Poetry

Thank you for visiting my Poetry Page. First are the sonnets, followed by the Haiku and those in loose form. I also included the date of each poem, next to my signature. I would enjoy knowing your thoughts on any of them—to leave me a comment, just scroll to the bottom of the page! ~Donna

Sonnets

Grandma

In my mind, her face remains unchanged –
Round, with worrisome, ebony eyes –
Light brown, graying hair all disarranged –
Her appearance both naïve and wise.
Laughing with her funny crooked smile –
Again retelling a silly story –
In distant scenes replaying, she is agile,
Captured forever in loving glory.
On my secret projector caught on repeat –
A hardy, indefatigable woman.
None for frills, nor dainty nor petite.
Odd to think my fortress has fallen.
But comforting to know she’s now at ease –
The sprightly, unforgettable Louise.

DQ (2006)

Light Show

With the breeze the palms are oscillating –
Spiny leaves, like dancers, shimmy in place,
intertwining, forming geometric lace.
Kaleidoscopic squares now coordinating
with the restless shadows culminating
on the sand, engaged in perpetual chase.
Nimble shadows, impossible to trace –
Cast by doubled leaves, all undulating.
A circus of acrobatic shapes
move in frenzied improvisation;
Showmen on an empty, sunlit stage –
Evasive polygons in jubilation!
When the light retires, they disengage –
Layers of stringy leaflets hang in drapes.

DQ (2001)

Luminous realm

Explore the unknown ethereal realm-
A wavy world of radiant bloom-
Unsure of the way, I take the helm;
Beholding the periphery, I loom.
No evident path, or easy tactic;
No external line of travel, at all.
Ironic that the hidden magic,
the way of altering the gloom and pall,
of breaking down the wall of separation,
comes to pass by stilling the shores within.
Luminosity in perfect reflection-
Clear and tepid inner waters wherein-
What before remained concealed, can now be seen:
A unified whole with no in-between.

DQ (2005)

One Creature and One Tree

All that was visible was one green eye,
Peeking out from behind a moonlit branch,
Looking far through the perennial sky –
open air, uncovered, wide and vast.
This creature’s hope rested only on me –
on the presence of some other who was there,
and who by chance, just happened to care
about the only one that could not flee.
The one that ended up behind the tree
Witnessed the plunderage that seized the rest –
And the land, now stripped, as far as one can see,
Lies barren and can’t welcome any guest.
Old abundance became a fallen crest —
All that remains is one creature and one tree.

DQ (2005)

Three Pigeons

With curiosity, three pigeons sit
on a long, extended signpost, side by side,
watching motorists maneuver their ride,
on a busy highway, not yet sunlit.
Interwoven like a sweater densely knit,
in a constant state of near collide –
cars rushing past the interstate divide
in what seems to be a fruitless fit.
Silently the pigeons look in wonder,
while colorful machines scurry about.
Side by side the three companions stay,
closely perched up on their skyway lookout.
Below, the fury echoes thunder –
the drivers start an ordinary day.

DQ (2001) *A personal favorite

Cloud in a Cup

Did he think a cloud could fit in a cup?
The big billowy structure overflowed,
As if some god or angel had bestowed
upon the unsuspecting; bountiful luck.
But who can contain this boundless treasure?
Given as a symbol of benevolence,
to dissolve the secret disappointments
that nobody was supposed to measure.
This great and abundant cloud in a cup,
once floating high aloft; now placed atop
a lovely vessel from which one can’t drink –
waiting gracefully for the cloud to sink,
and melt within the fragile boundary
of this cup’s brink, to stand exemplary.

DQ (1999 – Inspired by Magritte)

Dogs on the Hill

The vision of dogs at play on the hill
depicted beautiful simplicity –
leaping and rolling with felicity,
independence and freedom of will.
In their abandon I delighted until,
I saw not another dog in this city.
The segregation among us I pity –
“Don’t attract attention, quiet, be still,”
I warned, “on this ivy clad den you’re safe,
beclouded by trees and shrubs, you’re hidden,
for, bound to encounter disapproval –
a loose dog is a problem, an unkempt waif.
To be without a human is forbidden;
if revealed, they’ll hasten your removal.”

