Sunday, February 25, 2018

Three Poems by Cleo Griffith

Across the Blue

How teasing, these clouds,
these diaphanous streams across the blue,
scarves dropped from a dancer
now on the other side of the mountains,
feathers from a giant, yet light-weight owl,
layers like whipped frosting spread with sky-spatula,

they dim the sunlight but little,
promise no rain to this dry valley
but, carefree, float romantically
without haste, for having no delivery to make
time is of no essence.  Oh pretty gatherings,
would that you could join yourselves,
become massive, dark and heavy,
and share your beauty even more through
the water that shapes you.

Crepe Myrtle

By the time crepe myrtle blooms pink,
almond orchards have greened,
the neighbor's peach-colored roses
softly outlined their short driveway.

By the time crepe myrtle blossoms pink
iris have given their purple salutes,
expired into dark shriveled nubs.

Before crepe myrtle flowers pink,
lemon blossoms scent the neighborhood,
the resident blue jay squawks from the nectarine tree
anxious for the small green bulbs
to expand to pink-blending-red globes of dinner.

Crepe myrtle pushes pale pink buds
among chartreuse leaves, take over the back yard
until Fall when it sprinkles its pastel bounty
across my green lawn.

My Season's Sky

There is no welcome stream along our property
nor river close where we can browse.
Large gray cranes do not rise from a bank
across wide blue sky,
but I have seen many attractions such as today's
early afternoon flock of white doves,
each etched and colored in my mind.
I've seen more than twenty-nine thousand sunsets
still I marvel at my season's sky
where crimson lights the peaked evening clouds
just before I pull the blinds at night.
Each leafless tree of winter's days
remind me of the lime-green wealth of spring
in all the many towns in which I've loved,
no place that was all bad, all good, but balanced
always by one of nature's joys--
summer thunderstorms, winter's icy sculptures,
one ocean's roar or the warmth of another's shore,
massive green of rain forests, wide desert plain.
Whatever is not here, still is with me as I have seen
the water and the wind, the mountain and the sea,
ghosts as real as my eyes, ears and grateful heart.

Cleo Griffith was Chair of the Editorial Board of Song of the San Joaquin for its first twelve years and remains on the Board.  Widely published, she lives in Salida, CA, with her husband, Tom, and their tabby, Tank.

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