Saturday, April 30, 2011

With or without you

This is the fear; sit with him,
Here. Nothing you must do, you say
Again, to yourself. Nothing. Simple,
But here you go, dusting,
Arranging knick-knacks above
This too-narrow bed while he
Stands there, just inside the door
He’s closed behind him, hat in hand.
You suspect he could wait all day,
in fact, will. With a toothbrush you could
Clean this entire house.

There is something he wants you to do.
That‘s what he said last time you met,
When he held your face in his hands
Like a father. You remember that moment.

Your vision blurs, you grip the gathered
Feathers, continue dusting, while your heart
Turns without you.

Ellen Marie Metrick, 4.21.11
One word at a time
                ~ for Earth
Health is a hue of truth;
its brightest blue, its green,
a gold tooth in the mountain
a trial by fire in the human
race. All who have entered
find running least effective;
standing in place a pace
that makes fast strides
towards deep ties.
Ellen Marie Metrick 4.22.11

Not up to us
“How could I have lived so long / If I had not known that day / Was bound to come in the end?” – Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

We build our castles in the grand style,
Manicured gardens and imagined moats
From inside our dark homes; we tell ourselves
We will find day when we find the way out.
In that imagined light, we see how tall we’ll sit
On our glowing steed, how our armor
Will glint and shine after stooping,
crouching with hardscrabble arachnids,
ears punched with the crunch and stutter
of this web, sound of doubt strangling desire.

The fisherman knows the castles are bait;
caught fish will be head-struck, gutted,
Eaten around the fire at dark.

What if this seaweed forest
Is just where we live, a tunnel in the lava
Flow, and in the end
It is not a dangling salmon egg
But the current itself — even weeds
Bow to its power — the current
that one day pulls us
from under-boulder dark
into sun-glittered stream.
Ellen Marie Metrick 4.23.11

All day rain, snow, clouds
Break. From the corner fencepost,
Clearly, meadowlark.
4.24 Elle M
The boy, the girl, the dogs

It’s choice
Each moment
To be here, all stride
And pant and lifting voice
Saying what it is we want
As if we’ve never known
As if we hadn’t been the ones
To pile the brush and duff
Of story, of i-don’t-know,
Of I am afraid.
The stalks of this earth
Are sprouting, the wombs
Will soon fill, green become
A weight, skies clear.
EMM 4.25.2011

It’s so messy
       a tangle viney
       a tessera of bailing twine
                orange session with wine
here, take an end
                    make words
          one more method
          a harness for excuses
          not to make them look beautiful
make us look beneath
stars still guide us
emm 4.26
Stories are just pins
Holding up a dress as big
As this star-strewn sky
(Let's take it off, look
each other in the eye)
emm 4.27
Almost May

The window above the kitchen sink
Crowded with snowflakes like cold children
Wanting in. Red. A solo mango winks,
Then stares.

4.28.11. EMM
Lunch in spring storm

More complaints than snowflakes today
As green spears poke through heavy wet while
Golden currant flowers shine small flames

To the north and the west, a wall
Of storm churns dark, horizon gone
To seed

In my red bowl, last fall’s
Hawkswing mushrooms (Hidenum imbricatum)
Gathered with whistling kids
Nudge beet greens I plucked yesterday
In the hailstorm from my garden
Store-bought yellow squash
And miso for stock; nothing ever
Tasted so good.

4.29 (from 4.26 lunch) EMM

Is that what woke me?
This bud of a moon rising,
frost at 5 a.m.
emm 4.30

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Two for today


Is this my needle, my north
this sorrow by birth, the worth
of my howl, my how? Only now
as the trail peaks mountain
do I find mind giving way
to sky, hawks hooking way
from why; oh, high stones;
oh, cairn of my woe, this
burrow, this hoed row rolls
me under tow. Only a bat
could find me now. I am
naught but sound, waving
this exquisite existence,
this pittance, a glitter
in sky’s blue skirt.

emm 4.19.11


I see you. Yes. You are
the impossible route
up granite, seen only
one move at a time,
found more by fingertip
than eye.

I see you. Yes. You are
the line through trees
in deep powder, seen
then lost, visible
to the knees, a sense
of give and take.

I see you. Yes. You are
the smooth tongue,
the reflection of sky
leading the way through
white churn water
where the line is fine,
a single oar-dip
between slide
and flip.

Ellen Marie Metrick

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Meadowlarks at midnight

They call out at midnight; lovers,
Rivals, dreamers, a clear liquid light
In deep dark, they circle your sleep
Wingbeats of lost kin. Mornings
Find them carrying sunlight
To each fencepost, breastbones
Resonating memory.
All day they translate
A forgotten journey as if
Pinfeathers could sprout
From your eyelids
As if your fingers were
Small flames, lit wicks pricking
Deep-cave dark.

Ellen Marie Metrick

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sound of two hands catching
The bat flutters
       from the dry mouth of her cave
       seeing a certain angle
of sound,
       and today
                I was your dinner.
   I felt your sonar
              so that suddenly I was known
to myself
         as edible.

Ellen Marie Metrick

Monday, April 11, 2011

Beginning, as always, again: first of more

Today, the meadowlarks
                                For Japan, in spring

                You wake up
         And the whole sky is
                Blown open
        The roof gone.
                You had plans today.
      But there goes the car
                On a wave of
     Someone else’s plans, and now —
                Now, the whole house is moving
Around you
     Nothing any longer
     Stands still
                Except you.
                You, for this moment
                   With your feet planted
                In full meeting with
The concrete earth;
     This earth
                That so far
Has been here every day
                In your waking, and
                In your sleep.
And now,
That this end, this absolute destruction decimation disheveled black sky water dawn
Imagine that this is you
                Waking up
                And getting a second
                   In fact, imagine everyone around you
Receiving the same gift, a second chance,
At the same time
Waking up at last.
     What will all of you
     With this gift?

Some, even today, as grim and gristled and splintered as it is,
Some will keep their eyes shut tight
And complain
About the collapsed peaks, the houses washed out to sea,
The plans.
But you
     And even some of those
Close to you
     And some
                You will never know
You and they
Are beyond sleep.
As hard as it is
     To walk when the earth
     Is all buckle and bow beneath you,
The sky blowing above and around;
As heartbreaking
     To see the sleepwalkers
Falling into the caverns
welcoming them into
     the closing earth;
As blinded as you are
     By the tears  
                Washing out the grit of regrets —
You are simply done
     With once upon,
And are Here.
You, and the others, are here
Opening your arms,
Welcoming and holding the found
Waiting to hear the songs
That will lead you into spring,
As tonight, at my house, in my pasture,
The meadowlarks
Are announcing their arrival
In a multitude of tremors.

Ellen Marie Metrick ~ March 17,2011