Jan/Feb 2017 Spotlight

Two Word Poems

by Barbara De Franceschi

© 2016 Elizabeth P. Glixman

© 2016 Elizabeth P. Glixman

Desert Fringe Dwellers

We come to rain as pilgrims to a holy feast.
Silent moods rush to greet the damp,
bodies become light as bones shed dry heat.
Pings of mizzle on idle farm gear
are beats that nurture creative musings,
poetry shapes a revived ethos:
pleasure and expectation.

Lapsed vines drip utopia tears.
And who can begrudge their optimism?
Dogs puzzle at muddy pools,
grass seeds take a crash-course on how to sprout.
We commiserate with yellow gibberbirds
for the overflow on sandy nests,
goannas with thick lizard skins are more in sync,
they shelter under stoic boulders
whose mica veins glint
to hypnotize the day's murky gloom.

Across open plains
whispered words are shunted on fading light,
tendrils of violet mist curl towards a cloud-bearing overhang,
wedlock is fused between earth and sky.
In this synergy we envelop a rapturous moment,
eyes close and open again in the structures of thunder.
Sleep waits like a patient lover.


Run Through a Tunnel

I need to talk to you about anxiety.
It's never easy to find a balance
when working the land,
between bank managers knocking,
kids going on about things they want.

Anxiety is not my friend.
It can fill an empty silo,
ride on a sheep's back,
envelop hope in sludge,
feel like a cane toad—sloppy and wet.

It waits on the sideboard,
clatters with heirloom Royal Doulton cups,
lurks in undusted corners,
sits on the porch in a silent hunch.
It despises the times I laugh out loud,
becomes a coward when I confide in a mate.

Be it pest or blight,
the puzzle of opaque darkness
lingers in the crevices of my mind.
With cognitive reasoning
and love stroking my face
it can be squashed out of shape.

I look at the trees
leaf by leaf,
peel back the sunshine
a beam at a time,
pat an old working dog,
fix a fallen down fence.
I sprinkle vinegar onto hot chips,
hypnotize the tongue with acidic strength,
lick salt from my fingers,
imagine a distant ocean roiling in rhythm
with cooped heartbeats.

I run through a tunnel—
come out the other side.


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