DQ (2001)

Eclipse

Full moon, what an entrance, looming brightly
above us all and shining boldly through
the peephole made for you so politely
by the obedient clouds you eschew.
Unveiled, with your audience within plain view,
as earth’s consuming shadow travels fast.
You, bold moon, know it’s you he will pursue.
Filling the sky so enormously vast,
spying fleeting shadow, set to cast.
Irresistibly poised to transform,
to display a union that can not last.
Persistent shadow beholds your full form.
As if perceiving it’s merely illusion,
you shyly slip away from this intrusion.

DQ (2005)

Hotel Lobby

Inside this old stately and grand hotel
are solid oak classical columns,
standing tall, modest and durable,
framing the desk where the travelers come.
All guests in this lobby are transient.
The old couple who are used to each other,
The blond sitting alone, looking radiant,
and the wayfaring young honey-mooners;
they’ll all be gone day after tomorrow.
While new and different strangers come and go.
But long from now, perhaps they’ll remember
the porter who’ll still be carrying bags here,
the reception girl, the same, though aging,
as if life stood still like a painting.

DQ (1999)

The Indian and the Buffalo

American history tells a tale
Of the Indian and the Buffalo –
Together on the vast Great Plains they roamed,
Never thinking that their land was for sale,
Nor, that the profit was not to be shared.
Nobody cared that the land was declared.
Though the bison succumbed, despite their might,
The Indians had no choice but to fight.
The pillagers knew that without their beast,
The native annoyances soon would cease.
So instead of bison, we have the cow,
And natives are on reservations now.
To glorify this story would simply fail
To see the truth, which in shame turns pale.

DQ (2000)

Philosophy

Some say they can not use philosophy,
Though a profession uniquely suited
To the vigorous cleansing of folly,
And to having contradictions sifted.
Its task, to confront unchallenged assumptions –
Helping one cultivate stronger gumptions,
Despite prevailing dated traditions,
Regardless of one’s own prior convictions.
Some have charged that philosophers have failed –
But then who was it that dared to examine,
Who said it’s rather the answer we question?
In that way old concepts were derailed,
And for this a few have even been jailed.
Ironically now, their memory we hail.

DQ (1999)

River Spirit

See the open field of cracked and wrinkled clay?
The delta dried up long ago, he said.
It once propelled itself into the bay –
The restless river spirit now is dead.
To take its place; a naked riverbed.
Like a rambling traveler locked in chains –
Conceive – an interrupted watershed!
Consider – the force humankind detains.
Defeated torrent the wall retains:
A vast and mighty levee, cutting wilds;
A resolute blockade in earth’s transport veins.
Playful river spirit, so like a child’s!
It pains me, said he, to see it anchored.
It’s fortune, never fairness that is hankered.

DQ (2000)

The Crow

The crow has a contemplative countenance,
the kind of character one can’t disturb –
Though friendless, radiating confidence –
Lack of society shouldn’t perturb.
Hardly inconspicuous in this lifeless suburb,
on a wide and empty tree lined street,
he treads the sidewalk ‘till reaching the curb
then returns a glance over stretched concrete.
His journey at once inept and incomplete,
has imparted new determination.
Poised to honor his self-imposed feat,
he’ll depart without procrastination.
Crossing as if any other biped,
without the binding fear of being misled.

DQ (2005) *A personal favorite

The Early Morning

The smell of wet city still in the air
from the rain last night, though the storm has passed,
pervades these empty streets whose space seems vast.
These wide, empty streets, whose sidewalks lay bare,
still, in the half-light of this earliest hour,
will soon be overcome by urban roar.
Now only this bus bench covered with dew –
Remnants of the shower that just wandered through,
and a crow on a lamppost, all atwitter,
preparedly wait on this avenue.
The clock tower heralds with its regal timbre –
An assiduous day will soon start anew.
For, on the bronze of the bell is tinctured,
The first ray of light; the earliest glitter!

DQ (1999)

The Old Man

Of the old man who sits alone down the street –
He passes all his days content to wait,
on the little brick wall down by the alley,
dressed as if he were waiting for a date;
A three piece suit, a tie and shiny shoes
and a brown top-hat, no matter the time.
Seemingly serene, but to me so blue,
for I have just learned that his mate is confined.
Ten years in bed she misfortunately lies.
And I go trying to avoid meeting by chance –
this lonely old man at whom I don’t glance.
Then later at night I ask myself why.
On the same block but still alienated –
As he sits on the brick wall fixated.

