christine deavel

 

from WOODNOTE

 

 

 

SONG THE FIRST

 

 

I must leave the door open

in case she wants to come see me.

 

I leave the door open

should she want to find me.

 

If I kept it closed

the wooden door would be

a vertical pond

she would float along

 

she a slow vapor would float along

 

What is standing up or lying down

to her? The body suffers each

the same.

 

But I believe she is not suffering.

 

She is just intimately parallel

to floor or roof or lawn or shop window

or my body. She is hydrophilic,

lithophilic, sanguiphilic, spiraphilic,

ossophilic, terraphilic, lignaphilic,

her body as if it were a mass of

charged metal filings.

 

She is near but cannot enter again.

 

 

 

A WHISPERING

 

 

In the corner of the room there is a gesture.

 

Just a gesture. In every room, in the right-most corner.

 

From the right-most corner of my eye, in the living room

or bathroom, bedroom, hallway, I see her-gesture.

 

Just the gesture of the arm in the navy long-sleeved dress

(just the sleeve, cuffed, buttoned in mother-of-pearl).

 

The hand will rise or swing out for . . .

or fall.

 

In all the rooms I enter. As I enter, there is her-gesture,

in the right-most corner. Even after I’ve settled and napped

or read or talked long about an ill.

 

She is by her ornamental table, her hip at the carved edge.

 

In every room in the right-most corner is the round wood table

and her hip at its edge.

 

Just the arm and the hip.

 

Just the gesture.

 

Just the table, the arm, and the hip.

 

And the gesture

like breath, like breathing.

 

 

 

HYMN

 

 

The fingernails are the portals.

 

The fingernails the eyes,

the fingernails the wood

revealed.

 

The fingernail will show the grain.

 

The fingernails                                         the true wood

revealed.

 

 

The ridged thumbnail was coated with clear polish

 

as if it were                          a little table

 

      a lovely rosewood table

 

where the grain

       has been revealed.

 

 

    Not for sitting at

    and sometimes for placement

but

for the grain revealed

 

       primarily that:

 

Here was the true wood revealed.

 

 

 

 

A STORY

 

 

Where there was hardship

 

between the mother and the mother’s mother

 

there was the collection

of pitchers, also

that they both might stand and admire,

or touch and turn,

 

in their dresses

next to each other

 

and the eyes, the moist eyes,

 

   watched the beauty of the pitchers

  on the dark wood ledge

that ran along the windows.

 

Afternoon of light through the swirled or pebbled glass

made viscous with color.

 

   The watching of the pitchers:

 

a song.

 

 

They sang together

he watching of the pitchers.

 

 

    sweet lyric, sweet round, sweet lyric, sweet round

  

 

SONG THE SECOND

 

 

The wooden gloves and the hat of wood, too.

 

The wooden camisole and half-slip:

 

these in the old oiled dresser.

 

In the shadowy end of the cedar-lined closet:

 

        the beautiful            gleaming

 

   wood dress.

 

Who waited once, and who is waiting now,

       to wear them.

 

Once, they say, there was a wooden purse

and in it a little wood book

and a whole ring of wooden keys.

 

True or not,

 

among us all each

      felt the loss,

among us all each

      feels the loss.

  

 

ONE DITTY

 

 

At some point,      perhaps,     there should not be

       water

on the wood.

 

Just because there is only water

     with a bit of garlic

     and ginger

steeping

    there is soup.

 

But at some point perhaps, when the wood

 

  has been transformed,

and it is in the home, water should be

kept       from       it.

 

Ho ho! The wooden spoon!

 

What a lovely twist or joke or divinity!

 

In the soup pot, the wood is a tree again

 

      and finds its water,

and its little bit

      of sustenance

from the garlic and ginger.

 

O the wooden spoon is a tree again

 

and

who can keep from crying.