View from the Top

I climbed my first tree before I was five. Got stuck. Screamed. Daddy had to walk two miles home from work in the middle of a hot West Virginia afternoon and rescue me. Like a cat, I finally learned not to climb down head-first. For the next XX years (I'd say how many, but no one would believe it) I spent time in the tops of trees, where I learned some of life's most important skills -- and pleasures. I'd say what they were (and are) but that would be telling. And you know what they say -- writers should show, not tell. So kick off your shoes and shimmy on up. Join me here surrounded by blue sky and little green leaves. Bring a book if you like, or a notebook. The apples up here are crisp and ripe and free for the picking.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Poems by Mary/Ernie O'Dell


She sees the world as chaos overrun
with miracles – the way we heal,
how we hone each other’s rough spots
to bearable nubs -- creek rock polished
by eons of flowing water,
that water spangled by light spiking
through leaves shot with insect speckles,
miniscule mandibles having worked their art.

She grows misty seeing a puddle open
to rain, a fat man in galluses
smiling at his wraith of a wife
or a runny-nosed kid
bent down to tie his brother’s shoe.


They say you should tell the truth
so here it is.
A single dove on a wire
then, raincrow
calling somewhere.
Too hot to walk but I go anyway.
In the interest of truth
I must say I’m not sure if raincrow
was just my daddy’s name for a dove.
How’s that for truth.
I’ve never told it before.
I miss him.
I miss my daddy and I miss
his talk of raincrows.
I have missed the raincrows
until lately when they came again
like lost letters found.

Out here, heat.
More truth: the dog doesn’t care,
squirrels move about in the heat.
Out here, kids hand in hand
up the street toward the pool.
A balding man and his woman
cut across the park.
The raincrow’s calling
but it isn’t about to rain.


Deep in the cells
lies instinct
thrumming the quick
the vivre
a taut thread burning
through grief’s forever.
The patient knot of Never Again
as time’s finger
tamps tight.

She glows.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, wow, wow, Ernie -- I love these poems -- you are so good.

    Barb McMakin