DQ (2005)

The Sycamore Tree

Unclothed, the noble sycamore stands,
tirelessly stretching old crooked limbs,
twiny fingers wrapped around thin hands,
undisguised, before its crown again brims.
The tall and sullen wooden figure,
unyielding like an ancient sentinel,
indifferent to wind, though efforts endure,
quietly reposes under a spell.
Unilluminated, holding black skies;
sinking masses of thunderous swells
can not undo the centered, stoic guise.
Brawny and humble, he peacefully dwells.
Obscured within a misty aura-
Lifeless as an artist’s penciled flora.

DQ (2008) *A personal favorite

To Time

Beguiled into the delusion of myself
by fantasy and sociality –
Time was a deep and insatiable well;
Life: a plethora of fortuity,
I: filled and flushed with possibility,
swollen with self importance and glory
Absorbing words of praise and approval;
Believing, foolishly, I was special.
Time was plentiful and now it has gone –
so fleetingly and so pitilessly –
What happened to my determination?
Life: a purposeless quest of one’s destiny
Stripped, indignant and with one last question –
But still proves fruitless my expectation.

DQ (1998)

Water Droplets

Silver streams of water falling from the eaves.
Solitary beads are jumping off in turn-
Stopping on their way, to bounce off of leaves-
A dizzying delay, a hopping sojourn.
Then down they go, in coordinated flight-
A synchronized water droplet air-show.
A one-time performance – a fly-by-night,
free-falling flurry of drops aglow.
Twirling unobstructed to their destiny,
a split-second, one-way turn in time.
Furious trajectory, a mutiny-
Then all of a sudden too low to climb.
Flinging themselves to the ground with a splash.
Merging as one in a split-second flash.

DQ
 (12.12.09) *A personal favorite

Aging

Deflated, thinning, oh my wilted skin;
a discouraging reflection indeed.
This obligatory course is given;
impossible trial to intercede.
Ambitions, brazen and intrepid;
those self-fulfilling, fearless wings of youth,
appear both futile and insipid
when maturity affords a glimpse of truth;
to very little it is all reduced.
Evaporated is the driving force,
Bleached and lined appearance time has produced,
Like a Mexican desert, textured coarse.
Lastly of ability; with aches and pain,
faded memory; tenuously sane.

DQ (2002)

Everyday at Four

As I idly sit outside the school yard,
waiting for my boy; an ordinary task,
a daily chore done everyday at four,
I foresee the future; a distant flash –
when this beautiful moment will have passed.
He’ll be self-reliant then, and older.
But the force I’ll feel as I remember:
Indeed the ordinariness does mask.
Yes, hidden is the sweet significance
of this fleeting moment, which now is cluttered;
overthrown today by trifle concerns,
only later to be free’d; it’s subtle essence.
Is it the past that we exaggerate?
Or do we feel the profundity too late?

DQ (1999)

Mosquito Hour

The mosquito hour soon advances;
Take from underneath the rocking chair;
Placed solely for these circumstances;
A folded blanket to wrap and wear;
Giving arms and legs attentive care;
Watch, while dusk and dampness inundate.
Relentless stillness inundates the air;
Holding in its grip and under its weight;
The defenseless, who at nightfall dominate;
Creatures effortlessly taking captives;
Not on purpose seeking to create
antisocial, accidental fugitives,
participants in nocturnal combat;
with an insect no bigger than a gnat.

DQ (2004)

Sunday Morning

Early on a serene Sunday morning
The sky hinted of a storm in waiting –
It was the kind of sky that’s dense, but bright,
With clouds that seem to blend into the light –
Clouds thick and gray, not billowy and white –
Distant enough so the dew left from night
Would shine and glitter under the daybreak –
A sparkle that would soon be washed away.
The stillness revealed the imminent change,
A tranquility yet unprovoked,
As if rival forces had made accord
To hold their silence within a preset range –
Before the restless tempest would come of age.
The stillness soon to be flooded with rage.

