Poems by Eileen Malone

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by Eileen Malone

From Canary Fall 2016

Eileen lives in the fog of the San Francisco Coastal South Watershed.

Overturn your wheelbarrow
full of pale-purpled damp jacaranda leaves
lie down with me, naked, here in the garden’s
morning of raspberry drizzle

between fresh worms rooting in yeasting earth
among the rosy fragrance of fallen apples
broken to reveal their cores, their stars of seeds
flood me, bury me in strawberry and lake water

give me your lips, kiss me in amaranth, jasmine
open your mouth with its small startle of dark spikes
like shark teeth straining, let me swim to you
surrender to the current

let us peel away this false dawn from dappled things
bejangled roots, ferny, riffled leaflight, as I embrace
your naked waist on a bed of purple leaves up from
this lush pile of the jacarandas’ lavender snow
a crush, a compost mulch of now, of all that is left
of what once was early.

The Houses That Jack Built

by Eileen Malone

From Canary Summer 2011

Jack, wild rose petals
fell like drops of blood
on the child-clear creek
you cemented in to build houses

trees of ancient magnolia
some bigger than a church
you chopped their divine thickening
of bursting ripe moons
to build houses

where we buried
our furred, finned and winged
in peppermint graves
greener than hope
you bulldozed
the rolling patina
to build houses

on your patio a sugared
baby animal roasts
I watch you baste it
then spin around
to point with your fork
jab the air towards
something that scurries

you throw an empty beer can
as if in target practice
cheer as the field mouse drops
wavers unsteadily, struggles
to keep going, to carry home food --
your pellets of poison

the only shade of the afternoon
is smoke of burning flesh

Jack, the family
the family plot
is fouled.


by Eileen Malone

From Canary Winter 2011-12

This morning
homeowners association tree-trimmers
came with trucks,  chainsaws, policies
and procedures, bylaws
according to the work order
it was supposed to be only a trim

yelling over the blare of their radios
they cut down tree trunks
their felled branches in full flower
alive,  breathing
torrid tangles of glistening green
strung with nests
hauled off to the local dump
now,  the afternoon hush is brittle

a great silence lingers as an afterthought
a memory of song, of feathered rustle
the air left behind has emptied itself of birds

against a sky clotted blue
one songbird circles and squawks,
circles and cries out
flaps and circles.

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