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1983-2015
tearing the rag off the bush again
Poems by Elizabeth Cohen PDF E-mail
rehabilitating crow and other activities


Bird Elixir

 

It was a crow convention
very political
with crow speeches
crow sit-ins
even a crow moment of silence
followed by a jamboree of crow
with much dancing and merriment

 

They feasted on day-old
Dunkin’s and someone’s
cast off Mcburger and fries
the sun glanced of

 

their onyx wings,
they threw their shadows down
like spent napkins
and the wind was full of crow
the water spoke
of nothing but crow

Dinner got cold
the football game was neglected
children began imitating them.
It was frankly adorable

Everyone looked up
from laptops
and I-phones
forgetting their plans
for Hawaii, the dead soldier,
the toxic spill
the Dow Jones Industrial Average

For four whole minutes
crow was everything
and everything was crow.

 

Whack-a-Mole

Friday night in Vestal, New York
in the majestic yellow light
of Chuck  E. Cheese

 

We’re bowling for tickets,
riding faux motorcycles
to AC/DC,

choosing a number
on a spinning wheel (my lucky 9),
(his lucky 7) when we see she is gone.

Our little girl.
Red HELLO KITTY shirt
five and a half, no front teeth

not sure what color pants.
Brown hair.
Brown eyes.

The room turns spin art,
faces swim and dive
in the pink and red light 

It’s a bowl of Gummy fish
ringing with electronic lights
a baby is crying

that big hateable mouse keeps shaking
everyone’s hands with his huge felt
paw, up and down, down and up

then someone says yes,
they have seen her
past the miniature carousel

ducking a flying plastic ball
there, there with her arm
high above her head,

Full on concentration
there, poised and ready
to whack a mole.


 Another Love Poem

Tonight I will be the traveler of you.
I will travel the valleys and hills of you,
the faraway deserts of you,
I will drink from the rivers and streams of you


I will backpack through your high terrain,
where I will get dizzy from the altitude,
I will go above your timber line
I will find the beautiful places
that make me swoon.
I will go to all the places you recommend
and some you have forgotten.

I will travel you without a map
or compass, I will navigate
by the stars and the moon,
the planet we live on,
my own bones, they will tell me
how to crawl inside your laughter
and I will sleep there.

II

Tonight I will be the student of you.
I will study the smallest
and the greatest parts of you,
the lines and crannies of you,
the little accidents of you.
Your scars and your muscles,
your skin and hips.
I will study the small country of each hand
isthmus of neck, the great plains of your back
I will follow your numbers, research your skin,
learn your mouth, your eyes
There is an algebra of you
and I will solve for x.

III

Tonight I will be the professor of you
I will teach you the ways of me
the backroads, the unseen of me
I will show you the how and the why
and the where of me,
places I have not been in a long time
and maybe never been.
I will take you to the lakes of me,
the full harvest moon
of me, the secrets of me,
the known of me,
I will show you the long toothed scar
on my left foot
where they opened me up
and sewed back,
In fact I will show you all the places
I have been broken
and healed again,
my blessings
and my wounds
the gifts of me, the solaces,
the carnival ride of me
the candy of me,
The light of me in the dark.


Lo, and Behold

Look at this:
a red leafed Japanese maple
filled with small blue birds
of an unknown genus.
A whole society of indigo life.

Red tree. Blue birds.
The branches blossoming
with pratter and preen,
An office of similarly clad secretaries,
each set upon some miniscule
and certain task.

There is not enough bandwidth in the world
to record such busy loveliness.
At least a 7.5 on the Richter scale of beauty. 
It hurts the heart, really,
this explosion of song,
this flip book of life.

 

 
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