DQ (1999)

The Singer

Her voice travels through the night with jazz;
A flowing projectile, effortless, but fierce,
As a shiny silver arrow would pierce
a pane of glass without leaving a crack.
This drift, buoyed up by its own device,
propels itself, winding its way through
the soft-handed crochet of her trio,
caressing the air, dim with cabaret lights.
Swooping underneath the sunken aspect
of the heavy bass it carries weightless,
nestling itself into the crevices
within beats and taps of the brushed tambour;
This voice would at once appear dauntless
and bewitchingly demure, without defect.

DQ (1999 – Inspired by Diana Krall)

The Hearthstone Lounge

In the Hearthstone Lounge inspecting faces;
Characters betrayed by weathered features;
Accumulated creases serve as traces;
Telling the lives of these wearied creatures.
The formation of every line reflects
a corresponding layer on the wall;
A brawny barrier that protects
and guarantees to silently forestall
the acquisition of companionship.
The irony of this count emerges
In the scarcely hidden tale of hardship.
To guard against exposure, each submerges
the willingness to openly present.
The social setting is without intent.

DQ (2005)

The Knight

Our fascination with knighthood still abounds.
The embodiment of strength and merit,
the knight and his persistent myth confounds;
is it illusion we would inherit?
Or, perhaps this tale of gallantry
describes a special few who in their day,
in the merciless times of peasantry,
served the needy to the other’s dismay.
When common men assumed a lady’s hand,
the courageous knight — depiction of manhood,
whose charms and manners she could not withstand —
earned her heart the way a gentleman should.
Singularly serving justice with his sword,
for honor, his humble and sole reward.

DQ (2001)

The Owl

In the dampened pines up north of Portland,
A weary owl confronts the sunlight.
Some early rays peek out around the bend
to seductively defeat the night.
But stoic owl considers his pursuit.
-of the onslaught of time, pays no heed.
A poker-faced scout held resolute;
quintessential emperor on a deed,
surveying his kingdom from the forest’s heights;
isolated sovereign in position.
At woodland’s edge, two flickering streetlights
-last of the nocturnal world’s emission-
fade into a spiritless close.
Tranquil feathered monarch resists repose.

DQ (2005)

The Ranting and Raving Old Monk

The ranting and raving old beloved monk,
covered with flowing butterscotch robes –
What if the expanding universe had shrunk –
Into scientific matters he probes.
And the troubles of this world he contemplates,
the devastation driven all by greed.
No light possible if everyone hates –
Attachment to the self, a bitterweed.
Clearly though, it’s always been the same,
he says, even the rarest sparkling stars –
The Gandhis and Kings couldn’t fan the flame,
remove the affliction, or iron the scars.
Racing in vain to unscramble life’s clues,
but simply looking inside, most refuse.

DQ (2006)

The Zen Master

With council for those assailed by chatter-
Who chase around ideas like rushing trains,
Entangled in narcissistic clatter,
and all the noise the dueling head contains,
the Master brings to blame Samsara’s hold;
Rather than their breath, they’re following thoughts.
But, like storming seas, they won’t be controlled-
one of his perplexing caveats.
Remaining still are the afflicted few,
whose breathing has become a quandary-
the Master’s lens reveals a sharper view-
Lucidity brings a corollary-
Evaporation of the choosing mind-
With courage to leave encumbrance behind.

DQ (2005)

Haiku

The Following Set was Written for my Grandma

Under the sun
In her muumuu
Reaching laundry

Kitchen door
She returns with bowl
Ripened figs

First sunlight
Cinnamon and eggs
French toast frying

Morning hours
Wafting down the hall
Roasting peppers

Grandma’s closet
Dusty smell of suitcases
Playing dress up

Vodka glass
Drops cocktail onion
For crippled husband

Afternoon heat
Finding shapes in ceiling
Lying together

Summer days
Grandpa in garage
Carving my wooden rooster

Cooling cake
Poking many holes
Pouring Jello

Christmas vacation
Frying Italian donuts
Grandma’s laughter

Cricket chirping
Peeking under bed
Big surprise

Squeezing my hand
Crossing street together
So close and safe

My Easter outfit
Pink and purple plaid
Her proudest smile

Plate of spaghetti
Finding sauce on her shirt
Surprised again

Round arms
Crochet hooks clicking
Biting cheek

Playing solitaire
Mumbles to herself
Tries again

Matching pantsuit
Brushing hair for bingo
Old lady smell

DQ (2008)

The Following Set was Written for my Brother

Mid-July
Late afternoon heat
Tired sun lingers

Hot days
All-quiet skies
Buzzing bugs

Evening sun
Shadows stretch to follow
Until they part

July breeze
Always late, but
What an entrance!

