Saturday, July 9, 2016

Three Poems from Marianne Peel

Salutation to the Strawberry Moon

Two day ago I elongated my body,
stretched to reaching places,
saluted the sun
in simpatico with the thousands

who laid out mats worldwide.
Inhaled exhaust or lilacs
exhaled spirit self together
to honor the Summer Solstice

Bodies moving in a silent rave
arching toward the horizon
ending in Namaste.
Sacredness within me, surrounding me.

Tonight I walk toward the strawberry moon,
ferreting it out from leaf and limb.
I ground myself on a field of summer wet grass
Soles pressing into soil.

I am rooted as I bring up the chi
thumbs pulled back slightly from my palm
there is current following in a line of light
up my arm, to my center.

I rock gently strong, side to side,
as I wave hands like clouds
masking the moon with my palms
just for a moment.

There is no fragmentation
just flow of movement one hand following the other
a moon dance
and I voice five distinct howls

barbaric yawps at the very pull of this moon
one for each of my four daughters
honoring the fertility of their femaleness
their companion moon, antiphonal singing.

I howl once for myself
crone and cycleless now,
but still connected
to this gravitational dance.

And then I come back to my sphere of possession
lowering my hands
a contrapuntal exchange as I
straighten knees, unfold my spine.

I rub my hands together
conjuring friction between willing fingers
smooth palms across my cheeks
my eyes, my forehead.

And I move in the direction of home
alive with chi,
knowing I am radiant
by the light of this strawberry moon . . .

Subsidized Housing, Ditches, and Daffodils

Before you were a daffodil
you were an idea wrapped in a fist
of a palm with life lines rusted with soil.
Screwed down into the earth on a day in November
before the ground stiffened into impenetrable clay.

Before you were a daffodil
the shutters were still lopsided
and the paint dangled in shreds from the eaves.
The foreclosure sign hung crooked
from the cape cod across the street.

Before you were a daffodil
this place was a barren ditch
collecting water from a clogged drain.
A debris of a space with brown leaves tattered,
not worthy of ironing flat into a journal or a bible.

Before you were a daffodil
you were buried beneath
only to rise on this April day
emerging as a confident vibrato,
one cello string pressing long and slow at daybreak.

Come Closer

An evening of Sandhill Cranes
scavenging among autumn leaves.
Migrating soon, these down-in-the-swamp birds
dare us to come closer with laughter
that volcanoes inside their searching throats.

A chickadee careens down onto my fingertips.
Birdlegs balancing
on the edges of my hand,
ferreting out seeds
from the hollow of my palm.

Eiderdown swans,
silhouettes of grace
on murky water,
before moonlight
bares her breast to the lake.

Marianne Peel taught English at middle and high school for 32 years.  She is now retired, doing Field Instructor work for Michigan State University.  She recenlty won 1st prize for poetry in the Spring 2016 Edition of the Gadfly Literary Magazine.  She also won the Pete Edmonds Poetry Prize.  In addition, Marianne has been published in Encodings:  A Feminist Literary Journal; Write to Heal; Writing for Our Lives:  Our Bodies--Hurts, Hungers, Healing; Mother Voices; Metropolitan Woman Magazine; and Ophelia's Mom.  Marianne also received Fulbright-Hays Awards to Nepal and Turkey.  She is a flute playing vocalist, currently learning ukulele, who is raising four daughters.  She shares her life with her partner Scott, whom she met in Istanbul while studying in Turkey.  Most recently, Marianne was invited to participate in Marge Piercy's Juried Intensive Poetry Workshop in June 2016.


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