upon
in the anguish of old age;
not the fault of fate;
it was her wish to travel alone;;
she was the reason for which he lived;
not so with the lizard
doing push-ups on a warm brick;;
one is not reticent when talking to a flower
or that lizard now slipping through the crack;
what is it about human to human
that creates a need for camouflage;;
his vibes came and went;
then gone;
she scanned his depths;
he, who smiled more than necessary;;
at night, her mind mostly sees;
visuals, passing as a film;
a continuous flow;
fascicle follows fascicle;;;
the other one
lugged her paranoia
up the mountain,
keeping herself tight within;
circled by a hundred rocks,
she nestles into the breasts of those hills;
debris is stacked neatly; almost artfully
(lines of demarcation)
how much;
how little, is within her power;
she is perched as a hawk
above it all;
but she is not a hawk;
a sudden wind could toss it all
into the valley;
onto the heads of those below
bowed in solemn meditation.



triple point

take the spotlight off my dancing puppet;
it requires a candled lamp to cast shadows
(paper-thin as the breasts of ghosts);
what shall I ask of my withering hands
now that they are birds;
my still lighted eyes sprouting grass;;
only darkness seeps from the mouth
of the celestial spider, the dead horse,
the wailing coyote;;
I see a courtyard created by tenements;
a one-legged beggar singing for pennies;
dream of a Mexican girl alone in the woods,
sleeping; her coat a pillow; a macho man,
naked to the waist, watching her;;
the Golden Girl sits on the wharf, feet dangling;
I say, tie the wind to your waist...
I'm here to catch you; (you may speak
or remain silent) as we pluck wildflowers
from the clouds; it's the end of the season;
she lifts her dress as a basket to gather chestnuts;;
tubular bells announce the arrival of delusion
(split by lightning, doubling its power);;
a pitbull was calling to someone
most of tlie night; by day, be trots the village,
a knotted rope hanging from his jaw;
he was smiling as dogs smile;
I smiled back;; out of my way, old people;
you've had your chance; that's how they see her;
this is the silent message as they avert their eyes
from her cane; is it still ok to breathe the joy of morning;
or must I go to springjoy.com;;
red soil accumulates on my windowsill;
excuse me, while I go fetch a rag.



dying of not dying
(from a Paul Eluard title)

in trying to have a relationship with herself,
someone is not cooperating;
even the wildest of flowers have noticed;
to look nothing and remain everything
has been part of the plan;
(she would argue there was no plan);
both dead and deadless
she roams the desert morning;
admires the flight of the vulture
in its impious greed;
they enter a chamber of no restraint
where the future's a safe distance from the past;;
if she could conjure up some headless beast...
some nameless corpse dancing the hillside...
but she finds it best to detach from
what once held her together;;
language sings to her darkness,
a song lost to the wind, dispersing
ashes that cling to the feathers of birds;;
she knows that repressed flowers
eventually wilt, so she gains altitude;
soars above that which will bruise;
soars directly into the light of the moon;
she's hunting down a new beginning
she once ran into; she needs no borders,
the way a bird travels back and forth
without password or passport;
sub iugum, under the yoke, perhaps,
where she is purged of brutish dogs
and smiling cats; where if conversation
was not banned, she'd say, I love you,
though they had just met;
as Oblivion, she allowed no touch;
for each touch would be an epiphany;
together they cried; silently; inwardly;
a dry heat and a hot wind encircles them;
dust clings to their lashes;
their fingers will take years to untwine.


"There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
in a place of their self-content..."
The House by the Side of the Road
by Sam Walter Foss


I shall come to your door
to speak of the silence
(between heartbeats);
of the shadows that roll
the hillsides as clouds;
of hoodlums and beggars;
of fences fencing out the softness of soft;
fencing in the eyes of stars and sunsets;
at your door...
on your doorstep,
I'll shout of the inequality of inequality;
of people crushing each other.
naming this thing Love;
of this insanity as norm;;
I will not be crushed;
(it will simply not be allowed);;
it is time to count leaves;
to notice the strategies of wind
when the sky is murky;;
the moon has dried up
just when I needed her most;
it is the end of an invincible path
where hundreds of ravens preen themselves;
if I give him my favorite slippers,
he will ask for my two bare feet;
it is the nature of a crumbling equilibrium.



