Poems by Palline Plum 2017

Palline Plum newPALLINE PLUM is a visual artist and recovering social worker, who has published poems in Tiferet, in regional journals, anthologies, also…in Poetry in Buses in Kalamazoo. Her notable poetry credit was winning a Grand Prize at the Dancing Poetry Festival in San Francisco. (It was also a hoot!) Palline earned a BFA in Fine Art from University of Michigan, and an MFA in Sculpture from Queens College, CUNY.
Currently, she obsessively photographs flowers in all their stages from bloom to decay, and exhibits and sells the results in a variety of settings. https://www.facebook.com/PallinePlumPhotography/

Palline has also placed over 45 high school age foreign exchange students, who came from more than 20 countries to study in Indiana and Ohio. She considers this important work for the future of our world.

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Signs and Clues
This week
I have been weak:
Ordinary things exhausted me,
And took me by surprise –
(My spirit was so willing!)
A meal with friends,
And I could barely speak.
When cleaning out the fridge
I had to stop
With just one shelf.
Thoughts slid,
And in my restless sleep,
I bungled simple sums.
One night,
The last few steps
To flip a light switch
In another room
Were more than I could
Manage.
Then, tears were near
When it was time
To bring the old dog in,
And get her in her crate
So she wouldn’t saturate
The floor
Beneath the printer’s table.
I am not surprised that
All this week the
Poems hid.

SPRING

The green is coming now-
Creeping
Through the browned forest floor
Behind our K-mart.

It hasn’t yet obscured those
Bits of color and bright white,
Spilled onto dead maple leaves
And broken twigs.

No, not flowers, but fast food bags
Adorned this ground
Through winter.

In a few days perhaps,
The green will have moved higher,
Quietly painting underbrush,
Then boldly leaping onto trees.

For now the green is stealthy.

Traces of Cat

The new cat
Plants herself
Trustingly
On my thigh,
For hours on end.

Until
The camera turns
Her way.

Then the cat’s eyes
Narrow,
And whiskers twitch.

The lens tries to catch her
Out of the corner of its eye,
But finds only
Traces of light.

She’s gone.

Today’s RAW Image Files

When I still had lovers,
My eyes would become drunken
With the gorgeous way their arms
Flowed into their hands.

I was fascinated, too
With the curves and crannies as
Upper arms shifted into
Ribs and shoulders.

Most of all, my breath would catch
At the mere sight of that hollow
Between pelvic bone and belly,
Covered by such tender skin.

Now my camera follows
Blossoms as they grow from stems;
Bud and open flower often
Side my side.

Again ,
My heart trembles
And my breath catches
As my lens finds that tender space
Between the two.

LOWER EAST SIDE, NYC 1969-72

There was a
Bathtub in the kitchen.
Useful for peeing
Safely at night.

I have never been a painter…
But one week each month,
Those first two years,
I released
Deep red ,
Lovely, scarlet ribbons
Onto white porcelain,
And felt like one.

The third year
There was no red,
Only yellow
And the belly
Growing larger
With my son.

Leaky Dreams

The gates to sleep are made of
Semi-permeable membranes:
Briefly, bits of
Dreams slip out.

I wake to fragments:

A thick-walled room
Filled with yellow light;
A room worth claiming
While awake.

I wake to tiny whiffs:

The unseen presence
And separate smells of
Men I loved, now long ago –
Some dead,
Some not.

I wake and listen to young voices :

To snippets of conversations
From the thin, but luminous
Half-grown
Grandchildren I will never know.

They’re talking to their dogs!

SUNRISES

Are to be avoided,
Unless you are on an airplane
Flying east,
Or
Find yourself young, and
Near the Arctic Circle
On a late summer night
When you haven’t really
Gone to bed,
Yet.