DISSONANCE [MIS-HLJÓMUR]

Today

on Lake Winnepesauke

in Gold Country

local children play

my daughter plays

a band concert

on the MS Mount Washington—

in the high school theatre—

their introductory performance;

her farewell performance;

I am [not] there.

©2014 JS Graustein
Meredith, New Hampshire USA

Recorders, played with gusto.
Recorders, played with gusto.
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SUNSET [SÓLSETUR]

After Michigan’s miles       marked with graves
and Ohio’s highways       hindered by cones,
I landed some lodging       in a lakeside town.
I planned to unpack       and plop on the bed.
But I went to the window       to watch the traffic
and noticed — through noise       and nuisant wires —
sweet-light from the sun      setting over the lake.
Driven, I dashed       down to the lobby
where a man marked       a map to the beach
on Presque Isle (the piece       of peace where my son
waded and watched       the waves last year).
I revved along roads,     racing the sun.
I lost. But the last       liquid red
shone on the shingle.     The shore glowed.
The wave-rhythm washed       away the roar
of a day spent driving       and dodging pot-holes.
The sand massaged       the soles of my feet.
I paced. I took pictures.       My pulse    slowed.
No matter that I missed       the moment of setting.
The fade was fantastic:       a finish worth
extending my trek.     Two days to go —
impossible made possible       by peaceful Lake Erie.

©2014 JS Graustein
Erie, Pennsylvania USA

an oceanesque sunset on Lake Erie
an oceanesque sunset on Lake Erie

GREEN [GRÆNN]

My world turned green this week—a welcome change.
The winter’s white, while beautiful, had left
behind the brown of empty branches, mud
and rotten leaves. Two days ago, this green
enticed a woodchuck off his sunning-rock
to graze fresh grass behind my house. The deer
now come three times a day to fatten up
(their ribs are showing through their shedding coats).
I even saw a fox emerge to hunt
for rodents scurrying beneath the thatch
that’s pierced by fiddleheads and horsetails. Birch
and Quaking Aspen trees were first to leaf.
The other trees have buds about to break.
This green has sound as well as sight—at night
my wetland rings with courting frogs so loud
I hear their songs through walls and window glass.
But after half a year of silent nights,
this verdant lullaby is what I need.

©2014 JS Graustein
Meredith, New Hampshire USA

My meadow, lush on a May evening.
My meadow, lush on a May evening.

re:lit IDAHO

[water potential]
Item 1 of my Cross-Country Reads project = a photographic response to the following words from Fractals and Haiku by Sue Turner:

she gathers forget
in waters of the pious

Photograph © 2012 J.S. Graustein
re:lit is a series that regards and responds to literature across genres and eras

Burkinabe Lullaby

one peaceful winter twilight in 1989

I remember a night long ago, as the sun set behind the marché and a lone spire peered through the dust laden air, a lone bicyclist made his way down this empty street toward home confident that sagabo would soon warm him. Confident that after this meal, his world would sleep through the winter night wrapped in a cobalt breeze. Confident that he could hope for a profitable morrow tailoring clothes for the schoolmaster’s wife. He slept a good sleep next to his good wife and his good children. But that was long ago. Tonight I pray that peace returns to the sleep of this street, so that hope may return to the people who work and live along it. Bonne nuit, mes amies de Bobo-Dioulasso et dans le Burkina Faso entier.

Update: The day after I posted this, presidential forces arrived to restore order. The long term outcome is still unclear.