Virginia B. Anderson began writing poetry in her sixties. She went to every workshop and poetry event that was available. Her poems were published in various small press publications. She won prizes: American Pen Women, Deus Loci. She took part in the Ojai Poetry Festival and had poems published in Rivertalk. She is co-founder with Margie Davidson of Paradigm Poets. She is the publisher of the Daybreak Anthologies (international publications) 1999-2002. She is published in the final issues of ART LIFE, Limited Editions. Her book, INVISIBLE MATTER will be published in July 2006.

DROUGHT
(Niger, Africa)

The old woman remembers
the look of rain:

drops coming down
to wash the face.

Did it really
rain here?

Did she walk to school,
her hair drowning?

The rain was hard,
could flood,
be mud-colored,
be in time for the growing season,
be full of rainbows.

But that's gone now.
the cattle do not talk.
Their tongues
are thick,
past thirst.
They drop their bones.

The children not yet dying,
pull at their mothers'
skirts, ask
for rain-talk,
ask for words made
into rain.

They lick their fingers,
mouths,
breasts,
whatever's moist.

The flies come.

 

THE PAINTER

drops
her cloth

along
the water's edge

gone
the rocks

the tide
pools

the fish-shack
cafe

the cat
still napping

a boy runs

without sounds

nothing
asks to be remembered.

 

LILIES OF THE NILE

They come trailing softness
like ladies at a garden
party: slim, full of colors,
tall as summer drinks;
they spin, twirl, ripple, dip;
they peer through flirty fans
at handsome blooms across the yard.

They cavort a bit
but will not stay. One week,
two, and they lose interest.
I plead, "Other lilies on this street
stay for two months or more.
Why can't you?"
They shiver.

I give them water.
The sun sends down its warmth.
They yawn, droop,
cannot maintain an upright posture.
"Please stay," I say feebly.
They sway.

They whimper, do not even
say good-bye.
But I hear one whisper
as she fades:
"Thank God, it's over.
I'm exhausted. She seems
to think we are common daisies
willing to perform forever."

 

MUSIC FROM A WOMAN
(Harriet Schock, composer)

A face that listens

in hues
that artists use to catch
the light.

And when she sings
sounds soft
as dust motes
coming down.

She lifts
thin skins
to see what's left
of what used to be,

and love is there:
old, betrayed,
given
and forgotten.

The night loosens
until each listener is perfect

And it's all right

to move
into another time
with someone else imagined
or remembered.

 


2006 Virginia B. Anderson


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