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Fall 2008, Volume 25.1

Poetry

Naomi Ruth LowinskyPhoto of Naomi Ruth Lowinsky.


Naomi Ruth Lowinsky (Ph.D., Center for Psychological Studies) is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Berkeley, California, and the poetry editor of
Psychological Perspectives. She has published widely with recent appearances in Runes, Dogwood, Comstock Review, Rattle, and Backwards City Review. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize three times. Her poetry collection, crimes of the dreamer, was published in 2005. She is also the author of The Motherline: Every Women’s Journey to Find Her Female Roots.

 

doorway dream

the woman in my dream is naked she      seems to be
some sort of wood      nymph no longer young      but radiant
as trees in the sun      she sits on the ground
and a green plant grows out of her spine      its leaves
are like huge hands       arching over her shoulders
blessing the crown of her head      this is

the very plant by the left side of the door
of the townhouse      Dan and I just bought
of which the young Bosnian former owner's father
Mohammed said:      "one leaf dies      three more grow!"

he showed us the grapevine he had planted
the persimmon      the yellow rose

the middle aged wood nymph in my dream      has no patience
for my lamentations      about lost houses and lovely valley views      she says:

consider the roses      when Leah showed Dan
how to prune them      she cut just above
                                                            each nascent bloom

you have been cut back      the better to flower
here      in the garden of Mohammed

 

wild girl of pleasant hill

once this was somebody’s
grandparents’ farm      sweet
as Rebecca of Sunnybrook
do you remember? how she skipped
among meadows with wildflowers
‘til she was thrown
like a sheep
to the ground
shorn of her corn      her hay

but she’s still here      that girl
you’ll see her playing in the fountains
near Rotten Robbie’s Gasoline
or herding her geese by the Chinese
All-You-Can-Eat Buffet
while cars zoom past on 680
in sight of the mountain

you’d think she’d be dead by now
after all the concrete that’s been poured
but that girl is
wild as Rima
talks to the willows      to the birches
laughs aloud at the ducks
who have commandeered
the community
swimming pool

and you
old ecstatic
of trees
have you forgotten
green mansions that slip
of a girl      who first lit
the green fire?

talk to her
your wild friend from beyond
civilization
give her a seat
in the camphor tree
by your study

for she can give tongue
to the reveries of trees
and what
that mountain
commands

 

at the inn of placelessness

our stories are sailing away
in an upside-down boat
while we sleep      we are not anymore
the ones

who live in a house on a ridge
make love under redwood beams
are visited by owls
in the night

nor are we the ones
who came to this pier
the farthest point west
long ago

there are boys
skateboarding off
the pier      there are fishermen throwing
their lines

into the dark      where have they gone
the hands      the hips      the lips of the ones
we used to be      at the Old Molina
at Whale Watch      at Agate Cove?

we climb the stairs
of the lighthouse      footsteps
behind us      look out at the rocks      where so many
ships have foundered      their well-crafted hulls

their masts      their captains’
sleeping quarters      drift down
as lost as the ones
we once were

we look for ourselves
in the fire      will the burning wood remember
which woods we’ve hiked which birds have called
interrupting what reveries?           how many grandfather

redwood trees have shadowed
our paths      so a ray
of dusty light could touch
the crown of our heads?

where are they now      in what deep
where i fish with what line
this is a poem i have written
how many times before?

is there a counting angel      who tallies it up
walks taken beds slept in      love made
and also the fights      bad blood      words burnt
in the mouth      as gift      as sacrifice      is there an angel

who collects      every broken shard
every puzzle piece
who will write it all down
in the book of our lives:

Dan and Naomi were here?

 

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