Dusk at Stonington Harbor
Picture a windless summer.
The light condenses out of the air
like a grainy fog, blue-silver,
intense. Light has become electric,
a loud buzzing in our ears
and if that is the case,
the world has been transformed
into the deep-blue bloom
of a single convolvulus.
We are nestled
under the towering anthers-
And it is pollen falling
in great gold loaves
that we gather joyfully
in our arms.
The flower unfolds.
In the center is a well-
no, in the center
is the harbor, a silver skiff
in the foreground, three metallic
ripples bent around it:
evidence of the quickening
whirlpool underneath the scene.
How many boats have gone down
in safe, unsuspected harbors?
How many beloved faces
bloom at the bottom of the well?
The flower opens and opens.
The sunlight is a large determined bee
that shakes and dazzles our life.
He is our lover who presses us
deep into the bed,
the intensity too great
to be endured. One by one
we loosen our hold on who we are
or what we could have been-
All we love
whirls round us: we sink
into it, we spin.
(Thanks to the editor of In Defense of STones, Heatherstone Press, in which this poem first appeared, © Janet MacFadyen 1995)
There’s something indestructible
about broccoli, how a flowerette
slices into smaller and smaller trees
that root in my kitchen. And a carrot
sliced thin sings a soliloquy
on history, a series
of suns on the cutting board
of time. But alas, philosophy
cannot save them. Carrot and broccoli
fall to the knife, are married and yoked
by the iron of my pan, by the ring
of fire demanding loyalty.
You, my sweet broccoli,
will give up your name,
you will live down with the carrot,
your two tastes shall become one.
My fire will teach you as it taught
me, my fire shall ask you to dance,
my fire shall ask you out, do not
play with it, its temper is hot.
It will make you forget
field and sod, wind and sky,
even this black skillet.
You will think only of how lucky
you are, how the red eye of God
burns for eternity, how abject
your adoration, how perfect
(Thanks to the editor of In Defense of STones, Heatherstone Press, in which this
poem first appeared, © Janet MacFadyen C 1995