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ea joyce Feb 2017
plodding down the slow hillside
chestnut roots have made the path perilous

I've walked along the high trail
over the bridgeless creeks of Middlesex

from the manmade ravine, and the spring
where my mother drove us

to fill up our water jugs
till the car trunk hung heavy

this hill has only one side
and the grass is always green

...

from around the low end
where the hill and lake diverge

sun in his face, I see Du Fu
climbing this track again

says he's looking for warm weather
bamboo forests all year round

I mention Chengdu, and he grins
if I should find Li Bai

might I say "Du Fu asked for you"
and sample his elixir
ea joyce Feb 2017
we enter the forest
past Colliers Mills

as though it were a house
abandoned long before

each clearing, a new room
in a living mansion

the trunks of trees swell
and feel ancient

I sit up against one,
calling it my bedroom

I intend to stay forever—
we could be hermits

...

we wade in tall grass
bright young green

it smells fresh and warm
rises to our fingertips

when we emerge at last
on the path worn flat

we notice scores of ticks
climbing our legs,

brush them off in panic,
and never return
ea joyce Jan 2015
I should write a villanelle right now,
without delay—no more ado will do—
I would, except I can’t remember how.

Indeed, my meter mastery would wow,
And always rhyming perfectly would woo—
I should write a villanelle right now.

I bet that I could even court a cow
With deft command of each and every moo—
I would, except I can’t remember how.

Soon, I’ll lose my grasp on “thee” and “thou,”
And I’ll be barely left with “me” and “you”—
I should write a villanelle right now.

But first, maybe I’ll try to find some chow.
I could make a hearty soup or stew—
I would, except I can’t remember how.

Before I storm the stage to take a bow,
Uncertain if I’ll get a cheer or boo,
I should write a villanelle right now—
I would, except I can’t remember how
ea joyce Nov 2014
You’ve put leaves in piles
with ceaseless breath—
before, they were green
and dilated. I think they
knew they had to fall.

I’ve seen the grayed walks
lie under milkfoams of
fog you spear with flits
of once-in-a-while rain, as
Jupiter swallows comets.

You wrap birds in tight
black coats, slimming
their feathers. You don’t
let them speak. A dim
shadow is uncovered.

I find sheets over me,
all white or all sky blue—
remembering how clean
the cool dryness feels
and rustling in the wind.
ea joyce Sep 2014
I wrote you each August,
asking you to break the
tall, thick clouds into flat,
cold floes that vanish when
the sun vaults over them.

You bring your cool moon,
and it slides over my skin
from head to heel or hand
to hand. Cicadas feel it,
too. Like medicine on a cut.

I typically pause, let silent
vowels swallow the air
peeking around the curtain,
and until we feel fresher
by it, crisped, I stay still.

You test the leaves one,
two nights pulling with open
hands; I remember ice,
shattered on the pavement
and spread thin, whitens.
ea joyce Apr 2014
les c'est
c'est les

autre autre

c'est les autres

c'est c'est
autres c'est autres les
c'est
les les
les
ea joyce Apr 2014
You mumblers and raspers
Of resp'rat'ry rattle:
Open your throats!
Forsake ye! the gaspers,
You quoters of cattle
And prattle of goats!

Or lay ye with horses
Whose tongue ne'er divorces
Those ivory choppers,
Those sibilant stoppers;
You lispers: beware,
Whether stallion or mare,
While you nibble your oats!

Stop your speech-stumbling!
Go suckle an udder
You dizzy, damp calfs!
Restrain your talk-tumbling,
And swallow your stutter
Nor utter foul laughs!

You outspoken nags
Mimic bolt-broken stags
As you bleed allegations
Down paths of my patience
And clatter your antlers;
What heavy-hoofed ranters
For no one's behalf!
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