Monday, June 1, 2015

Brass Bell: Ruth Yarrow

Welcome to the June 2015 issue of brass bell, featuring poems by Ruth Yarrow

warm rain before dawn:
my milk flows into her

fuzz on his soft spot

the toddler stirs her reflection 
with one mitten

a marmot’s whistle
pierces the mountain
first star

I step into old growth:
autumn moon deeper
into sky

minor key
of the Hebrew peace song:
the wind

against the wind
we hold the peace banner —
our spines straighten

hot subway:
rhythm of the blind man’s cane 
through my soles

food bank line —
a pigeon picks up crumbs
too small to see

crowded bus through fog —
someone singing softly
in another language

at the very edge

touching the fossil —
low rumblings
of thunder

night storm —
a deeper dark unrolls
across the prairie

tropical night surf
each crash and hiss

wasp —
suddenly the teenager
sits up straight

late afternoon —
the mountain
a steeper purple

sunset slope
each uncle reminiscing
through his cloud of gnats

desert night
beyond the silence
heat lightning

his remark
she scrubs the counter 
in tighter circles

loose rock
rattling down the draw —
a raven’s croak

amusement park —
soles of his sneakers
against the clouds
up under the gull’s wing:

beneath his miner’s lamp
whites of his eyes

after the garden party  the garden

wet leaves
our moon shadows move
with soft sounds

planting peas
the earth curves under
my fingernails

ferry horn —
steep plunge of the island
into the sound

moonlit ripples
the distant quavering
of a loon

hospital bedside —
a distant siren expands
the hollow of night

dome of stars
under it, a small round tent
lit from inside

against the night sky
the curved shape of an owl
my mitten in yours

*** *** ***

Since the late 1970s, writing haiku has helped me capture those special moments of awareness. These published poems are mostly in Frogpond and Modern Haiku. I’ve spent my working years educating people about the natural environment in nature centers and colleges, and organizing for peace and justice. My husband Mike and I raised two wonderful children in Ithaca New York, then reveled in wilderness while continuing to organize in the Pacific Northwest. Since his death last year, I’ve moved back to family in Ithaca.

— Ruth Yarrow