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Sona Lachina Sep 19
A single birch leaf
Floated to my sill

It made my summer
Knees wobble as it sang
September's denouement --

It laughed at me so
Mired in time and

Don't worry
Little one,
You will know
My secret
One day --
Sona Lachina Oct 24
As we walk under a merciless sun across
        a field of scrubgrass that chafes our ankles
A hot wind blows across your face and I see
        that age belongs to you now with its spots
        and crevices --

Our path is blocked by a mob of bee's balm
        as tall as our shoulders and we wade
        through its rustle to see Lake Oswego
                on the other side and it is quiet sapphire
                        in our late afternoon --

You slip your shirt off and run to the edge
But stop short remembering:
        This lake
        This too-deep lake
And your tainted body --

You are ashamed now and will not look
        at me and we are so still in time
        our seconds sink at our feet;
I turn away, watching mallards wade
                in the rushes
As you dress again --
Sona Lachina Oct 3
Death is part of life
        They tell us
Yet still we grieve
Still we are bereft
It is our most human trait
It is our noblest gift --

This mourning love for another,
Going past the gates of breath
        and consciousness
Beyond touch and sight
To a place in that distant
        comforting light
Where we all will gather

It brings us peace,
And we go on
        by remembering joy --
Written for a friend who lost her uncle yesterday
Sona Lachina Sep 16
How does a poet leave this world?
Does she quietly lay down her pen,
Tidy her desk, stack the sheafs of paper,
Turn off her lamp and say

Goodbye to her dreams and conceits,
To morning walks along the salt marshes,
Keeping company with herons
        and wild geese,

        she entered her church in the woods
And emerged with poems of the ineffable,
Told through the perfection of fox and rabbit
And dawn's shimmer-mist just above the water;
Told through the unabashed mystery of life --

What the poet put down is now relinquished.
Yet it is her heart
Her heart still
That beats in every line --
I wrote this as an homage to my poet hero, Mary Oliver, who died this past January. She was intimately in touch with the natural world around her.
Sona Lachina Oct 28
I am a slave to my windy heart
        that blows past reason
Over the edge of new starts
Into the woods of longing's treason --

Cells on fire, dreams course together
To and fro, each beat, each sigh,
Our passions journey knows no weather
        and disobey the dawn's thin cry --

We croon to the trees our eager song
        and sleep on the rustling leaves below
Whispering what we knew all along
Not to draw the bow --

But drawn it is, against mind's will
Night skies have called our names
There it is between us, still,
                Unflick'ring, unwav'ring flame --
Sometimes love is a runaway train. . . .
Sona Lachina Sep 5
I am at peace in wordless scenes
In the dark hollows of sleep
And in the bright wells of daydreams
Where silence is the gatekeeper
And everything is:
       As it seems --

I trust the places where
       noise cannot enter
Where the air is scrubbed clean
And voices surrender
Their so-called meaning

And I can sit mute in the quiet
       field of being --
Sona Lachina Sep 20
I am standing at the precipice
And you are my vertigo
Pulling me to leap headlong
        Into passion's brume below --

When you are near
My blood buzzes
And I am more than just
        alive --
I have become a conduit
For all that love implies --

My unfurled heart is shot
        clean through
The edges of all my thoughts
        now contain you --
Sona Lachina Sep 8
I awoke this morning
From my little sleep
And the world was still here --
My robe waiting at the end
      of the bed
There on the shelf were books
      to read and in the pantry
      food for my belly --
And outside my window an endless
Gray sky where birds huddled in
The emptying trees, writing songs
Of southbound adventure
As the air hummed and lifted the
Weight of day's beginning --

And me with my small biography,
Stretching into its grace
Once more --
Sona Lachina Oct 11
I don't know you
But I dream about you
The way you hold my hand

You whisper something and
I smile because you know so
    well how to soften me

You are the love I have never met
My cohort
        My savior
               My antidote
Sona Lachina Sep 21
I have been warned
Not to make my mouth
A funeral for the truth

