Diane Sahms-Guarnieri, a native Philadelphian, is the author of three full-length poetry collections: Images of Being (Stone Garden Publishing, 2011); Light’s Battered Edge (Anaphora Literary Press, 2015) and Night Sweat (Red Dashboard Press, January, 2016). More about Diane can be found at http://www.dianesahms-
Diane Reading at the Café Improv “Detached from the body of wind,”
Detached from the body of wind
Detached from the body of wind November’s
high howling - a mind gone mad, a rabid wolf
under full bulb of moon’s black light
one paper cut-out star stuck
in the stained inkwell of night’s empty jar.
Twisted, cacophonous choirs of fallen angels
whistling weepingly, hauntingly daunted
as if the voices of hell were freed!
Insidious gargoyles tenacious lips tediously hum
mind-numbing maddened melancholy. Asylum
escapees’ crazy wailings? Insanity
of this pitch cannot be cured.
These off-key bone chilling disharmonies;
these breathtaking noises battering the backs
of barren trees, beat branches against leafless canopies
like lost women thrashing their rugs.
This equates to nothing calming or logical.
Bothersome as a shutter banging, unbanging.
An abandoned barn door slaming, unslaming.
A hollowed-out tin can sweepingly tumbling.
Winter’s branches swarming the air
like broomsticks falling.
Haunted as graveyards. Raps awnings
speeds through cracks, rattles windows.
Plays on and on for as long as it can.
Wakes the sleeping into unsleeping.
Slides its dead horsehair bow quickly, repeatedly
as Appalachians’ fiddling fingers can fiddle
high-pitched vibrations, stretched strings
between wailing night’s hand and chin.
As if spring’s floral music is poetry of air
All the world's creatures draw joy from nature's breast
. Friedrich Schiller
Flapping wildly and radically
its black-conductor’s sleeves,
Spring’s wizard waving wand
right now everywhere –
like a winged blackbird
with the same known precision
and exactness of chickadees
returning to backyard feeders
with the warm return
of reddish breasted robins
tugging at earthworms
with russet-and-gray sparrows singing
full-throated songs from pink and white
star-pronged dogwoods petals
with flame red cardinals
as an emperor’s rubies
with grackles and starlings mimicries
their glossy-iridescent bodies on toothpick legs
their anisodactylous feet walking
each lawn’s beat then gathering noisily
in tall warmed arms of evergreens or perched
on wires throwing sagging lines of shadows
along streets and everywhere
where melancholy mourning doves coo
soft drawn-out laments
graceful, slender-tails dipping, and in
taking off their worried wings whistling
– a sharp whinnying.
Stone rolled away finally,
Spring’s miraculous recovery
triumphal as archangel Michael slaying
yet another devilish and overstayed winter.
Light-hearted delirium and delightfulness
eyes touching turquoise sky’s baroque
orchestra playing with and against
soloist cloudlet’s varied colored illuminations.
A spring concerto, as if listening
to all hues of priestly Vivaldi’s majestic expertise
“La Primavera,” with much heightened feeling
harmonious scenery, angelic spirit of joyfulness
like flying into heavens knees.
Harmonious as Mozart’s violin concertos
as if floral music is poetry of air.
Spring, beautifully breathtaking
far as the naked eye can see lovely
a classic orchestrated pageantry
unfolding its inner beauty outwardly.
Every perennial blossom and bloom
noticeably ancestral magnolias’
bone and violet tepals like lotus
floating atop an emerald lake.
Spring’s breezes blowing through
fluted ornamental pear trees;
cherry blossoms floral clustered clarinets
as the favored gift of forgiveness
for humanity’s fall and sinfulness
Spread across altars -sprinkles of holy pink confetti
and white blossom weeping willows garland
from which heaven’s ladders are constructed .
Needle point stems breaking through
Earth’s thawing: snowdrops and crocus and
tulips - bells ringing out rebirth.
Spring, as star-crowned daffodils resurrect
golden trumpets resounding joy and peace
destroying hatred and death, while
watchful- eyes of dandelions periscopes
rise from hell heralding across neighboring
lawns; peeking through broken strung cracks.
Pink cherry trees holiest of bouquets,
purified as movingly as the wind blowing spirit
of Schubert’s Ave Maria lifted up
by full bosom maidens
in full blossomed armfuls – dancing
under a virgin tent.
Spring, gently swaying musically playing;
rustling white and pink willows’
floral strands ornately decorative
plucking each blade of grass
as if each a harp string.
Spring’s forsythias as harbingers –
warmly play as double-basses
to magnolias’ blushing teacups clinking
accompanied by lilies and hyacinths
lifting incense, swaying as thuribles swinging.
Spring, as if all men in mass springtide spirit
and gratitude could possibly:
Become brothers under the sway of thy gentle wing.
Epigraph and last line of poem: All the world's creatures draw joy from nature's breast / Freude trinken alle Wesen An den Brüsten der Natur; and Become brothers under the sway of thy gentle wing / Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt, as translated from Friedrich Schiller’s translated poem, “Ode to Joy - An die Freude,” basis for Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, IV movement.