Poems by Meryl Natchez

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Dawn in Monterey

by Meryl Natchez

From Canary Spring 2011

Meryl lives overlooking coast live oaks that line the canyon of Cerrito Creek as it flows into the San Francisco Bay.

This morning it is dark
when I hit the beach.
Black willets skitter at the edge
of black foam, seals a condensed
blackness against black water.
As I run eastward, a hint of gold
against grey, grey sand, grey sky.
By the time I turn back
color has gently returned
to the world, the sea
grey gold, the sand
the color of sand,
a dawn palette, softened
by pink and golden light.
And in the sheltered channel
between dock and seawall
an otter bobs
asleep on its back,
front paws clasped
beneath its chin, the fur there
a downy brown.
It breathes
as we breathe—
belly moving slowly in and out—
curled on the palm of the water.

Eleven Daffodils

by Meryl Natchez

From Canary Spring 2014

What am I to make of these daffodils,
perfumed strumpets
picked who knows where
by who knows whom
perhaps genetically modified,
commercially fertilized,
doused with pesticide?

These questions did not arise
when I tossed the budded stems
into my shopping cart
on a chill afternoon:
essence of Spring
for a dollar twenty-nine.

Now they sit
and pump out scent,
molecules of daffodil
mixing with molecules of oxygen
around my desk
until I am dizzy
with praise
and regret.

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