But how dull
        the unembellished life
A birth          A death
And time's pranks between
What is left when the lies
        are struck?
Lethal mediocrity
Sona Lachina Oct 11
I hear first snow falling,
                Fat white whispers
Geese flying in hurried vees
The high warm drafts of August
        long gone;

Alone here in my van Winkle doze
        I pull my quilt in close
It's faded cloth dimly sweet
                And you cross my mind --
Our huddled adventures that
Cold year when the world
        was you and I
When a thousand sparkling zeroes
        lit our path.
We were legendary --

April's city of hope, its emerald
        promises, so far away;
I shall doze in the poppies meantime
And cherish the winter moon's
                longing to hold me tight --
Winter is coming. . . .
Sona Lachina Sep 24
I like the quick snap of sharp poetry
And the way it comes, unstoppable,
Like a rushed intake of breath
A mad courtship of longing and will
Until by chance, almost, a birth --
Prosodies brought from heart to pen
To bounce and jostle in their metered gaits
And front a small rebellion on the page
Before settling into the circumstances --
Oh yes, there is quite a ruckus in my head when I am crafting a poem. Order! Order, I say! . . . Eh, It's a lost cause.
Sona Lachina Oct 8
I need to be kissed
under a dying sun
in some desolate place
with bramble and discord,
that pulls me into melancholy;

Then will comfort me
like religion should

        But doesn't --
Sona Lachina Sep 28
I rise from my writing chair
Shake off my poet's robes
And step outside into a
       kaleidoscope of fallen leaves
        and hints of chimney smoke;
Dusky sky slung so low
The tall poplars scrape against it --

Summer's last cicadas are rasping out
        a catchy tune of life in the woods
And a crush of juncos has gathered
        closeby for seeds and conversation;
They know the crispy bite of
        near-winter nights is ever closer --

It strikes me
I am bound to this place with clipped
        wings, yet I feel a wanderlust
        I cannot deny.
Oh that I could fly south like
The little gray wrens mobbing my feeder.

How I aspire to be like them:
They must be so brave
        to gladly live in this world --
This change of season from summer to fall pulls me in more than any other, closer to the bone, where I just feel more present in my life. . . .
Sona Lachina Sep 22
I sense this world is not what it seems
This sugar-plum Home, some counterfeit dream
Where I might have played
        dress-up in mother's closet
And pretended to be grown -- like her
And beautiful -- like her

Where I might have had enough to eat
        Safe inside a child's sleep
My sparrow's heart tucked in with a story

Tonight I drank the star-studded sky
As the need for why
        dissolved in my cup
Now is enough --
Sona Lachina Sep 25
In tatters
My heart
still beats

How it
can be so
is a mystery

Dragged through
the streets like
a dog

For all to see
Ragged and

Left on
the side
of the road

To die
But it lives
From a place of dark energy, many lives ago. . . .
Sona Lachina Sep 11
It is September Eleven.
The Survivor Tree speaks:
                Remember --

Every year the chaos
      of that day comes fresh again.
The disconnect
      of sheer helplessness
As we gathered around televisions
To watch people dying and
      giant debris clouds billowing
      through Manhattan.
Those images of victims running away
Covered in choking white dust
Burned into our collective psyche,
Feeling so ashamed to be human.
Then in the aftermath,
So proud to be human --

We always find our redemption
Sona Lachina Oct 4
Last night a heist:
My dreams made off
        with a rare shade of blue
Not quite like the clearest sea
Or the West's Big Sky stretching eternal --

But like the robin's blue speckled eggs
Coddled in a careful nest
(But where is mother?)

The shells, pulsing, warm,
So delicate a breath could burst
And the little lives within;

I dreamt it, and in the dream,
I wept, like a child who knows
That hope and abandonment
Are both blue --
Sona Lachina Oct 6
My muse sleeps in the ****
She rollicks til dawn
And moans at the moon
She told me once she had
A sawtooth fling with a
        luckless Spaniard
                in Madrid
                in spring
Ragged and religious love
And she danced with him
Wearing flouncy whim
Her petticoat showed

        And the red cape flowed
                the red cape flowed

She walked out on me
When my well ran dry
When I couldn't fly
I pictured her
        ***** in hand
Listening to some
        lost-boy band
Woozy from the trancing beat
Purring in a poet's ear

