Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ghazal 5/3

everything as if in a picture the apple
tree budding in drizzle beside the barbed wire fence a dark

cornerpost bent backwards the tension of three wire strands
& cherry blossoms steeped in raindrops I’m strolling up-

hill thru the Haight in a mist dazzled by love I’m strolling
an aimless magnolia morning in Charlottesville white white

petals slick underfoot I have nowhere to go—a room
I can’t recall red sofa blue paisley curtains black

leather upholstered chairs a secret passage a 

library giving onto a garden seen in a mirror a

white magnolia bloom in the backyard & fleshy
holly I’m walking thru glass almost unscathed the Conservatory of

Flower’s glass dome on a gray spring morning purple 

dahlias rhododendrons’ lips the calla lilies gestures the

red roses brimming across a white pergola a white sun dress 

somewhere else—Virginia in spring white white magnolia

littering my mind amongst the clutter
in a fully furnished room in a mirror’s garden

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ghazal 5/1

when stars flowered white & green & shattered to
constellations blooming over Indian Mountain as yet the summit

invisible in a sky that could be night tho it’s morning the
red roses brimming across a white pergola a white sun dress a

porcelain Blessed Virgin—the Joshua Trees’ white flowers
flowering thru shattered Owens Valley the

history of water in the city of angels etched into dry lakes the
stars’ petals unfurled along an invisible ridgeline—white roses for

innocence—hailstones pelting the driveway yesterday morning a
water glass smashed to constellations & orange

roses equal desire & lavender roses for love at
first sight Dante’s for instance—stars blossomed lavender white red a

Joshua Tree’s hunchbacked bouquets conferred whitely a
boarded-up diner’s windows shattered to constellations a pink gem-

stone rosary my father carried in wartime a porcelain Virgin—the
stars blooming white & yellow thru this sky’s

black waters tho it’s morning somewhere tho not here the
yellow stars shattered tho yellow roses say goodbye

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ghazal 4/29

at 5:00 a m the stars are suspended raindrops thru the kitchen
window is there any sound in the smothered velvet air the

cascade of one semi southerly down the highway a huge exhalation a
transistor radio crackling a Red Sox game thru a

Rockingham VT hemlock green spring evening a screened-in porch in
1966 listening to balls & strikes with a man whose breathing was

labored—he did sit quiet in hemlock green air rising from the green
Connecticut River the house built into a hill it had hemlock green

trim—the new moon’s velvet dark this morning around the teardrop
constellations—a baseball scudding into leftfield at a park in

San Francisco a honeydew green spring morning 1996 the
memory of April air—the silence of baseball punctuated with the

report of a bat the silence of listening punctuated with a
wheeze a rale a cough—the stoic crying velvet morning sky

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Thursday, February 17, 2011

“the rain is as classical as ever”

what else is like rain at 5 a m on the green tin roof a
marimba clucking a pentatonic scale under wool

mallets doesn’t cut it a clarinet in the backroom chirping
descending thirds doesn’t cut it an upright bass groaning chromatic

blues lines is not it—the coffee still steeping in the presspot
the mild embarrassment of dressing in the kitchen when only the

cows are lowing dark in dark pastures—so exposed
to no one with memories of the Greek alphabet carved in stone as the rain-

drops carve stones on the cliffs above Bodega Bay where the
gulls dip thru the mist & it’s last November & I could be

anywhere the rain drips on the green roof at 5 a m—
the tide pools awash in the surf off Lincoln City the

rain descending in sheets like extended chords
sounding crisp & without any sustain—a dish of

ravioli swimming in marinara a white tablecloth—
dressing in the dark as the coffee steeps ex-

posed a classical guitar left out on the
green tin roof in the rain & I could be singing

Jack Hayes
© 2010
(quote from Anne Waldman’s Holy City)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Distance Equals Rate Times Time

the distance between a grey stone diner in South Hero, VT &
this green salad day April 27th 2009—the unsettled sky

the goldfinches’ hollow whistle—the distance as
measured against the speed of light or any imagined constant—

I have nothing to say about the white cirrus clouds as they canoed
over the motley sky in a distant Vermont October—a Camel straight a plaid

scarf a cream turtleneck an instamatic camera the wind de-
scending thru Canadian silver birches their fall leaves in-

congruous lemons shaken in a grey breeze—the cattle across the
road grazing on new grass the prussian blue clouds waiting for birds to

measure the distance to & in fact my mind wandering—the
geese veering across the bosom of Sage Hill late last month

there isn’t any circumference there isn’t any
fixed center there isn’t any sky blue nothingness to fly back into

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"6 Impossible Things Before Breakfast"

blue dahlias a bass clarinet strewed thru golden gate park that mango
california forenoon you didn’t drop by for java & poems & smokes the

orange tulip rufous hummingbird dreams in this April’s new moon
perigee midnight amongst phosphorescent solar lights afloat in the dark-

ling garden—the hex sign sunrise emerging from Lake Erie a milk-paint
yellow horizon swabbing brushstrokes across the harmonic convergence a

vibraphone nestled amongst yellowed birch leaves last October the
leaves afloat in the Weiser River’s troubled glass—magenta

ice plants scattered across the Ocean Beach dunes that lime green
Saturday you couldn’t make it for bicycling & java the Blue Ridge

Virginia brick walkway dotted with dogwood petals those fractal
Petrarchan sonnets scattered by footsteps speaking in off-rhymes only

Jack Hayes
© 2010

(quote from Lewis Carrol’s Through the Looking Glass)


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ghazal 4/27

redwinged blackbirds trilling from willow
limb to willow limb as the morning unfolds most blue & yellow

a daffodil bouquet in a white & green vase almost gone past the
blooms slightly wrinkled & fatigued a consciousness

vanishing as it shrivels—a rest home in Florida the staff
puffing cigarettes by the walkway the morning light quiet thru

tall windows—not knowing the time or the day or the circumstance—a
boat in the grey Gulf of Mexico rolling across the swell the

cormorants the scarcity of things to say amongst the orange bouys &
white gulls an am radio tuned to the Ray Conniff Orchestra’s sharpened

strings in Vermont in a green July humming with grey wasps nests
suspended above the workshop’s screen windows, the tablesaw’s

dire hum the shellac's metallic fish presence a
summer evening grey in the garden amongst orange poppies

the pipe smoke’s choking sweetness dispelled thru the trellis this
Idaho morning shifting to grey above the blue blue hills

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ghazal 4/25

a 1940s car chassis planted amongst trilliums & ferns &
jack-in-the-pulpit the deep green & the grape vines gone native

as helixes climbing the maples—a creamy orange light
swathed to the east & the prehistoric hills & mountains

insubstantial & blue gray as storm clouds falling into the horizon
there was a refrigerator without a door a white bulk amongst

underbrush—white & the tiny flowers of rust blossoming
‘round the hinges—a club house with 1 window & 1 bench en-

wrapping another maple & later swept away amidst logs & green
rowboats & brown trout in the flood the sky is white in the

pond right now the water glass the poplars along the creek reflected
vibrantly green the cows lowing & grazing the sparrows

& blackbirds busy in the willow’s supplely
gesticulating branches the fractious swell of the Saxtons River thru

a 1960s Vermont woodland we no longer have access
to—the static pond to the east out of reach & white this white morning

Jack Hayes
© 2010