The Telling Signs

The Telling Signs by Laura L. Snyder

I know too much
about dusty sage, the open howl
of wind, and the dry grasshoppers
that pop against my skirt.
This world is scorched yellow-gray
and grave markers tilt
like heavy petals on the hill.

How can a body keep
anything under this sky–a blue bowl
of unmeasured
fire. The buckets of water
drip in double lines behind me.
A turkey vulture shadow
crosses me,
cuts the glare and is gone.
Tumble weed

wheel away. (Sometimes
I ink prayers on torn strips of muslin
and tie them to the branches
to carry away.)
I look down. Burrs grip
and drag the edge of my hem,
the tear in my apron
like children. My bones hollow
for the sight of another woman.

LAURA L. SNYDER keeps a slanted profile in Seattle so weighted words pour out in nasty weather. Find her most recent writing in Wazee, Cascade Journal, Ekphrasis, Alimentum Journal, Oracle, Pontoon #9, Switched-on Gutenberg, Chrysanthemum and Moon Journal. You’ll find her with an open journal in art museums and wherever trees and bears hang out. Flutter Poetry Journal. Inspired by a photo of an old abandoned farmhouse that was intended to be the book cover for The Telling Signs by Susan Moon. Reprinted with permission from Laura Snyder.

Laura and I have been friends since 1978. She never ceases to amazing me with her prolific journaling, writing and publishing of her prose and poetry, even through the most difficult of times.  As soon as Laura has computer access again, she will send me an updated bio with current links where you can read more of her writing published online. Laura’s The Telling Signs has been nominated for the DZANC BOOKS Best of the Web 2010.

Weathered Bench

My Photo Weathered Bench and Poem Benches, Tresco by Chrissie Gittins

Benches, Tresco

They’re placed at considerate intervals,
curved hurricane pine,
some weathered and scored,

some lichened and worn,
some with holes,
where the trunk swallowed a branch.

From a bench I saw a blackbird with an orange beak,
the promise of protea in fat downy buds,
the chequerboard bark of an endless palm.

From a bench I saw wagtails surrounding a horse,
the stripes of shelduck tipped up in a lake,
the oblique flight of pheasants.

From a bench I saw Atlantic waves
drawing breath, raising their shoulders
and spewing their seething froth right back to the shore.

From a bench I saw an insect in flight,
the blades of its wings whirred away from the island,
it carried me back to rumbling ground.

Posted with permission by Chrissie Gittins, from I Don’t Want an Avocado for an Uncle (Rabbit Hole, 2006)

Life I Am the New Year.

Life I am the new year. I am an unspoiled page in your book of time. I am your next chance at the art of living. I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life during the last twelve months. All that you sought and didn’t find is hidden in me, waiting for you to search it out with more determination. All the good that you tried for and didn’t achieve is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires. All that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do, all that you hoped but did not will, all the faith that you claimed but did not have — these slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened by the touch of a strong purpose. I am your opportunity to renew your allegiance to Him who said, “behold, I make all things new.” I am the new year. anon