Sleeping fields
Two crows quarreling
Breaks the silence

DQ (2009)

Miscellaneous Haiku

End of summer
One white feather
Plays chase with wind

End of summer
Marine layer close
Shadows disappear

Stretching right wing
Stretching right leg backward
Seagull watches

Short days
In front of stove
Warming hands

Doing dishes
Raindrops run down window
Steam rises

Big dog
Sniffing worms
Sneezes dirt

Watching
Swollen creek move away,
My life

Old lady with cane
Used to walk with old dog
Now walks alone

Café patio
Rainbow cap man
Plays guitar

Old man knows song
Softly sings along
Wife smiles

Lady gives water
Slurping dog tongue
Puddle below

Setting sun
Wide open beach
Smell of camping

Three men with coffee
Always one who does the talking
Tallest cup

Dad smokes under sun
Kid pulls chair sideways
Time to go

Black pants for Zen
White pants for yoga
Bells and incense.

Diapers when young
Diapers when old
Full circle.

Gumball falls to floor
Woman laughs
Rubs it off and eats it.

Three squirrels
Run and chase
Around the tree.

Cloud moving over sea
Like smoke
Covering beach with whiteness

New monk
Learning to tie robe
strains to reach

Table outside
Waitress slumped in seat
Smoking slowly

Last days of Summer.
One kid on a bike –
One on skates, holding on.

Sun-dried leaves
A loud and brittle bed
Napping with shadows

Darkened morning
Soaked with milky fog
Smell of earth

Two green birds
Wing to wing on a wire
Nibble each other

Another morning
gardener blowing steam
limps into old truck.

Moonlit temple
old teacher does his bows –
another morning

DQ (2010)

Poetry in Miscellaneous Form

The Sound of the Mosque

Early-morning walk under a still darkened sky

I reached the end of the street where the tiled mosque reaches up, as if waiting for a glimpse of the Dawn

Normally a quiet giant, but on this particular morning I heard chanting coming from within…beautiful chanting

I rounded the corner and leaned underneath the slightly opened window where the sacred sound was gliding through

The neon signs of an all-night convenience store across the street flickered through the day’s first clusters of traffic

I mentally willed the rushing sounds to stop, as I lowered the hood of my woolen jacket to better hear

Does it sound like love?

And in a foreign tongue, the low-pitched singing continued on, whispering the name of God…

It does…yes it does

DQ (4.12.16)

From Serendipity

I nearly bought a book the other day.
Next time, I said, as it sat open in my hands.

Waiting for my tea this silvery morning-
The book called out to me from the communal shelf.

Where did you come from? I asked.
From serendipity, it replied.

Now the book I nearly bought the other day-
Sits open once again, in my hands.

The soft jazz within-
The mystic morning without.

Sipping tea and tidings-
From the book I nearly bought the other day.

~DQ (6.25.13)

What is Caliber?

It is our power as a teacher –
a graceful quality.
Anyone can be a Preacher,
But a Teacher has capacity.

Not blind agreeability –
we poke and we provoke.
It’s not our personality –
that oh-so-fickle cloak.

It is the power to uplift –
to project our identity –
And never fall too far adrift.
Like starlight’s luminosity –

A thorough glow that never fails –
A lover of infinity.
Removing all our veils –
Its gift is our divinity.

~DQ (2011) *In dedication and gratitude to Yogi Bhajan

Autumn

On the frost-covered land where the bare sycamores stand, where the daffodils repose, and the hidden buds await their beginnings, may we relish the stillness of the infinite nights, and soften with the solemn temper of twilight. On that slumbering land, may we keep the moon’s secrets and sleep within the comforting arms of darkness.

DQ (2009)

California Desert

The weight of the cool morning air
betrays the bright terrain,
and the stillness below the glare
of the oblique sun on the wane.

The deceptive winter sky creeps
down invisible stairs,
around the snow topped peaks;
Illuminated as a pair –

Standing tall, like a king and queen;
Both white around the crown,
peppered with evergreens,
forever vigilant and proud.

Yet the limitless land they keep
is an empty empire;
No one about whom to inquire –
Throughout this frozen desert sweep.

