Natural Rhythms | The New Engagement
Natural Rhythms poetry art

Natural Rhythms

By Linda Laino

House

The smell of sour regret with its green decay

had seeped into the walls

It remained there like a stubborn stain

or the scent of the dead on old clothes

 

The structure mimicked

the sadness of its inhabitants somehow

Sagging with its slumped shoulders

and pinched face

waiting for the prodigal’s return

 

The rain leaked its displeasure through the ceiling

weeping in syncopated time

but still bulging with unspent tears

shoring up for some future deluge.

 

Outside too, the vines

cast their wild net

and strangled the trees

choking out the last breaths of life

certain of their rights to the place

 

Everywhere the neglect threatened and spread

like a web

While the spider queen cast as the demon

stood idly by

knitting her disappointment

purl by shiny purl

 

Encounter

Lay me down in cool white sheets

filled with sun and sweat,

dribbled wine and the scent

of sandalwood.

Stroke my hair

Say my name

in a whispered accent

Touch the places

of benign neglect

 

I want to feel the volcanoes

in my head

enter my body and do their work there

explode the hot lava

and rain down

the mountain of me

 

Maybe you are all wrong

not the right

time

age

language

None of it matters

because you are here

where twin hands and eyes meet

in a place beyond borders

beyond senses

beyond sense, even.

 

Two Hearts

(after e.e. cummings)

i carry two hearts

for this I am heavier than most

it is an imperceptible weight

do you think this a bonus?

more to explore perhaps?  more to probe?

the better to love you with the Wolf might have said.

 

most times this is true

they are like twin collaborators

watching each other’s back

one feels poured into the other

molded tightly together

like our bodies

on the last night we shared

 

other times they lay side by side

not touching

like some leftover vestigial parts

or a distant couple who has forgotten their first kiss

(we have shared those nights too)

 

the process of exploring one’s heart can be slippery

if you dare there is danger in that place

ah, but also rapture!

there is in fact everything you need

only the interpretation is the thing

 

today I watched an ant crawl along the ground

she was carrying a beautiful rose bougainvillea blossom on her head

an invertebrate Carmen Miranda

how heavy it must be I thought.

but I wanted to believe the ant was as joyful as she looked

even with all that weight

there was beauty in her every step

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