The Dawn of Man

The stick.

How long did it lie on the ground
before some freshly-human being
picked it up and reached into the tree
with an astonishing new arm—
straight and long with an accurate aim?

The fruit fell down.

How long before it caught on—
until everyone else saw the sense in it?
The way it made life a little easier
and a little more fun.

Was it unintentional,
that first violent contact?
The stick coming down accidentally
on the head of a brother—
the fruit rolling away
from the splatter of blood.

Such an event
must have ignited some pre-fire temper
that swelled into an agonizing grunt—
and though there were no words yet for apologies,
it was clear what kind of pain was possible
with this new tool.

Imagine, now, the others—
open mouthed, slowly backing away
from the one who made the accidental blow.
And when his reason told him to show them the culprit,
the perpetrator raised his stick above his head.

When they shrank to the ground
and covered their heads,
he felt a rush of control
and was the first to realize,
before language could explain it,
that fear was a kind of power
which would never be improved.

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-24-11

 

 

 

 

Waiting for the Wildflowers

All winter
we wait for them—
for the surprise
of blue
or yellow or white
and we take
their picture as if
they were babies
we want to show off
to our friends!
Soon they will
become confetti
for the celebration
of spring—
a reward
for enduring
that colorless season,
which will wait its turn
to come again
while summer
flaunts its green
and autumn leaves
cover the woods
in a blanket of orange—
but today, the
Harbinger of Spring
is stirring
and whispering
wake up
to the snow trillium
and bluebells
and yellow buttercups
that will fill the air
with a fragrance
so sweet
we might forget
what trouble
grows inside the houses
we left behind
to spend a few hours
strolling
through this carnival
of hope and rebirth.

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-27-17

Little Earthquakes

Love
has no power
in the night
when your need
for him becomes
a tremor
you cannot calm—
and throughout
the dark hours
little earthquakes
disrupt your sleep
even though
he’s professed to you
an equal depth
of feeling—
but there is no magic
that can turn
your body into hers
when she wakes up
in the circle
of his arms.

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-25-17

Photo by Deanna Morae

 

In a Nutshell

 

Your photos
your smile
my poems
your river
your activism
my admiration
my daydreams
my curiosity
your wildflowers
your tulip tree
your birds
our hiking
our laughing
your butternut squash
the snow
the silence
the sharing
the listening
your curiosity
your daydreams
our fire
our clothes off
our skin touching
our love
our adventures
our sycamore
our secrets
our lies
our hope
our limited time
your blackberry jam
your broken bone
my sympathy
your patience
my patience
my wish
became our wish
and somehow
it’s coming  true.

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-24-17

Yes.  I know this is a really shitty experimental poem.  Thanks for hanging in there till the end.

Music

Some songs
require silence
after you hear them
on the radio
because the taste
they leave
in your mouth
is so sweet
nothing that follows
could arouse in you
an equal bliss
except to see
that face you love—
the one conjured
by that song—
or to somehow
hear the music
of his voice again
whispering
something holy
into your ear.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-23-17

Painting by Pablo Picasso, “Three Musicians”

Sycamore Island

So many golden days
layered between today
and our sweet afternoon
on the fallen sycamore—
the one so large
we picnicked on its spine
and sprawled out
across its crumbling contour —
and however trite it sounds
to say time stood still, it did—
and for awhile
we floated on an island
made of love and light—
and you found comfort in me
while I found comfort in you
and no one in the world
was more content than we
who’d sailed so long
to get this close—
to come this far.

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-21-17