Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Springtime Again

Her Unusual Journey

She never travels to where Polaris
augers his flag and claims all around it
for the King of Winter. Nor will she visit
where horses pull the wind.
Her warm airs annoy the mean temperatures.

She travels from the middle of somewhere and back
spreading between degrees of mercury and latitude.

In Barrow, doors open no wider than a trash bag.
The garbage still freezes hard. The caribou warm
within the whisper of the pipeline.

Closer to home, the granite knuckles of my ancestors
protrude from beneath the snow. I feel her in my finger tips.
I hear her hum and crack the lake like taffy.
Periscopes of crocus rise and mark
the bearings of her ship steaming north.

Her unusual journey begins in the middle
and ends where she turns, slapping her pockets
as if noticing forgotten keys
to retrace her obvious steps.

Her Unusual Journey was first published in the Lawrence (Massachusetts) Eagle Tribune. (Winner of the Annual Poetry Contest 1999)

It was later published in Aurorean Magazine.

From the book Chatter In The Canopy Poems by Jeff Roberts; Drawings by Dick Roberts and Doug Heinlein, ©2008 Jeff Roberts, Booksurge, Charleston SC, ISBN-10: 1439214816; ISBN-13: 978-1439214817; LCCN: 2008909362. Available from &

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Rookery

Here's a nice visual reference for the lines: When the Bakhtiari herd their goats back/Into the highlands ... a 10-minute documentery film on the annual Bakhtiari migration in Iran.

The Rookery
In late October, a chill settles in the basement.
In the third floor bedroom, an antiqued-blue chest
At the foot of the bed becomes a nesting ground.

Several species of shorts winter here: cut-off denims,
Silk boxers, one-hundred-percent-cotton chinos.
Plaid baggies puff their pleats to scare interlopers.

Mating pairs entice each other with floppy pockets.
The shorts breed; they rear; they remain for months,
Fighting off wash-day trespassers, day-old underwear,

Wallets, wedgies, and wanderlust. In mid May,
When the Bakhtiari herd their goats back
Into the highlands; when the Pennacooks hike north

To Concord; when martins, swallows, terns, and warblers
Wing their way up coasts, the shorts tentatively explore
The second floor, testing the breezes, warming to travel.