Lune de Miel, Poems, Uncategorized

Prose and Poetry

A wintery poem from Lune de Miel, Paris honeymoon, marriage, aging, and how the past maps itself out in pieces to be collected when you get there.

 At the Café Select

Rue Montparnasse bustles outside the café window. It seems that there are very few hours of daylight in the Paris winter, though perhaps when something is condensed we can find the best part of it, like the pulp of a nut. As I watch passers-by folly onward, I listen to the voice of an American man talk about his life to a companion. I’m surprised when I turn my head to see that she is a younger woman. With my back turned to him, I imagined him telling his story to an old Navy buddy or a colleague he’s met for business. She is my age and this reminds me that I’m a week away from my thirty-fifth birthday. I hear him tell her about success, and he uses words like celebrate and thrive.  But then his voice dims and I wonder if perhaps he’s slipped into French; perhaps I am just lost in the gloomy sidewalk, the gray pavement only a few shades deeper than the sky.

Later I catch him say that he doesn’t feel like a success; he pauses and continues with “in some ways more than a success.” “I have survived,” he notes. I guess his age to be seventy, perhaps, a few years younger than my father when he died, a few years younger than the ash-haired woman with a cane who passes by the window. The woman wears a tweed coat that falls just past her knees; her pale stockinged legs move slowly, even with the aid of a third. Her success is quieter, though both journeys have fought off the closing of many hours. I doubt that this as an adequate measure of success, though I like the simplicity of such an idea, as if all we had to do was float like tree branch down a long river.

The café-crème is cold by the time I turn my attention back to it, and having to strain now to hear their conversation, I lose interest in the man and his companion. Instead, I glance up to see my new husband writing a story about a little Danish boy whose mother dies. I think of my father and mother who both missed our wedding, and I wonder about the river’s end. As my thirty-fifth year comes to its end, I may be halfway there, to the moment when I recount my hours and ponder the scope of my successes. For now, I put on my own tweed coat, reach for my husband’s hand, and trace another’s steps down the boulevard.

Click on “a story about a little Danish boy. . . ” img_5134for the current issue of The Passed Note, a journal which features “The Wind Barrons of the Pharo Islands” by Eric D. Lehman, the very story described.

 

Uncategorized

Is poetry too hard? Amy Nawrocki, Hamden poet, gives a resounding NO and explains why

Preparing for tomorrow’s class, I remembered this essay from 2012 posted on Books New Haven:

Why are people so afraid of poetry? That’s a question that’s been plaguing poet Amy Nawrocki, of Hamden. Now, with her new collection, Lune de Miel, being released in August, she talks …

Source: Is poetry too hard? Amy Nawrocki, Hamden poet, gives a resounding NO and explains why

Copies of Lune de Miel, which came out in 2012 can be purchased by clicking the tab: Purchase Signed Copies.

Poems, Uncategorized

34 km from Paris

To celebrate the forthcoming publication of my husband Eric D. Lehman‘s novella Shadows of Paris, I’m posting this poem, not of Paris exactly, but when you read Shadows, you’ll know why this poem makes sense. The characters in his beautifully crafted story also “know something of transformation,” but that’s all I’ll say. You should discover it for yourself. Make your pilgrimage to Homebound Publications and buy your copy. Click again to get  Lune de Miel, where this poem first appeared.

Pilgrim at Auvers
The pigeons at L’eglise Notre Dame know something
of transformation. White broods in a sky that has forgotten
color and the silhouette of clouds. A quiet stroll
through narrow, charcoal streets led me here,
up ancient stone steps to the church where Vincent
van Gogh saw blue-black sky churn in flight around
the toasted edifice. The flock perches until the hint
of something migratory and innate calls them to stir;
in hues of gray they erupt in a smooth arc, returning
to roost on the slants of the high, tilted steeple.
Winter weighs endurance and transition as stone erodes
to dust, leaves compost to mud, and summer flowers
that steadily surveyed August afternoons convert
to dried stalks in frozen dirt. Pilgrims, too, know of shifts
and I walk into the warm and lonely church to wait
for language to come again to my cold lips.
Fifteen hundred hours toll from the bell tower,
a grave listens at the top of the hill, and a downcast sun
aches to paint maize onto the bare winter scroll.

Uncategorized

Mistral

This poem originally appeared in Lune de Miel, published by Finishing Line Press, 2012.

Mistral

Two battered boots wait
near the sloped steps that tilt
toward Vincent’s room in Arles.
On the back of a wobbly chair
hangs a solitary straw hat glimpsing
handprints thickly smeared
on the doorknob. Curled tubes
of cadmium spill the last beads
onto a dried palette, and a few
brushes soak in a tin bucket
of turpentine. In a frenzy,
flax, goldenrod, and chartreuse
pile onto canvases, sunflowers
left to dance in the dark melancholy
of the studio, petals falling from
the stretched linen as Vincent
storms into a black and starry night.

Van Gogh, Pair of Shoes, 1886