        Oh the promises my dear
              the promises my dear

She dropped in late one night
Dressed in drama
        stained with rhyme
As I was taming a cranky line
And she winked at me
        like things were fine
As if she hadn't been gone
        but an eye's blink
I opened the door and
Poured her a drink --

        I called her home
        I called her.       home.
Everyone has their little diversions. . . .
Sona Lachina Sep 24
Poetry feeds us in that dreaming place
        where we are held captive,
Words slipped under the door --

Here is what I know:
It is food for my muse that sweet sister
        whose moods dictate mine
She throws parties in my psyche that
        last for days at a time
She sings to me of things she's seen
That make my cells careen out
        of the room flying faster than
        thought itself
And the poem's heart appears --

It is as mystical as
        it should be --
Poetry has always seemed a mystery to me, this way of thinking that shakes the tree to release the fruit. I am at its mercy. . . .
Sona Lachina Sep 5
Sleep deepens, bending decades,
And here is my grandmother's
        kitchen --
I am a child again, and
It is just as it was, where
She stands at her table
In a flowered dress with its
Necessary apron, punching
Down dough for bread in her
Consummate way --

And my small heart overflows.

I'm softly humming,
This Little Light of Mine.
She turns around and
I don't know if I'm
Looking at Grandmother
        or God.
They are the same to me.
When I prayed as a small girl,
She answered them and dried
My tears with what felt like

I would stay here,
Dreambound, if I could,
And hug her waist
For the rest of time --
Sona Lachina Sep 13
Autumn's grand parade will clamor
      through the streets
Chilly harvest of marching bands
      and hayrides
      The ebbing tides
of long days
Confetti blown from reluctant trees
Fluttering ochres and rocketing rubies
As nature lets the clock run out

Blow summer a sweet kiss goodbye --
Sona Lachina Sep 19
Such a mundane thing
To walk through a door
Yet you are there
On the other side, smiling,
And we are already making
Memories and pressing them
      into our pages --

We laugh at saying the same
Word at once: zinfandel
And I feel a beginning
Coming toward me --

In our first goodbye kiss
That night was a telling, sublime,
Beyond our lips and our stories
That cocooned us in that moment
      and spun love's possibility
Under approving December skies --
Sona Lachina Sep 20
The distance from here
To sleep is epic tonight
Three a.m.
Dreams aborted
Tomorrow's lines
One thought thick
Toss and turn
Toss and turn
The whole drowses
While I stand guard --

There is no melancholy
Deeper than that of
The sleepless, exiled
To ebon outposts
Forlornly counting
Disinclined sheep --
Sona Lachina Sep 27
The fact of the matter is
        We are jots
        Future fossils
And that is our splendor

We are embedded in limestone and slate
        In the giddiness of yellow daisies
        In redwood colossus and wild grass-blades
We ride the coattails of small histories
        To become endless saga
        The place where godhead dreams
We pound the shores of countless drinks
        In unrelenting swell after swell of redesign
And burst forth on the walls of Lascaux
Teaching destined masters to cross the line
        Proving the double helix --
Every once in awhile I like to write wordplay so enigmatic even I don't get it. . . .
Sona Lachina Sep 27
The only home I know
in my chest
        This one heart
Guards my stories

You are there

But our poetry
Yours and mine
Rests in the
        Sleep of inertia
The poet dies
with every line
and is reborn in the next --
Inhaling silence
and holding it there
until an intuition
forms [itself],
A small round gift
that jumps from zero
smooth and precise
but without limit
meant to arouse
something unseen
that results in the
tumbled joy of
breath and poetry
in freefall
happily plummeting
without thought or reason
through new skies
borne of a poet's dream --
Sona Lachina Sep 26
The stars tell me
I will know love
They talk to me at night
Through my bedroom window
They speak of astral strings
          that make all things
And billions of souls
Heave a wistful sigh

          for me

I am sanctioned as such
Left with a lotus I cannot touch
In that space between follies
I breathe

Waiting heart
An oldie that I've always had a fondness for. . . .
Sona Lachina Sep 10
There is a field I travel to
Where I lie in the tall grasses
With the earth as my pillow
And she sings to me through
           the shuddering trees.

