Jul/Aug 2002 Poetry

Three Poems

by Jessica Schneider

Art by Bob Dornborg


Orchid Abstract

Everywhere sideways, far ago hills,
indelible dimensions, mediated climate:
walk towards them, they will not hear. A series of steppes expand
cloudscape, unfurl where the wind-eye descends.

I am no other to them. Bit by bit, I evaporate
my distance into disguise.
These hills skyshape the moon
to their gowns. We are assigned

parts to arouse impression, live in distraction.
The land knows to hold us
without complaint. We open
our anatomy as an elm expires

flowers' command. It has been long since hills first dragged
the sky to its cheek. Moments realize
not even hands can find
our own compassion bending the emotional

skyground. No different from a blend of browns and blues.



            Under shade, insects moved
      yellow wings, flickered and dragged early
June. Us? Legs gracing form,
motions worn into somewhere
      settled. Up-country, children drew lines with toes,
            made games in broken angles of grass-

            (despite catching their clothes when running too fast).
      On, weeds could not outlive
their spread, and corn began to decompose.
Stalk limbs grayed oval
      leaves burning; where
            wind sifted earthdust swarmed

            escaping storms,
      swashing over upland brooks and juggling
destination. Daylong, pastures of air
could no longer revive
      utterances of slowed syllables, prickling
            breath. In foundered burrows,

            meadows set the blown
      arrangement of trees. The bones of some
season: riveting in, too much the drool
in fast
      wonder. How anything fragile survives-

            shouldered in a western drought of heart. Once where
      differing windows
shade between homes,
sands of the brooms have eased
      bristles broken, while sweeping down
            invasion. Lifting floors in open twirl

            as doorways do, this is drift in a girl
      racing tainted air
towards dinner grace, in mass
and place. Pastures of uniformed rows:
      neglected plains. Indistinguished farms
            cannot relinquish distance, nor give

      fruitful recognition under warm
dizzy wind, days undoing a humming move
      to her wondrous orbs of where-



Windows often worry when the moon mirrors
dark holly, clouded azaleas will roam round
pearls, push a robed wonder before a wind
waiting the distance between trees, and vision
the thresholding awareness, left mazing
under midnight's perchanced petticoat ways,

managing star-slip upon the always
in-secret, and eluding a mirror
glaze of subtle sluices' leftover maze.
A flower's plot decides to lift a round
subtle sky in subliminal vision,
ambrosial air, glints of sun on dropped wind,

moving like ice-stoved snow that weathers its wind
with wrinkled sand-stars. Space is not always
momentary matter that a vision
of disbelief occasionally mirrors,
enclosing itself and all that is round
and complex. A self too stranged to a maze,

motion under motion-shimmering: amaze
at the too thin breaks, a wizard's unlifted wind,
the gutteral goings on, dancing round
a kingdom of compromise, etched always
in the infirmary of years. Are the mirrored
motives of imagination a vision

gone wild with time and place? Quickly envision
nightfall, as no stale shadow can amaze
the many features of a face, mirror
the solid air, and whimsy among blue wind-
filled petals' lonely chase. How many ways
can the aspens dissolve circles around

this transparent place? The world is not round,
but orange chaos striking down, up. Vision,
assorted and shrugged by elements, always
heeds the prowess of mind. Listen and amaze
the bleakness of your trance, as a high-splashed wind
pulls the willows past. Many minutes mirror

ways, shift the trees which lift unrelented round
spiral faces, fiber, branching the always
standing, these shapes' mirror the sun's sidewinding.


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