Bride of Spears

This poem is entirely composed of direct quotations from Aeschylus’ Agamemnon (utilizing the Robert Fagles translation*), and contains quotations referring to each of the four major female characters: Helen, Clytemnestra, Cassandra, and Iphigenia.

*                    *                        *                   *

A wild creature, fresh caught-
She must learn to take the cutting bridle.
She left her land chaos; strode through the gates defiant
Bride of spears, a bride of tears, a fury
Whirled her wedding on to a stabbing end.
Her beauty hurts her lord, the bridle chokes her voice.
She strains to call their names, her glance like arrows showering.
She is the lioness. What outrage- the woman kills the man!
That detestable hell-hound, monster of Greece – girl of tears.
A beast to the altar driven on by god.

 

*Aeschylus. The Oresteia. Translated by Robert Fagles, Penguin Classics, 1977.

(petals #2)

It is all beautiful and unfurling,
it is only that there are so many layers of petals to breath through
and they are all twining and curling
quite bluntly through my lungs.

I am sure it is quite all right,
if I can only take deep breaths and move more slowly
and remember it does no good to fight
stray thorns that trellis up my heart.

(petals #1)

The world is interlocking,
detail building on detail like petals on a rose
all of it in motion like swallows flocking
in shifting perfect patterns across the sky.

Sit very still in the center
or a corner; it is the same place for you.
Be quiet. Your heart lies still as the naked winter.
The whole sky folds in fractal blooms.

Snow Day

Fold the sky into a crane
cradled in cupped hands
tired cars creep down their lane
scraping snow dark bands.
May-fly snowflakes dance the wind –
students, scarfed, scuff by.
And at the board (your prayers please send!)
prop’s bloody end draws nigh.