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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Dreaming of Apples

This poem won the Ralph Nadding Hill Literary Award for 2012, to be published in Vermont Life Magazine.

DREAMING OF APPLES
For Z.

By Diana Lischer-Goodband, copyright 2001

I dream of apples like some people dream of money, love and success.
I just want apples: round, glistening and scented like a mountain morning;
a treasure chest of garnets, rubies and golden globes of perfect fruit:

Hudson’s Golden gem, Black Oxford, Roxbury Russet.

I dream of apples in the winter, when the world is sleeping.
Apples waiting to be pruned before the arrival of the carnival of bee hives,
Their colored boxes alerting our bear-of-a-dog to beware of bees.

I dream of apples in the spring, when apple blossoms shiver,
Shaking their pink confetti over intoxicated bees buzzing,
Careening in frantic circuitry of bee-lines to flowers soft with pollen.

In summer, the fruit grows plump like well-fed children
Playing in the sun, cheeks flushed from the exertion of ripening.
I dream of their fruition, and my desire for apples grows stronger:

Sheepnose, Blue Permain, Hubbardston Nonesuch.

I dream that the fruit will bear me to ecstasy-
To pie, perhaps to dream of more voluptuous fruit,
The sweet-tart crunch of taut apple flesh.

In fall, the trees beckon with perfumed temptation,
Their apples overbearing, overwhelming:

I dream of apples.

Only harvest means anything to me.

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Where did the Wishing Go?

Where did the wishing go?
Even though I could not help but see,
that in order to be free as the night,
the hurt must grow tight and alive
as a wire in a hive of bees.
Would you please tell me:
Where did the wishing go?

Or how did I come to lose
the childish news of my dreaming,
the crystal gaze seeming to dissolve
my sorry resolve in living
and clinging to fruit trees;
I stand stinging with their smell
of rotten memory that fell with apples
Down.

What name do I climb as a tree
to claim my essential heart,
that lonely part as free and steady
as twilight’s heady pouring,
swollen into morning, until-
again to starry night
it will carry me golden.
Until bold, then-
I will seek the bright and singing sky.

Copyright 1998

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I lost my hunger a long time ago
for fishing in the hush of twilight;
the sweetness of life too much to bear,
to hook the soft mouth,
the eyes glazed in surprise,
the silver tail tarnishing before my eyes.

I lost the sweetness a long time ago
of gently rocking boats,
pulling oars in the salty fog
my father’s voice, hands a wooden memory,
lost on the shelf of books:
dusty webs and mildewed pages.

I lost my innocence a long time ago,
the cool hush of death sweet on my neck,
the ocean fishing for my soul
as I fished once
in Newfoundland along the coast,
the cod grieving for me as it bled.

I lost my hunger for fishing a long time ago,
the squid screaming in the night,
the ink, the blinding florescence of their skin
cannot be repeated in the song
of the silver net I cling to in my sea,
the voyage not quiet over.

Copyright 1998

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Fairy Tales and Frogs

Fairy tales are like frogs,
they leap for the lust of it,
they creep through the dust of it,
the horror close behind.

Who knows the shame
in stalking the fairies,
in the name of our children,
our polliwogs.

Remember clouds over Hirohima?
When that great red sun
bowled its oranges over
the spilt milk of nursery rhyme?

The horror comes to us slowly,
as lonely
as a cyclone of dust
in a fairy tale.

Copyright 1998

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