DQ (2000) *A personal favorite.

Drinking Coffee

Steam rising from a drinking hole
In a plastic lid
On a paper cup
She holds the black Kenya coffee
Within her two hands
Cherishing it, or
Taking warmth.
Carefully removing the lid
Her face all covered
With a surge of steam
She softly blows on the coffee
Then takes a slow sip
Replaces the lid,
Sets it down.

DQ (2002)

First Rain

The tapping of last night’s raindrops falling from the soggy trees.
An airplane echoes through the clouds.
Twenty crows above, in big negotiations.
The neighbor and his dog.
The rising condensation, while I warm up my car.
The smell of cardamom tea, and its spire of swirling steam fogging up my windshield.

DQ (2009)

Flowing Drops

Inside this worn and weathered house,
I undertook to write,
when an irretrievable lapse
brought my attention to those taps.

Even with my effort to rouse
my thoughts that took to flight,
the sound of this commencing rain
arrested my refrain.

Through the clouded, sunless window,
I strained to count the drops
rushing ‘cross the foggy pane
and down the cracked, old wooden frame.

The wind assumed a constant flow –
still those scattered, defiant drops
refused to form a steady stream,
as my thoughts resisted theme.

DQ (2002)

Glaring Sun

Expressionless she sat to face,
with distant, hollowed eyes,
the empty brightness of no-place,
without the will to rise.

The other side of the window,
a suburb washed aglow,
a seamless continuation
of her inner desolation.

DQ (2008 – Inspired by Edward Hopper)

My Grandma

To get you laughing was easy –
with silly, unpretentious lips.
And on a whim, start you singing –
humming the lines unknown.

During ordinary moments –
erupting in a stooge’s dance –
entertaining ourselves to tears –
the two of us alone.

DQ (2006)

Grandma & the Cricket

High Desert July, one damp morning
Hot summer sleeping late
Sounds too near; a cricket chirping
Grandma peeks under bed, laughing

DQ (2004)

I Am

I am a triangle.
With one arm up and one arm down.
I am a young shoot on a tree.
Reaching high to touch the sun.
I am the roots down below.
Stretching deep into the land.

I am a crossroads.
Opposite forces stir in me.
I am a lionhearted flame.
Reaching high to touch the sun.
I am the moon’s gentle glow.
Shining light close at hand.

I am life and death.
Courage takes the place of fear.
I am a tower of strength.
Reaching high to touch the sun.
I am all of life’s electric flow.
Serving all at anyone’s command.

DQ (2011)

Joshua tree and crows

In the desert passed the afternoon sun
Long shadow of the cactus stands alone
But a few clever crows tread on the sand
Still contriving the next move in their plan

And a Joshua tree, with arms out-stretched and torn
Stands vigilant with welcoming hands
Awaiting, longing, for the crows to move toward
The crows fly away and leave the tree forlorn

DQ (1999)

Numbers

Eight glasses of water.
Eight hours of sleep.
155 calories per serving.
20 grams of protein.
30 miles per gallon.
The four-minute mile.
The 100-meter race.
60 words per minute.
A 100-point exam.
Five minutes left on the meter.
One-hour of overtime.
Total household earnings.
2 gigs of ram.
Nasdaq down 100 points.
Snooze 10 more minutes.
A zero-point loan.
Two-year fixed rate.
10 hours ahead.
50 percent off.
2.99 a gallon.
1.50 a pound.
Nine years her senior.
A 5,000 word essay.
9.9 percent APR.
No fees for 36 months.
25 percent less caffeine.
A 20 percent tip.
92.00 a barrel.
50.00 a share.
Two inches of rain.
25 grams of fiber.
1000 square feet.
Five dog years.
Half the fat.

DQ (2009)

Morning Rush

Seen through tall wet windows
Street-corner car washes stand still

Ninety-nine cent stores wait
While clusters of slowing headlights

Crunch, under watching crows
As if minding their morning drill

Drivers all ready to rotate
Each one inches in little bites.

DQ (2005)

Son

His beautiful face, sleeping like an angel
With eyes closed, looks still like a baby
So peaceful with his upper lip half open
But legs stretch now the length of his bed.

He’s dreaming now of his own big world,
discussing with friends his own private affairs
Soon different things will replace his toys
and away from me on this earth he will tread.

