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Lori Shine

The Grass


which of these may now be property

delimited, surveyed, parcelled


the decision will not come down

out of the trees fireflies strobing


the meadow aglow, riches

with no tower on them

we have passed the tower on our right


the town gets new lights

these too in their newness


a bar across our lenses

which frame most suitable

for your features


what is called a drainage basin

where we lived

can it be said

we lived somewhere

we lived around

we spread our tablecloths

we worried our karma

then our worry beads

dazzled the trees


the ground

was soft enough for a new fence

but where to run it

instead the treeline

the skyline the margin


… . .


it can be said where you were born

though i feel it as a heretofore unknown

latent star


our hourglass was looking

post-prandial, sagging, making a fold


mint grew in there, steadied

with a smear of pitch

life got a little longer


and i stole your childhood memory

i wanted its door

but i had to take the whole thing


you were trying to decide

if you could persist, beleaguered,

unassisted as it were

without this particular memory


the grass assists me

it is a memory


… . .


that cloth polishes everything

just a few degrees east of clear


you have a hangnail that says

for better, for worse

the sheets were gray and twisted


on the radio he said Howl is so comforting

remember when we found it so discomfiting

remember when it lit the hotplate

and burned the sagging sleeve of your pajamas


today by my own account i have received two blows

both dealt by inanimates

both my fault

i was animate in the wrong direction at the wrong time


… . .


you are losing your suitcase


following the fireworks there were maps

with unseemly legends


let’s collect them

we can collect all four


how many in a set of grass

is it two or more make a garden

be more specific

offer your hand to count on

if we must go higher

we must


which way was higher

coy hourglass

are you about to be thought of


… . .


vapor and cradle change

hairs on head counted by cloudkeepers change

what you want is divided into blades change

articulation of     bone      mesmer

two birds leaving like two stones from my mind

the empty feeder, the crying animal

can you not approach

the core of such an utterance

and feeding him I have fulfilled

his perfect steady moving knowledge of the world

and I have not let him down


in the throes of it

to know that the pines in the park are waking to their vigil

to know that the meadow by the dam is being crossed by the concrete bridge

juices in the underbrush seeping and carrying

stillness in motion


a swoosh like a sheet shaking out on the line,

the birds taking off in a rush at some

threat real or imagined


pull hard on your bootlaces sometimes they snap sometimes they tighten


… . .


i have some plans

they take me through the weekend


then i plan to be green and full of cool soil

why don’t we plan on it

why don’t we count on it

how many

not religiously

the way the birds do


right on target


next time try to concentrate really hard

this time be grass


what makes you think the grass doesn’t concentrate really hard


tiny angle of dislocution

the mountain was off dreaming

what about

what you allow

what is it i always say then hate

you get what you settle for

what kind of world is that where that is true

not yours

i wanted better for you

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