September 13, 2017

Three Poems by Laurie Kuntz: "Merlin and Sage Do Fall," "Kamsha Sai," and "Skip the Door"

Laurie Kuntz is an award-winning poet and film producer. She taught poetry in Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines. Recently retired, she lives in an endless summer state of mind.

Merlin and Sage Do Fall

The world smells of fallen leaves
and darkness curtsies-- a curtain call at dusk.

Merlin and Sage, named for magic and wisdom,
long to feel a summer sun, but the day's howling trickeries beckon

the wind's hardscrabble song--their whines for a carpeted lawn,
are no more than scratchy wails under these late October skies.

Running in the frost bitten air, they bark at children and women
wheeling shopping carts home.

Summoned to embrace the carriage of time,
they prepare for the new season,

dream of pack dogs and abandoned mills,
in loamy soil, they bury gnawed bones

and with tails bowed,
wait for the spring thaw,

and all that needs to get dug up.

Kansha Sai

That’s Japanese for Thanksgiving,
“the festival of gratitude,”
and here I am in Japan at the end of November, alone, giving thanks.
It was a poet that said “Alone is a stone,”
but today the stones are shimmering under a fading fall sun,
and to be alone allows the landscape of memory
to stir under this wizened sky.
My son was once afraid of the sky,
he never wanted to look up
thinking he would be swallowed.
Today, I am thankful,
he has gotten over that fear.
Thankful for much on this day,
when bombs are going off elsewhere.
But, there are always bombs going off,
and we carry our own inner grenades,
waiting to explode into a sullen sky.
Yet, I remain grateful: for sons, for stones that shimmer,
for an ebbing autumn,
knowing that alone I am together
with so many who are like scattered seeds
ripening into buds and waiting to bloom in all the places I am not.

Skip the Door

"You don't have to show people using a door to walk into a room. If people are already in the room, the audience will understand that they didn't crawl through a window or drop from the ceiling or just materialize. The audience understands that a door has been used—the eyes and mind will make the connection—so you can just skip the door." Sherman Alexie

You are inside now,
a blizzard of loneliness
whispers through the keyhole.

Sadness curls up like the sleeping cat on a windowsill.
You can’t remember where you were
when that door slammed the heart out of you.

Inside and out, it is the same cold front the door cannot close against.
There comes a knocking, there always comes a knocking,
that is why we have doors:
                          inside, out, slam-shut.
There comes a knocking—
Open up.

© Laurie Kuntz

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