Poems by Claudia Monpere

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Cloud, Burr

by Claudia Monpere

From Canary Summer 2016

Claudia lives in the Oakland hills in the Temescal Creek watershed-- home to deer, turkeys, and an occasional mountain lion.

Cloud as white peony opening
as skein of yarn, lamb whorl,
as Lake Pearl.

Sizzit, sizzit calls the bird. Sun bold,
the squabbles and songs of morning
dove, peacock, rooster, crow, finch.
Bird as cloud.

Long ago our earth decided:
stop nothing.
Let everything tendril and husk.

I walk in the orchard where one hundred
sticker burrs attach to my pants,
where wasps hover over green apples

and the soil scrawls its hunger.
We swallow clouds to soften.

This atrium swallows
light through glass.
The heart’s atrium swallows
blood from lungs.

And clouds: they vanish
in the geometry of hours.




Ponderosa

by Claudia Monpere

From Canary Summer 2016

The pines, green triangles of light.
The pines, gathered at meadow’s edge

where rumors of drought have scorched the grasses.
To observe this particular light is to pray

to unexpected layers and dusty sediments.
Too long have the bones been stacked.

Longer than the birth of the first galaxy
there is that much grief.

The sky’s shawl unravels.
She knits and knits and still the threads

are naked, burn boiled in the grief pot
drenched in the surveillance of stars.




Ponderosa

by Claudia Monpere

From Canary Fall 2016

The pines, green triangles of light.
The pines, gathered at meadow’s edge

where rumors of drought have scorched the grasses.
To observe this particular light is to pray

to unexpected layers and dusty sediments.
Too long have the bones been stacked.

Longer than the birth of the first galaxy
there is that much grief.

The sky’s shawl unravels.
She knits and knits and still the threads

are naked, burn boiled in the grief pot
drenched in the surveillance of stars.




The Zion Narrows

by Claudia Monpere

From Canary Summer 2016

All day the canyon walls flaunt color:
amber, blush, vermillion, barn shadow.
All day the Virgin River carves.

Now still, sun-pricked pools
swallow knees, hips.
Now twisting, hissing, tumbling

unnamed rocks beneath our feet.
Unnamed triangle of sky.

Speak, cliffs, of slot
canyon wounds, of moon lilies
planted in divots of thin soil.
Of walking sticks steadying

for the one fierce fall. All the arches, alcoves,
potholes, all the cracks and grooves,
how everything is forced

open eventually into one frame
here in this shadowed gorge.
Why should we fear and what and what?




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