a small piece
(after Charles Simic)

one day my mother thought
tell her about being a woman
she said one day yon'll come
home from school sick
Everything you need
is in that bottom drawer
I never looked
sure it was a white enamel basin
to vomit into
Millie Schiavello saved her first
blood-stained kotex to show me
after all we were best friends
I checked myself every day for a year
Millie was either precocious
or I slow I think the latter
since my first tooth showed up
when I was two
andIgave up the virgin state
at twenty-eight.



the gymnosophist at work

her hands were strong enough
to kill rats with.; for us;
to protect us;
she was nailed to that body;
(tormenting her like music
or a problem to be solved);
she too, had cupped her hands
at the running spring;
to no avail;
she died thirsty;;
today was a day that made
the painful ones, alright;
a giant sunflower; bougenvillea
warming against an adobe wall;
a breeze heralding in monsoon winds
that will escape over the border;;
all of this unsettles the rusting soul.
(she's just not going to walk away smiling.)




fair exchange

with so little twilight left
and her brain a rapacious agitator,
she is happy they no longer
tear out the tongues of atheists,
for she would he tongueless;;
strange, so many things said
with no memory of most of it;
her eyes not yet stitched
to perpetual darkness;;
there's no reason to be afraid;
(afraid was long ago when
her hand could hold but two pebbles);
the light on the stairs is dim
and a cold draft circles her heart;
she misses graffiti subways,
the stairs to the Met
(impossible to climb today);
the old lady could not walk
but she ran from the old things;
one cannot wish for change
still wanting to remain the same;
the exchange for Georgia 0 Keefe's sky
with mountains planted firmly at her feet,
was a fair exchange;;
imagine a young woman racing uptown
on her bike to trade poems for poems;
imagine an old lady unable to cross
a room for a bowl of ice cream;
she has O'Keefe's sky and mountains
planted firmly at her feet;
it is enough for now in this border town
where chihuahuas run in packs
and black-winged angels circle,
squawking like vultures.



the grass is greener here

I would say she died
when she was four years old;
this approaching death
is the culmination of a climb
from the grime of childhood;
she has been given permission to leave
but the limo seems to be late;;
when she touched the wing of the grackle
she had not known what brittle could be;
when she borrowed his feathers
words shot forth from her young beak;
the bird knew one day someone would notice;
(little by little she'd tell them herself);
the grackle knew and nodded;
encouraged her to fly;
encouraged her landing on lumpy soil;;
hints, in advance of things to come, came
as snatches of melodies once lost;;;
her next nest would be woven thicker
than the pack rat's cell;
impenetrable as the walls of Sing Sing;;
she decided to keep her painful knees
to remind her of her limitations;
the clarity of second sight
kept her awake at night,
smiling at the familiarity of it all;;
she decided too, to wait for the rain
(impatiently, 'tis true but
she had no other options);
there were fewer people now
which made it easier (leaving, that is);
in the end, it was the wolf who spoke;
he said you are so cold;
no, she said,
I'm simply scared to death.

these borrowed feathers
are not for further trade;
they are to fly with
as seems fit;
to rest within on an updraft;
to spread out in the sun
as does the cormorant;
my words, taken on the wing
by wind, perish in vain;
it's not that I wish never to have been born
but it's more comfortable in feather and fur,
even the short lived life of a flower
is superior to that which was endured
in the body of the woman called Fate;
it was a blow delivered by a star
(I think!)
some mornings lingered longer
as mist cleared the highest peaks;
it is like that for me;;
it took four vultures to finish off
the carcass of a young hawk,
leaving behind wings and claws;
I will leave nothing behind;
not a pink bone for nibbling;
not even one scale
from my skinny yellow legs.




Naco, AZ 85620


The following poems have been published
by Kenneth Warren in House Organ
throughout 2014:
hoc est corpus meum (this is my body), migrations,
triple point and sighs of silence


Parts of Coda and my collages
may he viewed at warrencriswell.com


Copyright © 2014 Margueritte

See also PRELUDIO, an introduction to the poetry of Margueritte



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