DQ (1998)

Onset of Summer

Onset of summer
Glowing white
Forever sky
Forever days
Twinge of wistfulness
Familiar undertone
Silent expectations
Ostentatious sky
Forever sky
Forever days
Glaring white
Calling of summer

DQ (2010)

Paris

From a picture one can’t smell
The dustiness and antiquity
of the timeworn twisting stairwells
of the matriarch Notre Dam.

One misses the echoing chimes,
the ringing of the cathedral
that seem far in the distance
and have for centuries marked time.

From a picture one can’t know
the immaculate overlay,
the humble esprit de corps
of the unspoiled union of new and old,

the unexpected arrival
of some thunderous parade –
both teenagers and elderly
drumming, screaming for some soccer game.

From a picture one can’t feel
the splendor of walking the Seine,
as if one had walked that path for years
and had known forever the way

through the tiny bending avenues,
elegant little walking lanes
lined with galleries and eateries
and petite cafes with madelines.

DQ (1999)

Piggies

Through the wood-slabbed enclosure of the truck just up ahead,
I thought I perceived movement,
then I was sure.
I resisted what was unmistakable to my eyes
with a tightened feeling in my chest,
I saw what I didn’t want to see,
Because I knew.

Passing the truck, my wary eyes peered into the wobbly, crowded crate,
into the cracks where the light would last shine,
into their moving confinement.
I saw in there, many innocent oblivious pigs.
Stout and submissive piggies, with wagging tails, twitching ears, and dark little eyes.
One looking my direction, as if through the slabs from the other side,
and a pall of sorrow dimmed the morning sun

DQ (
Montreal, 9.3.08)

Sunday Morning

Early on a Sunday morning,
waiting for the train to pass –
All the dew is melting
On this solitary track

Looking across the fields,
the sun beating on my back –
There’s a vision so surreal
Around this solitary track

Out far, in the distance,
one crow nervously squawks –
I endeavor not to listen
Watching this solitary track

But the truth does penetrate,
remains forever not abstract –
With this I hesitate
But still persists this stubborn fact;

That our seclusion we create,
this voluntary path –
Not a lofty, pre-destined fate;
A self-drawn solitary track.

DQ (1998)

The Girl at the Club

Late one night in a samba club
She was sitting all alone
I tried not to let her
See me staring at her

Oh, she had big, black curly hair
Which was pulled straight back on top
The dress that she did wear
Left her small and dark legs bare

It seemed that she was African
The whites of her dark mystic eyes
Did not seem purely white
She had an exotic quality

At the same time proper and nice
Her smallness made her approachable
But was her company to share?
She alone sat at a table

I looked to her direction again
Perhaps she did accompany
One of the drummers on the stage
But then the drummers took a break

And there she remained alone
She then got up to dance alone
With some perpetual rhythm
The monotonous samba rhythm

There she seemed to lose herself
As if in a ritual
Some sort of ritual
An African ritual

Her eyes were closed, her head hung back
Her mouth fell slightly open
But she did not seem to care
Her legs dug and bent and snapped

They were grinding in a manner
That was frenzied and irrational
But with precision all the same
She got lost then with the clamor

Of the beating drums, the samba drums
Her tight elastic dress rose high
Exposing her dark legs
Her rythmic, small, dark legs

She didn’t care that she danced alone
And didn’t put her dress in place
She came for some sort of private need
A ritual; like in Africa

Suddenly, the beating stopped
And she sat back down at her seat
As if she’d just participated
In something ordinary

Fanning herself, she tied her hair
The rest of her big, beautiful hair
And just when she was situated
Stood up and simply left the club.

DQ (1998)

The Joshua tree and the sparrow

Over on the side of the beaten road
The Joshua tree stands leaning –
Passing all the days on the look-out for
the sparrow, which lands flinching –
With news of some vicious, giant specter
Who moves through the furrowed, wind-blown sand,
although no one before has crept over there,
following, taunting, with a hideous hand.

DQ (2004)

The Little Man

Directly on my left hand side;
a chubby little man,
with a pigeon on his shoulder,
a muffin in his hand,
and an echoing, high-pitched voice,
laments the loss of apple pie,
of quality gone by,
and the cardboard coffee holder.
Brown recycled paper products,
symbols of our culture;
the portly man affirms,
and shakes his head with injured pride.

