Micheline Maylor

Poetry

Micheline Maylor

Micheline Maylor
"How do I know when I'm finished editing? If you're still breathing, you're not done."
What the Laggania Cambria Said,
    - from the Charles Doolittle Walcott Sequence
    
I've been waiting for you, Walcott,
for you and your dynamite to pull
me out of a dream I had about a mud slide,
where day disappeared in roiling silt storm.
   
I’ve been waiting for the sun’s corona, again,
for a million years, for something to move.
I’ve got such a pain in my spine
such a glint in my eyes from this light.
   
I’m so hungry for a trilobite,
a worm, so thirsty for the sea.
How does the weight of water
turn to stone with the press of air?
   
Pry the rest of this slate off me with your chisel,
your hammer. Go on. Tease me out of time.


Almanac of the Douglas Fir 

This is me, following you up a hill, giving up on the idea of self 
as one with the universe. We make two tracks here, up slope, 
trees curtain what’s above. I can’t tell the weather 
in the Goddess’ eye. Douglas Fir. White birch. A stand 
of random Mountain Ash. Trunks frame us. They say, 
this is the land of the Blackfeet, and I believe heat from their fire 
still burns in this grove. Ladybug. Black fly. Mosquito. Coyote. 
When I was a child, dream of rabbit, dream of bear. Today, 
I find you in the parking lot. It isn’t a conspiracy. It’s the lie 
you told yourself that I see into, unbend. It’s a memory of water, 
the caress of the current, the frog in the creek outside my window 
tapping Morse code. You slid into me, a Mobius strip, until the end 
and beginning meld into one. Two sides one. On the trail, I found 
bottles, trees, stones. What else have I to declare? Just a river, 
running at the speed of my blood. A red squirrel
has taken flight, but now, it is a hummingbird.


Before the Dark

Its penciled pages a Rosetta stone
a daughter forgets her diary.
Home from school today
the little book calls to me.
   
Holds the language of the other.
On the cover, Sun breaks the spell:
A mother must set herself beyond
desire for secrets, beyond the thrill

of necessary gravity between them, like planets.
Sun must slink darkward before the clock
tells a story that begins with the words,
a mother has betrayed her child, her lock.