What is the Grass?

Lee Ann Brown

The child asks, bringing it to me in handfuls.
We stop at the Walt Whitman Service Area—
No sign of Him save some “Democratic Vistas”
& “Drum Taps” on a plaque near the Micky D’s

Let’s go find the grass
I say to my two-year-old beauty and
We pick one blade from the median
Then back we go in the forever car

Hours later, pulling into Richmond
She, half awake in my arms mumbles

Let’s go find the grass
 

More by Lee Ann Brown

Sustain Petal

Come on, you who remembers your dreams
who acts upon them in this world
Come you who I often and silently call
so that I may be with you
Come and sustain me
and I will sustain you 
with what sustenance I have
with the curls of revolutionary quiet
with lovely baroque convolutions of thought
Come make with me a baby
of both of us
A new and separate being
with brothers & sisters
born & unborn
Who we will meet and recognize
as time progresses
we know not
How
Yet
isn't that the 
Beauty of it
late into the nights
early in the Day
sleeping and waking
when apart not separate
for the distant vibrational hum
if I listen under the earth
lets me listen to myself
The Full Register 
of the Earth
and
all Musics of the Spheres
the waters
we have within each other
and all around
the very air
Share our perceptions
Respect our quiets
Heal our hurts
throats and necks
backs and hearts
Protect to Open
Make a new life
For those around us fully
and for those
To come

To come 
To

Beauty Supply

Sheaves of wheat in cement relief
Supply the beauties of Archer Ave.

Past the scaffolded brick church spire
We turn on the vacant corner lot

Through winds worthy of Hopkins (Gerard M.)
New words — Alexus — Everything must go

“Include everything in poetry”
Even the things you think are nothing

Like the way the new white snowflake
Decoration waves its wild tentacles
     against the high blue sky

    loop and angle
Black graffiti palimpsests the
    yellow official sign of Danger
in bus stairwell

She stares at me unsmiling
    with cold Northface
Notices me writing but says nothing
    with her eye

The corner lot I used to chart or cheat in its ‘vacancies’
Configures new blown trash and walk through paths

Subjected to random search

Has grown a mouth of gravel
Constructed in a cone
Surrounded by temporary fence
    Of blue nailed board

Now on Roti Avenue
Cutlery & Wang Quai

Amalgam of chairs,
Jamaica Island Center

House of Green Thunder

 

          for Carl & Lillian Sandburg’s Connemara, Flat Rock, NC

 

As a child I was taken
to visit Connemara
as I remember
a little display of concrete poems
in the shapes of shoes
next to a typewriter
on an orange crate
let me know
I was taken
to visit poetry

All the books on the staircase
Said never back away from love
Of the word

O what is louder than the thorn
in the window of her thunder?

Wild Rutabaga Stories growing in
a thousand creeks under her ground

A song’s still a song
but sounds quite different when it’s grown

I took an upside-down photo
of their stationery on a shelf—
a copperplate sans serif

If it was a snake it would’a bit me
beaming in some past
I keep desiring like walking
down the main street
of a town that feels like
wearing a vintage dress

As we exit through the gift shop
the great-grand children of Lillian’s goats
reproduce in stuffed animal glory and bleat
O What is whiter than the milk

Every evening after dinner Carl opens up
the American Songbag of his mind
Singing O Susanna and such-like
banjo and grandkid on his knee

Some books he wrote
on an outcrop of rock
overlooking the valley

Since the beauty of the mountains
would be too distracting
to get much done

Sandberg wrestled upstairs
with tomes on Lincoln
in a room with no view

Now over ten thousand books
in a nine thousand square foot home of
twenty-two rooms and a million acres of sky

Connemara means the sea