After Mikkeli

Lutheran Cathedral in Mikkeli, Finland_med

 

 

 

 

 

Who would have guessed,
after all your fretting
over the cold and the dark
of winter so near the arctic circle,
that it would be the snow you miss,
that slick of icy white that lit
the dull winter. Another
centimeter or two would layer
almost daily, so that you woke
in the morning and, even
in the twilight in which you slogged
to school, it sparkled,
like diamonds strewn along your path.

And the light…
Maybe it’s because the sun,
so meager, so seldom seen
seemed precious,
like an hour’s worth of luminous
blue sky, even with the cold,
even with clouds scuttering,
felt like a gift, filled you
with unreasonable joy,
making you want to rush
from your warm room and plunge
into that sunlight as if it were
the ocean on a summer day, giddy
just to feel the feeble rays splash your face.

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What I will miss when I die…

 Blue, blue sky_edited-1

      …the color of blue that glows

on a warm spring day just after rain clouds

have scuttled east, the scent of sheets steeped

in autumn air that, when snapped

open in the dead of winter, bring the scent

of harvest and hikes in the mountains to the chill

of winter hibernation,

        …the softness of my baby’s plump

fist, his fingers twisted over mine like they will never

let go, though I know tomorrow he will be a man, walking

his own path, another woman’s hand in his; it’s the infinity

of that moment, that precious moment, caught

in my consciousness that I already miss. More

than anything  I will miss

        …curling against my lover

at night, skin on skin, his arm cradling

my head, my fingers pawing the curls on his chest, the tang

of his delicate lips on mine,

        because angels,

those beatific bodiless beings, cannot see

that blue, blue sky, nor sniff the air heavy

with fallen leaves. They can’t feel that cherubic

adoration or the heart-wrenching pain of its waning,

and angels, no matter their divinity, do not know

what it’s like to feel so heavenly.

 

© 2011 Linda J. Kobert

Whelk

Whelk_edited-1

You pressed the pearl

swirl to my ear,

whispered, “Listen!

The crashing of the sea,

the wailing of the wind.

You can almost taste

the salty air.”

It’s awkward now, balanced

on the harsh flatness

of the windowsill

far from the sand, huddled

with the crust of a starfish

and a bleached sand dollar.

And when I hold the spiral

auricle to my ear, it’s only

the pulsing of blood echoing

in empty space that brings

the waves and the wind

and me back to our sandcastle,

huge and ugly

because, stumbling together,

we each saw different forms

molded in the sand;

no one was surprised

when the tide rose

and took our fortress,

parapets to mote,

leaving the king’s standard

bobbing in the surf.

But if you hold my ear to yours,

you still may hear

my distant murmurings,

taste the saltiness

and long once again to plunge

into the unrelenting waves.

© 2004 by Linda J. Kobert

This poem was published in the literary magazine Small Spiral Notebook in Fall 2004.

You pressed the pearl

swirl to my ear,

whispered, “Listen!

The crashing of the sea,

the wailing of the wind.

You can almost taste

the salty air.”

©It’s awkward now, balanced

on the harsh flatness

of the windowsill

far from the sand, huddled

with the crust of a starfish

and a bleached sand dollar.

And when I hold the spiral

auricle to my ear, it’s only

the pulsing of blood echoing

in empty space that brings

the waves and the wind

and me back to our sandcastle,

huge and ugly

©because, stumbling together,

we each saw different forms

molded in the sand;

no one was surprised

when the tide rose

and took our fortress,

parapets to mote,

leaving the king’s standard

bobbing in the surf.

©But if you hold my ear to yours,

you still may hear

my distant murmurings,

taste the saltiness

and long once again to plunge

into the unrelenting waves.

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi – 2007

for Peter

Live oaks tipped with tiny

green clumps, no draping

Spanish moss, no magnolia buds,

no blinding fuchsia azaleas bloom.

Only concrete slabs

where structures once stood

under broad oak arms. You lead

a tour of the slab that was your

school. “This was

the office.” You sweep

the air with your arms. “The art

room was over there, the cafeteria

here,” you say, then skip

to another square and pause.

Flat hallways bisect

the cement rectangle,

six classrooms fit together

like blocks on a checkerboard,

and like a sun print, the image

of a fallen leaf etched

on the sidewalk

by ultraviolet rays, a ghostly

memory that lingers

long after the object

is blown away.

© 2007 by Linda J. Kobert