Her voice , so wistful,
Brings me to tears --

And the wildflowers whisper:
There is light in everything,
         They say. The proof is in the
Dawn and all around you --
In the scrub pines and their
Noisy seminar of birds;
In the taste of a plums juicy flesh;
In mist rising in the far-off hills.

Sunrise and all that follows
Is how you know:
        Eternity is yours and
                always close--
Sona Lachina Sep 7
There is still time
To appraise my life
The reasons for love
For song
For breath itself
And at the last
For death --

Where I am going is
Where I came from.

But reaper, if you could,
Keep your distance
For now, I should like
To watch the wind
Stir the trees
A bit longer --
Sona Lachina Oct 4
This empty page mocks me
        Taunts me
To put something down --

A flash of brilliance or a conspiracy
A moment in my life that wrestled me
A quick turn of phrase that collars wit
A clever bon mot that jockeys to fit

A little irreverence, words wearing stubble
An entendre that isn't inclined to be double
A plucking or two from Bartlett's garden
A letter that I'll not feel right to send

A first edition or a final memoir
A record for posterity of what I saw
A joint venture or a solo flight
A pristine line with gentle bite

A sonnet brandished in the name of love
A psalm to All Glory that comes from above
A piece of history that needs to be told
A stanza that mustn't ever be sold --
Sona Lachina Sep 6
This wandering pen
Has hacked through thickets
And traipsed the borderlands,
Praying in it's cold temples
And crossing its sweet-pined mountains
To find the same riverbank
Where its journey began --
Sona Lachina Oct 18
Time is but a crown
        'round eternity's head,
It must be so
                An endless coronet --

This much is true:
We have been here
        Before. I remember
You dancing your way
        to the door,
Ruffling your wings,

Already smiling the
                smile of the Dead,
Yet posing all the right
        questions about your
                little universe --

Ask Moebius if you don't
        believe me.
He understood:
There is no setting out
                or coming home,
Knowing --
Physicists tell us that the real nature of time is not comprehensible by human brains that can only perceive the world as three-dimensional. So it is left to the poet's to describe. . . .
Sona Lachina Sep 9
We cruised down the Seine
        on the Bateaux Mouches
        you and I
You gave me your coat
It was starry-cool that night
We stood on the deck
        and sipped Remy Martin
Your love still alive then --

We sat at the cafe
Where Hemingway paused
        back in the day
Remember the gray-muzzled dog
        lapping spilled cognac
        under the table
You looked into my eyes
        With joy's surprise --

That warm sun-love day
        on the Champs d'Elysees
You leaned in and kissed my hair
I knew you would never leave
I tipped a mime along the way
Who hid his face with a hat
        How fresh was that
Paris was never more beautiful --

We roamed the Latin Quarter
And drank bordeaux in our room
You couldn't resist me --
How was I to know
        you would go away
Without a word to say
Leaving our postcards
Scattered 'cross the bed
I should have burned them
        all that night
Instead of clutching them
To my heart --
Sona Lachina Sep 25
When I touched your arm
        That first time
        Just near your shoulder
It floored me
I thought
        This man
This flesh-and-bone man
So close
I suddenly wanted to kiss you --

Your green eyes had already
        Caught me in mesmerizing gaze
I was in your space
Sharing the air between us
You slid your arm around my waist
        I let my knee touch yours --

We were suspended in time
Wide open to each other
It makes me sigh to remember:
How everything came into being
        That night and disappeared
Before the dawn --
Ah first encounters. . . .
Sona Lachina Oct 23
You, common sunflower,
Yes, you, Helianthus,
Who takes a stand without his brothers
        in this fresh-cut field of golden hay
And bows his petalled head in reverent grace --

Teach us of living with no apologies
Saying "so what?" to wind and rain
And canoodling with the sun on cloudless days --

Yes, you, H. annuus,
In love with life from seed to bloom
Teach us how to dream in yellow
        and dwell in tune with Nature's
                jagged beauty --

— The End —