Elegy for the trees
An angry man bought the hillside.
Hungry for blue bigness
he chain-sawed the trees;
he smashed the nests – the birds fled.
I wanted to write an elegy for the trees,
that old comforting wood. I wanted to,
but couldn’t— being so full
It’s bitter cold— sub-zero, and this jay
blue and clear on the branch below my window,
this jay: no song-bird, not sentient
shining in low sun, red berries of mountain ash,
a dark crown animating the branches—
First appeared in Umbrella Journal (4), 2007-2008. Also, recently featured as Mass Poetry’s Poem of the Moment, January 2, 2017..
The Roofs Are Alive and Reassuring
The snow on the roof
Looks like a swan sleeping in its wing.
The avalanche is coming, can’t you see
That iron rooster poke its head out of its clutch of white?
Don’t worry, you say,
The rooster is just a chimney cap—
Can we play the snowdrift game some more?
But the avalanche, I say,
Makes puckering sounds
In the night and I’m afraid.
I see a whale
Taking a steam bath.
I say, I love you.
Origami Poems Winter Celebration winner, featured in South County Living (Fall 2009).
Mary Ann’s second book, Salt & Altitudes, was published in 2014 (Finishing Line Press). Winner of the Grub Street Poetry Prize and a Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems appear widely— most recently in the anthologies, Missing Providence (Frequency Writers) and They Worked—We Write: Celebrating New England Textile Workers (Ocean State Poets). Through the Origami Poems Project, she helps distribute free, handmade micro-chapbooks. Why poetry matters, writes Mary Ann, is something only poetry can answer. She adds, “I’m in awe of its generative power. Good poems abduct, then release us, transformed. I only know, that like us, it has an unruly right to exist.