DQ (2002)

The Miser

It isn’t he who angers me
It’s his unrelenting stare,
his devious demeanor
And poker-faced pomposity

It isn’t his suit that offends me most
It’s the mixture of colors,
wild patterns he thinks are clever
And dress socks that look like hose!

Perhaps it’s his features altogether
That provoke me so, like his well-set hair-do,
the way his thin pretentious lips move
or his feminine posterior!

Mostly though, it’s his miserliness;
Improvising desire to foot the bill
After his greedy appetite has had its fill.
He restores his wallet with finesse.

DQ (1998)

Zen Robe

The swaying white robe hangs from the umbrella outside, blowing in that indecisive wind that always comes between storms. The pale sun falls, defeated by the chill. The day’s last light peers through the sycamore, standing crooked and proud, like a faithful old sentinel – its bony limbs reaching out, as if toward a phantom. And the undulating white figure appears translucent against the bleached, unclouded sky.

DQ (January, 2010)

First Day’s Light

A decision is to be made.
But twenty crows fly high-
Cawing loudly – a raucous brigade.
From treetops they pierce the night sky.

Restless mind goes back to spinning.
An inner invasion-
But the day’s first light is coming.
Onward crows! A chief transmission!

DQ (October 8th, 2010)

A Birthday Gift
The street was in repose, covered by gossamery fog.
Light from old-fashioned street lamps scattered into magical glowing orbs –
like grandmother’s earrings or golden medallions floating in the mist.
We dawdled under giant ficus trees –
sentinels, still towering over the night –
standing vigilant, their shadows still in slumber –
motionless, like those British guards –
and we couldn’t make them laugh.
I led my dogs through the web of moisture –
or they led me, chasing crows in the half light of dawn –
humbled by the sly ones, airborne and hidden by the dimness –
cawing out their mockery from the unreachable treetops
and waking up the world –
lowering the cords of the heavy violet curtains –
and the secret birthday production came to a close.

DQ (9.1.10)

Ode to the Rain

Rain, what a most delightful surprise!
You have stolen me from my duties;
And have changed the color of this day;
It must be heaven you portray.

The ordinary morning traffic;
Joined today in a train of headlights;
Shapes made surreal by the shining street;
Still aglow from midnight’s tears.

I gaze upon my fellow travelers;
Those whose tracks I’ll soon pursue;
Held within your grey embrace;
And wonder, do they love you as I do?

DQ (July 2010)

The Daisy

Without the earth’s willing cradle;
Without the sun to call it forth;
Nor the bees to give and take;
The little daisy wouldn’t be.

Without the rainsoaked bed of soil;
Without the breeze for gentle play;
Nor the clouds to shield the light;
The little daisy wouldn’t be.

Without our eyes with which to see;
Without sniffing creepy crawlies;
Nor hummingbirds to sip;
The little daisy wouldn’t be.

DQ

Dawn

I walked before the dawn arrived this morning. The stillness of the charcoal sky betrayed the coming rain. 15 giant ficus trees lined the street, perfectly rounded, like puffed-up, giant green balloons. Their tangled undersides turned golden by old-fashioned street lamps—loyal lookouts standing only to alight the ancient figures with their gentle glow. A million leaves dangled in quietude. The seagulls called from a distance, punctual as the echoing chime of the old clock tower. And with their announcement, the day had begun.

DQ

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2 responses to “Poetry

  1. Simon The Englishman

    Hi Donna,
    Well I checked it out like I said. “Big dog Sniffing worms sneezes dirt” really like that one, makes me smile. The miscellaneous poems I like too, particularly “Autumn” and “The joshua tree and the sparrow” (haven’t read everything yet. Will dip in and out.) When you put poems on Windmill posts there were sometimes photos. It would be nice (more work I know) for there to be some associated pics next to the poems as you scroll down with the pics fading in and then out (too much work!). Just a thought. Or you click a link and have a flash video of you reading it from your garden or something. Give your brother some extra work!
    Bye for now
    Simon

  2. I’m glad you like that haiku, Simon. Thanks for telling me. And I know exactly what you mean about pictures – I was thinking that also. That’ll be a project in itself – I’ve found that adding photos to WordPress and getting them situated the way you want them is sometimes a fight!
    ~Donna

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