Interior Lives by Jane Poirier Hart

Interior Lives

All day, wandering through streets of my life as if in someone else’s
old city: brick-bound, blue-sky-capped. Each alley dead ends in foreboding.
Half-toned shadows make a constant companion. But this is better than
night dreams, my car sailing off the bridge, filling up with river water.
Fear of fervor is prickly, like sweat trying to break skin on a bone-
dry day. I flick the feeling off my shoulders, settle them down and back.
Old yoga lessons, when I believed a body could know salvation.
All that I know now is contained, here, in this kitchen: butter, sea salt.
If heat to the skillet results in some mundane miracle, is it
possible that a man and woman—or woman and woman, man, man—
redefining touch, souls resurfacing, shaking off muddy river
weeds, can make a meadow of themselves, shelter in it, unafraid of
insects there, see song in skeptical work bees share? Can any of us
see what lies past outstretched arms, a sizzling pan, coarse salt changing butter?

by Jane Poirier Hart

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jane.p.hart

Editor’s Note: This poem teaches the reader what is important by asking questions, and allowing the imagery to fill in the details.

Poet’s Note: This is a “Seussian” sonnet, after the poet Diane Seuss: 14 lines, 17 syllables per line.

Choked by Jane Poirier Hart

Choked
for CBF

This morning, a brown oak leaf caught
in the chalice of a coral hibiscus. Intruder,
bringer of bad news: summer’s demise.
Invasive English ivy has insinuated itself
inside the screened porch, found chance:
the chink between panel & clapboards.
All season, inched, inched and wound
stem & leaf into one bare, back corner.
I haven’t the heart to cut it, tear it out.
Invasive because it chokes out other plants,
creates what’s called an “ivy desert,” but
something about the vine, its curve & curl
claiming air reminds me of seahorses, genus
Hippocampus. Hippocampus from
the Ancient Greek hippos meaning “horse”
and kampos meaning “sea monster.”
Hippocampus: twin curved horns in
the temporal lobe—pliable & vulnerable—
important to the limbic system, involved
in emotions, the cementing of memories.

by Jane Poirier Hart

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jane.p.hart

Editor’s Note: This poem begins with a startling image that immediately draws the reader into a narrative of vine growth and its uncomfortable allegorical message (echoed in the title).