While Jean Doesn’t Write by Wren Tuatha

While Jean doesn’t write, seditious phrases make their escape
to parallel dimensions where mothman aliens hunt and gather them,
eat them silently and then look through at us knowingly.
This phenomenon is entirely Jean’s fault.

While Jean doesn’t write, seventeen wars that we know of continue
like a second day of rain, race relations in America harden
into pre-1970’s pessimism and 2/3 of her neighbors fail to recycle.
Indeed, for every day that Jean doesn’t write,
another Republican actor runs for office.

While Jean doesn’t write, her lifelong friends don’t change.
Her adult children do what they will.

 

 

First published in Five:2:One Magazine. 

 

 

Wren Tuatha (Califragile Editor). Wren’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in The Cafe Review, Canary, Poetry Pacific, Peacock Journal, Coachella Review, Arsenic Lobster, Baltimore Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Loch Raven Review, Clover, Lavender Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, and Bangalore Review. She’s also an editor at PoetryCircle.com. Wren and her partner, author/activist C.T. Lawrence Butler, herd skeptical goats on a mountain in California.

Make Soup, You Said by Wren Tuatha

I’m making a soup
to fill my bowl.
I’m after that carrot of consolation
you dangle.
I would remember
a recipe
uttered
in that season of my childhood
without language.
The three sisters–
corn, beans and squash…
When they hold hands
they can give weight
while they dance and stir,
balanced in a circle chain,
resolved, complete.

If I know the right herbs,
if my flame is humble,
if I stir with the tide,
if I ladle with steadiness,
if I eat with grace,
if I digest with stillness,
I will understand
why you have gone.
I wrote you a letter.
I burnt it,
buried it,
scattered it,
sent it sailing,
nailed it to my bed.
Make soup, you said, nothing is simple.

(First published in Baltimore Review.)

 

 

Wren Tuatha (Califragile Editor). Wren’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in The Cafe Review, Canary, Poetry Pacific, Peacock Journal, Coachella Review, Arsenic Lobster, Baltimore Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Loch Raven Review, Clover, Lavender Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, and Bangalore Review. She’s also an editor at PoetryCircle.com. Wren and her partner, author/activist C.T. Lawrence Butler, herd skeptical goats on a mountain in California.

On the Occupy Savannah by Wren Tuatha

Intestines in trees and the births
of stars. These are my witnessings

on the Occupy savannah. So much brutal
beauty and belly breathing I can’t digest.

It’s a giraffe in traffic,
can’t get out of her own way.

And even with this stuck flow
Wall Street should be very afraid.

A giraffe in traffic is not on the payroll,
not towing your barge, not plugged in.

And a giraffe in traffic has
everyone’s attention.

 

 

Wren Tuatha’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in The Cafe Review, Canary, Peacock Journal, Poetry Pacific, Coachella Review, Arsenic Lobster, Baltimore Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Loch Raven Review, Clover, Lavender Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, and Bangalore Review. She’s the founder and editor of Califragile and also an editor at PoetryCircle. Wren and her partner, author/activist C.T. Lawrence Butler, herd skeptical goats on a mountain in California.

Folding Chair by Wren Tuatha

I told you then I would take it out back
and kill it with a knife. But I couldn’t do it.
You stumbled upon my love today as then.

It’s a folding chair, forgotten in the woods,
rusting beside living oaks and rotting, jutting stumps,
unsuitable seats. Your mind tries to pick up its stories
from the air around. A picnicker, a hunter, absent minded
yogi. But stories are noise, excuses. Mute air transmits
this year’s bird noise, same as the moment before
and the moment after this chair was left here.

You realize the years, four legs grounded through
snow mounding and hurricanes, the inflating
and shriveling of mushrooms. Fox and mouse,
mouse and beetle, squirrel and squirrel.
Food and urges and panic. I remember loving you.
There was noise.

Mute, awake air, used to being taken in and released,
doesn’t suffer seasons or fools, doesn’t root for predator
or prey, doesn’t pray that you find your own heart
among curly, restless ferns. I still do.

 

(First published in The Cafe Review)

 

 

Wren Tuatha’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in Avatar Review, Canary, Peacock Journal, Coachella Review, Arsenic Lobster, Baltimore Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Loch Raven Review, Clover, Lavender Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Poetry Circle, and Bangalore Review. She never found out how that folding chair got there.

April in Myth by Wren Tuatha

April is old like water, prehistoric, recycled. Womb
and bladder. To my Third World parched skin,
she’s America, running the tap.And now, in a foreign
hot tub, she mothers me, as if she has it to spare.
Water and muscles, air and my salty grief.

April has bloomed before, on schedule, sometimes
an early surprise. She has chased and she’s been cupped
to the lips, been drunk in, and done someone’s share
of drinking. Me, too, always in August.

On April’s flesh, tears and kisses evaporate,
leaving shine. On mine, brine, crusty, leaving in cakes
like the ice shelf. I watch it go, with foreboding
that natural disasters will result.

But water and her children won’t be possessed.
In time, she does the possessing, pooling foolish souls
like shrimp, pulling us through hurricanes and extinction
and silence from space.

Mammoths, raccoons, wrens and Americans.

Like water, April is old, knows how to crest and trough,
be a beating organ of the beast, a good germ on the living
planet. Some herons are like pterodactyls pulled by hunger
too far from shore. There are fools and there are fish.
Drink, says April. Extinction breeds myth.
And oh, what a magnetic myth we make.

(Previously published in Antiphon Poetry Magazine.)

Wren Tuatha’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in The Cafe Review, Canary, Peacock Journal, Coachella Review, Arsenic Lobster, Baltimore Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Loch Raven Review, Clover, Lavender Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Poetry Circle, and Bangalore Review. She still has no hot tub of her own.

Tupelo Coyote by Wren Tuatha

We were tracing Jack’s Creek
where the woods abducts it from the rolling
hills of dairy cows and tobacco.
I on the asphalt, you behind the tupelos.
You stalked me like a fan
afraid to ask for my autograph.
Those alien eyes,
calculating,
measuring my marrow
bend after turn, always
thirty paces aside.

Now you trot out in the farmlands,
legs like tobacco sticks, mapping the median line.
I am roadside, reading.
You are storybook real.
I speak to you, familiar,
as if you are the family dog.
Your answer is a glare-beam
that rips me, rights me.

You put me in the landscape,
that’s all.

(First published in Canary, A Journal of the Environmental Crisis. Upcoming in The Paddock Review, the new journal of Finishing Line Press.)

Wren Tuatha’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in The Cafe Review, Poetry Circle, Peacock Journal, Coachella Review, Arsenic Lobster, Baltimore Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Loch Raven Review, Clover, Lavender Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, The Bees Are Dead, and Bangalore Review. She accepts that coyotes want nothing to do with her.