The musician plays a requiem for winter
Fingers crawl crab-like along the bridge
of his cello
Wildflowers bloom in cement crevices
Roots of oak trees make sidewalks buckle
and create cracks
Hummingbird wings sound an arpeggio
but a late snowstorm bends daffodils
into an arc of death
We gather roses of peace but thorns draw
the blood of war
Angels sing in a minor key
Teardrops falling with the rains of spring
The Gift of Second Sight
While strolling on the street of an Appalachian town
I notice a small store with wooden carvings on display.
A tinkling bell above the door signals my arrival.
A woman appears from her studio at the rear.
She is blind. We chat. She tells me her story:
When my mother saw me for the first time,
she named me Sylvia, a word that means
“from the forest.” How did she know
that my spirit had come from a place filled with trees
whose wood I would learn to carve?
My fingers are my eyes; they feel the grain,
caress the surface, touch the smoothness
and rub the rough spots; then my hand and knife
act in harmony. They start to free a form.
The wood does not resist. I bring back to life
a creature that once owned and roamed the land.
I have released a bear from its walnut trap.
People pity me because I am blind,
but I feel sorry for them. They see but cannot feel.
The Lord has given me the gift of second sight.
In the other room the men
are watching a football game
I hear the words: romp and rout
defend and defeat
It’s not a game of football at all
but a war report from Kabul
or Damascus or Baghdad
Athletes on the playing field
Soldiers on the battlefield
Then—high school scrimmages
Now—front line skirmishes
Survivors come home with
missing limbs and signs of stress
They become weekend warriors
or lie on the couch with a newspaper
whose headlines shout:
Friendly fire claims five in recent
Time travels along
a double-looped helix
A large lazy figure eight
lying on its side
Time may end for some
A praying mantis hops
on a limestone shell mound
while a hawk circles aloft
Stand between two mirrors
One is past, the other future
Trapped in infinity
Search for the present
Grasp an hourglass as you
float through your dream world
Grains from the past fall into
the chamber of the present
Invert the timepiece
Present and past
Put the future on hold
Jane Kos notes “My poetry defies description. It can be triggered by a visual image that evolves into an abstract interpretation. Often a personal experience is an opportunity to witness the human condition and in time this observation takes on a written form.”